Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wednesday Night on the Hill

We kicked off Wednesday Night on the Hill. The Rev asked me to cook burgers and brats for the meal, again.

Now for those who don't understand - the Rev started Wednesday Night on the Hill last fall as a way to bring more of the congregation together outside of Sunday morning. We have a meal and then people can go off to the various groups and meetings or just come for the meal and then go on with their lives. But the youth groups meet, the choir has their practice and various committees are encourage to meet on Wednesday.

I grilled burgers and brats last year for the kick-off so I got to do it again. This year I wanted to do something a little special so I went to Penzeys Spices to see what I could find. I told the man at the spice shop that I was cooking burgers for the church and I asked, "What can I do to make those burgers special?" He smiled and said come with me. He took me to their "Chicago Steak Seasoning". This a blend of salt, Tellicherry black pepper, sugar, garlic, onion, lemon peel and hickory smoke flavor. Wow, was he right on. All I really did was sprinkle the burgers and let them set for a couple of hours before I grilled them and they were great. Last year everyone ate the brats and hot dogs, but this year the burgers flew out the door. I only had 4 burgers left over and a dozen brats. Nobody even touched the dogs.

I have a lot of fun cooking this meal. Last year I got to do it about once a month. I hope to do the same this year but if more people step up and want to cook, I'll definitely let them in. I have to do it at least once more though because I have been tweaking my meat loaf recipe. Last year I served meatloaf and tator tots and everyone loved it. But this year I will have a secret ingredient, Penzeys English Prime Rib Rub. I've tried this twice now at home and it makes great meatloaf. I'll share how it goes when the time comes.


Friday, September 09, 2011

Patty Pan Squash

Well look what we found in our CSA box this week.  That is a patty pan squash at the top sitting next to what I'm pretty sure is a Zephyr squash.  Those are both summer squashes and very tasty.  Then, could that be 2 kinds of eggplant or maybe just one type that has grown differently.  I'm thinking it is two varieties.  And then I saw the first muskmelon of the year.  I can't wait to cut that open.  Each fall the trucks come up from Muscatine in the southern part of Iowa full of melons.  But this one was grown locally.

We continue to get more garlic, carrots and peppers.  The Rev isn't big on garlic and was wondering what we would be able to do with all of them, but I assured her we could put them downstairs and they would last all winter.  I think we can probably do the same with the carrots.

I'm not sure how many more boxes we are going to be getting, it's getting late in our season but this has been a fun ride this summer.  We haven't talked it over yet, but I will be voting to do this again next year.

Enjoy the last days of summer and welcome autumn - the best time of the year.  Here it comes.


Tuesday, September 06, 2011

We are home and it is done. The celebration...

We are home and it is done. The celebration of a life lived very well.

The funeral for Flo was this morning in Belle Plaine. Last night was the viewing.
I made it through last night and was doing fine today.
I choked up a little when Christy read her poem to end the funeral service - but I was okay.
Then when 16 members of the local American Legion saluted as they passed the casket to leave the church, that got to me as well - but I was okay.
I was one of the pallbearers and as we carried her casket from the church to the hearse, passing through those 16 soldiers saluting her again, I almost lost my composure - but I was okay.
We went out for the graveside service and listened to the ministers final words and I was okay.
But then they gave her a 21 gun salute and as the bugler started to play taps, Max started to cry. It was as if that gave us all permission to let go because it wasn't just me but several around me just started to bawl.

Flo was a remarkable woman. I knew that but I didn't realize how many other lives she had touched in that small community.

Go in peace my friend.