Friday, September 23, 2011

Caught!

Can you blame it?




We decided to let it live to see another day. Dan just got back from giving it a ride.




Thursday, September 22, 2011

Cindy’s Lemon Sheet Cake

Driving franchise alley in Topeka or Lawrence any evening will find parking lots full at most of the restaurants. 

Announce in the newsletter than there will be a covered dish dinner at Stull church and the parking lot will be full as well.  That’s because there are excellent cooks there.

So, I don’t want to arrive at these events with just any ole beanie weenie casserole, meaning  I am always on the lookout for something new.  I enjoy leafing through recipe books so I don’t consider it a chore.  When I find one I like, though, I make it over and over. 

My latest favorite recipe book is entitled “Five Sisters.”  My  five first cousins who happen to be sisters put the book together.  They live all over the country so they have regional recipes as well as the regulars from their childhood on the farm. 

Which brings me to my current favorite—my go-to dessert so I make sure I have the ingredients on hand just in case someone is coming by.   It is moist, refreshing and easy.

Cindy’s Lemon Sheet Cake

1 pkg lemon cake mix
4 eggs
1 can lemon pie filling

Frosting:
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 teas. vanilla

Beat the cake mix and eggs until well blended. Fold in pie filling.  Spread in a 15 x 10 x 1 baking pan.  Bake 350 for 18-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.   Cool.

In separate bowl, cream cream cheese, butter and powdered sugar.  It calls for 1 1/2 teas. vanilla.  (I am wondering about lemon flavoring in the frosting, maybe with a little lemon zest.  I have been using vanilla, though, and is is very good.)

Can't get much easier and definitely delicious. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Green beetles

I could swear I’ve written about these annual pests in our corn patch.  However, I could not find a post in a quick search.

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So, this picture was copied from this web site

Other than this year, these beetles invade our corn patch just when the corn is about ready to pick.  They are destructive to the ripened ears of corn. The patch “hums” when they are flying about.  Our best defense is to catch them.  They are surprisingly easy to get.  I’ve gone out with a fly swatter and hit them in mid air.  They also sit on the ground trying to dig a hole to lay their eggs, an easy target for a quick stomp.

For some reason, this year they did not appear—at least not before we left for Alaska.

Tonight, Dan was looking for tomato worms and picked up about 10 of these grubs off the ground. 

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We weren’t sure at the time what they were.  Two distinctive traits were that they crawled upside down and they were extremely fast diggers.  To demonstrate, Dan laid these two on the mulch and within five seconds they were almost dug in. 

These are the larvae for green beetles. 

The web site tells me one way to control them is to remove all mulch and turn the soil before they burrow deep for the winter.   It would seem this is the year to fall plow the garden rather than wait until spring to till.