Life on Regal-Hill: Oct. 14, 2009

The sun is finally shining this morning. I am going to dry some clothes and clean up outside today.
We had four unexpected visitors the other day. I remember one of them from high school although he was in school with my sister. The other three were his sister and a couple who were his friends from Sidney. They were here for Arena Day and decided to ride around the area where he grew up.
The thing that I remember most about their visit was that they thanked us for being farmers and glad to see we were keeping the fields cut so they don’t grow up to weeds, brush and trees like so many farms do once the cows are sold.
It made us feel good and glad that we were taking care of our land and there were people that appreciate it. It is thoughtfulness like this that makes the hard work and little money seem less important in the whole scheme of things.
Earlier today George went with the tractor and mower to the field below the neighbor’s house and mowed about half of it for a third cutting. Hours later, after he had let it dry out some and it was raked, I heard the tractor, chopper and self-unloading wagon. George took the freshly cut grass to the main pasture where some of it was unloaded for the heifers to eat. I guess he plans to mow more only as soon as the heifers eat what he has already cut. George had been feeding them hay from the barn since the pastures have pretty much stopped growing.
Winter squash is now available. Whether you grew some in your garden or purchased it at the Farmers’ Market it is always nutritious and tasty. Try these recipes and see if you don’t agree.

Sausage-Stuffed Acorn Squash
2 medium acorn squashes
1 pound bulk spicy pork sausage
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk
1 cup fresh baby spinach, finely chopped
1-and-1/2 cups soft bread crumbs
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Cut squashes in half; remove and discard seeds. Place cut side down in a microwave-safe dish. Cover and microwave on high for 10-12 minutes or until tender.
Meanwhile, crumble sausage into a large skillet and add onion. Cook over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. In a large bowl, beat egg and milk; stir in the spinach, bread crumbs, cranberries and sausage mixture. Turn squashes, cut side up. Stuff with sausage mixture. Cover and microwave on high for 2-3 minutes or until a thermometer reads 160 degrees.
Serving size: 4 portions
Taste of Home and Jimmy Dean October/November 2009

Butternut Turkey Bake
1 medium butternut squash (about 2-and-one-half pounds)
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups seasoned salad croutons
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cups cubed cooked turkey
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Cut the squash in half; discard the seeds. Place cut side down in a 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan; add 1 half-inch of hot water. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
Drain the water from the pan; turn squash cut side up. Bake 10-15 minutes longer or until tender. Scoop out the pulp; mash and set aside.
In a large skillet, sauté onion in butter until tender. Stir in the croutons, salt, poultry seasoning and pepper. Cook 2-3 minutes longer or until croutons are toasted. Stir in the squash, turkey and broth; heat through.
Transfer to a greased 1-and-one-half qt. baking dish. Bake uncovered, at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake 5-10 minutes longer or until edges are bubbly and cheese is melted.
Yield: 4 servings
2009 Taste of Home Annual Recipes