Making food

I freely admit that George does most of the cooking, canning, and baking at our house. He likes it and is good at it. I appreciate it. Very much. As a result, when I do actually put more than two ingredients together, I want everyone to know. (Cold cereal, milk, and banana doesn’t count.)

Purple cone flower

Jenny shared a purple cone flower for our garden

The tuna salad was pretty good. I used bread and cucumber strips rather than pitas to hold it all together.

I made treats for a canoe trip. George seemed a little annoyed that I would make food for canoeing, but not at home.

Jessie’s Peanut Butter Balls

1 c peanut butter (adding more will increase moisture)
1/2 c nonfat powdered milk
1 c rolled oats
1 t cinnamon
1/2 c ground flax
1/2 c honey (adding more will increase moisture)

Combine all ingredients and shape into balls (large marble size or smaller). Keep refrigerated. Will stay fresh and moist for over a week.

Kathy’s Traveling Cupcakes

4 squares of semi-sweet chocolate
1 c of butter
1 3/4 c pecans, chopped
1 c flour
4 eggs, beaten lightly
1 t vanilla
mini peanut butter cups

Preheat oven to 325 F.

Melt chocolate and butter in a heavy pan over low heat. Add nuts and stir until well coated. Combine sugar, flour, eggs and vanilla in a separate bowl. DO NOT BEAT. Add chocolate mixture to flour mixture. Fold in but DO NOT BEAT. Line muffin pan with paper liners. Fill to 2/3 full. Press a mini peanut butter cup flush to top of batter in the center of each cupcake. Bake at 325 F for 25 minutes. Makes 2 dozen. These are called traveling cupcakes because they don’t need any frosting and travel well.

I modified the recipe to use powdered cocoa instead of semi-sweet chocolate and black cocoa. Normally to substitute powdered cocoa for chocolate squares requires adding oil. These cupcakes have enough butter in them already to make the transition without it. I used 1/2 c cocoa powder and 1/4 black cocoa instead of 4 squares of semi-sweet chocolate. To be fair, I also added extra butter, but think it was a little heavy on the butter. Imagine that!

Mary made some of my favorite orange cranberry snack mix. I’m not sure if she used the Betty Crocker recipe or not, but it seems like a similar one.

If you want to see some of the activity that these snack’s powered, see Jessie’s blog post.

Old oak tree

Old oak tree

We had strong straight-line winds and nearby tornadoes  on Tuesday/Wednesday night. The only damage we had was to an old oak along the lane. We are fortunate.

Vacuuming, dish washing, organizing, and weeding wanted to be done yesterday afternoon. Instead George and I paddled from J’s farm on Highway 54 on the South Branch of the Little Wolf to P’s farm on County Road B on the Little Wolf. To say that we are not a well matched team in the canoe is fair. Meg, the dog, was with us and shook most of the time. We were trying to decide if she was terrified or laughing at us. There were several portages for trees across the river and insufficient river depth. We still had lots of fun portaging downfalls on the South Branch, chasing turtles, and spotting plants, birds, and fish. My favorite was the blooming blue lobelia. We’ll probably do it again!

Tammy, the cow

Tammy says hello

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It is March?

George and Meg

The weather has been unseasonably warm here in Wisconsin. Someone told me that our daytime temperatures are reaching the average for July. I believe them. Spring chores have been sped up for me. Getting things done before the grass gets too long seems to be a deadline that I never quite reach in time.

Along with the hot weather, George has spring break, and we have been married 11 years this March. We took some time off from the grass deadline to canoe on the Little Wolf River today. George was in the bow because I have more experience steering than he does. Like many things that he attempts, George relies on brute strength than balance or finesse. I felt like I was mostly paddling to counter his force rather than navigate down the river.

Just paddling along

Turtles sunning on a log

We saw a frog, lots of turtles sunning themselves on snags, ducks, geese, and a turkey. Most of the plants are still thinking about turning green and the grasses along the bank were brown.

The water was high enough, even though we didn’t get nearly our usual amount of snowfall or other precipitation since fall. We had to work to hit a couple of rocks and there where nice ripples, but nothing rough. Perfect for us. There was a tense moment when George didn’t feel like I was doing my job of steering well enough and attempted to steer from the bow. When I thought that the moment was over I told George that he would just have to trust me. “But I don’t trust you!” George shouted back. Maybe we will work on trust for our twelfth anniversary.

Transport

Wanna hug?

Endnote: No, George does not want a hug. He’s showing off a spruce moved from Scott and Barb’s land and transplanted on Paul and Barb’s land.