Life on Regal-Hill: April 29, 2009

Most days are more like springtime here at Regal-Hill. Even some of the birds are thinking spring as we now have barn swallows residing in the barn. Yesterday it was cold, rainy or snowy and it was very windy, but two yellow-shafted flickers appeared in a nearby tree. (Of course we had to look in our bird book.) Today the sun is out, making it easier to work outside in the flowerbeds.
George told me about the barn swallows being back. When we walked into the barn from the bridge-way we could hear them sing their song as they were planning where they were going to put their nests of sticks and mud, or use nests left from last year. One can identify them by their long pointed wings, often notched or forked tails and they can catch insects in flight.
Soon after we saw the yellow-shafted flickers that are jay-sized woodpeckers with brown backs, no white on the wings and with a black breast band. These had a bright red spot on the back of their neck making them stand out. They are known for eating ants on the ground. Apparently they don’t peck on dead trees like woodpeckers do.
There also seems to be a number of robins around now looking for worms. I saw a few worms on the road after it rained. One was a nice big night crawler. It should have been a nice meal for at least one robin.
Now that it has rained enough that weeds can be pulled without them breaking off, I need to get outside and pull weeds. I also need to cut dead wood off the rose bushes and fertilize them.
We have also heard some peepers; the grass is greening up now since it snowed, snow being a poor man’s fertilizer. We needed the rain we got last night as everything was very dry and dusty. Everything in its time, as the saying goes.
Now that you fishermen have had a few weeks to fish for trout, it is time to give you some trout recipes. These recipes may be new and satisfying ways for your family to enjoy eating trout.

Trout-stuffed Red Potatoes
12 tiny red potatoes (about 1-1/2 inches
in diameter)
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons finely chopped green onion
1 teaspoon snipped fresh dill
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Dash hot pepper sauce, optional
1 cup flaked smoked trout
Fresh dill sprigs
Place potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook for 10-15 minutes or until tender. Drain. Cut potatoes in half horizontally. Cut a thin slice from the bottom of each potato to level if necessary. Scoop out the pulp with a melon baler, leaving a thick shell.
In a bowl, mash the pulp. Stir in the mayonnaise, sour cream, onion, dill, lemon juice, salt, pepper and hot pepper if desired. Fold in trout. Pipe into potato shells. Garnish with dill sprigs.
Yield: 2 dozen
2005 Taste of Home Annual Recipes

Baked Trout Fillets
1 pound trout fillets
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
Place fish in a greased shallow 3-qt. baking dish. In a small bowl, combine the sour cream, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, onion and salt; spread over fish. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.
Yield: 4 servings
2005 Taste of Home Annual Recipes