So I wouldn’t have to mow.

There’s an old saw about how European settlers to the American continent had lots of children because there was lots to do. Every child you added to the stable, so to speak, was another laborer to help till the land, carry the firewood, cook the food, to contribute, as it were, to the running of home and farmstead. (I think that we’re forgetting the fact the birth control was pretty much non-existent, but that’s an essay for another time.) We live on a third of an acre, with about a third of that taken up by a house and deck. … Continue reading So I wouldn’t have to mow.

Defining the Battle Ground

Katie has begun to chafe some under my delegation. Over the last few years I’ve grown more comfortable with throwing tasks at the kids. Mowing the yard, emptying and filling the dishwasher, and cleaning the kitchen are givens, the terms of their allowance start there with the understand that that they do whatever is needed as asked. The side garden has become greatly overgrown with redbuds and maple trees, so I set Kate loose on it this evening. Like most teenagers she has an attitude about physical labor where she does some of a job – never all – calls … Continue reading Defining the Battle Ground

Books on Tape

Science tells us that the Earth is an irregular sphere approximately 4 billion and change years old. There are people in this world who believe that the Earth is flat, based I presume upon the fact that from an airplane you can’t see the curvature of the horizon. (You can, it just isn’t obvious from your 6″ wide window.) There are people who believe the Earth is young, less than 10,000 years old, a calculation based on assigning an arbitrary value to a “generation” and counting the “begats” in the Bible from back to front – starting with Jesus who serves … Continue reading Books on Tape

Don’t do that.

I tell my children, “A practical joke isn’t funny unless everyone involved has reason to laugh when it’s done.” I think there needs to be a law that no one should be allowed to pretend to pull anything out of the ear of anyone older than the age of eight years old, and nor to demonstrate their proficiency with the “french drop” to anyone old enough to drive. For those who don’t immediately place the reference, the “french drop” is what your uncle or grandfather used to do to you when you were a kid when he’d take a quarter out … Continue reading Don’t do that.

Homemade Teriaki

Tossing this up here so I can throw away the nasty, wrinkly, old piece of paper that’s been floating around my kitchen for a couple years now. 3T soy sauce 2T rice vinegar 3T chicken stock 4T brown sugar 1t sesame oil 2t minced garlic 2t minced or grated ginger 1t cornstarch 1T cold water Combine everything except the cornstarch and water in a sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Combine the cornstarch and water to make a slurry. Add to the simmering sauce, stir to thicken. Variations For a little heat, add crushed red pepper flakes. For a … Continue reading Homemade Teriaki

Re-Doing What I Undid From What My Uncle Did

In 1956, my uncle Vance took a little farmhouse on what at the time was the edge of town and (among other changes) expanded it westward by about 12′, creating an office for his accounting business. Wisely he also added an entrance on the south end so that people coming to visit him for accounting services wouldn’t have to walk through the house. The doorway to the kitchen was served by a dutch door.

My father bought the house in 1970 (to my mother’s never-ending bitterness), and I became the sole occupant somewhere around 1990 when mom moved out to her own apartment and, a few years later, re-married (dad had been dead for nine years) and moved back to the old hometown in Nebraska.

Continue reading “Re-Doing What I Undid From What My Uncle Did”

Sweet Roll Recipe

This recipe is another staple in my box. I use it for dinner rolls, sandwich buns, as a base for Hot Cross Buns and for other places where a sweeter dough is needed.  I’m just going to put the basic directions for making the rolls here. I thought I had a picture somewhere, but I can’t find one. Currently I have a batch rising. You really don’t want a picture of dough. I’ll get pictures of these for the future though. Oven at 350 degrees/Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown 1/2 Cup 110 degree water 1/2 Cup 110 … Continue reading Sweet Roll Recipe