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Topics - Double B

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General Discussion / First Hummingbird of the Season
« on: March 18, 2018, 02:26:10 PM »
As I was getting ready to go out the back door I noticed our first hummingbird feasting on the lavender plants in the back yard. The bottle brushes are coming back but there is not much else blooming that they like so I went to the shop and brought out a feeder and filled it up for them.

Has anyone else started seeing them yet? Last year we had the most we have ever had and really enjoy watching them.

Happy Hour / R.I.P. Rev. Billy Graham
« on: February 21, 2018, 08:06:18 AM »
I heard this morning that Rev. Graham passed away at the age of 99. What a good and faithful servant of God he was. I always enjoyed his preaching and ministry and while I am sad to see him leave the earth I am quite sure there is a party going on in heaven!! God bless you Billy Graham.

General Discussion / That Darn Groundhog!
« on: February 02, 2018, 06:25:57 AM »
It looks like he saw his shadow this morning so six more weeks of winter. Oh well, I can't say that surprises me but I was hoping that he wouldn't and maybe we would be done with winter.

All kidding aside we could sure stand to dry up. I would love to have some potatoes in the ground but it still way too wet. I'll just keep looking at the seed catalogs and dream of spring ; :D

Recipes / Buttermilk Biscuits
« on: January 31, 2018, 03:17:28 PM »
2 Cups of all purpose flour plus more for dusting the board
1/4 Teaspoon of baking soda
1 Tablespoon of baking powder
1 Teaspoon of salt
6 Tablespoons of very cold butter
1 Cup of buttermilk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees
Combine dry ingredients in a bowl
Cut the butter into chunks and then cut into the flour mixture until it resembles a course meal
Add the buttermilk and mix it JUST until it is combined. If it appears on the dry side add a bit more buttermilk. It should be wet.
Turn the dough out onto the floured board. Gently pat the dough out. Do not use a rolling pin. Work it until it is about 1/2" thick. Fold the dough about five times gently press the dough down to 1" thick.
Use a round cutter to cut biscuits into rounds.
Place the biscuits on a cookie sheet. If you like soft sides put them touching each other. If you like crusty sides place them about an inch apart. The ones apart will not rise as much as the ones put close together.
Bake for 10-12 minutes. They will be a beautiful golden brown top and bottom. Do not over bake!!

General Discussion / Asparagus
« on: January 21, 2018, 06:53:47 AM »
Hurricane Harvey and the subsequent flooding wiped out my blueberry bushes last year. I had them in a raised bed and will be cleaning it out this coming week. I am considering planting some three year old crowns after amending the soil. Is anyone having success growing asparagus? Any tips?

General Discussion / Robins Are Showing Up
« on: January 21, 2018, 06:47:51 AM »
As the weather has gone from below freezing back into the 60's, the yard is full of robins. Hopefully this means an early spring.

Is anyone else seeing them show up at their place?

Recipes / Cheese Ball
« on: December 06, 2017, 06:42:14 PM »
We have been making this recipe for many years. I don't know where my mother got the recipe from but we enjoy it mostly around the holidays. I had one in the freezer and served it the day after Thanksgiving and it was gone in short order. We Serve it with a variety of crackers like Sociables, Wheat Thins, Ritz and the likes. You can make it into two or three balls depending on the size of the crowds you serve. I use an old potato masher to mix it up. Enjoy!

6 ounces of cream cheese
1 jar of Old English cheese
1 pound of velveeta cheese
4 ounces of blue cheese
1 stick of real butter (softened)
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
2 Tablespoons of Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 cup of pimento stuffed olives chopped

Mix all ingredients together and separate into two or three balls and then roll each ball in chopped pecans to coat the outside of them.

I wrap each ball in Saran Wrap and the heavy foil and freeze if not served soon.

General Discussion / A Load of Taters
« on: December 06, 2017, 03:55:39 PM »
I went into town today and stopped at the red light. When I looked up, the fellow in front of me had a large load of taters in the back. I am not sure where he was going or where he had been but the one thing I am sure of is that 3/4 ton truck would fit another potato in the back without some rolling out. There were a couple of new potatoes (red) mixed in with the rest but there was plenty of them.

General Discussion / Tomatoes for 2018
« on: December 04, 2017, 07:30:11 AM »
Christmas is right around the corner (three weeks from today) and then we will welcome in the new year. The seed companies sure know how to draw us gardeners in with colorful catalogs and it must be working on me. I have a friend a mile away that has a nice greenhouse and will start some seeds for me. We typically start tomato seeds in trays on heat mats in mid January.

One of the "new to me" tomatoes that I plan to try this year is the "health kick" variety.  It has 50% higher antioxidant levels of lycopene and is a determinate paste type tomato similar to a Roma.  I am primarily going to use this for canning, sauces, and salsa.  I wish to grow these determinate so hopefully they will bear mostly at the same time where I can cook relatively large batches down and can them over a shorter period of time.

I will also plant some other table type plants for slicing tomatoes and fresh eating. Has anybody grown the health kick variety?

Happy Hour / Anniversary Road Trip
« on: November 09, 2017, 07:40:28 AM »
As bad as I hated to miss the GTG, my wife and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary on October 30. Since she spent our first two in a pop up camper elk hunting in Colorado and many more at the deer lease, I figured I better take her to see some of the places she wanted to go so we hit the road. We hit the road on the 26th around 5:00 am and headed through the panhandle and into Tucumcari, New Mexico. We spent the night there and then went to Sedona, Arizona the next day. It is a beautiful small city and we entered through Oak Creek Canyon which was a twisting turning set of switchbacks heading straight down into the resort town. We left and went to Williams that afternoon and the next day rode the old train over to the Grand Canyon. What a site that was. At 277 miles long and 18 miles wide, walking up to the rim was breathtaking. After a couple nights in Williams, we left for Las Vegas, Nevada. We toured the Hoover Dam. Another of man's engineering feats to marvel at and our tour took us to the bottom of the dam, through the inspection tunnels and onto view the hydroelectric turbines on the Nevada side. We spent another night in Vegas at New York, New York.

We left there early and headed out through parts of Utah, Arizona and back into Northern New Mexico to the town of Chama. That trip took us through the Jicarilla Indian reservation at dusk and the amount of deer and elk sittings were many. We love to view the game. We woke up to a cool frost in the low 30's and no humidity which felt wonderful. We shopped at the small local shops and the Culmbres and Toltec railroad which takes you to Antanito, Colorado had already closed for the season so we left out through the mountains for Taos, New Mexico. We spent a couple of days at some of the local tourist traps and shops and sampled the local foods including a sweet shop that was making homemade toffee so I felt obligated to try the English and Macadamia toffee.

Departing Taos at approximately 7,400' of elevation and heading for Cimarron, New Mexico takes you through a pass at over 10,440' and that air is skinny up there. When we cruised through Cimarron there was also lots of game in town. There is always a lot of mule deer and turkeys but the wind was howling so they were laid up hiding behind campers and buildings to take refuge from the winds. We visited the NRA Whittington Center and shot pistols there. My wife has never been to that part of the country and she enjoyed that. The visit with some old friends in Cimarron was great and then we spent the night at the historic and haunted St. James Hotel. The newer part was full so they rented us Bat Masterson's room in the historic section. It was very enjoyable and the ghosts left us alone to get a good nights sleep.

The following morning we left at daylight or a little before and went through the Phimont Boy Scount Ranch. It borders the Expree UU Bar and we saw 50-60 mule deer and well over 100 wild turkeys. I enjoy the back roads and staying off the Interstates so our travels took us through the Kiowa National Grasslands. The size of some of the ranches are enormous and Ted Turner's Vermejo Ranch is close to 600,000 acres. We made it back to Texas and bedded down in Hico for the night. My wife wanted to go to the "Silos" in Waco. Unbeknowning to me, there is a woman that has a show on HGTV that owns a place called Magnolia which includes shops, food trucks and has become quite the tourist destination. After that visit, we headed back home to Crosby. A dozen days and over 3,500 miles we could not have enjoyed ourselves more. What a great time. We decided not to wait another twenty years for the next road trip.

Happy Hour / Coconut Oil for Alzheimer's
« on: October 13, 2017, 08:22:12 AM »

My daughter sent me this early today and I don't know how much merit it has but I wonder if any of you out there have looked into this.

I think of Mr. Monroe and Jewel offer and what a horrible disease this is and wonder if there are not natural cures for such diseases? While I certainly wouldn't microwave mine, using it may have some positive outcomes.

Watch it and see form your own opinion. A doctor my daughter went to this week has a tremendous amount of Alzheimer's and dimentia and she is the one that provided the link. She takes it as a preventive each day.

General Discussion / Cane Syrup
« on: October 05, 2017, 08:11:26 AM »
Does anyone on here make their own cane syrup? There is a Heritage Syrup Festival in Henderson, Texas on November 11 and we are thinking about going to it.

When I was very young, my grandfather took me to watch some men make Syrup and just about all I remember about it was watching the mules go around and around. It's seems to be a lost art and apparently the folks around Henderson started this festival about twenty years ago and it is well attended. Seems like it would be a lot of fun and a learning experience. Their desire when starting the festival was to get young people involved so the art of making it would not be lost.

General Discussion / Army Worms Everywhere!!
« on: September 26, 2017, 12:26:28 PM »
After all the floods we have experienced, I was mowing grass and looked over at my neighbors yard and it looks like he has been hit with a hard frost. The beautiful Bermuda grass is dead and brown. I started looking at mine behind the shop and noticed the army worms are marching through eating everything in site. While I hate to use chemicals, I can't sit back and let them devour all of my place. I put Talstar down around the house in the SAN Augustine grass this morning and just finished hooking up the spray rig to the tractor and filling up the tank with water. My neighbor is on his way to the chemical company to get the stuff so we can spray this afternoon and wipe this evasion out today. If you have a hay field be on the lookout. September is prime time for army worms.

Recipes / Hush puppies
« on: September 18, 2017, 05:02:21 PM »
A friend of mine shared this recipe for the hush puppies that his Mom cameup with many years ago. It is our favorite and though it may seem unconventional, we think they are the best we have ever eaten.

Two boxes of Jiffy Corn Muffin mix
Two seeded fresh jalapeño peppers, diced small
Two bunches of green onions. Include the onions and chives, diced small
Two eggs
1 large can or 2 small cans of tuna fish in spring water. Dump all of it in including the water.
1 can of baby shrimp including the juice
Cajun seasoning to taste ( we use Slap Ya Momma)

Mix all ingredients together and we use a scoop similar to a melon baller to keep them consistent in shape. Drop them in hot oil (350 degrees) and fry until golden brown.

Tools and Equipment / Under water equipment
« on: September 01, 2017, 04:08:38 PM »
During this hurricane/tropical storm, my six foot tiller and my bush hog were completely submerged for several days. I never dreamed we would have 50"+ of rain but that's just what happened. Any advice on what should be done to them prior to use?

Thank you in advance,
Double B

General Discussion / Harvey and fall tomatoes
« on: August 23, 2017, 07:27:42 AM »
Fellow Gardeners,

I am in a quandary. While I am only planting a few fall tomatoes this year, they need to go in the ground now but we have a tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico and it seems to be heading our way. If not a direct hit, the weather folks are predicting 10"-16" of rain between Friday and Monday of next week.

I have the mulch to put around them but the plants are about fifteen inches tall and need planting. My intuition says to hip a tall row up and go ahead and plant. What say you?

Homesteading Skills / Mr. Davis' Buttermilk Pie
« on: August 17, 2017, 11:04:20 AM »
3 1/2 cups of sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon of salt

2 sticks of butter-melted
6 eggs
1 cup of buttermilk
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
2 Mrs. Smith's pie shells

#1 in a stand mixer, mix the dry ingredients
#2 add butter, use a small spatula to push mixture from sides of bowl after mixing for 1 minute
#3 add eggs, beat into mixture on high for 1 minute
#4 add buttermilk and vanilla, beat 1 minute
#5 place pie shells into Pyrex pie plates
#6 divide mixture into the two pie shells evenly
#7 place pies into preheated oven and bake at 350 for 55 minutes
#8 remove pies from oven and cool

Pies may be frozen
Good luck

Recipes / Cast Iron Casserole
« on: August 04, 2017, 07:43:10 AM »
We do this outside over hot coals with a 12" cast iron Dutch camp oven. It has the short legs on the bottom. Lite charcoal and let burn for a few minutes to establish a bed of coals. Place camp oven on top of the coals.

Brown a pound of hamburger meat, a pound of regular breakfast sausage and a pound of hot breakfast sausage along with a large onion chopped up. Drain the grease off when brown. Add a drained can of kidney beans, a can of rotel tomatoes and about 16 ounces of corn. Return mixture to the coals and stir in a package of taco seasoning and a little water and cook until the water is absorbed and the seasoning is mixed in well. Remove this mixture from the camp oven. Layer one third of the meat mixture back in the oven. Next cover that with five white corn tortillas and sprinkle with Colby jack cheese. Repeat this mixture two more times.

Place the iron lid on top of the oven and then to cook at approximately 350 degrees, use three more coals than the diameter of the oven to the bottom ( i.e., 12" oven + 3 = 15 coals ) and three less (9) for the top. Let cook about 15 minutes and then take the oven off the coals and rest for ten minutes.

Serve piping hot.

General Discussion / Pecan Crop
« on: July 31, 2017, 08:10:29 AM »
According to Texas A&M, the Texas pecan crop should exceed 50 million pounds this year. Last year was not good and that is fairly typical to have a bad year after a good one but I am sure hoping that we get a good one this year. Our trees look to be in good shape if we get some moderate rainfall in August when the kernels are in the dough stage it should shape up to mean a good harvest.

How are the trees in your area doing?

General Discussion / Hummingbird Migration
« on: July 29, 2017, 07:15:24 AM »
Here where we live in southeast Texas, the hummingbirds typically show up in mid April and stay around for three or four weeks. In the fall, they usually show back up around the 10th of August. This year, I didn't take my feeder down and noticed several weeks ago that hummingbirds were checking it out. I filled it back up last week and we watch them every day enjoying the nectar. Since finishing the new house build last fall, we have planted flowers and eight large bottle brush plants. While our neighbors are a couple hundred yards away, they too have lots of things blooming. I wonder if these hummers never left or got here way early. Has anyone else been seeing them lately?

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