Monday, October 29, 2012

Zucchini Bread

Rain, Snow, Ice, warming, Slush, dense FOG.... so I guess I will do something with that last zucchini!!   Yes, our weather is messy right now, but a little bit of this and we will all feel better!!

First I had to peel and shred the zucchini.  It sure makes me like my ol' food processor.

 Most of the ingredients...
... any brand is fine.

I add the zucchini last as I find I get the rest of the ingredients mixed better that way.  Sometimes it seems dry & stiff, but as soon as I add the zucc it gets juicy.

After an hour in the oven...
Butter or no butter for you?

I got this recipe from my favorite cookbook - "All Time Favorites, Extension Homemakers Centennial Cookbook".  It was printed for the Ward County, North Dakota Centennial in 1986.  I really like the hometown cookbooks with recipes from cooks you know & trust containing ingredients most of us keep on hand.

3 eggs
1 cup oil
2 cups sugar  (I use 1 cup brown sugar & 1 cup white sugar)
2 - 3 cups grated zucchini
2 -3 tsp. vanilla
3 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
3 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cups nuts (optional)

Beat eggs until light and creamy.  Add oil and sugar, mix.  Add remaining ingredients; mix well.  Put into 2 loaf pans, greased and floured.  Makes 2 loaves.

Let's Take a Closer Look

I follow a blog named Sunday Stills.  This week's challenge was macro photography (close ups).  So, I'd like to share this entry:

It was not until I looked at the photos on the computer that I realized there were cob webs coming off of the the barbs.  I thought it was neat and am considering "mounting" it on canvas for display.

Linking to:  Sunday Stills

Friday, October 19, 2012

Wet Corn

A while back I wrote that we were chopping corn. It was piled into a huge pile and packed firmly with a tractor.  
This is what the corn plants look like after chopping.

This week Brett got a few days to combine some corn. 
Mark got to ride in the combine for a while too.
This is a photo of unloading corn from the combine into the truck.  There is chaff from the grain flying in the air so the picture looks "speckled"!  Also, you might notice that one snout on the combine header is angled up.  There are chains that run under each of the snouts and one had broken.  The guys lifted the snout to get at the chain so they could repair it.

The corn grain is a quite wet at about 24% moisture so we had to come up with a plan to store it until it is time to feed it to the cattle.  To safely store the corn grain in a bin we would like it to be at about 14%.  So, they piled it on the ground.  Today they started to run it through a roller mill.  This machine flattens each kernal of corn making it easier for the animals to digest the food value.  After it has run through the roller mill, they pile it again.  Then, because it is wet, they will pack that into a pile (much like the chopped corn).  They tell me that helps to preserve it better.

This is the pile of wet corn.  It does not slide real well so Mark (and later, Brett) had to shovel it toward the auger.  The grain auger on the right is the one they used to make the pile.  There is a small auger going from the pile into the roller mill.  Then the auger on the left takes the rolled corn from the roller mill to another pile.
This is a shot of the roller mill.  On the top you can see the corn coming in.  It then runs through the roller mill and comes out at the bottom.  There is an auger there to move the rolled corn to the next pile.

Basically the same photo as above, but it shows the pile of the rolled corn.

Corn before rolling

Corn after going through roller mill

Christopher came with the payloader (yes, it finally got fixed) and moved large scoops of grain toward the auger so Brett didn't have to do so much with his grain shovel.
Christopher moving some of the rolled corn.  He will eventually drive on the pile of rolled corn to pack it just like they did with the chopped corn.  He will pack it after they get all of the corn rolled.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Oreo Generation

We've heard the phrase "the Sandwich Generation", well Jeff Foxworthy calls it the "Oreo Generation" and I think that sounds better!  Mark & I had the pleasure of attending one of Foxworthy's shows at the Norsk Høstfest in Minot.  We laughed the entire time.  It was great therapy for two tired farmer/ranchers!

Jeff Foxworthy

So, the "Oreo Generation"...  that's us.  We are the creme filling - occasionally it is Double Stuffed!  Our kids are one cookie and our parents are the other. 

Our boys are in their 20's so we don't have to do much for them.  My parents live 60 miles away so I don't help them too often.  We live on the same farm as my mother-in-law.  She rarely requests our help; however, since being hit with Rheumatoid Arthritis she has needed some.  Plus, her knees are shot.  She just had a complete knee replacement so Mark & I spent a few days staying with her to help out.  She was not allowed to drive for a while so I was her chaufer to doctor appointments, therapy, etc.  If you have never met my mil, she is a WONDERUL woman.  It has been fun spending extra time with her.

I did have the pleasure of helping my parents a couple of times this week.  I picked them up and we went to Bismarck.  It was a nice drive on a rainy day (much needed rain).  They know I am just a phone call (and 1 hour) away.  I have driven to Minot to meet them for dinner or go to the doctor with them.  I think my parents are awesome and do enjoy spending time with them too.  My Dad will be 85 in December and is in fairly good health.

Our two mom's have known each other since college.  They were supposed to be college roommates. No, they did not introduce us.  But they were pleasantly surprised to end up renewing that friendship after so many years - thanks to their kids!

I guess this ended up being a little more like a "get to know us" type story, but at least I got to write about Oreos!!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

This & That update

WOW!!  It has been awhile and lots has been going on.  I suppose that is why it has been awhile!

Let's see, what have we done?   We have finished the small grain harvest, fixed the break-downs, chopped the corn for silage, patched breakdowns, hauled straw & hay, waited for parts ....  You get the idea.  It seems we have had a lot of machinery down time. 

The motor went out of the payloader.  There was an air leak on the semi causing the trailer wheels to lock up.  AND the hydraulics aren't working right on the John Deere tractor/loader.  There were a few days that all three of our hay hauling pieces of equipment were down at the same time.  Well, we are still waiting for the verdict on the payloader.  The semi is fixed.  We are using the tractor until it can get to the dealer's repair shop (this Monday).  The hay hauling project has slowed down tremendously.

We hire the corn chopping done.  There is a man out of Alberta, Canada we hire.  It is the type of job that would take us nearly two weeks to do by ourselves.  It also takes three to four people to do it as we need someone to run the chopper, someone to pack the corn pile and someone to drive truck.  (and a full time mechanic to try to keep things running)  It got to be more efficient for us to hire this custom crew.  They don't require anything from us (except the check!) and we can work on other projects.

Chopping corn & filling the truck on the go

Packing the pile

 Christopher is finally getting the last of the buildings from the old fertilizer plant.  He had a hard time finding anyone to haul the hopper bins.  Finally, after many calls from two men, they are getting this done.  There were seven hopper bins at the site.  Four for Christopher and three for a man from another town.  I wonder how long until this whole feed mixing plant is up and running on the feedlot?  It is getting late in the comfortable work season.  (a few snowflakes have fallen already)

I came upon this big Moose cow yesterday when I was taking tools out to the field for repairs.  A couple of days earlier I saw a young cow moose about 10 miles from here.

The cattle are ready to come home.  They are starting to sneak out of pastures looking for green grass.  Not much outside of the fence either as between the first part of June and now we have made had a total of half an inch of rain and most of that came a couple of days ago.  Things are quite dry here, but I don't think we have it as bad as many parts of our nation.

Joining up with a linky party:  Fresh from Farm: Farm Photo Friday