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Topics - Double B

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Happy Hour / Pellet Grills
« on: August 19, 2018, 04:17:46 PM »
I have a few friends that have recently purchased pellet grills/smokers. One has a Masterbuilt, another bought the Treager, one a Pit Boss and one a Pits-N-Spits. This weekend we went to the beach and stayed with some friends and he had just purchased the Camp Chef. Upon reading reviews, you can spend anywhere from $400-$2,400 for one and all seem to have their pluses and limitations.

Do any of you have one and if so are you pleased with it? My interest would be the set and forget it type cooking for briskets, ribs, Boston Butt for pulled pork and such.

General Discussion / Question for the beekeepers
« on: July 30, 2018, 02:51:21 PM »
My neighbors let a young girl place a box with bees in the back of their property for a 4H project. I have been seeing a few bees lately and I had started my tomatoes in pots under a pecan tree. I have a table I made out of an old pallet to set them on. I noticed last week in one of the extra pots that a bee was playing around in one and each day he is bringing a friend or two. Today there was 15-20 friends in there. What are they doing?

General Discussion / Pecans
« on: July 20, 2018, 02:45:34 PM »
Is anyone checking their pecan crop yet? I was looking at ours today and it seems that the trees have a good crop on them. There are several different issues on some that show caterpillars have eaten the leaves off the branch, some of the clusters have two good pecans and one or two bad ones, and some look just fine.

I am sure hoping for a good crop this year because we are out of them in our freezer.

General Discussion / Blue Lake Seeds
« on: July 18, 2018, 07:34:07 AM »
I always try and buy local but I had really bad germination results from seed I bought at two separate local feed and seed stores around me this spring. The bush type blue lake seed had a rough and some had a brown appearance to them. Germination was only 60%. I need to make a good crop of these this fall and am looking for quality seeds.

For those that order seed of this type, where do you order it from? Thanks in advance.

Double B

General Discussion / Spraying Peas
« on: July 09, 2018, 08:01:12 AM »
Each year it seems that as the heat ramps up outdoors so do the garden pests. My two main enemies here are leaf footers and stink bugs. I was able to combat them in the smaller front garden by getting an early start and being vigilant this year. When I saw one, I killed it.

The back garden is much larger and therefore harder to manually control the pests. Do any of you spray your peas with pyrethrum? Is it effective or are there better alternatives?

Happy Hour / One of the Coolest Things
« on: May 30, 2018, 04:53:51 PM »
Each day I try and count my blessings. Sometimes I am overwhelmed by the number of them. One of the absolute best things to ever happen was my three grandsons. The oldest two are grown and so I don't get to spend as much time now as I once did. The youngest one is 17 and still has something to do with Paw Paw and that lights up my world.

Lately we have been working on his woodworking skills for his 4H project and this year we built him a bench. He learn how to use a chop saw (mitre), jig saw and sander. He has painted, stained and clear coated the pieces and maybe took home more stain on him that he got on the seat boards. We finished it up today as he came by after his calculus and physics finals were over. He wanted to turn in a canned good item so we went out and picked tomatoes, Anaheim, jalapeńo and Serrano peppers. Also cilantro and we used purple onions we grew and garlic. Nearly everything in the salsa was grown here and he used the Vidalia Chop Wizard and Tupperware chopper to get everything ready. We fire roasted the peppers and blanched the tomatoes to remove the skin. Once we cooked it down we tasted it on some corn chips and added more peppers and salt to where he thought it was perfect. We water bath canned it and he was really proud of it.

Now I am smart enough to know it won't be long and he will be too busy to come by as often as he does but I am going to enjoy every minute of it while it lasts. God's special gift has been a great blessing to me.

Happy Hour / Happy Mother's Day
« on: May 13, 2018, 10:49:20 AM »
I wanted to wish all the Moms on the forum the happiest of days today. I hope you are surrounded by your children and families and all of the love they can shower you with.

My Mom has been gone for over ten years now and I know that she is in heaven. There was never a day in my life that I didn't feel loved and I knew that she would have laid her life down in exchange for mine. She was an incredible woman. I will always miss her until we meet again. God bless all of you mothers.

General Discussion / May 5, 2018 Important Gardening Day
« on: April 15, 2018, 12:29:58 PM »
My wife was looking at her Facebook news feed a few minutes ago and let me know that the first Saturday in May is World Naked Gardening Day. For those of you who are young enough and fit enough please consider this a public service announcement. For the rest of us like me, I'll just stay inside that day ::)

Tools and Equipment / New Mower
« on: April 13, 2018, 03:53:31 PM »
I figured it was time to trade for a new mower. Previously I had the largest residential mower that Deere made when I bought it and had quite a few seasons of mowing with it. My biggest issue was the ride and lack of seat comfort.

I was at my local John Deere dealership this week and saw this commercial mower with an air ride seat and could hear it calling my name. It should cut my mowing time down substantially and is a much larger frame to get above much of the dust associated with a zero turn. Also very fast.

Recipes / King Ranch Beef Pasta
« on: April 09, 2018, 09:45:13 PM »
Either you are a casserole person or your not. My wife and I enjoy the blend of flavors and I found this one a couple months ago and we like it so I thought I'd share it for the casserole lovers on this forum:

1 1/2 pounds hamburgers meat
1 can of rotel tomatoes
2 cans of cheddar cheese soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 Teaspoon of minced garlic
1 onion chopped
1 lb. of penne pasta
8 ounces grated cheddar cheese

Brown onion and hamburger meat. Season it with chili powder, salt, and pepper to taste. Drain and set aside
Cook penne pasta, drain and set aside. Mix all the ingredients together except cheddar cheese. Spray a 13 X 9 or two smaller Corning Ware dishes with non stick cooking spray. Pour in the casserole and top with grated cheddar cheese. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. This also freezes well.

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.

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