Life on Regal-Hill: July 16, 2008

A few weeks ago I mentioned in this column that we had many cats and kittens here at Regal-Hill and were hoping to give some to a good home. Well, it has taken awhile but presently we have six less kittens than we did. However, there are quite a few more yet to be adopted. Apparently my mentioning it and Allegra’s sign by the barn has let some people know we have kittens to give away.
The first kitten picked out from all the rest was so oddly marked, and was a combination of brown, yellow, white and black, went to its new home at Kelly Corners. The second one was taken by a neighbor, so it didn’t have to travel far to get to its new home. This one was almost all black with just a tiny bit of white on it. We heard later that apparently it was happy as it was sleeping with their dog. The third and fourth kittens went to another neighbor. Number five went to another neighbor and number six went with a family to New Jersey.
One kitten, a yellow one with enough spots of white to make it cute, was doing a considerable amount of meowing one recent morning. When I heard it I wondered what was going on, so I began to investigate since breakfast was over and the kitten shouldn’t still be hungry. I found it in a tree behind the garage acting confused as it kept climbing higher rather than turning around so it could go back down the tree trunk. Eventually I realized it was very scared and confused so I went looking for George to tell him of the kitten’s dilemma. Not wanting to call the Arena Fire Department to come and rescue a distressed kitten, we decided to try putting a stick of wood that was not very big around but long enough to reach from the ground on a slant to where the kitten was in the tree, since there wasn’t a board handy to use. Then we went back to what we were doing. It was about 15 minutes later when I went back to see if the kitten was still there. It was nowhere to be seen. I just hope he has learned his lesson and we don’t have to rescue him from a tree again.
There are still more kittens needing good homes, including the one who was in the tree. Call 845 586-4863.
Today, besides picnics, there are barbecues and cookouts. I still prefer picnics whether the food served is all cold, or some of it is cooked over a wood fire. Usually they are enjoyed a distance from home such as a picnic area, roadside or even a pasture.
Picnics have always been a favorite of mine, whether planned or spur of the moment. My uncle and aunt would often plan a picnic for after the night milking. Then we usually just went up along the road or crossed the brook and went up on a hill where they had a picnic table and arch where wood was burned. I don’t think it really mattered what Aunt Florence came up with for us to eat, as long as we were eating outdoors and were no longer hungry, we were happy. We would often have fried potatoes and roasted hot dogs along with coleslaw, homemade pickles and sometimes chocolate cupcakes for dessert. Our favorite drink was birch beer, cooled in the shaded area of the stream. Uncle Claude always did the cooking outdoors. Below are some suggestions for your next picnic. I hope you will enjoy them.

Oven-Fried Picnic Chicken
1 can (12 ounces) frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
1 broiler/fryer chicken (3 to 4 pounds), cut up
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Refrigerate 1/4 cup lemonade concentrate for basting. Pour remaining concentrate into a large resealable bag; add chicken. Seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerate for 4 hours, turning occasionally.
Drain and discard marinade from chicken. In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the flour, salt and pepper. Add chicken, a few pieces at a time, and shake to coat. In a large skillet, brown chicken in oil for one-and-one-half to two minutes on each side or until golden brown.
Place chicken on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Brush with butter. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes or until juices run clear; basting with reserved lemonade concentrate every 15 minutes. Serve warm or cold.
Yield: 4-6 servings.
Taste of Home’s Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook

Tossed Salad with Peaches
4 medium ripe peaches, peeled
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
6 cups spring mix salad greens
4 cups torn romaine
1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1/2 cup thinly sliced cucumber
6 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
1/3 cup chopped pecans, toasted
Slice three peaches, set aside. Cut the remaining peach in half; place in a blender. Add the sugar, lemon juice, vinegars and salt; cover and process until blended. While processing, gradually add oil in a steady stream.
In a large bowl, combine the salad greens, romaine, onion and cucumber. Pour about 2/3 cup dressing over salad and toss to coat. Transfer to a serving platter; top with sliced peaches and bacon. Drizzle with remaining dressing; sprinkle with pecans. Serve immediately.
Yield: 12 servings
Country Woman August/September 2008