Prairie Views

~ Dreamy abstraction in Four Square House on the Pairie

Month: December 2014 (page 1 of 4)

Thanks For Your Visits To Prairie Views in 2014


Today I got a review for 2014 from jetpack on the most visited sites. It was surprising an eye opener that this bread machine recipe was the most popular page. Quite a few must use a bread machine. I certainly like mine but mainly to make the bread to a dough and then take out to finish like this recipe. This make me want to make some Pan Dulce.




Pan Dulce- Bread Machine Recipe

Really, Only One-Syllable

Feeling Fancy In KC

Literate for a Preposition Poem



Thank you for visiting my site.


Crying For A Reason and Curry Chicken- Cochin Style

It seems wordy at WordPress has made a comeback somewhat. The page of prompts is filled with March 2013 prompts with the same title. Is wordy still on vacation so somehow the we are getting March 2013 prompts again. I think it is time for us to group up and send some more prompt ideas for struggling wordy.

Today the prompt was

We cry for lots of reasons: sadness, pain, fear . . . and happiness. When was the last time you shed tears of joy?

I am not much of a crier but sometimes I will cry during movies. Nothing major has happened this year to make me cry with joy or sadness.  In previous years I had had beloved friends, family and pets died and created a time of sadness. I have been very happy before but have not cried for joy.



Dutchess RIP 2013


curry chicken

Curry Chicken- Cochin Style



So I leave today a recipe that you might find interesting to find. It is a Cochin (Kochi) Jewish recipe of Curry  Chicken. It has a mild curry flavor so it does not overwhelm the Western taste buds that dislike a curry from other regions and a creamy feel from the coconut milk.  The picture looks a little blurred on top and I think it is from steam.

After its independence, Israel discovered a new Jewish community the Cochin Jews of India, also called Malabar Jews,. Many of them went to Israel but many stayed. Tradition has it that these Jews were exiled to India after the destruction of the Second Temple. Though outwardly resembling Indians, the Cochin Jews maintain their distinctive tradition. One of their principal dishes is chicken curry which has now been incorporated into Israeli cuisine. This is like a south Indian recipe due to it coconut ingredient. I personally do not add as much onions. You can use a can of tomatoes instead of the regular tomatoes.

2 lbs. chicken
4 large tomatoes
2 apples
1-1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup water
3 Tbs olive oil
2 garlic cloves
2 Tbs sugar
5 large onions
1-1/2 tsp salt, pepper
2 Tbs grated coconut (optional)
1 cup chopped parsley
1 tsp ginger, ground
1 (or more) Tbs curry powder
3 cups clear broth or coconut milk

Cut chicken into serving pieces and fry in 1 tbs. oil until lightly browned. Add water and simmer for 20 minutes until chicken pieces are tender. Drain and put aside. Add onions, garlic, tomatoes, parsley and apples (all diced) to the frying pan and sauté over medium heat. Add sugar, ginger and curry powder. Sprinkle with flour and pour in clear broth or coconut milk. Add coconut and chicken and sauté for an additional 10 minutes over medium heat. Serve hot with rice.




Time Well Wasted On The Mirco Farm

mirco farm pic12302014

Last night the real winter moved into this area with very cold weather. I was hoping for a possible warm winter although they say it is not good for insect reduction. I have never really noticed the different it seems it I always get inundated with some every year even if it is very cold. It did not seem that bad when I went out in the morning with the light dusting of snow hitting the ground here and there. In the evening the temperature was making my hands burn telling me it is very cold. I am glad I was able to get out there while the sun was still out and not needed a flash light to get things done.


Since it was really too cold to do too much outside other than some very necessary tasks such as getting wood to fuel the fire it seemed the perfect time to get a start on the new years planting plans.  Using the survey of the property as a guide I made plans of the fields again. I have not worked on the Kitchen garden but that will come soon. Someday they will be separated into 1/2 acre paddock but right now it is in the dreaming stages until the fencing gets done.  This plan involved moving the animals before they eat too much of an area.  In other words you land does not get overgrazed and destroyed. You have the added benefit of less worms problems in your animals.  If you see the narrow fenced area it is to only allow them in a pasture with the gate open. You have to have a “sacrifice area” that gets chewed down to dirt to keep the animals in when there is noting else to eat. There you feed them hay, grain and I hope next year more root crops. That is why I am doing this pan. tomorrow I will  take a walk in the morning to check the wood lot grass. The back area behind the wood lot and cedars is not fenced yet so I can’t use it. It is almost an acre. I used to try making hay but with hand tools and small tarp it was too difficult. The two front areas which is actually only one now (acre) is down under one inch so I have not had them on it for quite a long time.

So, today I was making plans to plant some oats, beets and other grains I could feed the animals with. After I made this plan, using a suggested plan, I realized I have too many beets for this area. I need to make room for corn. So it is a little back to the drawing board.


 All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.

Ralph Waldo Emerson


Still I think this might be too much for me to handle since I do it primary  all by myself. I am limited with a  older body, rototiller, and hand tools. Good for exercise and muscle aches and pain but really slow going. Still, I will try to get as much as I can done. I am starting earlier this year with some of the planting. So that is what I am doing now. Making the plans when and how much to plant.

I planted some more very small trees that have already been eaten by some creatures. I suspect rabbits. I blame myself for the two I have not put a cage around but my tulip tree had a wire cage that was knocked over. That would had been some strong rabbit. So I am thinking maybe some larger.  The tree is only now a little nub in the ground. Then later today I saw the sheep and  had gotten out and were in the backyard. That silly goat has seemed to open the latch again. Funny thing about those sheep and goat is that they never leave the property. Nope they just stay to destroy my landscaping. They love to check on apple and crabapple trees.  Not sure what they have destroyed in the garden because I was too afraid to look. At least it was easy to get them back in. Even the ram when running towards the paddock when the saw me closing on them. Maybe they knew I was just too annoyed to deal with.  Glad because I don’t enjoy having a 300 pound Rambo coming my way. I found if you time it right you can move to the side and Rams will miss you but why take chances.

Mr. gadget wanted one of those one cup coffee makers for Christmas so that is one item I got. I am not convinced it is the greatest thing since sliced bread but it is somewhat handy at times for an expensive treat. I think the cost about 30 cents each drink maker from the coffee we got at SAM’s club. The cup did taste good in the middle of the day.

I told myself I was not going to do a puzzle this year after last years cat destruction session. However, I found the cutest puzzle the other day at a store and I could not resist. So like old times I have my winter puzzle going.  A little late, but time well wasted. 

Daily To Do List For Blogggers


Either you hate lists or you like them. I find I get more tasks and projects done in a timely manner if I have them written down. This To do List was made  for a blogger in mind (me) .  The list  has a spot to write a quote for inspiration, photo suggestions and a prompt idea for posting.    I have not been posting a photo everyday lately since I have problems in the winter getting ideas to take a picture of that is new and interesting. . The list also has an area for the weekly goals and you can add goals for later in the week, if necessary. I use the list  in conjunction with a calendar to keep me organized.

We all have those every important tasks we need to do each day such as making appointments. These would be put in Today’s Most Important Tasks.  Underneath are todays tasks. These are tasks you would like to complete but are not necessary with a deadline such as an appointment. For instant,  you could wash the dog another day.  At the bottom left is a  for keeping track of the water intake. Each cup represents  eight ounces so you just cross out a cup.  The exercise block was be walking, a workout at a gym or workaround you  home or farm if you have one. It is important to get off the computer chair and get some exercise every day.

It is almost time to start planing for spring ans summer crops so I will be again getting a lot of use out of this To Do List.  So I will make a modification later. If you can download the PDF below to use.  You will also be able to view the document better if you download it. It will be the size of a 81/2″ x 11″ sheet of paper.




BBQ Ribs and the Sides



I am not a super fan of BBQ ribs but Mr. Gadget is so I make them once a month or so. You really can get better than the smoked ribs but when you do not have the smoker or BBQ you can easily prepare some ribs in the oven very easily. I made coleslaw and some 9  Bean Soup for the sides using the left over ham bone from Christmas. The soup could be a meal by its self but it made a delicous side for this meal.

Easy Oven BBQ Ribs

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Wrap your ribs in foil. Place in a shallow baking pan. bake in the oven for 1 hour. Open up the foil to expose the ribs. Brush BBQ sauce over the ribs. Bake for another 30 minutes with the ribs uncovered.

Remove from oven and slice. Enjoy!

I suggest the following side to go with your ribs. 

Cole Slaw with Mayonnaise Dressing

 This is the best Cole slaw of this kind I have found. The mayonnaise based salad has extra zip because of the mustard seed.
1 small head of cabbage
1 small red onion
1/2 green pepper
1 medium carrot
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon mustard seed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepperIn the bowl of a food processor, using the steel knife blade. Place pieces of cabbage and pulse until the y reach the desired fineness. I like the pieces the size of my little finger nail. Transfer to a large bowl. Chop the onion, pepper and parsley and add to the cabbage. Shred the carrot and add to the mixture. In a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients, pour over the cabbage, and toss. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

Gusty-Upped Beans

This is a simple way to make canned beans better.6 servings
vegetable oil
1/2 cup onions, chopped
28 ounces baked beans
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)

Cook onions is a saucepan with a little oil until tender. Stir in the beans, ketchup, brown sugar, Worcestershire and liquid smoke. Mix well. Simmer, uncovered about 15 minutes until heated throughly.

Scalloped Potatoes for the BBQ

4 red potatoes, thinly sliced
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup butter, cubed
salt and pepper to taste

1.Preheat grill for medium heat.

2.Layer sliced potatoes on aluminum foil with the onion, garlic, basil, and butter.
Season with salt and pepper. Fold foil around the potatoes to make a packet.

3.Place potato packet on heated grill over indirect heat, and cook for 30 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Turn over packet halfway through cooking.

Honey-Baked Beans

4 slices bacon, diced
1/2 C. chopped onion
4 1/2 C. cooked navy beans (or substitute three 15 oz. cans cooked navy beans)
1/2 C. honey
1/2 C. ketchup
1 T. prepared mustard
1 T. Worcestershire sauce

Preheat oven to 350°F. Saute bacon and onion until onion is tender; combine with remaining ingredients in shallow 2-quart oven-safe baking dish. Cover with lid or aluminum foil and bake 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 45 minutes longer.

Baked Beans with Coca-Cola

Two 28-oz. cans B&M Original Baked Beans
1 medium onion, chopped
1 T. dry mustard
1 bottle chili sauce
1 T. prepared mustard
1 (scant) T. vinegar
dash of Worcestershire sauce
1 small bottle Coca-Cola (or less)

Mix well. Place bacon strips on top. Bake uncovered until onion is tender, about 1 hour or more at 375°F.

Nine Bean Soup

This is an easy, flavorful soup that has lots of variations.The soup pictured above was made in a crock pot without pasta.

1 package soup beans (see note)
2 quarts water.
2 teaspoon salt omit if using ham
1 ham bone and scraps , or turkey leg or 1 1/2 pounds chuck roast
1 28-oz. can tomatoes, coarsely chopped or one can diced tomato and green chilies (RoTel)
1 large onion
1 teaspoon chili powder or 2 teaspoons mixed spices (thyme, savory, sage, oregano)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Brown sugar to taste
1/4 pound pasta

In a very large soup kettle, sock the beans with the salt overnight. Next day add the meat and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, covered 2 hours. Add tomatoes and onion, chilies powder or herbs and the reaming ingredients. Cook 1 hour longer. If the soup gets too thick add more broth or water. Remove meat, chop it into bite size pieces. and return to soup.

Crockkpot Method: Put all the ingredients in a crockpot/slowcooker and cook for 8 to 10 hours on low. You do not need to soak beans if cooking in crockpot. If you want to add the pasta cook in another pot according to package directions and then add to the soup. Serve.

1 pound of each bean
-white navy beans
-white lima beans
black beans
kidney beans
pinto beans
green peas
Mix the legumes and barley. Divide into 9 bags (2 cups). Add 1 dreid hot chili and seal. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.


Deviled eggs

6 hard-boiled eggs
2 T mayonnaise
3/4 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce*
salt & pepper to taste
paprika for garnish

All Grown Up And Olie Bollen (Dutch Fried Puffs)

I remember that day as a teen that suddenly I did not want to grow up. I do not remember the circumstances but I remember feeling dread about becoming an adult. As a teen I was very interested in trying new things and had a huge desire to grow a garden. Both my grandfather and father were interested in gardening. My father was more into lawns and landscapes. We had a Dichondra lawn during that time. I have never seen another lawn like his which is not really grass but a ground cover.

Later as a teen my mother received a GOURMET magazine subscription as a gift. I do not remember her reading the magazine since when was more into food with only salt and pepper but I used to read it from front to back intrigued with all the food and places. I was not able to make most of the recipes but one time I did try a peanut chicken recipe. To be honest it was not all that good. It had too much peanut butter. Later and especially ten years ago I was trying all types of recipes but have now gone to just making normal American dishes.

New Years is coming so I might consider Dutch Fried Puffs to celebrate with.

Olie Bollen (Dutch Fried Puffs)

Chopped apples or mincemeat can replace the currents.

Vegetable oil
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground mace
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup currants or raisins (optional)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Heat oil (2 to 3 inches ) to 375 degrees F. Beat milk, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup oil, the eggs, baking powder, salt, mace and 1 cup of flour in large mixing bowl on low speed, scraping bowl constantly, 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed, scraping bowl occasionally, 2 minutes. Stir remaining flour and the currants.

Drop batter by teaspoonfuls into hot oil. Turn puffs as they rise to the surface. Fry until golden grown, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes on each side, Drain on paper towels, Mix 1/4 cup sugar and the cinnamon. Roll puffs in sugar mixture.


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “All Grown Up.”

Girl’s Top and Capri Pants

Once I got sewing on this project I was able to complete in a couple of days. I used the Simplicity pattern 2716.



Girl Set

Another Kansas Overcast Day….Prompt Rewrite

Now that you’ve got some blogging experience under your belt, re-write your very first post.

This post needed an editor with other errors. It must not be the first from the writing but I might have switched from blogger to WordPress at this time. I could not find an earlier post. This was a very difficult time at work and quite a few other co-workers had lost their job due to down sizing. The down sizing is still going on in the area and will continue as the military gets smaller. I no longer work on a military contract due to downsizing and now work at a job that I enjoy but it has  half the pay and very few hours.

“Give Satan an inch, and he will become your ruler”

It was slow again today and I am not one who likes to sit at work and vegetate so the one person who came to register made me a happy camper. After they changed the requirements  in Oct. 1 2004  enrollment has slowed down to a snail’s pace. I am hearing about changes coming in March but I have not been given the details yet.

I cannot really afford to lose any more hours since they have already dropped me from full-time beginning October 1, 2004 to around 20 hours per week on this contract. I went back to working the other contract in the computer lab but I was lucky since otherunfortunately others lost hours. I now average about 36 hours a week working at both contracts. I do not get holiday pay with the part-time status I now have so I lost at least one day a month in pay with the change. They are now open again for training holidays in the Computer lab so at least I get some hours there. When they were closed for the training holidays I lost 2 days per month of work. However, now the plan is to close the computer lab at 6:00 P.M. That should make the clients very happy when most get off at 4:30-5:00but will need to go the dining halls before they close too if they want their evening meal.

It is very overcast and the temperture is falling outside very quickly.. They are saying we will get around 2 inches of snow. I really do not mind the snow but hate it when it gets warm enough to melt and turns into ice. So far I this year I haven’t got stuck in a ditch but there is still time yet, I suppose. I was stuck between two hills and could not go forward up the hill or go in reverse up the other hill a couple of weekends ago. I managed to back up enough where I might have been able to drive fast enough to get up the hill but I suppose I am now too afraid of sliding into a ditch again. So, I parked and walked home which was about 1/2 a mile away to have Mr. Gadget drive out..

I still have not found my rooster. I did not find any evidence of being attacked but something must of got it. I did find a Dutchess’s collar next to the fence at the other side of the pasture. Most likely Dutchess was trying to escape again and got her collar caught. She ran off the other night and ended up staying outside all night. I was told she did not want to go outside after she got into her crate in the enclosed porch the next morning . She was most likely hungry but we do feed them until the next meal. We bring them in from the barn and pasture at night and into the crates in our enclosed porch.

I ordered Burdna Magazine again so I hope to get it soon so I can start sewing clothes again. I cannot find nice modest clothes, without having the homemade look. Kansas City which has more stores is a two-hour drive so I only get there a few times per year. The magazine has the neatest patterns and the patterns are most likely even better than the ones they sell thought their catalog at fabric stores.

Well, I also believe I have mostly figured out how to use this site and post pictures. After practice I hope to be able to figure out how to put more than one photo per blog.



Cliché- Time to Let Go

dining room tree

Dining Room Tree



As I was getting out the Christmas decorations I noticed all of the stuff in the basement.  The boxes seem to grow each year. It is time to go through the “stuff” ans sell or give away what is not needed. I am not going to expect too much for many of the items.  As they say a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. It would be better to get what I can than to get what I want in this situation. Just having a clean basement is worth everything. I will also be going into the barn and see what I can also get rid of on the top.

The attic is another place that deserves attention and must have a lot of “stuff” that we do not need. Not even knowing what is up there is one clue. To make matters worse some of my children have gone up there looking for items and made a mess. There are some items out of the boxes. It is enough to make a very organized person go into convulsions.

Right now I am getting ready to plan more of what I will plant this coming year. I know I will need to grow some more sweet potatoes. I have none in the storage. It will be a busy year this year since I will expand the amount of land I grow on to be able to grow more corn and beans. It is possible I might consider some other grains such as oats.

I must point out the WordPress is having some ** SURPRIZE  **issues again today. It is pinging so good that it is pinging last years Cliché Prompt. Mine happens to be a 404 like many others. I have become a .com instead of a .me since that time.

I must not get ready for a trip to the city today for some shopping. I just might avoid the malls since teens seem to wanting to have mini riots. What is wrong with teens today? Twice in the last month I have said excuse me as I was going by congested area only for them to snarly say excuse me back.  This is in front of “parents”.  Ah, now I am thinking twice about going to the city.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Cliché.”

11 Handy Books For The Self-Sufficiency Farmer or Homesteader


I have quite a few books on hand for reference and to read each winter while in the planning stages. I seem to find something I do not remember reading the year before. There is just so much to learn.  These are books I have in my library that I suggest everyone at least borrow to read but are very useful to a homesteader library depending on your interests.

The Guide to Self-Sufficiency- John Seymour 

Latest book: The Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live It

He is one of the founding father of the self-sufficiency movement. He had his first book in the 70’s. They now have updated books with much of his good advice. I still plan my 7 acres using some of his advice for the 5 acre farm. You just need to be aware that his plans were geared for a farm more in Scotland and Ireland and you may not be able to do as much on 5 acres as he could. Still he gives information for a good start to homesteader beginners with all the subjects covered.

Seed to Seed: Seed Saving and Growing Techniques for Vegetable Gardeners

As an ower of a seed saving company and member of the Seed Savers exchange Suzanne Ashworth really knows her stuff. This book is arranged in easy to read chapters with advice for many common to less common plants. If you plan to save seeds this is one book I suggest.

How to Grow More Vegetables

Ecology Action, an environmental research and education organization. This book offers advice on raising vegetables from an orgainzation that has done small-scale food production in more than 140 countries around the world. To learn more, visit

Other suggested book: The Backyard Homestead, Mini-Farm and Garden Log Book


The Scythe Book

I still do some Scythe cutting myself and this book has some practical information on the subject. This book as been invaluable for me as a reference and learning how to use a scythe property.

From Seed To Bloom

This is book is for people who want to save unusual, exotic or marginally hardy plants as well as the common vegetable, landscape and indoor plants. If you want to grow hedges and fruiting plants this book will be very useful.

The Winter Harvest handbook

The New Organic Grower: A Master’s Manual of Tools and Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener

These two book are geared to organic gardening. He has some of the best advice and information around to get started. I like the winter harvest handbooks as I am trying to grow more vegetables for our winter.


Knott’s Handbook for Vegetable Growers

While this is not the typical self-sufficient book it is full of very useful information. it has been one of the leading one-stop reference for commercial vegetable growers for more than 50 years. A number of Universities  offer this on their websites as a PDF. You can either google the manual or go to the website.


Root Cellaring

I got this book with the intent of building a root cellar in my basement. I have never gotten there but this books waits until that day but I used the advice in the book to  make a garden row storage. It is  the book you will want to have or borrow to provide natural cold storage.

Small-Scale grain Raising

You can grow quite a lot wheat in a plot the size of a two car parking slots. This book is not just about wheat but also corn and legumes.  This is a good book for families living the Self-Sufficient Life since it gives information on growing more high carbohydrates needed for hard-working individuals.


Success With baby Chicks

Most small farms want to have some chickens and it is easy to start with chicks if you have the information on hand to do it correctly. This is one of the best books out there from a farmer who keeps a flock of 66 ree-range hens in Oregon while his wife raises 2,000 pastured broilers each year. Some of this book is geared towards larger farmers but it has useful information for the small flock owner.

Storey’s Barn Guide to Sheep

I have found this a useful book with its great diagrams and advice. It also has a very handy lambing calendar.


*There are affiliate links in this post.

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