Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Windy Day in Fall

The wind came up in the night. Strong. Cold. The dead leaves of autumn fly ahead of it. The bare branches of the willows and the maples and the aspens protest it. The temperature drops all day, pushing toward the single digits.

I walk in the wind, smelling fall, but tasting winter as well. And I'm reminded of the old Irish blessing: "May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be ever at your back."

The Old Timer Says: "There is no need to fear the wind if your haystack is tied down."

Don't forget the Pickle Party December 1, 1:00 pm at Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, WI. I'll be sharing some pickle stories.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Home Made Pumpkin Pie

We grow pumpkins in the farm garden, enough so the grandkids have jack-O-lanterns and we have pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. Real pumpkin pie.

Here's the recipe Ruth uses:
2 eggs--beaten
Add the following ingredients to the beaten eggs, combine:
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon each of nutmeg, allspice, and cinnamon

Now add and blend thoroughly:
2 cups pumpkin pulp
1 cup milk

Put mixture into a single pie crust.

Bake 425 degrees for 15 minutes
Then 350 degrees until done (about 30-40 minutes)

The pie is done when the top surface is set and not sticky.

Enjoy. Happy Thanksgiving!

The Old Timer Says: "You don't learn patience by hurrying."

Friday, November 16, 2007

When Better Trumps Bigger

"Bigger is Better." It's a cliche. We've heard it for years. Bigger this, that and the other thing--and if it's bigger it's got to be better.

Not always so. Especially not with cucumbers. It's the little ones, the number ones, the gherkins that bring the most money to the grower. The big ones, those honkers that remind you of a green football turning yellow, well, we sometimes left them in the field. Didn't even haul them to the pickle station because nobody wanted a big, old yellow cucumber.

Learn more about these important matters at the big Pickle Party at the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, WI, December 1, starting around 1:00 p.m. That's a Saturday.

The Old Timer says: "If bigger is better, why is a dime worth more than a nickel?"

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Gherkins and Such

What's a gherkin? You don't know? If you grew up picking cucumbers you remember people talking about gherkins--they are the little ones. The number "ones" that fall through the pickle sorter first and command the highest price.

One reference I checked said the word, "gherkin" originated with the Persians, and eventually came to us from the Dutch. It literally means "a small cucumber."

Oh, bet you didn't know that Thomas Jefferson favored pickled gherkins, and they became a popular product in France as early as the 1820s.

Learn more about gherkins and other important cucumber information at Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose,Saturday December 1, 1:00 p.m. Come early and look at the pickle exhibits.

And learn about my new book IN A PICKLE: A FAMILY FARM STORY.

The Old Timer says: A pocketful of common sense is worth a wagon-load of learning.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Pickle Party at Wild Rose

Mark your calendar! We are having a big pickle party at Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose on Saturday, December 1, 2007 at 1:00 p.m.

We'll talk about pickle days in Wild Rose's history, the pickle stations that operated there, and reminisce about the little "pickle patches" found on about every farm at one time.

And I'll read a little from IN A PICKLE:A FAMILY FARM STORY. Here's a chance to learn the story behind the story--who was Andy Meyer? And that preacher, was there a preacher like that in Wild Rose in the mid-1950s.

It's a fund raiser for the library; I'll be signing books with proceeds going to the Patterson Memorial Library.

The Old Timer says: "There are no shortcuts to important places."

Monday, November 05, 2007

Falling Leaves

A brisk northwest wind comes up in the night and the colorful leaves of autumn tumble to the ground. A new season has arrived, with no turning back, with nothing but memories remaining. Like so much of life itself, as each of us turns a new page and looks ahead with anticipation of what is next.

The Old Timer says: "As in cards, we must play the hand dealt us in life. Winning isn't as important as playing a poor hand well."

For those interested in my "Writing From Your Life" writing workshop at The Clearing in Door County, the 2008 dates are: August 3-9.