Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Wally and the Rabbit

The beginning of this story is a nice friendly account of a rabbit trying to steal a meal from a horse, but takes a rapid turn of events that will disappoint bugs bunny lovers and the writer will suggest those against eating bunny from reading the scrumptious ending.

Now for the humorous and rare incident we witnessed the other day between my curious Quarter horse Wally and one boldly hungry rabbit.  

I was quietly reading an intriguing, inspiring chapter from a book when it was insisted that I come down to the dining room and look out the window at the horse I had just fed.  I sighed and reluctantly left a good read to glance out the window.  I was met with a barrage of comments as I stared in disbelief at the cute, but bold theft.  “Look, the rabbit is sitting there trying to eat hay with the horses!”  “Wally doesn’t even see him!”  “Come on, Wally, chase him away!”  The rabbit nibbled away at the hay while Wally munched.  It took Wally a couple minutes to realize what was happening to his pile of hay.  Then his head raised and he chewed a mouthful of hay staring down the intruder with wide eyes and pricked ears.  He seemed to be contemplating what to do as if he were thinking, “I don’t remember this happening before”.  He stepped towards the rabbit and attempted to sniff it.  The rabbit backed off and Wally snatched up what was left of his hay, leaving the rabbit to finish off the chaff.   

Above was the pleasant ending for those of you who like rabbits.  
The following is the ending for those of you who like rabbits as a delicacy.

Meanwhile the two expert marksmen from the house, grabbed their rabbit execution device, and made their plan.  They returned shortly with a live rabbit!  “How did you do it?”  Was the excited question from the girls in the house.  “Well,” explained my brother (next in birth order to me), “we chased him into a pile of junk right into a tin 2ft cylinder-shaped object.   I blocked the one side with my foot and grabbed him when he ran out the other side.  Then I carried him to the house.”  “Wow, didn’t he try to bite you?” came the disbelieving reply.  “No, I read that rabbits don’t bite…except when protecting their young,” came the educated answer.  Apparently this rabbit didn’t have any babies to protect at the time and my brother had retained his science studies.  I decided that since I didn’t have to work the following day, I would make the rabbit, along with two of its relatives in our freezer, the next night’s supper.  Putting my prairie cooking skills to work, I cut the wild rabbit into serving sized portions and rolled it in a breading of flour, salt, and pepper. 

 Next it was fried in some bacon drippings. 

The browned rabbit pieces were put in the crock-pot, a piece of bacon was laid over each one, and gravy was poured over the top.  For side dishes we had green beans, peaches, and what I call fancy potatoes: thinly sliced potatoes with skins placed in a baking dish, sprinkled with salt and pepper, drizzled with butter, and baked to perfection!  

A scrumptious ending to a rather unbelievable story.  As Dad would say, truth is stranger than fiction!!

What is the point of this article?  Um...... here are some suggestions:
*To give you something fun to read.
*Learn to take the time to appreciate the unique details or detours in your day!
*An idea for cooking if surviving off the land. 
*Make sure you've done your homework before hunting.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Cooking Cowgirl Style!

What does a cowgirl do when the temperature or weather suggests it would be wiser to work inside?

Head to the kitchen...
to do some baking...
cowgirl style!
Put on your riding boots and cover your western shirt with an apron.  You could even wear your hat just for fun!  Then put that imagination to work tweaking recipes to satisfy your taste buds and the hungry stomachs of your hard working farmhands!   Not a cowgirl?  Don't worry!  You can come up with your own cooking style!
Howdy everybody!  One of my favorite ways to spend a frigid cold wintry day, is filling the house with the delicious aroma of freshly baked bread products.  Home ground wheat flour sweetened with honey enhances the flavor of my breads.  A warm butter melting slice of this bread is one of the best ways to satisfy a food craving!  I often acquire new recipe ideas from farm newspapers, magazines, cookbooks, and sometimes the internet.  I usually end up not following the instructions for a recipe exactly---substituting ingredients and adding new ones.  I like to use whole grains, natural sweeteners, and healthy oils.  Our bodies are better able to digest foods that are closest to their natural form with the least amount of processing.  When we feed our bodies with wholesome foods, we are being good stewards of the bodies God has given us and our bodies are fit to serve God.
The following is a meat and cheese filled bread that can be frozen to be thawed later for a quick meal.  I like it because it can be made ahead of time to be used later, but is delicious and filling.  One of my brothers came up with the name.  It's been called football bread too.
Zipper Bread
What you'll need:
*bread dough *cream cheese (set out to soften) *cheddar cheese *garlic powder *onion powder *chives
First take one loaf of bread dough and role it out into a big rectangle on a greased cookie sheet.  Use your favorite bread dough recipe and if you don't have one, go look in a cookbook!  I usually make 6 loaves of bread at a time, so setting aside one of those loaf sized portions for this recipe works out easily for me. 
 Next, layer ham down the center.  Leave a 1 inch space at the top and bottom and a 2 in space at the sides.  I used 16 slices of ham: 4 rows with 4 in each row.  You can use any kind of meat that you prefer.

Now mix up the cream cheese filling: 4 oz. cream cheese, 1/2 t onion powder, 1/4 t garlic powder, 1 c cheddar cheese, and chives.
Dump the ingredients into the cream cheese that you let soften at room temperature and sprinkle in enough chives to taste good and look pretty.
Spread the seasoned cream cheese over the ham.  I use my fingers--the best spatulas you'll ever find!  Then take a knife and cut 2-inch long slits at each corner and every 1-1/2 inches along the side.  Fold over the dough at each end in preparation for the next step.
Now we're going to start braiding the dough.  Don't worry!  It sounds and looks hard, but trust me it's really easy!  All you have to do is take one strip of dough from the side and lay it down at a diagonal with the end crossing the center a bit.  Then take the strip directly opposite it and cross it over the  one lying on top of the filling.
See?  It's really quite easy and fun! 
Doesn't it look cool?  See why we call it zipper bread?
Let it sit for an hour.  While you're waiting, wash up the dirty dishes!
Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 25-30 minutes.  It should look like this!  Now it's ready to eat or be frozen for later.
Now that's my kind of cooking.  Simple but professional looking and delicious!
I only wish I had taken a picture of a piece of it.  We ate it before I remembered.  It was that good!
So long for now!