Easter is about two weeks away, and I found a great picture book to read to children or have them read it to you. “The Littlest Bunny in Colorado” is intended for ages 4 and up. The story is told in rhyme, and the illustrations are beautiful. Readers even get to take part in an Easter egg hunt.
Calving season has begun at Pipi’s Pasture. I think that calving season is a worrisome time with the uncertainty of weather and the possible complications of calving. But it’s not without its rewards, either. It surely is enjoyable to watch the two new little heifer calves as they run around the pasture and then suddenly plop down for their naps.
This week I tried an experiment, an adaptation of a recipe. The idea came when I read through an August 2016 issue of a little magazine sent through the mail, along with coupons, by King Soopers.
I know that readers of Bill O’Reilly’s “Killing” series of books will be happy to learn that his newest book is out, and you can find it at the Craig branch of the Moffat County Libraries.
Whenever I think about preparing an Easter dinner, I think of strawberries. Spring and strawberries just seem to go together. I usually bake a yellow cake or buy some little cakes and serve them with sugared strawberries and whipped topping. That’s our Easter dinner dessert.
A couple of weeks ago we started feeding round bales here at Pipi’s Pasture. For the past few years we have been running out of small bales by about this time in the season and have to resort to a new feeding routine. We continue to use small bales for the corral. The bales weigh between 900 and 1,000 pounds — big, indeed.
This week’s column reviews yet another Irish tale in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. It’s “Daniel O’Rourke,” a picture book for children by Gerald McDermott. As with last week’s book, this one was also published some years ago. It’s an older book but charming nonetheless.
Next week we’ll celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day. I’ve been thinking of Saint Patrick’s Days when I was growing up, but I can’t remember what Mom cooked to celebrate the day. I’m pretty sure it was a cabbage dish, however.
It seems like it has been just a few days ago that I wrote a “So now it’s February…” column. Now we’re into March, the month that teases us with hopes of spring while it is still winter.
St. Patrick’s Day is nine days away, so this week’s column reviews an Irish folktale for children. “Jamie O’Rourke and the Big Potato” was retold and illustrated by Tomie dePaola, a well-known children’s author and illustrator (and the winner of a Caldecott Honor). The book was published in 1992, but no matter of copyright date — the book is charming.
Breakfast is my favorite meal. When we have family here I like to fix breakfast casseroles — if I have the time to put them together. This week’s breakfast recipes are from a packet of recipes that Geraldine Coleman of Craig sent awhile back. Geraldine has contributed several recipes to this column.
Our daily lives are filled with lots of happenings or experiences that we don’t care for very much. However, if we look hard enough, there’s often a positive side to them, too. To see what I mean, consider the following examples.
It’s been warm and spring-like, but undoubtedly there will be lots more snowy days before spring really arrives. That means that there’s still time left to enjoy soup, like this week’s recipe for “Broccoli Cheese Soup.” The second recipe for “Spanish Noodles” is quick to prepare and yet good, a recipe to fix when you don’t have much time.
When I taught children’s literature and inquired about my adult students’ favorite children’s author, they almost always replied, “Dr. Seuss.” Because of his wacky words, rhyming verse, and ingenious artwork, Dr. Seuss is indeed one of the most beloved children’s authors. Besides that, his books leave all readers — young and old alike — with messages about life.
First of all, I’d like to thank all of the readers who sent letters and called with recipes for mincemeat. There hasn’t been enough room in the column to print all of the recipes I received, but I’m setting some of them aside until Thanksgiving and Christmas 2017.
I have just finished reading “Small Great Things,” a novel written by one of my favorite authors, Jodi Picoult. She is a genius at crafting novels so that the reader cannot put her books down, and then the message is often haunting.
During a good part of the winter, we feed small, rectangular bales (we feed round bales a little later). Lyle loads the bales on a 4-wheeler-pulled trailer, drives them out to the feedlot, and scatters them around the lot — two trailer loads. My job is to cut the strings and spread the hay out (as much as possible when there are bunches of cows pushing each other around the bales).
Janine Rinker of Craig sent in the first of this week’s recipes with a note that it is “a favorite Valentine’s Day treat.” Crisom Crumble Bars will be a pretty treat for Valentine’s Day with its cranberry ingredient. Thanks, Janine!
This week’s novel is the re-telling of the prodigal son story. “Long Way Gone” was written by Charles Martin and published by Thomas Nelson (a registered trademark of HarperCollins Christian Publishing), 2016.
So, now it’s February 2017. The tax forms that were supposed to be filed Jan. 31 have been sent. The registration tag for my car, to replace the 2016 tag has been put on the license plate. The property tax notice arrived in the mail. Maybe some of the bitter early winter temperatures have left (though I know it can be cold in February).
This week’s featured book is “A Child of Books,” a picture book for children. However, as with so many children’s books these days, the story line and artwork will be appreciated by adults, too. Best of all, children and adults can share the reading experience of the book.
When I was a kid growing up on the ranch, our family learned to “make do.” It might have been using a jar-sealing rubber — a circular piece of rubber used to seal canning jars — to hold a sole on a pair of everyday shoes. Or it might have been piling thick telephone books — the Denver kind — big storage cans or anything else we could find on top of a stool in order to reach the ceiling when we painted or cleaned.
On Tuesday, Dollie Frentress, of Craig, called and said, “You’re going to get a kick out of this,” and I did. I hope you do, too.
I remember when calf #65 was born. According to the calving record book it was April 9, 2016. I wasn’t expecting my 20-year-old-plus cow, Ucky, to calve last year. I figured that she was too old. Wrong!
This week’s mincemeat recipes were contributed by Pat Pearce, of Craig. She found them in a recipe box belonging to Claudia Pearce, her mother-in-law. It is interesting to note that some of the old recipes use “mince meat,” two words rather than “mincemeat” that is used today.
This week’s picture book for children was a Christmas gift from my sister and brother-in-law, Darlene and Miner Blackford of Rocky Ford. (They know that I love children’s books and sometimes use them when teaching classes.) It’s the cutest book!
So now it’s January, and the holiday season is over. What is on mind right now is what is on everybody else’s mind — the weather. It’s hard to focus on any other writing topic here at Pipi’s Pasture because, after all, it is taking three to four hours a day to do all the chores. If you have animal chores to do, you know what I’m talking about; if you don’t you still have to deal with the snowy, wet mess.
This last week, while I worked from home, I had several calls from readers who gave me information and recipes about mincemeat. I’ll share what I learned in this and future columns. I so enjoyed visiting with you all, and thanks so much for the information.
If you’re making a list of books to read during the new year, put this week’s book at the top. It’s “13 ways to Kill Your Community” by Doug Griffiths, MBA, with Kelly Clemmer. The book I reviewed is the second edition.
Winter is here, and if the weather keeps being so snowy, you might want to spend more time in the kitchen — perhaps baking cookies. This week’s column features two recipes from my mother’s (Judy Osborn) recipe files.
This week’s column offers up a treat. It’s a yummy salad recipe, made with raspberries, cream, cream cheese, Jell-o and more. I’ll bet it could be served as a dessert. Anyway, the recipe was sent to me by Patty Meyers who lives near Hamilton. Patty got the recipe from Berdna Nicodemus. Patty makes this salad for every holiday dinner. She doesn’t know if you could use fresh raspberries in place of frozen ones.
In those days when I was growing up on the ranch, we didn’t have people in for New Year’s Day — not that I remember anyway. We did celebrate the beginning of the new year with a nice dinner which probably consisted of roast beef, potatoes and gravy, and all the trimmings. During the day, perhaps dinner, we talked about our hopes for the year and made our resolutions, which we might have kept to ourselves.
Tomorrow most of us will be enjoying Christmas dinner with family and friends. I’m remembering Christmas dinners back when I was a kid growing up on the ranch.
It seems like just about everyone serves turkey for Thanksgiving dinner, but that isn’t necessarily true for Christmas. Though turkey is a popular choice, some families prefer roast beef or ham or even something else that’s interesting. This year I’m fixing ham, a pasta salad, fresh veggies, rolls and maybe the vegetable casserole recipe featured in this week’s column.
Over the years, several authors have written their own versions of “The Night Before Christmas.” This week’s picture book for kids, first published in 2004 (and with two more printings), is an example.
By the time you read this column, it will be just eight days until Christmas. Unbelievable! I’m busy; you’re busy, and that’s all that’s left to say—except that this week’s column features two more cookie recipes that you can bake for Christmas. Both recipes are taken from my old cookbook that has lost its cover and some other pages, too. Enjoy the cookies!
“Santa Kid” is a picture book, written by James Patterson and illustrated by Michael Garland, and it has a very “different” plot, indeed.
Since I’ve gotten to be an adult, I’ve tried to “bring up” the same wonderful feeling of anticipation that I used to have when we kids got ready for the Christmas program at the Morapos School. That was the country school that we community kids attended through grade eight. And the feeling of anticipation? Well, I can’t quite seem to bring it back to mind; that’s what happens when we grow up, I guess.
This week we received an “open now” box from our son Jamie’s family who lives at Bailey. We knew the box was coming because our daughter-in- law Brandi called to give us a “heads up” that the box would contain perishables. It is a tradition for her to put together a box like this each Christmas.
This week’s novel for adults was written by Colorado resident Erik Storey, and readers will recognize some of the towns — such as Meeker, Rifle and Craig — in the setting of the book’s plot.
Each year when the Christmas season rolls around, my mind wanders back to my childhood days when I was growing up on the ranch at Morapos. Whenever I write about growing up experiences, I marvel at how much I’ve forgotten or perhaps how I have chosen to remember things. My siblings often remember events another way. So here it goes.
As I sit at the dining room table this morning I can see a little bit of snow on Pipi’s Pasture. There are water puddles, too, in the usual places where we find them following rains that put down measurable precipitation. The storm reminds me of one of those days in March when we’re into calving season. However, the first of December is just around the corner. Time has passed with the blink of an eye.
There’s nothing better than Thanksgiving leftovers. However, we can eat just so many turkey and hot roll sandwiches. This week’s column features two recipes for using leftover Thanksgiving dinner meats. The first is chicken (or turkey) soup, and the other is a casserole.
I found “Giving Thanks: Poems, Prayers, and Praise Songs of Thanks” on display in the children’s room at the Craig branch of the Moffat County Libraries. The book is edited, with reflections, by Katherine Paterson. I think that the book would be enjoyed by readers of all ages.
This is a Thanksgiving story of sorts, a really incredible story about a six-month-old, whitish-gray-brown Simmental cross heifer calf. We don’t usually name calves, but as a baby this little calf loved to run, and as she’d run past me I was reminded of the wind. Thus, the name.
Our family is starting to make plans for Thanksgiving. Whenever I think about preparing a holiday dinner or even a meal for a big gathering to work cattle, I include a special fruit salad in the menu. It’s our grandson’s favorite salad, and even though it has another name, I call it “Jaycee’s Favorite Salad.” I’ve included it in a previous column, perhaps a year ago, but I can’t resist featuring it again.
With Thanksgiving approaching, we’re all thinking about reasons to be thankful. Being grateful is one of the messages in this week’s picture book for children.
Last week I wrote about how my childhood family enjoyed visiting as we sat around the dining room table eating our family meals. Lyle and I have continued the “tradition” with our own family, and we enjoy it so much that we linger at the table even after we’ve eaten dessert.
When days are busy, as they have been for me lately, and I don’t have much time to fix supper, I like to turn to recipes like those featured in this week’s column. They’re quick to fix and don’t call for many ingredients.
Author Louise Penny, who lives in Montreal, has written 11 previous Chief Inspector Armand Gamache novels. “A Great Reckoning,” the 12th in this series, is this week’s featured book. It’s published by Minotaur Books (2016).