Life on Regal-Hill: July 29, 2009

Everything here at Regal-Hill is moving along. With the dryer weather the haying has begun in earnest. Even the wind has cooperated to help the hay and the clothes to dry. It has also helped to dry out the ground.
However, the weeds still grow as well as the lawn, so weeding and mowing still need to be fitted in while drying hay. For me, I continue to try to keep the weeds pulled while keeping up with the housework and preparing meals.
We continue to enjoy asparagus, lettuce and onions from the garden and are anxiously waiting for the peas and broccoli to be ready to pick. The peas have blossomed and pods are formed so hopefully, peas are growing in the pods. Soon they will fill out and be big enough to pick so they can be shelled and cooked for supper. The broccoli is beginning to get heads as well. The peas and broccoli enjoy this cool weather.
When some of our nieces and nephews were young, before our children came along, they loved to come when the peas were ready to pick and have a pea party — eating raw peas soon after picking and shelling them. Raw peas really do taste good, but I think I prefer them cooked.
The green beans are starting to blossom, so they should be ready to enjoy as well.
Even though gardening is a lot of work it is very rewarding with fresh, delicious tasting foods and you know what kinds of fertilizers, or whatever, have been used to grow them.
Allegra continues to milk her cow morning and night. She seems to enjoy doing it and is frank about not needing any help to do it.
Believe it or not, there is always something to do living on a farm. Since we have been doing it for so long, we don’t think anything of it.
Watermelon is always refreshing in summer. In the latest newsletter from Farm Service Agency the question of the month was, “What vegetable was used as a canteen by early explorers?” The answer was “The watermelon. It is 92 percent water.”
Besides enjoying watermelon as fresh fruit it can also be an important ingredient in recipes. Try these recipes and see if you don’t agree watermelon has a wonderful flavor to add to recipes.

Watermelon Sherbet Smoothies
3 cups cubed seedless watermelon
1 cup crushed ice
1 cup watermelon, raspberry or lime sherbet
4 teaspoons lime juice
2 teaspoons miniature semisweet chocolate chips
In a blender, combine the watermelon, ice, sherbet and lime juice; cover and process for 30 seconds or until smooth. Stir if necessary. Pour into chilled glasses; sprinkle with chocolate chips. Serve immediately.
Yield: 4 servings
Taste of Home June/July 2009

Chilled Watermelon
1 5-lb. baby seedless watermelon
1/2 cup sugar
Red and green food color
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 pint lemon sorbet
2 tablespoons mini-semisweet chocolate chips
Halve watermelon lengthwise. Scoop out red watermelon flesh from both halves in chunks; reserve one hollowed-out watermelon half. Puree the watermelon flesh in blender with sugar, adding a few drops of red food color to deepen color. Transfer to a bowl. Stir in corn syrup and lime juice (you will have about 6 cups); refrigerate mixture.
Using a small serrated knife and a large spoon, cut out and scrape all of the light green and whitish rind in the reserved watermelon half, without breaking through the outside rind, until all that’s left is a watermelon “shell;” freeze the shell for at least 2 hours.
Slightly soften lemon sorbet and spoon into a bowl; fold in 1 or 2 drops green food color until sorbet is tinted the pale green color of watermelon rind. Spread into frozen watermelon shell, recreating the rind. Freeze for 2 hours.
Pour the chilled red watermelon mixture into an ice cream maker, in batches if necessary. Freeze according to manufacturer’s directions; stir in mini-chocolate chips. Spread watermelon sorbet into shell to fill up to the inner edge of the lemon sorbet, pressing down to pack it (freeze any extra in a small freezer container). Freeze several hours (if you plan to slice this, it’s easiest to do so after 4 hours of freezing; cut slices and store flat on baking tray in freezer). Let watermelon half stand at room temperature 5 minutes before scooping.
Serves 12
Woman’s Day June 16, 2009