Saturday, March 23, 2013

Silent Saturday

Sam wins one of his matches last week at Regionals

Always interesting watching him 'get ready' for a match, he has a routine, sweatshirt, iPod, paces in the hallway.

When he walked by, I could tell from the walk that the other kid was smoked.

Tablerunner that I am donating to be auctioned this evening at church. Fabric is Moda Deb Strain 'Coming Home'

My sweet Macy

She's growing so fast, look at those long legs!
Cooking and baking in preparation for church fellowship night with my mind on loved ones far away,
From Tulip~

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Ag Week Special Post------What's for Dinner Wednesday---Sweetheart Pudding

I planned to do a beef recipe today, but life got in the way. I wanted to tie every post this week to something Ag related since its Ag week, well, the closest tie I can bring into this one is that it is my Farmer's favorite dessert and one that I have served to hay crews, off the back on the pick-up, at fairs and it seems like it was one that I made when The Farmer did customer appreciation days for his seed corn customers, so that's as close as it gets.

Here goes, enjoy:

My grandmother is definitely of the generation that cooks everything from scratch. The recipe this week is an old one. It's one that she got from my Great Aunt who got it from one of her Amish neighbors about 60 years ago. Guessing with their families, this recipe was likely a cut down version of the original.

Sweetheart Pudding (no idea why its called Sweetheart, always wondered if there was a story behind it)
One package Graham crackers (1/3 of a box) crushed
1 C sugar divided
1/2 C butter, melted
2 T flour
2 C milk
2 eggs, separated
1 t vanilla

Combine crushed graham cracker (reserving a little bit to garnish the topping), melted butter and 1/2 C sugar and press into small baking dish (8x8 or equivolent) Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes.

In a small saucepan combine rest of ingredients except vanilla. Cook until thick. Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla. Pour into pan. Beat the egg whites. Add a little sugar.
Spoon over the pudding (my grandma's always looks so nice and neat, mine not so much) then sprinkle the remaining graham cracker crumbs. Brown in the oven, and serve.

I used the Pampered Chef oval baker and made a double batch. My family gobbled it up.  No leftovers at this house.

I loved sharing this recipe as it's on of my family's favorites. It's likely one that anyone could make as all the ingredients are generally found in your cabinets. Hope you enjoy this one as much as we do.

Knowing I shared a 'winner' this week as its one of my Grandma's favorites and she's a cooking rock star,
From Tulip~

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Ag Week Special Blog Post---History of H&K Farms

Since today is National Ag Day and after my ranting and raving yesterday about people finding any excuse to celebrate 'holidays' I fear I may have been a little hypocritical since this post is dedicated to celebrating a very little known holiday. Today is National Ag Day. Unfortunately there are fewer and fewer farmers to celebrate this holiday, but thanks to American agriculture 17% of this country's workforce can trace their job origins to something in the Agricultural field, so if I am half close on my math (and please don't check my numbers, just play along) that means about 1 in 6 people SHOULD consider this day a 'holiday' of some sort. ;)

Our family, August 2008

Now how to celebrate it? I, for one, have no clue. I will tell how we have celebrated it so far. I sorted through the large stack of farm magazines we seem to accumulate and tossed the oldest ones. Got a roast from the freezer that was out of a calf raised on this farm, for tonights supper. Washed a load of towels that were used with baby calves. Now my Farmer is out feeding the cows. He is also checking fence lines. He watches the herd health and gives sick animals needed medicines. He tracks and ear tags new baby calves, he records their number along with the number of their mommas in a notebook. That's all before 8am in the morning. Is this a holiday? Some, if not most would say, no. And that's fine, guess what, if it was a REAL holiday, our routines would likely be about the same. For example on Christmas morning, the cows still get fed and checked. We still eat food produced on this farm. To pick out one day and say we are celebrating Ag seems odd even to this farm wife. Maybe that is because everyday WE celebrate Agriculture. We are thrilled that the rest of the world, or nation, would single us out and give us a day. We hope you celebrate it!

The Farmer (in the middle), his dad, Bob (on left) and his grandfather, Garrett (on right) in the early 1970's 

Now that my ranting and raving about Ag Day is out of my system, I would like to share another aspect of our farm. Today that aspect is the history of our farm. Yesterday I mentioned that the farm we live on is where my husband did most of his growing up. His parents, ALONG WITH HIS GRANDPARENTS, purchased this farm in 1972. That nowhere near puts us in the running at this location for Missouri's Century Farm status. But if they based it on a family staying in the same occupation for running years, we may be over 200 yrs of farming on the Hasekamp family tree. A few years ago, I was very 'into' scrapbooking and dabbled with a little geneology. I have a cousin on each side of my family who had done the work for me, more or less for my family. So with the combination of boxes and boxes of 'Hasekamp' family pictures and memorabilia and I delved into The Farmer's family history.

Garrett (on right) and one of his brothers, Bill, in 1910 at the farm in Warren County

The farm that they moved from in 1972 had been in the family over 100 yrs before that in Warren county Missouri. Think of where the Rest Stop is on Interstate 70 just west of Wright City, that's where they lived. When I married my Farmer he was farming in partnership with his dad and grandfather. Very interesting and sometimes slightly entertaining, particularly after I realized that they really did like each other, watching 3 generations do ANYTHING together, particularly when you throw livestock into the mix.

Cody and Sam playing on The Farmer's 30+ yrs old Pedal tractor, summer 2000

It's always interesting to me to see what is the 'newest' thing on the market that The Farmer can use to work more efficiently. But when I think back even two generations to the changes that his Grandfather saw in his lifetime, its mindblowing. His Grandfather was born in 1908. When he began farming, he did so with horses. He milked cows, we even have one of the milkcans he sent to the 'milk house' in, with his name on a brass plate on the can. Can you imagine the difference in the team of horses and the 200,000 plus dollar combines that you could readily buy 15 years ago when he passed away at the age of 90? I know I can't. We have an Amish community near us, which gives me a small glimpse at the way of life similar to what Grandpa 'Farmer' lived. The Farmer went to college and has a degree, his Grandfather went to school through 8th grade. Any guesses who could do long division faster and more accurately, in their head? While we have improved many things, there were probably a lot of things we have left behind that maybe shouldn't have been.

Jenna with the bottle calves, Sam in the background, Summer 2008

Sorry sheep friends, but I don't think that I have ever heard any stories about a Hasekamp having sheep. But through the generations, there have always been a diverse amount of animals raised on the farm. Like I said above, The Farmer's Grandfather milked some cows, while I am not sure how many from 'back in the day', I do know that when we first got married there were always two cows here. Enough milk for the family and a few neighbors and kept the barn cats happy. I attempted to milk, more than once, but NEVER got onto how to do it well. Now The Farmer's Grandfather was a 'milking machine' long before there were actual milking machines, LOL! He could sit on this weird little stool, that was sort of one legged and somehow tip the bucket and hold it between the toes of his boots and milk that cow so fast she barely knew what happened. (I should go explore the barn and see if the old 'stool' is still around, I would love to share the picture) Okay, back to the animals raised, besides the 'milk cow or cows' there has always been beef cattle and several of them. Currently they are mostly registered Angus cattle. In the past they raised Herefords (yes Bob Bagnell, there were RED COWS HERE!) Along with cattle, they raised hogs, in a farrow to finish operation. (Farrow=birth, finish=the 'piggie that went to market') There have always been chickens, although at the moment we don't have any.

Seth feeding summer, 2012

Sam feeding, summer 2012

My Farmer's dad was an only child. He and The Farmer's mom farmed with the Grandparents. When my farmer graduated from college, he was brought into the operation. Now as the years have progressed, the operation has evolved into an operation that includes my brother and sister in law. Our future plans are that some, if not all, whoever is interested of our collective children will continue to farm this land that we love. All of our children have varying degrees of interest and specific areas that they are interested in. I know that agriculture is one of those jobs that will always be needed, as long as they are willing to do the work, evolve with the technology and embrace the changes as they come.

The next generation is about here, hoping as farmers we've been proper stewards of the land and as parents we've raised these kids to take their turn in Agriculture and further it until their children are ready, its a cycle we are proud to be a part of.

Now thinking that I will 'celebrate' some more and go put the load of work jeans on the clothesline,
From Tulip~

Monday, March 18, 2013

Ag Week Special Blog--Monday, The Farmer

As many of you already know, I refer to my Farmer as DH (his initials, although he is a 'dear husband' as well) or The Farmer. It kinda started when he didn't want me talking about him on Facebook.........he's 'tough' like that! LOL Anyway, in celebration of Ag week, I am going to blog about what I know about Agriculture, and since I learned most of it from him, he's up first!

Adding hay to the feed grinder, he laughs and says his hobby is 'grinding feed'

We've been married almost 23 years. We live on the farm that his parents bought when he was about 5. We live in the house that he grew up in. We are raising our 4 kids on the farm. We farm in partnership with his youngest sister and her husband. Our farm is located mostly in SW Monroe County MO, with a little bit in western Audrain County. Our kids belong to an Audrain County 4H club, and go to school 'two counties' away, at Centralia, in Boone county. (granted two counties away is about 10 miles)

The Farmer and me at Senior Football night, last fall.

We have a mostly registered Angus cattle herd. We also take care of a herd of Gelbvieh cattle owned by our neighbor. We feed them silage all winter, then graze and feed  a little hay through the summer. We usually sell the calves at around 600-700 pounds. We feed out a few to sell as butcher beef. Our kids mostly pick their show cattle from our herd. With our partners being ABS dealers, we serve as the 'testing grounds' for new bull semen, it's helpful for them to see what kind of calves certain bulls produce.

MSF 2008, hard to believe that picture is almost 5 yrs old, but looking at our boys today, they've changed a lot since then.

The Farmer sells seed corn and soybeans through a company called Big Cob out of Nebraska. It helps pay our seed bill, plus adds a little income. We generally plant a test plot each year to show the neighbors the different varieties we have available. Planting and harvesting that are both labor inducive jobs.

We raise corn and soybeans. We usually plant some wheat. We also have several acres of alfalfa. We do some custom work for neighbors. Mainly knifing on anhydrous or harvesting. Although we have been doing several custom baling jobs the last several years as well.

Chopping Silage, this is our cattle's winter feed.
We aren't 100% 'Green' or 'Red' there are some of each in the shed. My Farmer says it can be purple as long as it runs and gets the job done. We are lucky to have good John Deere and Case IH dealers locally when the need for parts arises.

The Farmer went to NWMSU in Maryville and got his BS in Agricultural Mechanics. Most of the time if something breaks down, he can fix it. The same goes for anything, not just tractors..... It amazes me how he can look at a problem and start thinking how it can be corrected. Definitely a talent, I am glad he has.

I feel very blessed to have The Farmer in my life. He takes very good care of us, he feeds his share of the world.

From Tulip~

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Silent Sunday (I know its usually Saturday, but wasn't here for much of it)

Macy really enjoyed the warmer weather this week, potty breaks seemed to take a LONG time.

One of my favorite shots to get, Sam's arm raised by the ref after the match, in Victory!

A quick shot of him 'getting ready' to wrestle, he has to go out in the hall and paces back and forth, listens to iPod, gets in the mode.

Busy week, ended with Sam getting 2nd at Regionals and a trip to State Tournament in two weeks.

6 practices till we say good bye to our Wrestling club days and yes that kinda makes me sad,
From Tulip~