Monday, May 28, 2007

ducks are sitting, peonies are blooming & a recipe: sloppy joes for a crowd

suggestion: if all you see are little blank boxes instead of photos on the website, right click on your mouse and then click on show all original images. I've been experiencing trouble with uploading photos to blogger so have had to bypass their method and insert html into the posts.

The lavender and white sprinkles of wild phlox contrast beautifully against the greens of brush and trees and lend a splash of color to the field across the road. Have I mentioned how wonderful it is to wake to birds singing various tunes? And then this morning, to rise and find the peonies have bloomed!

Summer seems to have arrived although the calendar tells us that it’s several weeks away. The nights have been warm enough to sleep with window open. The woods out back are a mass of green, making the sight of a deer within near impossible now. So, we watch as they cross near the barn to the adjacent field.

This month has been a busy one and June looks no different for the most part. This last week of May will be spent helping Conrad and Janet prepare for their yard sale, then organizing things in the barn here for their auction on June 30th. Janet and I will be setting up the kitchen for auction day and serving the traditional auction fare for those who come to browse and buy. It should be fun…I keep telling myself that lol! I’m sure it will be. I’ve managed the kitchen on several occasions for other auctions so it’s just a matter of organization and preparedness. Once you are ready to go the rest is relatively easy. (It should be fun, it should be fun, it should be fun…it will be fun, it will be fun, it will be fun…)

In the meantime…

Coop has been gathering some eggs recently from Louise, our fickle little black hen Muscovy, who doesn’t seem to be quite sure what she is doing. Thelma by the way is sitting on her nest of about 22 eggs, possibly more. I estimate hatching time to be on or near the summer solstice.

Most people I’ve heard of don’t care for duck eggs, but then they’re referring I believe to regular duck eggs rather than Muscovy. Muscovy eggs are a tad bit richer and have larger yolks, but the difference is slight in flavor compared to chicken eggs. Fried over easy or scrambled they make a fine meal. The eggs are a lot tougher to crack because they have a thicker outer membrane beneath the shell and I notice the white is thicker or more gelatinous than a chicken egg. I haven’t tried them boiled, so not sure if the consistency is any different that way. It may be. There’s only one way to find out!

In light of summer gatherings, whether auctions or reunions, here’s the recipe for a mega batch of sloppy joes. This recipe will make a large electric roaster full or two large crock pots full. As always with my own recipes I more or less estimate amounts, so adjust accordingly to your taste and needs.

Recipe for electric roaster or 2 large crock pots of Sloppy Joes

15 lb. lean ground beef

Approximately 3 large onions diced

Cook beef and onions together in large pan or soup kettle, then drain as well as possible.

Add:

1 #10 can ketchup (institutional size)

1 cup brown sugar

Chili powder to taste (I’d suggest about 3-4 T.)

salt and/or garlic powder if desired, to taste

Place contents in your crock pots or roaster and simmer til time to eat.

I think the last time I used this recipe I actually only needed about 2/3 of the can of ketchup. Just store the rest in a jar.

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