Life on Regal-Hill: July 23, 2008

Life on Regal-Hill has been hot, humid and busy. Hay is flying and weeds are growing. Needless to say who is doing what, George or me. Last Sunday’s rain was greatly appreciated, even though I had carried water and watered some flowers and some of the vegetables. All the plants looked so much better by Monday.
So now that we have gotten some rain and the forecast is for fair weather for several days, hay is being cut to dry, as well as for the silo. One can hear the tractor mowing, another tractor tedding, another raking and the one used to mow, baling with its respective machinery and then brought to the barn to be elevated into the hay-mow and piled, provided it isn’t sold off the wagon.
Another kitten got scared but this time it had climbed up a tree and onto the garage roof. Again, it didn’t seem to know how to get down. I got George to prop a stick up against the garage. We left the kitten there as he cried his pitiful cries for help. This time it was a black and white kitten. We are still hoping there are people looking for a kitten to hug, listen to it purr and care for.
Buster still guards our farm, baking whenever someone comes or a vehicle goes by slowly. However he can’t seem to find a good place to rest during these hot, humid days since he insists on lying in the flowers. I tried to leave room for him in the flowerbeds too, but I don’t appreciate it much, needless to say. It seems like I am constantly rehabilitating some flowers he has laid on. The area isn’t always shaded, but it is next to the house.
So it has been busy here, especially when the weather is fair.
If you plan to attend a family reunion soon you may be wondering what to fix to take as a dish to pass. Since often the meat and beverages are provided by the host and hostess at a reunion, it leaves it up to the attendees to provide the fruit, vegetables and dessert dishes. Whether your dish will be served hot or cold may also determine what you fix if you must travel any distance. Try these recipes and see if you don’t go home with an empty dish afterwards.

Melon with Serrano-Mint Syrup
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon minced Serrano pepper
1/4 cup minced fresh mint
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
4 cups each cubed watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew
In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, water, lemon juice, honey and Serrano pepper. Bring to a boil; cook for 3-5 minutes or until slightly thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in mint and lemon peel. Cool to room temperature.
Strain syrup; discard pepper, mint and lemon peel. In a large bowl, combine the melons. Add syrup; gently toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, stirring several times. Serve with a slotted spoon.
Yield: 12 servings
Taste of Home April & May 2008

Veggie Potato Salad
6 large potatoes (about 3 pounds)
1 cup Italian salad dressing
8 hard-cooked eggs, sliced
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
3 celery ribs, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
2/3 cup chopped seeded peeled cucumber
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 cup mayonnaise
2/3 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons prepared mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon pepper
Place potatoes in a Dutch oven and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Cover and cook for 30-35 minutes or until tender. Cool for 15-20 minutes or until easy to handle.
Peel and dice potatoes into a large bowl. Add salad dressing; gently toss to coat. Let stand for 30 minutes. Stir in the eggs, green onions, celery, green pepper, cucumber and peas. Combine the remaining ingredients. Add to potato mixture; gently toss to coat.
Yield: 14 servings
Taste of Home June & July 2008