Saturday, June 30, 2012

Brined Chicken: Continually Updated

I was wrong. It's not brined BBQed chicken, it's brined smoked chicken. "Stephen Pyles' Smoked Chicken" to be exact. From a bon Appetite (sp?) feature on Stephen Pyles as he was first becoming famous at the Routh Street Cafe, before Star Canyon. 

I'm waiting for supper to finish-- the chicken has come off the grill-turned-smoker and will be going into a cooking bag to heat up those last 20 degrees. 

Mr. Big Food's Dad and Mr. Big Food's Mom treated us to a dinner at Star Canyon once. It was delightful. Kat was with us. None of the four grownups-- then or now-- likes to waste money, but we all do like to enjoy ourselves when given the opportunity. You should have seen Mr. Big Food's Dad's eyes when Kat ordered

Aggie's Shoestring Manor

What a great title for a blog, don't you think? Shoestring Manor. To the Manor borne!

Aggie is at least if not more more into crappy old stuff than I am. One of her recent posts, which I hope will interest those of you who care for the textile arts, is about Peg Loom Weaving. Check it out.

She also likes cooking in cast iron.

And... she lives in Mississippi!

It's been a while

Missy, Missy, Missy

Friday, June 29, 2012


I'll be honest with you. I'm not exactly sure what's going on. I was asked to make the brine. Even though we went over it this morning, there were some issues this afternoon. I called Mr. Big Food about the first and then winged the rest. 

Recipes on the Grill / I Saw It Happen

"Georgia Boy Sausages" slathered in chili sauce. Baby Round Zucchini brushed with honey butter while it was grilling.
And Ranch Style Beans heated on the grill.
big food. (That's a joke. Ranch Style Beans is a ConAg product.)

See. If all you'd grown this year was one measly Baby Round Zucchini plant, and one night on your way out of Starkvegas you decided to skip going to the Hog, but you still needed a veggie to grill, and you 'mentally' scanned the garden, and you cut the Baby Round Zucchini that had accumulated in the crisper into thick slices... and brushed them with honey butter ... . You would have enjoyed The Best Vegetable Ever. 

While grilling, Mr. Big Food reported that the fire was really hot although he'd not built a particularly hot fire. It was fairly warm at 8pm. The termo-meter on the wall read about 99 but it had been sitting in the sun for a few hours. 

During the day it was much warmer. The thermo-meter in the truck jumped at least five degrees from the Farm to Starkvegas. The place right before Rick's Furniture on Stark Rd. has a time/temp/ad thing. It read 107.

So I was headed to Starkvegas and was passing a small van on the 4-lane and what do you know? 

Recipe: Sausage Stuffing Bake

Photo here. Recipe for Caraway Sausage (which is what Mr. Big Food used in this dish) here.


Serves 6

1 ½ lbs bulk pork sausage (preferably homemade—see recipes in Basics section)
1 C packaged herb stuffing mix
1 C tart apples, pared and chopped fine
½ C celery, chopped fine
¼ C onion, chopped fine
2 Tbsp snipped parsley
2 Tbsp chili sauce (preferably homemade—see recipes in Basics section)
¼ tsp dry mustard
¼ tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 375o. Shape sausage into 12 patties, ¼ inches thick. Prepare stuffing according to package directions using ¼ C water and 2 Tbsp butter. Add apple, celery, onion, parsley, chili sauce, dry mustard, and pepper, tossing well. Arrange 6 of the sausage patties in a shallow baking pan. Top each with ½ C stuffing mixture, then another patty, and secure with wooden toothpicks through center. Bake about 45 minute or until done.

Recipe: Caraway Sausage


5 lbs ground fatty pork
¾ C cold white wine
3 Tbsp caraway seeds
1 C chopped fresh herbs (parsley, basil, oregano, whatever)
1 C minced onion
2 tsp brown sugar
4 tsp curing salt (like Morton’s Tender-Quik)
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp ground allspice

Combine all ingredients, mix well, and stuff into hog casings or form into 1 lb logs. Cure 24 hours in refrigerator. Cook or freeze. 

Recipe: Green Beans Belle

Photograph here.


2 cans cut green beans, drained, liquid reserved
1 bunch green onions, sliced thin
Large can sliced mushrooms, drained, liquid reserved
1 stick butter
Salt, pepper
Slivered almonds
Chopped pimento

Fry green onions in butter until soft but not browed. Add reserved green bean and mushroom liquids to onions, and cook down until only about 1 C liquid remains. Add green beans, and salt and pepper to taste, and let heat thoroughly. Add slivered almonds, and chopped pimento before serving.

The Puddle Formerly Known as the Pond

Taken with my Droid this morning
You may remember way back when (3/2) when Rocky drug the raft to shore.
More than one month later
She doesn't know it yet, but she could walk across this puddle.
Stay cool, y'all!

"Why are store bought tomatoes so bad?"

Althouse has the answer.

Playing by the Rules

A Modest Proposal by Ed Morrissey at Hot Air. 

Now that the Roberts Court has affirmed that the government has the power to mandate purchases of private goods and services as long as it’s structured as a tax, I propose that we put this new-found authority in the service of an explicit Constitutional right.  For far too long, too many Americans have suffered from an inequal distribution of firearms, despite the Second Amendment’s express exhortation to “keep and bear arms,” in large part because income inequality in this nation has kept the poor and working classes from having the proper protection for themselves and their loved ones.  We need to end this disparity now by applying the ObamaCare model immediately.

First, the government needs to issue a mandate that all households must own at least one firearm. We will need a federal agency to ensure that people aren’t just buying cheap BB guns or .22 pistols, even though that may be all they need or want.  It has to be 9mm or above, with .44 magnums getting a one-time tax credit on their own.  Let’s pick an agency known for its aptitude on firearms and home protection to issue required annual certifications each year, without which the government will have to levy hefty fines.  Which agency would do the best job?  Hmmmm … I know!  How about TSA?  With their track record of excellence, we should have no problems implementing this mandate.

Don’t want to own a gun?  Hey, no worries.  Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts says citizens have the right to refuse to comply with mandates.  The government will just seize some of your cash in fines, that’s all.  Isn’t choice great?  Those fines will go toward federal credits that will fund firearm purchases for the less well off, so that they can protect their homes as adequately as those who can afford guns on their own.  Since they generally live in neighborhoods where police response is appreciably worse than their higher-earning fellow Americans, they need them more anyway.  Besides — gun ownership is actually mentioned in the Constitution, unlike health care, which isn’t.  Obviously, that means that the federal government should be funding gun ownership.
[my emphases]

Read the rest here.

Thursday, June 28, 2012


An ethogram is a catalogue or inventory of all behaviours or actions exhibited by an animal used in ethology. The behaviours in an ethogram are usually defined to be mutually exclusive and objective, avoiding subjectivity and functional inference as to their possible purpose.[1][2][3][4]
For example, a species may use a putative threat display, which in the ethogram is given a descriptive name such as "head forward" or "bracing display", and not "head forward threat" or "bracing threat". This degree of objectivity is required because what looks like "courtship" might have a completely different function, and in addition, the same motor patterns in different species can have very different functions. Often, ethograms are hierarchical in presentation. The defined behaviours are recorded under broader categories of behaviour which may allow functional inference such that "head forward" is recorded under "Aggression".
Sometimes, the definition of a behaviour in an ethogram may have arbitrary components. For example, "Stereotyped licking" might be defined as "licking the bars of the cage more than 5 times in 30 seconds". The definition may be arguable, but if it is stated clearly, it fulfils the requirements of scientific repeatability and clarity of reporting and data recording.
Some ethograms are given in pictorial form and not only catalogue the behaviours but indicate the frequency of their occurrence and the probability that one behaviour follows another.
Rocky's doing well leashless. But I want him to be comfortable on a tie-out. And so, I've taken to tying them both out first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Please keep in mind that they are dogs whose lives were made much better by coming out to the Farm. And that they do run Free when we say it's okay.

I want them to become very very comfortable just hanging out around the house. 

This is a poor photo but it still conveys what Rocky is up against, as the guard dog and all. 

Sausage Stuffing Bake with Home Made Caraway Sausage

It wasn't really burnt.
What we have here is a sausage patty topped with stuffing topped with a sausage patty. 

What we have here is Green Beans Belle. 

Very good
Recipes as soon as Mr. Big Food sends them from the kitchen to the den via the World Wide Web. (It would go so much quicker if the recipes were on note cards.)

Timing: This is Rich

I'm on the Organic Consumers Association email list. Frankly, I do not share some of OCA's concerns, but I do share in the Association's hatred for Monsanto and the Big Monsanto (and others) - Big Government collusion. So I skim the emails just to keep up looking for a good laugh.

Today, at 12:11pm Central Time, while I was stewing over other things, I received my weekly newsletter. Here is the lead story in its entirety.

Independence Day is in just one week.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

"Most people plant roses,"

she giggled said as she saw the corn and squash and sunflowers coming up in the front yard.

There's no zoning where I live. I can grow corn in my front yard.
And sweet potatoes in my planters.
Be Happy!

Waste not; Want not.

Yes. Some of us are still eating baby carrots on our salads.
New Zealand Spinach. A small black zucchini, a small baby round zucchini. Pepper. Tomato French Dressing. 

Don't you wish ... .

Check out the label "salad"

"Are parents not teaching them the age old adage 'Waste not, want not' "?

That's what Someone very Dear to Me asked me a few days ago.

Are parents not teaching them the age old adage "Waste not, want not"?
Do children no longer understand the value of a dollar? Are parents not teaching them the age old adage "Waste not, want not"? If this were my child I would be driving him to the local shelter for several hours of volunteering. That would teach him a lesson. Or would it? 

Don't you wish Someone very Dear to Me were your kid?

It's time to start talking about cotton.

The fields are planted. The plants have been making good progress. But Mr. Cotton Farmer planted late. It's dry. His plants are suffering. The forecast is for something like 100-100-102-100-101-99. Or something like that. 

I'll need to water the squash. I don't want to, but I'll need to. MORE ORGANIC MATTER.

suek and I are having a discussion about the weather & cotton here.

Keep Guessing: I Really Love Your Peaches

It is hot enough even for me so I'm diddling around for a few minutes exploring aspects of Blogger I've previously ignored. One is linking directly to others' posts. I thought y'all might enjoy this one from Becca's  Keep Guessing

Let's see if it works.

Everywhere I go: UPDATED with a question!

today on the World Wide Web there's a poll. 

Uphold/throw out? with variations [Can't remember where I saw it]

Contempt? Yes/No [Can't remember where I saw it]

And so not to be outdone, I figured out how to add a non-political poll to the blog (although I couldn't figure out how to add it to a post).

One thing is certain. It is hot enough for the dogs. 

Have you noticed?

There's a new Page here with contact information should you wish to contact me for any reason but especially should you wish to send recipes!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Do tell! It's an art blog

not a political blog.

The Empowered Man
Jon McNaughton, the artist who brought us Wake Up America, has released a new painting. Read more about the imagery, see Wake Up America, and please do watch the video at BuzzFeed.

Recipe: Ed's Hot Squash

With 15,000 or so recipes in Mr. Big Food's Big Food Manual and Survivalist Flourishing Guide we seldom have the same dish more than once. But there are exceptions and Ed's Hot Squash is one, as you can see from this dated photo.


Recipes for Two Zucchini Breads that Couldn't Be More Different

Down on the Farm, we love our zucchini bread! What could be simpler than zucchini bread? Most recipes, including these, can be made entirely by hand. We've had zucchini bread continuously for at least two weeks-- three different versions. I can't remember what the first was called, so I'll just post the two most recent recipes. 

These two breads couldn't be more different. The Broadway Zucchini Bread-- named after the now defunct retail chain in southern California which served this bread in its cafes-- is thin, only about an inch and a half high. Zucchini Bread rises out of the bread pan and is topped with sesame seeds. Both are simply delicious spread with some soft cream cheese.


Recipe: Zucchini Rounds

Very good
especially when the zucchini is picked fresh just hours before you make these little rounds. By the way-- we just dropped spoonfuls of batter into the skillet rather than "molding" the mixture.


Serves 6

1/3 C biscuit mix (like Bisquik or Jiffy)
¼ C shredded Parmesan cheese
1/8 tsp pepper
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 big zucchini, shredded (about 2 C)

In mixing bowl combine biscuit mix, cheese, and pepper. Stir in eggs until mixture is moist. Fold in zucchini. In large skillet, melt 2 Tbsp butter over medium heat. Using about 2 Tbsp mixture for each, mold mixture into 12 patties. Cook four patties at a time in skillet, about 2-3 minutes per side (or until golden brown). Add more butter as needed.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Squash Night: Also Known as Veggie Night

Zucchini Rounds
fried in butter.
Recipe tomorrow

We also made Ed's Hot Squash (it's not that hot) and baked a loaf of zucchini bread from a recipe we hadn't tried before. It has sesame seeds on the top. 

Speaking of hot... 

If you support me...

I can reach for the sky.

Inside the Life of an Okra

'Corn Horn'
'Aunt Hattie's Red'
There is nothing-- and I do mean nothing-- like Mr. Big Food's okra fritters. Lord. I'll bet you one United States Dollar that there will be fried catfish night featuring okra fritters real soon!

Oh! Maybe I will suggest that for one of our Independence Day Celebrations suppers. There's nothing-- and I do mean nothing-- like firing up both barrels of the turkey fryer when it's 100 degrees outside.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

All we do is eat!: Recipes Page

In addition to the main page you are reading, there is a "Recipes" page here at the blog that has a list of recipes I've posted and links to the recipe's post. The link to the Recipe Page is in the header under the blog title. This page has been out of date for months-- and I apologize for that. I took advantage of Mr. Big Food's recent absence and the warm spell we're having here (yes, it was too warm for me to work outside this afternoon) to update the page and do a spot of organization of the list.

It was fun traveling down Food Memory Lane! But I also realized I've been very neglectful lately about taking photos and posting recipes. I'll try to do better because we are eating well, and rather inexpensively, I might add. 

I've one favor to ask. If you know-- because you copied it to a notecard-- I've posted a recipe for something, and you don't see it on the recipe page, please let me know so I can correct the list. 

In just a bit I will pull some Spicy Frozen Cucumbers (from last year!) out of the freezer. We'll have those with tonight's supper. For those who have an overabundance of cukes this season, here's the recipe.

Eat well!

"Oh the humanity." UPDATED with link.

In a reckless example of the latest uber-dangerous summer fad, four lawless yoots drove past an innocent girl and her younger brother standing on a street corner, dousing the two with a searing stream of chlorinated dihydrogen monoxide. Or, as details, “Four Pennsylvanians who fired water guns loaded with chlorinated water on a teen and her younger brother from a moving car now face misdemeanor disorderly conduct and harassment charges.” You may know the noxious substance used in the brutal attack as pool water . . .
Just making sure you're up to speed on what's going on beyond the Sovereign State of Mississippi where it's a bit on the warm side today.

Read the rest here. Scary stuff.

Saturday, June 23, 2012


Mr. Big Food has arrived home on time. I can close out the Delta tabs. 

One of the first comments he made to me in the truck as we were leaving the airport was that he'd forgotten how rude people are. He said after the first several attempts to greet a fellow human in a hallway or while passing through a doorway he was met with nothing, so he just gave up. 

He didn't day this, but if I may,
Screw you guys, I'm goin' home.
He also tells us that happy people rent bicycles and go bicycling out there.  

Everyone is happy Mr. Big Food is Home on the Farm. 

Now to the food part.

Friday, June 22, 2012

A Disturbance in the Force.

That's what happens when you stray too far off the Farm for too long.

Admin Day

I am doing some updates to the blog. If changes disturb your experience here, please let me know.

"Memories like that will _never_ make it to the internet!"

concludes suek in our discussion on cookbook extinction.

She writes:
I've started transferring some of my recipes - usually the ones the kids have asked for - into digital form, but I still need my index cards. Much more practical for working with in the kitchen.

And besides - some of them are still in my Mom's handwriting, or my Dad's. Of course _I_ know that - and recognize them - but I doubt that others would. And of course, the handwritten ones from friends along the way...

Like Carolyn's "Burnt Kitchen Candy"... she was making the recipe one day when I picked her up to go to a luncheon event. She thought she turned the stove off (electric stove - did I mention I dislike electric stoves intensely?), but instead she turned it to high. By the time we got home, her house was filled with smoke - greasy smoke...the recipe called for a pound of butter, I think ... that penetrated throughout the entire house. What a mess. Fortunately, the cupboards above the stove were metal, so although smoke stained, nothing burned but the candy.

Memories like that will _never_ make it to the internet!
She's right. And that's why there will always be crappy old cookbooks and notecards and marginalia.

The tangible (notecard with handwritten recipe) connects to the intangible (memories) in ways that  don't exist in the digital world.

Mom's Pie Crust recipe
Mom's Pie Crust recipe, among some other crappy old stuff.

Portable Produce Stand

She'll need to sell a lot more than this to pay for her new car battery & alternator. Hmmm... . Maybe I should have a tip jar.
The idea was for Daughter C. to pick up some coffee money by "selling" some things to her co-workers this morning. Instead, her car broke down last evening and she was stuck in Starkvegas. Oh well. Maybe Monday, when there will be plenty more in her portable produce stand.

Viking: "All me shiny things about me"

That's a quote-- or more likely a paraphrase-- from the movie, The Quiet Man. The character, Mary Kate, wants her shiny things. Who could blame her? She wants what she wants.

Just so a woman wanted a restaurant quality range in her new home in Greenwood, Mississippi. "No such range existed," so home builder Fred Carl designed one. ... Viking Range! (Story from Off the Beaten Path Mississippi.)

How much is that range in the window?

I think not.

Full article at Slate here.
Oh my. 

The author of this article goes to great pains to be sure we know he/she loves to cook, loves cookbooks, loves to write about cooking, et cetera. That's nice. 

The first point he/she makes is that cookbooks, more than other sorts of books, are given as gifts. This is an assumption that is not backed by any data, but I'll not argue with it. He/she sees cookbooks as gifts becoming apps as gifts, eBooks as gifts and so on. Yeah, well, maybe... . But I don't see total replacement with respect to cookbooks as gifts. What does an app look like on the coffee table?

He/she then highlights "[t]he value of a cookbook qua cookbook... ."

Thursday, June 21, 2012

While... : Antebellum Churches

I had a hard time getting the information apart from its object. I *think* this was 1838.
I chose to not crop this photo.
Look how blue that sky is!

While My Camera... : Downtown Greenwood, Mississippi

We did our Greenwood errand and then looked around, guided in no small part by the book that Daughter C. found at Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi and gave to us last weekend, Off the Beaten Path Mississippi : A Guide to Unique Places* by Marlo Carter Kirkpatrick (2010).

We did our errand, parked, and strolled around. In chronological order...

Viking World Headquarters
[There will be a separate post about Viking's presence in Greenwood, Mississippi.]

There are a number of galleries on Howard Street, the not-Main St. main street.

Read this. What a well-written sign. What a well-written paragraph. We go from the general to B.B. King.
The downtown seems to be prosperous. There are vacant buildings, but my sense is that someone will eventually do something with them. Or Viking will go out of business. 

While My Camera & Computer Were Separated: 162 Ounces of Blanched, Packaged Squash

The "what we did after we returned from the Delta" part of this post

While My Camera & Computer Were Separated: Times Have Changed.

Meant to accompany this post from yesterday
Accompanied this post of four months ago


we're back! Not exactly to where we left off-- my time machine backup was a couple of weeks out of date-- but still. No more unbacklighted keyboards for me!

Thanks for your patience.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Suek comments,

Dogs...the only true love money can buy...!

(wish I could say that I was the originator of that thought, but I wasn't. It's still true, though)

Yes it is. 

"One Nation Under Dog"

I do so wish my computer was working. I've taken a photo-- good thing, too, because Rocky just got up-- and will post it as soon as I am able. They were laying on the kitchen floor. Rocky was pointed this way <-- and Missy that --> ; his hip was tucked in her belly. They are being very quiet this morning. They got their dose of flea & tick repellent Monday evening, which means they can't go in the water until Thursday. It can be something of a struggle managing them if they don't get enough exercise, which they may not have yesterday as we were in the Delta. Despite that, this morning they are very calm. (I know, I know. Just wait until this evening!)

We talk from time to time about the dogs' lives-- even Suzy's, rest her soul-- here at the Farm. As you may recall, Daughter C. rescued Rocky from a life tied to a tree in West Point, Mississippi, a town that's had its share of human-promoted dog fights. Missy spent most of her first five months at the shelter in West Point and had I or someone else not come along... .

I was reminded of their backgrounds while reading Althouse's comments on the HBO documentary, "One Nation Under Dog." 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

UPDATED with proper spelling of Kartoffel Suppe: The Mississippi Delta

is an interesting place. We had the opportunity to travel to Greenwood, Mississippi this afternoon. I wrote a bit about Greenwood, home of Viking, here. I'll share photos as soon as my RAM is reseated. I have photos of some antebellum churches in Carrolton, Mississippi, also.

Back on the Farm later in the day, we baked two loaves of zucchini bread, put up (processed and froze) 162 ounces-- over 10 pounds-- of summer squash, and made kartoffel (sp?) soup Kartoffel SuppeKartoffel Suppe [thanks, suek!] with wieners mit Wurst [thanks, again!]. I  fixed us a lettuce-New Zealand spinach-baby round zucchini salad which we dressed with homemade egg dressing, and Mr. Big Food heated up some frozen rolls. I took some pictures.

Goin' to the Delta

and taking my camera with me! Who knows? Maybe someday soon I'll be able to post photos again. I have an appointment with the certified Apple repair folks in Columbus!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Dogs are interesting.

Have you noticed that nothing works anymore? Nothing hasn't worked for a very long time. I can't tell you what number can opener we're on. Mr. Big Food is lobbying for an electric canopener. I am lobbying against, at least until we can find a reliable handheld. Ensure backup first.

Swiss Army knife?

What does seem to be working is DNA. 

Missy needs to go out. She's getting urgent. She's communicating. How does all of that happen? Missy & Rocky aren't so very different from you & I. I've been watching them and if they had opposable thumbs, ... .

Sunday, June 17, 2012

"Birdieable": Is that a word?

It is if it's almost 9pm Central on Fathers' Day and your eye glasses were eaten by your dog last night and your computer's RAM needs to be reseated and you are typing on the computer that you & Kat's  Adult Male Role Model really really hate and you've had to re-light the Den because the concept of keyboard backlighting is apparently foreign to Bill Gates' team.


Friday, June 15, 2012

Food mi;;

As I ... why aren't PC keybpards back;oghterd?

As I mentioned, my Genius computer is acting up. Mr. Big Food lent me the computer he really really hates. Thanks. Insert a lot of complaints.  

Oh for crying out loud. I just let Missy out and the frog came in and Rocky was too excited by my excitement to catch the stupid thing. So now there's a frog in the house. A week from now, we'll be asking what smells. 


The Food Mill. 

In anticipation of making more dewberry jam and sauce, I bought a regulation food mill. We have a sauce maker, but we decided we needed a real food mill. It was made in China. It came with instructions.

Here we go again!

Get set for more complaining. My RAM has been unseated. I don't know how this could happen, it never moves from its spot inside my computer which never moves from my desk. I blame Missy because, you know, the toothpaste went missing this morning, too, and I'm certain Missy's to blame. 

The good news is I don't have to go see the Geniuses in Memphis. The bad news is I have to go to Columbus, Mississippi, but I don't know when.

Meanwhile, the squash is coming on like crazy-- three pounds this morning and I pick squash just about every morning. That will make Mr. Big Food, who, by the way, really really hates his new computer, very happy.

One more random comment. The Geniuses on the phone are way too sugary but at least they are not rude. But what sort of upbringing does one have to have had to not know how to pronounce the name of the city that Elvis was born in? There are a lot of Mississippi town names that I need to sound out-- and I still get it wrong. Kosciusko comes to mind. But Tupelo?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Gran's stuffed pork chops

Mr. Big Food tells me he found the recipe for these stuffed pork chops written in Gran's handwriting on the backside of the cover of one of his crappy old cookbooks.

And yes, those are prunes.