Friday, April 10, 2009

The Easter Bunny doesn't have anything on my laying hens. I have several that roam outside of our animal pen and corral area. Most of my flock stay closer to the barn and nest in the hen house. One of my sons and I were trying to get the tumbleweeds out from under a row of pine trees and discovered a nest with 25 eggs in it. Talk about hitting the jackpot! I was then informed by the poultry judge(my 17 year old who participates in FFA judging) how to check and grade my eggs. When he was one with his judging, I did the old fashioned sink or float in water test. We both had the same answer, toss the one that floated. So then, what do you do with two dozen extra eggs? You have a Ready Made versus Home Made Challenge, of course.

Here come our contestants in the Breakfast Sandwich competition.

Ready Made: 24 Bacon/Egg/Cheese or Ham/Egg/Cheese Biscuit Sandwiches from a convenience store
Cost: 24 @ 2/$3.00 = $36.00 plus tax of $2.79 for a total of $38.79

Semi Homemade: 24 Refrigerated Large Bacon/Egg/Cheese Biscuits
Cost: 6 boxes of 4 @ $4.99 per box = $29.94 (no tax on food) or $ 1.25 each

Home Made: 12 Bacon/Egg/Cheese and 12 Ham/Egg/Cheese Biscuit Sandwiches
made with 24 large biscuits, 1 pkg. sliced bacon, 1 pkg. sliced ham, 24 slices american cheese
Cost: 24 for $10.32 or $0.43 each

If you had to purchase the eggs, that would change to $12.90 or $0.54 each. You could also vary the meat or go meatless or cheeseless, everything is optional.

Ding!Ding!Ding! We have a winner! In about an hour we had breakfast for our three hungry boys for a week. These could be refrigerated for the week or frozen. Pop in the microwave and have breakfast - fast.

Here is hoping you and yours have a Happy Easter!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I'm getting that spring itch. My fingers are itching to dig in the dirt. It's too early, I know, but the urge is still there. Most of the snow we received during last week's blizzard is gone, with only the deeper drifts remaining. Planning is the most fun. I look back at last year's garden harvest and try to adjust my plot sizes accordingly. Gardening, both flower and vegetable, is something I truly enjoy. I get a lot of satisfaction knowing that the time investment is so productive. In a couple of weeks, I'll break out the tiller, grab my hoe, rake and seeds and production will begin. Our climate is dry, so watering is a big factor. It would be too easy just to have rain weekly. I also know, from the get-go, that there will be too much produce for me to handle. Sharing is caring. There is the old joke that about the first of August, even the people at church start locking their car doors, to prevent zucchini from being put in the back seats. My favorite thing to do is leave my extra, no matter what the vegetable, in the foyer of the church, so that anyone that wants or needs it can take it. This works quite well, as there are several of us that garden, and the vegetables vary from week to week. Every year, I also put in one new fruit. This year that will be blackberries. There are some good specials in the seed catalogs for bareroot plants. I would encourage you to plant some vegetables, even if you do not think you have a green thumb. They can be put anywhere. I have grown vegetables in pots on the patio and poked them in my flower beds. You do not have to have a full scale garden to reap the benefits of fresh vegetables. Just a little time and patience.

Monday, April 6, 2009

I do believe the country life is for me! There is nothing more peaceful than watching the sunrise with a cup of coffee and the only sounds are the birds chirping. It starts the day off on the right note. My thought for today is:

Joy is the thank-you, thank-you, thank-you from the bottom of our
hearts that erupts when we are put in touch with what really matters.

Margaret Langstaff

I do believe that hospitality has fallen by the wayside. I enjoy serving something homemade with people that visit. It gives that feeling that you have gone out of your way to make them comfortable in your home. It can be as simple as iced tea, lemonade and cookies. I try not to make it too much work, as there is not enough time to enjoy the visit. I also keep a supply of things in the freezer for when I am out of something freshly baked. Nut breads, from banana to zucchini, freeze well, as well as coffee cakes. You can also freeze or refrigerate cookie dough, then you have freshly baked without the mixing time. I fill my cookie jar every weekend. I work in the baking around work schedules and school events. That way, I am prepared if company comes calling or my kids get hungry, whichever comes first. Here's what is in my cookie jar this week:


Mix thoroughly:

1 Cup Shortening
1-1/2 Cups Granulated Sugar
2 Eggs

Add and mix well:

2 -3/4 Cups Sifted All-Purpose Flour
2 tsp. Cream of Tartar
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1/4 tsp. Salt

Roll into balls the size of walnuts. Roll in the following mixture:

2 Tblsp. Sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon

Place 2" apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.