1/2 C. sugar
1/4 C. wine vinegar
3 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 tsp celery seed
1/2 tsp salt
1 15oz can asparagus spears drained OR 1 lb fresh asparagus spears cooked until tender
Combine first 6 ingredients with 1/4 C. water in saucepan. Bring to boil-stir until sugar dissolves. Pour over asparagus: cool covered in refrigerator 6 to 24 hours. Garnish with hard boiled eggs.
Asparagus and Mushroom Quiche
1 Box Pillsbury pie crust
About 12 spears of asparagus; boil to cook until soft
1 large vidalia onion and a good hand full of any kind of mushroom
Saute onions and mushrooms in butter until soft
Add 2 packet splenda for sweetness
Spray bottom of pie pan with PAM. Line with pie crust. Add a layer of asparagus. Add mushroom and onions. Add a layer of white American cheese. I also added colby jack in small pieces. Add about 10 eggs (beaten). Add salt to taste and add to pie. Bake for about 1 hour- check often.
Combine chicken, cherries and onions in a large bowl; mix well. In another bowl, combine mayonnaise, yogurt, lemon juice and pepper; pour over chicken mixture. Mix gently. Refrigerate, covered, 1 to 2 hours. Spoon chicken salad on sliced croissants; top with lettuce.
1 (6-ounce) package cherry-flavored gelatin
1 (20- or 21-ounce) cherry pie filling
1 (20-ounce) can crushed pineapple
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, optional
Put gelatin a lage mixing bowl. Dissolve gelatin with 2 cups boiling water, mix well. Add cherry pie filling and pineapple with juice from the can; mix well. Pour into a 13x9x2-inch pan. Refrigerate until gelatin is set.
Mix cream cheese, sour cream, and sugar until smooth. Spread over salad after gelatin is set. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Sprinkle with nuts, if desired, just before serving.
Makes 12 large servings.
Note: You can substitute 2 (14.5- to 16-ounce) cans tart cherries packed in water for the cherry pie filling. Add cherries with juice from can.
Well, it got to 28F last night and we ran the wind machines. I don’t know if they do any good but the theory sounds plausible. In the spring when we have clear nights the earth acts as a radiator and objects (blossoms, grass, windshields) radiate their heat energy away to space. So the blossoms become colder than the surrounding air and then the air temp drops too. We hope that if we run wind machines we can mix the cold ground level air with warmer air from up above. This will cause the air around the wind machine to rise and the colder more dense air will flow in to be mixed and warmed too. Any air flow will be warmer than the blossoms themselves so we can keep the blossoms from getting too cold. The wind machines won’t have any effect if there is any wind at all, so a very cold windy night is bad but rare. If there is cloud cover the heat won’t radiate away and temps won’t fall too low.
The wind machines were made from used school buses. We copied the idea from a more imaginative neighbor and originally we used chevy pickup motors and frames but they run too hot and vibrate too much for this application where they are running almost full throttle and can only hold 3000 rpm. When you walk up to one in the dark the exhaust pipes are glowing red. (Fuel prices cause a great deal of nervousness about when to start them). Now the diesel bus motors run at lower rpm and don’t work as hard to spin the fan. I will try to build 4-6 more this winter if I can find some school buses cheap.
Patty put up a picture of a bee swarm. We have used the same bee man (DeKorne family) for 29 years. When the bees kept declining faster than they could reproduce in Michigan’ winters, Dan Dekorne moved his wife and 5 young kids to Florida where the bees reproduce much faster and stay ahead of the mites that attack them. In the spring, Dan keeps in touch with Jim and usually the bees arrive from Florida the night before apricots and sweets start to open.
The hives from Florida are so full of bees that they occasionally swarm. When there are too many in the hive (by their own estimation) a new queen is hatched and she leaves with many of the bees. I asked Dan if he could get the swarm to go to an empty hive box. He said that they usually have scouted their new home in advance and only sometimes is it successful to get them into a box. Bees are so fascinating. When they are here, they are all business and the only stings occur when we inadvertently step on one in the yard or pinch one somehow.
The big thing here this spring is the tree planting. We are planting 2500 Honeycrisp trees, 1800 McIntosh, and 400 Cortland. We couldn’t get Northern Spies because I would have to order them 18 months ahead, so I ordered 200 dwarfing roots and grafted cuttings from our own Spy trees to the dwarfing roots. I am hoping for a 75% survival but it was the first time we tried this. Trees from the nursery are grafted in the summer and then grown the following year, so they are larger and they are graded. I only buy larger ones. Also, new varieties are covered by patents so you can’t propagate your own. I am not concerned about marketing the Spys because they are not grown too much anymore, but Honeycrisp are being planted like crazy.
We are in the exact right climate to do the best job with Honeycrisp, so we are going ahead, hoping to distinguish our Honeycrisp apples as superior to those grown in other areas. Our cooler nights and cooler overall high temps suit some apples better. Preliminary research by MSU researchers in lower Michigan show a much higher incidence of the dreaded bitter pit in Honeycrisp grown in Southern Michigan when compared to Northern Michigan. I expect that apple prices will decline somewhat after several good years bring increased plantings. We can bring an orchard into bearing in the 2nd and 3rd year on high density trellised plantings. This year we are planting the apples 3 1/2 ft apart in rows 14 ft wide(about 890 trees per acre). McIntosh also like the cooler temps and we get firmer apples with better red color. The newer strains of Macs have more color earlier which takes away a little of our advantage.
We are going to increase our vegetable plantings this year (right into the do it yourself movement). We took out 15 acres of old trees down at the Creswell road site so we will use it for vegetables for a few years to get it going again for fruit.
1 (20- or 21-ounce) can King Orchards cherry pie filling
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
3/4 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon grated lime
Combine cherry pie filling, honey, lime juice, ginger, dry mustard, and lime peel in a medium saucepan; mix well. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 1 minute, stirring frequently. Serve with sliced ham or pork.
4 cooked, boneless chicken breast halves, diced
1 cup King Orchards Nuts About Cherries, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup diced celery
1/3 cup diced apples (we like Mutsu for this, but Cortland, Galas and Honeycrisp would be good choices too)
1/3 cup low-fat yogurt
1/3 cup low-fat mayonnaise
1 tbl. buttermilk
salt and pepper to taste
In large bowl, combine chicken, Nuts About Cherries, celery and apple. After well combined, add the yogurt, mayo and buttermilk. Salt and/or pepper if desired. Toss together well and refrigerate until chilled.
Serve by itself, on wheat bread, croissant or pita.
For an added twist, add the zest of an orange or two.
Ok, I was wrong but I bet the apricots pop out today. This morning is so busy with activities. Workers driving the golf cart to plant trees. Shouts of directions to Josh to flail mow. This is a mower that chops the brush from trimming that years ago we used to burn. Casey is placing wind machines in preparation for that cold night. Jim and John are discussing the fishing of last night where they caught a nice bunch of perch. We have a highschool baseball game tonight so I’m off to work! Betsy