Life on Regal-Hill: August 12, 2009

I am still trying to decide whether it is going to rain today or not here at Regal-Hill. It was warm and rather humid but cloudy this morning. So I figured it would be raining before too long. Well, so far it hasn’t rained; according to the radio it could rain later today.
In the meantime I shall try to dry some clothes outside. I also need to pick peas and check the rest of the garden. Of course I check the flowers almost daily to see if there are any more blossoms to cut or weeds to pull. The petunias and pansies always seem to have old blossoms that need removing. The petunias especially require a lot of attention since it rains so much. Today I plan to cut the Shasta daisies back since they are all done for this year. Other flowers, like the roses, need their monthly meal of fertilizer too.
We are still waiting for three fair weather days to cut down more hay. George finally took the plunge and mowed some hay. I hope he can get it in the barn before it rains again. We still make the small bales since most of our hay sales are for them, and for us it is easier to handle, both to store it and to sell it. If only more customers bought it out of the field it would save having to handle it so much.
The silo has been capped, so the weather better be drier as we don’t want to have to open the other silo. Besides, we can’t sell it then and one silo is enough to feed our heifers all winter.
We are managing to get through this crazy summer and trying to make the most of the challenges it makes.
Now that the peas and beans are ready to pick, it may be time to find some new recipes to prepare so your family will eat them. Try these recipes. I think you will enjoy them.

Peas in Cheese Sauce
4-1/2 teaspoons butter
4-1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1-1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup cubed process cheese (Velveeta)
2 packages (10 ounces each) frozen peas, thawed or about 2-1/2 cups fresh peas.
In a large saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Stir in the flour, salt and pepper until smooth. Gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Add the cheese; stir until melted. Stir in peas; cook 1-2 minutes longer or until heated through.
Yield: 8 servings
2008 Taste of Home Annual Recipes

Dijon Green Beans
1-1/2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 small red onion, sliced
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Place beans in a large saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil. Cook, uncovered, for 8-10 minutes or until crisp-tender.
Meanwhile, for dressing, whisk the vinegar, oil, mustard, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Drain beans, place in a large bowl. Add tomatoes and onion. Drizzle with dressing and toss to coat. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Yield: 10 servings
2008 Taste of Home Annual Recipes