Life on Regal-Hill: July 7, 2010

George was already mowing grass across the road from our house yesterday when I started out for my walk here at Regal-Hill. The sky was rather cloudy and I thought he was making a mistake by mowing. Then I remembered that Saturday was the last time any loads of chopped grass had been added to the silo, so it was good that he was getting ready to add more grass. If you don’t keep adding grass on a regular basis it won’t keep, then when you get ready to feed it there will be a lot of spoiled silage to remove before one can start feeding it.
It continued to be mostly cloudy all day but by the day’s end all the grass that had been mowed was in the silo, thanks to the help of our children and our granddaughter Allegra.
George was planning to dry the center part of the field and decided to mow it this morning. Well, he did but today it is real breezy and partly cloudy so we have decided that the present weather is a real puzzle. It is anyone’s guess whether it is going to rain or not. Besides, it is getting late enough in the season that the first cutting should be off the fields so the grass can grow back again for another cutting.
Ironically the ground is dry; the gardens and fields could use a good drink of water.
It has been so nice to be able to smell the freshly mown hay. It smells different than newly mown lawn grass. I guess that is because the grasses are different. Field grass usually consists of such plants as clover, alfalfa, timothy and oats while lawn grass consists of other plants. Whatever the reason, I really like the smell of both, but especially the smell of freshly cut hay since that means we are making hay while the sun shines.
It is definitely time to eat some fresh strawberry. Strawberries are very good for you because they are rich in antioxidants. These berries are ripe and good to eat when they smell ripe. Don’t wash them until you are ready to use them because moisture promotes mold growth. This can be prevented by using them soon after bringing them home or freezing them for later use.

White Chocolate Strawberry Pie
Crust:
1 prepared crust (15-ounce package) softened as directed on package
Filling:
1-2/3 cups milk
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
1 (3-ounce) package vanilla pudding and pie filling mix (not instant)
3/4 cup white vanilla chips
1/2 pint (1 cup) whipping cream
Topping:
1 quart fresh strawberries
3 tablespoons white vanilla chips
2 teaspoons oil
Heat oven to 450 degrees. Make pie crust as directed on package for one-crust baked shell using 9-inch pie pan. Bake nine to 11 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool.
In medium saucepan, combine milk and gelatin; mix well. Let stand five minutes. Stir in pudding mix. Cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, let stand five minutes. Add 3/4 cup vanilla chips to pudding mixture; stir occasionally until melted. Place plastic wrap over surface of pudding, refrigerate one hour to cool. In a small bowl, beat whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Fold 1/3 of whipped cream into cooled pudding mixture. Fold in remaining whipping cream. Spoon pudding mixture into cooled, baked pie shell; spread evenly.
Twist stems of strawberries to remove or use tip of sharp knife, being careful to not cut berries. Place strawberries, pointed ends up, on filling, gently pressing about 1/4 of each berry into filling.
In small saucepan, heat three tablespoons vanilla chips and oil over low heat until melted, stirring constantly until smooth. Drizzle over strawberries. Refrigerate at least three hours or until serving time.
Makes eight servings
Farm Journal April 2003

Strawberry Coffee Cake
1 cup butter or margarine softened
1-1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups chopped fresh strawberries
Filling:
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Add eggs, mix well. Combine the flour, baking powder and baking soda; add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream. Beat in vanilla. Fold in the strawberries. Spoon half into a greased and floured 10-in. fluted tube pan.
Combine the filling ingredients; sprinkle half over batter. Top with remaining batter and filling. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
Yield: 12-16 servings
Country Woman May/June 2001