Life on Regal-Hill: July 1, 2009

We finally started haying here at Regal-Hill. I don’t think we have ever been this late before, but we don’t make the weather either. Since there is still a chance of a stray shower today and tomorrow the hay is going in the silo. It was so nice to hear the tractor and mower, mowing down the hay. It was so nice to smell the sweet smell of the hay as well. It is different from the smell of freshly cut lawn grass, although that is nice too.
George is working on the field directly across the road from our house. It is interesting how the valley is situated between the hills so that when he is at the upper end of the field you can’t hear the noise of the machinery inside the house and I think he has stopped and is having trouble. Thankfully, so far that wasn’t the case.
Before the day is over I hope to hear the tractor pulling the chopper and self-unloading wagon around the field where the hay has been mowed, the hay is being chopped and brought to the silo to be blown up into the silo by the blower and another tractor. Another tractor runs the wagon so the chopped hay is unloaded into the blower. As long as the machinery operates as it should, it certainly makes the job much easier for George. It also saves time and energy. Now if only the weather would be more cooperative.
The Fourth of July is a special occasion. It is a patriotic day when watching fireworks and eating are on the agenda. Often outdoor grilling is part of the celebration like these All-American hamburgers and lemonade made from real lemons. To conclude this special meal, be sure to try this Chocolate Peanut Crunch Ice Cream Cake.

All-American Hamburgers
2 tablespoons diced onion
2 tablespoons chili sauce
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons prepared mustard
1 pound ground beef
4 slices American or cheddar cheese, halved diagonally
2 slices Swiss cheese, halved diagonally
4 hamburger buns, split and toasted
Lettuce leaves, sliced tomato and onion, cooked bacon, ketchup and mustard, optional
In a small bowl, combine the first four ingredients. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into four patties. Grill, covered, over medium heat for 6 minutes on each side or until meat is no longer pink. During the last minute of cooking, top each patty with two triangles of American cheese and one triangle of Swiss cheese. Serve on buns with lettuce, tomato, onion, bacon, ketchup and mustard if desired.
Yield: 4 servings
Taste of Home Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook 2003

Chocolate Peanut Crunch Ice Cream Cake
1 cup milk chocolate chips
2 cups crushed peanut butter cream-filled sandwich cookies (about 18 cookies)
1 qt. vanilla ice cream, softened
1 qt. chocolate ice cream, softened
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a small saucepan, melt chocolate chips over low heat. Stir in cookie crumbs until coated. Spread on waxed paper to cool. Coarsely chop.
Spread vanilla ice cream into a 9-in. springform pan; sprinkle with 2 cups cookie mixture. Freeze for 30 minutes. Spread with chocolate ice cream. Cover and freeze for 4 hours or until firm.
In a small bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add confectioners’ sugar and vanilla; beat until stiff peaks form. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen. Remove sides of pan.
Spread whipped cream over top and sides of dessert; press remaining cookie mixture into sides. Freeze for 1 hour or until whipped cream is set. Remove from the freezer 15 minutes before serving.
Yield: 14 servings
Taste of Home Simple & Delicious July/August 2009