Prairie Views

~ Dreamy abstraction in Four Square House on the Pairie

Month: November 2007

Forcing Bulbs

Forcing Bulbs

In the cold and dreary winters months one-way to have a little of spring indoor is to force bulbs on your windowsill. Forcing bulbs is not a very hard project. There are a variety of Tulips, narcissus (daffodils), hyacinths, crocus, scillas, grape hyacinths, and lily of the valley bulbs that can be forced into flower in late winter and early spring. Hyacinths, crocus, and narcissus also can be forced in water. All that is needed are some bulbs, pots and potting soil or make your own blend. They can be potted from mid-September to December.

I you want to get creative you can get all types of pot to force bulbs either with soil or water. I like to pick up any of the Dutch style crocus forcing pot wherever I find them in a thrift shop. I just clean them really well with a soap and bleach mixture and let dry.

For more information:

Kansas State Forcing Bulbs

Forcing Bulbs Indoors

Soudough Pancakes Flint hills style.

I have some sourdough starter in the fridge and had taken it out the other day to add more four and grow it some more. I decided I will make pancakes this morning so I opted foe some sourdough ones to use up some of the starter. I did not have a recipe on hand so I came up with an adaption of the normal one we use for pancake mix.


* 2 cups buttermilk pancake mix
* 1 cup water
* 1/2 cup skim milk
* 3 eggs (you can adjust for this ingredients and even add none.
* 1 cup Sourdough Starter
* 1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Place the pancake mix in a large bowl. Add the water and Sourdough Bread Starter and stir until well combined.

2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

A neat little tip I came across but have not done yet is to save a squeeze bottle and use it to squeeze out the pancake mix. This could be a time saver too for when you do not have a lot of time during the week and can mix it up on Sunday and make pancakes really quick.

Poultry Brine

I have tried cooking turkey a number or and techniques including upside down.I have never been a really big fan of turkey and on of the main reasons why is I have been served it so dry many times. Part of the reason I suspect is the size of the turkey my mother cooked growing up, We are taking huge Volkswagen size 20 pound or so turkey. I have found over the years that a smaller turkey in the range of 13 to 15 pounds presents a better turkey. Part of the reason for this is you do not have to cook it for such a long time. I have also found not putting stuffing also makes a better bird but sometimes I stuff anyway like I did this year.

Flavor brined is the best method I have discovered for cooking turkey. They are a number of recipes on the web and in cookbooks for brining a turkey. They main disadvantage of birning is you have to plan ahead to brine the chicken the day before to get the best flavor. I use a light brine for mine and surprising enough it does not make the Turkey all salty. You have to refrigerate turkey in brine at least 8 hours and up to 18 hours, following desired recipe. I am surprised that more people have not discover the technique. I suggest not using regular table salt since it is ionized.


1 cup salt (1 1/2 cups kosher or course salt)
1 cup brown sugar
1 onion
1 carrot

Add enough water ( about to cover the bird. Place water & ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil. Remove form heat an allow to cool. Add poultry and cover and brine 1 hour per pound.

Take out of brine and pat dry. Rub with oil and roast as you would normally.

Dog Driving

Kansas 2007 first snow-2

Kansas 2007 first snow-2
Originally uploaded by Lakenvelder

First Snow in the Flint Hill of Kansas

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