Life on Regal-Hill: July 15, 2009

By Gail Hillriegel
It has been busy here at Regal-Hill. Three fields have been harvested, Allegra’s heifer calved and we are still milking her, there continues to be thundershowers or rain with warnings of hail, saw two deer while walking and one day we even saw two bears.
When I saw the deer they were running together to the stream to get a drink. There didn’t seem to be a faun with them. One was a buck as I could see that it had antlers. The bears were in the pasture among the heifers and Thunder, Allegra’s horse. Surprisingly, the bears didn’t seem to disturb them much. When they were first spotted, there was just a brown spot in the grass. Soon the little bear got up and slowly ran further up the incline of the pasture. Finally, the bigger bear, probably the mother, slowly got up and ambled off.
All the hay that has been harvested has been put in the silo since it hasn’t been sunny enough to dry any. At least then those fields can start to grow back for another crop of hay. We keep getting orders for hay but haven’t been able to fulfill them because of the weather.
Allegra’s heifer, Brownie, calved before she could get the price she wanted for her. Allegra seems to enjoy feeding and milking her with guidance and help from grandpa, of course. It has been a problem as to what to do with all the milk. Some milk has been used for milk at the houses, some was made into cheese and the cats and kittens got to enjoy some as well. At first Brownie was milked by hand and Allegra would take her turn milking while she stood so still for her, never lifting a hoof or tail. Nor did Allegra get discouraged as it takes longer and you work harder when you milk a cow by hand. Now that she is milked by machine it goes faster and it is easier to keep the milk cleaner as well. A couple of days later another heifer, Tiffany, calved before she could be trucked to her new home. She also had a bull calf. When that deal was completed, Allegra also had a several-week-old heifer calf to start taking care of. I guess she will be busy now.
Thundershowers continue to be a problem. Yesterday we got three different showers with thunder and lightening. We were thankful there was no hail, although we had been warned that there could be hail. Since the vegetables continue to grow, it is getting harder and harder to find pails and such to cover them so as to protect the plants. Finally, George thought of using sheets of plywood to protect the flowers by the milk house. So far it works great.
So you can see that even though we are still waiting for better hay weather, there still is more going on here at Regal-Hill to keep us busy.
Summertime is when many of us take time to picnic. What is served isn’t as important as who attends and where the picnic takes place. If keeping the food cold is a problem, you may want to serve as many foods as possible that require very little, if any, refrigeration. Children especially would be happy with peanut butter and jelly instead of meat sandwiches or grilled foods. Chips instead of a salad and cookies instead of ice cream and cake can work to reduce the need for refrigeration and still enjoy being outside at the seashore, near a stream, on a mountain or just in the back yard. Most of the time you will probably want a cold beverage whether it is soda, iced tea or even water. With soda you can each have your own personal favorite. Also be prepared in case the bugs are biting.
Last fall when we were on vacation we picnicked at Lake George and had a delicious crabmeat salad along with sandwiches, cookies and water. I want to try the following recipes as soon as I get all of the ingredients.

Crab-Salad Jumbo Shells
30 jumbo pasta shells
1 cup finely chopped fresh broccoli florets
1 garlic clove, minced
2 packages (8 ounces each) imitation crabmeat, chopped
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup finely shredded carrot
1/4 cup finely diced seeded peeled cucumber
1 tablespoon chopped green onion
1 tablespoon dill weed
Cook pasta according to package directions; rinse in cold water and drain well. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the broccoli and garlic. Cover and microwave on high for 1 minute or until crisp-tender. Transfer to a large bowl; stir in the remaining ingredients. Stuff into pasta shells. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Yield: 30 stuffed shells
Taste of Home’s Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook 2004

Chicken Salad Croissants
3 cups diced grilled chicken
1 can (11 ounces) mandarin oranges, drained and halved
1 cup halved seedless red grapes
2 celery ribs, finely chopped
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sunflower kernels
2 tablespoons minced fresh dill or 2 teaspoons dill weed
7 croissants
In a bowl, combine the first seven ingredients. Spoon onto croissants; replace tops. If using large croissants, cut into thirds. Serve immediately (or keep cold until ready to serve).
Yield: 7 large servings
Taste of Home Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook 2004