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BACON

https://getpocket.com/explore/item/we-tried-8-methods-of-cooking-bacon-and-found-an-absolute-winner

I share with you this wonderful article on Bacon. I’m sure the men, or most of them anyway, are fans of this nourishing food. “Here Piggy, piggy, piggy.”

The Best Method for Making Bacon

Cast iron or in the oven? Microwave or air fryer?

The Kitchn

  • Ann Taylor Pittman

k_Photo_Series_2019-11-skills-battle-bacon_bacon-method-lead.jpg

Photo by Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell; Design: Kitchn

People often joke that bacon makes everything better. I tend to agree. I use it a lot as a flavoring agent in recipes — a slice or two to infuse a pot of dried beans with porky richness, for example. But on #treatyoself days, I’ll cook up a mess of bacon as a more substantial component to a dish, or as a standalone food. This is the bacon to pile onto burgers or BLTs, or to enjoy alongside pancakes or waffles, dragging the strips through syrup or runny egg yolks. 

Yet I’ve never had a consistent, go-to method for cooking that bacon. I’ve cooked it in a skillet and in the oven, and I’ve resorted to the microwave when I was in a hurry. I’ve read about air fryer and sous vide methods I’d like to try, as well as other hacks for easier cleanup or better texture. 

To find which method or methods work best, I tested eight that are touted by trusted website sources and compared the results side-by-side. My house smelled amazing, by the way, and my sons and husband were delighted to help me taste test.

Photo by Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell; Design: Kitchn

A Few Notes About Methodology

Tests: I tried each method twice — once with regular-cut bacon and once with thick-cut. For each method, I tested the number of bacon slices that fit into the cooking vessel (skillet, sheet pan, air fryer basket, etc.) and made note of that in my description. 

Bacon: I used widely distributed grocery-store brands. For regular-cut bacon, I went with Oscar Mayer Naturally Hardwood Smoked Bacon. And for thick-cut, I chose Wright Hickory Smoked Bacon

Time: The time listed is the cooking time; any preheating time is noted separately. I did not list cleanup time.  

Ratings: I rated each cooking method on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 representing perfection. Texture, cook time, ease of preparation, cleanup, and appearance all factor into the ratings. 

Photo by Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell

Method: Water in Skillet

Total Time: 15 minutes (regular-cut bacon); 16 minutes (thick-cut bacon)

About This Method: This technique, touted by Cook’s Illustrated, instructs you to arrange bacon in a cold skillet and add just enough water to cover. You cook over high heat until the water boils, lower the heat to medium until the water evaporates, and then cook over medium-low heat until the bacon is done.

The theory here is that the water “keeps the initial cooking temperature low and gentle, so the meat retains its moisture and stays tender.” The site doesn’t specify what type of skillet to use, so I went with stainless steel, which is shown in the accompanying photo. There are no instructions to flip the bacon as it cooks, but I did (once the water evaporated) to make sure both sides were crisped.

Results

The bacon stuck to the pan, and it cooked inconsistently, with crispier parts and chewier parts on each slice. I had noticeable shrinkage with the regular-cut bacon (but not so much with thick-cut). The thick-cut bacon also curled up a good bit, while the regular-cut stayed flat, and there was more popping and sputtering than I’d noticed with other stovetop methods. Cleanup was a bit of a hassle because after the water cooked off, the skillet was covered with a sticky film that just adhered more firmly to the pan as the bacon finished cooking. I had to soak and scrub the skillet to get it clean. 

My Takeaway: The texture wasn’t superior to that of bacon cooked using some of the other methods. Cleanup took longer and required more elbow grease, too, which is a serious buzzkill.

Bottom Line: Best to skip this method.

Rating: 5/10

Photo by Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell

Method: Microwave

Total Time: 4 to 4 1/2 minutes (regular-cut bacon); 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 minutes (thick-cut bacon)

About This Method: Although countless sources give instructions for this cooking method, I went with those in Food Network’s bacon roundup, as they seem both straightforward and authoritative. Here, bacon gets sandwiched between a double layer of paper towels on a microwave-safe plate and cooks on high for four to six minutes. I was able to comfortably fit four slices on the plate without overlapping slices. 

Results

It took me a few tries to get the timing right: The bacon easily went from a bit underdone to burned in a few seconds. You’ll likely need to check on the slices, remove ones as they’re done, and continue to cook the rest in short bursts. The bacon was very flat and appeared to be uniformly cooked. The regular-cut bacon was brittle and tasted a bit burned. Thick-cut slices fared better, yielding lovely crispy-fatty pockets — when I finally got the timing right. Cleanup was a breeze: I simply tossed the paper towels and loaded the plate into my dishwasher. Even though there were no splatters in my microwave, I still gave it a spray and rub-down because the walls had a light oily film on them. 

My Takeaway: I wouldn’t use this method again on regular-cut bacon. I could see this method being useful if you only need to cook a few slices of thick-cut bacon, and you need to cook them fast — but I like to save my bacon drippings for later use, and with this method the paper towels soak them all up. You’ll need to check the bacon for doneness about a minute or two before the indicated cook time, and then cook in increments of 10 to 15 seconds until you get the right texture. Basically, although this method is the fastest, it requires some finesse.

Bottom line: OK for thick-cut bacon, if you’re in a hurry and don’t want the drippings.

Rating: 6/10

Photo by Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell

Method: Nonstick Skillet

Total Time: 10 minutes (regular- and thick-cut bacon)

About This Method: I used the instructions from Food52’s roundup of bacon cooking methods. I arranged bacon slices in a cold nonstick pan and cooked on medium heat, flipping the slices occasionally as needed. 

Results

The bacon curled up a little as it cooked, and it ended up with some charred spots and some fatty-chewy spots. These textural differences were apparent by looking at the bacon. There were a few splatters on the stovetop, but cleanup of the pan itself was easy; I was able to scrape every last bit of the rendered fat into a container for later use

My Takeaway: This method seemed okay for cooking a small amount of bacon, but the inconsistent cooking was not ideal. I love having some tasty seared bits on my bacon, but some of the slices ended up charred in places and were unpleasantly burned-tasting. 

Bottom Line: It’s an okay stovetop method with easy cleanup.

Rating: 6/10

Photo by Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell

Method: Baking on a Rack with Paper Towels Underneath

Total Time: 24 minutes (regular-cut bacon); 29 minutes (thick-cut bacon); + 10 minutes oven preheating time

About This Method: I was intrigued by this tip, given in a tweet by Alton Brown: Filling in the blanks of his brief explanation, I lined a rimmed baking sheet with layers of paper towels, arranged a wire rack over the paper towels, placed bacon slices on the rack, and baked at 400°F till the bacon was done to my liking. 

Results

The bacon stayed the meatiest with this oven-rack method, with the least amount of shrinkage. To see what difference the paper towels made, I cooked one batch of regular-cut and one batch of thick-cut bacon over paper towels and one batch of each with no paper towels. The paper towels definitely helped with cleanup, but didn’t eliminate it entirely; the unlined pan gathered lots of grease and some splotchy scorched spots that I had to scrub off. But even with the towels, the rack had to be scrubbed, and that was, frankly, time-consuming.

I know what some of you are thinking — and no, the paper towels don’t catch fire or smoke at 400°F. They do soak up the hot rendered bacon fat, basically eliminating any chance that you’ll burn yourself with hot grease. Of course, if you value bacon drippings like I do, this method isn’t ideal.

My Takeaway: This technique is great for cooking a large amount of bacon; you could do two pans at once (that is, if you have enough pans and wire racks). I liked how baking the bacon on a rack makes it easy to control the end product: I cooked one batch until it was crispy and one batch until it was meaty-chewy, with a Canadian bacon–like texture. And okay, I admit that I might be a baby (or maybe even a bit lazy), but I really hated scrubbing baked-on bacon bits off a wire rack. I tried washing it in the dishwasher, but some stuck-on bits remained, and I had to get out my brush and scrub anyway. 

Bottom line: This is a good technique for cooking a large volume of meaty bacon with easy cleanup of the pan — but be prepared to scrub the rack.

Rating: 7/10

Photo by Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell

Method: Air Fryer

Total Time: 8 minutes (regular- and thick-cut bacon)

About This Method: I was intrigued by the idea of cooking bacon in the countertop appliance of the moment and combined the instructions given by PopSugar and the blog A Pinch of Healthy: I arranged the bacon slices in the basket of my air fryer and cooked at 400°F, pausing to shake the basket occasionally, until the bacon was crispy, which for me was 8 minutes. 

Results

I tumbled them by shaking the basket every few minutes — so they curled up a good bit as they cooked. Thick-cut bacon slices had a crisp exterior and chewy-fatty interior, and regular-cut slices were pretty uniformly crispy throughout. I made sure to pour out drippings from the outer pan after the first batch, before I cooked another batch, to help prevent smoking. On subsequent batches, I did still get a little smoke and the faint smell of burning plastic — but these things did not affect the taste or texture of the bacon. To clean up, I scraped the drippings into a container for later use and washed the basket and the outer pan by hand. 

My Takeaway: This method works well if a few things fall into play: You only need a few slices of bacon (depending on the size of your air fryer), you don’t care if the bacon curls up or doesn’t sit flat (especially in a smaller air fryer, you’ll likely have to fold the bacon to get it in), and you don’t mind pulling out your air fryer (or even keep it on your counter). 

Bottom Line: If you’re an air fryer devotee, go for it.

Rating: 7/10

Photo by Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell

Method: Sous Vide

Total Time: 12 hours sous vide + about 2 1/2 minutes searing time (regular- and thick-cut bacon)

About This Method: OK, this one is admittedly a little outside the norm. But, hey, if you have a sous vide circulator, why not give it a try? The method was gushed over by J. Kenji López-Alt at Serious Eats for yielding bacon with a crispy exterior and melt-in-your-mouth tenderness within. You simply place a full package of bacon, in the store packaging, inside a large container with enough water to cover it, and cook with the circulator at 147°F for 8 to 24 hours. I settled on 12 hours with a Breville Joule circulator and, although López-Alt stresses that this is only worth doing with thick-cut bacon, I tested with regular-cut, too, for consistency. After the low, long cooking, you open the package, pull off individual slices, and sear in a skillet on one side then just briefly touch them to the pan on the other side so the bacon doesn’t look raw. 

Results

López-Alt was not wrong: This technique is wasted on regular-cut bacon, which just doesn’t have enough substance to showcase the tenderizing effect of sous vide cooking. With the thick-cut bacon, however, I ended up with slices that had a thin, crispy, shellacked-like layer on the outside and a juicy-fatty interior. The bacon was, indeed, buttery tender and uniformly flat, with little shrinkage.

My Takeaway: This is obviously not your everyday bacon, or even your Sunday bacon. If, however, you want to wow some breakfast guests — and you have an immersion circulator — the results are noteworthy and worth the effort. Plus, López-Alt notes you can do the sous vide part way ahead of time and hold the bacon in the fridge for a few days or even freeze for a couple of months. Shortly before you’re ready to serve, just sear the bacon (thawed if it was frozen) briefly to finish it.  

Bottom Line: It’s worth a try if you have the equipment, and will result in incredible textures (crisp, fatty, meltingly tender).

Rating: 8/10

Photo by Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell

Method: Cast Iron Skillet

Total Time: 8 minutes (regular-cut bacon); 11 minutes (thick-cut bacon)

About This Method: Many sites tout this old-school method for cooking bacon. I went with the directions in Serious Eats’ roundup of bacon methods, where you place strips in a cold cast iron skillet and cook over moderate heat, flipping the bacon occasionally until it’s done to your liking. 

Results

The regular-cut slices curled up a good bit, but the thick-cut ones remained overall pretty flat. With both cuts of bacon, I got slices that were crunchy and seared in places and chewier-fattier (with a crispy crust) in other places, probably because the ends wanted to curl up and cook without making full contact with the pan. The well-seasoned pan meant the bacon didn’t stick, and cleanup was moderate. I had to wipe away spatters on the stovetop, and I scraped the drippings into a bowl for storage and rinsed and wiped dry the skillet.

My Takeaway: I truly love this kind of bacon. It’s nostalgic; it’s good grandpa bacon. There’s something about the amount of sear and fat and chew that you end up with that’s just delicious. And, perhaps I’m imagining this, but even though you’re only cooking over medium heat, I believe there’s almost an equivalent of wok hei here, where the bacon picks up character and flavor from the pan itself. It’s a good method for cooking up a few slices (up to maybe six in a large pan), that allows you to hang onto those flavorful drippings.

Bottom Line: This is great for folks who want to cook a small amount of bacon and value crispy and chewy in each slice.

Rating: 8/10

Photo by Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell

Method: Baking on Parchment Paper

Total Time: 18 minutes (regular-cut bacon); 24 minutes (thick-cut bacon) + 10 minutes oven preheating time

About This Method: Martha Stewart’s technique promises a “spatter-free” way to get “perfectly crispy bacon.” You simply line one or two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper, arrange the bacon on top, and bake at 400°F until it is crisped to your liking. When the bacon is done, you transfer it to a paper towel–lined plate or platter to drain.

Results

Because the bacon sits in its own rendered fat as it bakes, it cooks more quickly than if you cooked it on a rack. The fatty parts also get wonderfully crispy (if you like that), because they’re basically fried. If you prefer your bacon chewier, you can simply cook it a few minutes less to achieve that effect.

Both regular- and thick-cut slices cooked evenly and completely flat, without any need to flip them as they cooked. One cleanup tip: Make sure to cut a large-enough sheet of parchment paper so that there is overhang on all sides. Then fold the excess up so that the drippings don’t seep through any cracks. I tried this (it’s not shown in the photo) and when the bacon came out of the pan, I let the drippings cool slightly, lifted up the parchment, and directed the drippings into a container for storage. I threw away the parchment and inspected the pan — there was not a trace of grease. It went back in the cabinet without even a rinse.

My Takeaway: I loved the texture and appearance of this bacon, and that it cooks hands-free with no babysitting. I also loved that this method works for a few slices or up to 20, and that, if you use the overhang trick, cleanup is just so incredibly easy.  

Bottom Line: Effortless cleanup (that allows you to save drippings), pretty slices, and easy control of the crispiness or chewiness of the bacon. This method has it all.

Rating: 10/10 The Kitchn

More from The Kitchn

This post originally appeared on The Kitchn and was published November 27, 2019. This article is republished here with permission.

My First Trip

My parents separated early in my life, I was two to three years old at the time. Japan, Germany and Italy came between those two young marrieds. My mother would have a small apartment over my maternal great-grandparents home in New Jersey not far from Philadelphia. My maternal grandparents would live but a block away. I was loved, dotted upon and for accounts and purposes, spoiled. My grandparents would always cart me along with them on any trip or outing.

I’m not sure which was my first trip, in the summer summer or winter,. I will write on both, these were trips with my maternal Grandmother and Grandfather. That would be Harry and Emma Wittman from Audubon, NJ. A trip to New York City prior to November 5th 1951 comes to mind. So, perhaps eight years old. I know prior to that date as the NJ turnpike was not open to Exit 10 from the Delaware Memorial Bridge as yet. We got on our bus in Camden, NJ and traveled old route 130 and crossed into NYC via the Lincoln Tunnel onto W. 36th st. I remember as a youngster, I would often hold my breath in a Tunnel.

EBay Photo

We would stay in the Victoria Hotel, 160 Central Park South. It is now a Landmark, Marriott house. We would make this trip several times, always staying in the Victoria. It was quite nice back in the day and continues to remain so.

This particular trip was during cold weather and obviously close to Christmas. I know this as we went to Radio City Music Hall and saw their Christmas production. I  shall forever remember the Rockettes. 

We also saw some ice skating, it was so long ago I remember not where. Here is a little history on Ice Skating in NYC, should you be interested.

I remember walking about the city, going into Gimbels department store and being awestruck on the toy floor. I remember the elevator and the operator, announcing the floors. Being an effective elevator operator required many skills. Manual elevators were often controlled by a large lever. The elevator operator had to regulate the elevator’s speed, which typically required a good sense of timing to consistently stop the elevator level with each floor. In addition to their training in operation and safety, department stores later combined the role of operator with greeter and tour guide, announcing product departments, floor by floor, and occasionally mentioning special offers. I would always get a special gift on one of these trips. I remember also getting jostled a bit as the operator lined up the lift so as one would not trip exiting.

On the same trip, 6 months prior or 6 months later, warmer weather, anyway, we would have a boat trip. That trip would either be the Circle line around Manhattan or a trip from the Battery out to the Statue of Liberty. I got to do both back in the day.

The Circle Line Trip was a cruise all the way around Manhattan Island on a guided boat tour that takes in every angle of New York City’s iconic waterfront. Traveling by boat means unobstructed views of the Manhattan skyline, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Statue of Liberty—ideal for snapping memorable photographs. With live narration throughout the cruise, learn about the Big Apple while passing all five of New York’s boroughs.

The trip out to the statute of Liberty was special also.  Visits to the Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island are musts in the Big Apple. On this guided tour, you get boarding on the ferry from Manhattan to visit the two important historical sites. Visit the grounds of Liberty Island and go inside the Statue of Liberty Museum. Then hop the ferry to Ellis Island and learn about the millions of people who arrived here between 1892 and 1954 in hope of living the American dream.

The highlight of my first trip was the ability to spit out of the window and to watch it travel down however many floors we were up. I also remember hanging out the window to see if I hit anyone down below. My leaning out the window and my grandmother going bezerk is still implanted in my head today. Three steps up a ladder with my vertigo is a high climb today. 

We would take several trips to NYC prior to age 13, the age my grandfather died. Those trips were always special. Oh to be able to recall such details. Now, to what do I attribute that gift?

Warm your stomach with some chicken soup (a share.)

Where it all began.

With his permission, I share with you a recent piece from Stewart Perkins.

When I read his blog I immediately thought of Mary Agnes, my wife of fifty seven years come this November and our beginning. I also thought of her and our fifth great grandchild Alana, soon to be six months old. As a side note, grandchild Rachael is due to bring into this world Great # 6 later this month.

In the beginning, that would be late spring of 1964, our first date took place in New Jersey, just across the Tacony/Palmyra bridge from N/E Philadelphia. That bridge would cross the famous Delaware river George Washington once crossed. After attending a movie with another couple, we stopped at a diner for a bite to eat and headed north on Rt. 130 towards Willingboro where the other couple’s parents resided. As we headed north we came upon a cemetary in Cinniminson New Jersey. The entryway was well lit and beutiful aeration fountain was spraying water in the air. I can still to this day shut my eyes and visualize that entryway.

We would pull in, park, and begin a leisurely walk about the grounds. I can still hear ducks quacking and the spray of the aerated water hitting the pond. At some point we found ourselves behind a hedge and with her permission, yes I asked permission, we kissed. “Botta Bing, Botta Boom,” bells, whistles, fireworks. We were a match! Eighteen months later the four of us would elope and marry in Fall River, Massachusetts. (That’s a story for another day.) A young Marine, a Sailor, and two recent grads from Nursing school would take one Giant Step in our young lives. Just as a side note, we played Pinochle on our wedding night.

Cemeteries have always held a special meaning to us over the years. Several years back on a trip to the Canadian Mari tines we must have stopped in a least a dozen and commemorated each with a kiss, “EH.”

When weather permits and the wife is doing child care for Alana she pushes the stroller into a close-by cemetery and tells Alana, this is where it all began. It was also fitting that the first date was on a weekend’s liberty from Marine Barracks, 8’th & I, Washington, DC. During my three years in D.C. I would quite often find myself at funerals in Arlington National Cemetery, including that of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

To so many, a cemetery signifies closure. To me and mine, it was a beginning. To Dan, the Sailor who began that journey with us, “May you rest in peace.”

Much thanks to Stewart Perkins for allowing me to share his Chicken Soup for the soul.

theRooster

Suggestions of what to read (from my daughter.)

My daughter Kathryn shares with me often a reading list of worthy books. Her most recent list consisted of seven books to read. Here are two I thought worthy of a share. Shares were permitted in the article and here are all seven should you care to be interested.

I shall also share with you another Blog site.  This Blogger does a great job of book revues. We,my wife, daughter, and the Rooster, constantly cackle back and forth as to who these Bloggers I refer to are. Are they friends or acquaintances? Sometimes I even say my Blogging Buddy. So now, just what constitutes a Friend, Acquaintance or Buddy in the Blogging World?  Should you have any thoughts in this area please feel free to comment.

Here goes the two I selected from Kathryn’s list of seven but first, here are two Santa brought me this year. They were:

1:    “The Secret World of Weather”

2:     “The Judge’s List”

My Two of Seven Pics from Kathryn were:

1: “Deep Country” is Neil Ansell’s account of five years spent alone in a hillside cottage in Wales.

‘I lived alone in this cottage for five years, summer and winter, with no transport, no phone. This is the story of those five years, where I lived and how I lived. It is the story of what it means to live in a place so remote that you may not see another soul for weeks on end. And it is the story of the hidden places that I came to call my own, and the wild creatures that became my society.’

Neil Ansell immerses himself in the rugged British landscape, exploring nature’s unspoilt wilderness and man’s relationship with it. Deep Country is a celebration of rural life and the perfect read for fans of Robert Macfarlane’s Landmarks, Helen Macdonald’s H is for Hawk orJames Rebanks’ A Shepherd’s Life.

‘A beautiful, translucent portrayal of mid-Wales’ Jay Griffiths

‘Touching. Through Ansell’s charming and thoroughly detailed stories of run-ins with red kites, curlews, sparrowhawks, jays and ravens, we see him lose himself . . . in the rhythms and rituals of life in the British wilderness’ Financial Times

‘Remarkable, fascinating’ Time Out

‘A gem of a book, an extraordinary tale. Ansell’s rich prose will transport you to a real life Narnian world that CS Lewis would have envied. Find your deepest, most-comfortable armchair and get away from it all’ Countryfile

Neil Ansell spent five years living on a remote hillside in Wales, and wrote his first book, Deep Country, about the experience. Since that time, he has become an award-winning television journalist with the BBC. He has travelled in over fifty countries and has written for the Guardian, the New Statesman and the Big Issue.


2: “This, Becoming Free” by Michael Gungor

Ben Palmer, Associate Editor, News Division

I absolutely love memoirs, and this is one of the best memoirs I’ve ever read. Michael Gungor was a worship leader at a large church and a Grammy-nominated Christian musician who eventually left his faith entirely and embarked on a journey to really figure out what he believed. In the process, Gungor learned to let go of the stories that were defining who he was, working his way through various belief systems, including atheism and mysticism.

While Gungor’s story on its own is fascinating, what makes this such a great memoir is how different it is from other memoirs. Personally, I would’ve been happy with just his story of losing almost everything he knew to find who he is. But on top of that, Gungor adds in poems, artwork, musings on spirituality and philosophy, a little bit of everything, all in what amounts to a fairly quick read.

If you enjoy spirituality or dabble in the world of mysticism or philosophy or just like to talk about whatever is going on here in this world where a whole bunch of embodied awareness are floating around on a rock spinning in infinity, “This: Becoming Free” is a book you’ll love.

Thank you https://www.advisory.com/Daily-Briefing.  for allowing an amateur like myself to share this in the Blogging World

August is sliding right on by.

The last blog post by the Rooster was back on June 22, 2021. Where has this summer gone, I ask myself. I have kept abreast of the writings by others during these days; however, One blogger I’ve been following for some years, Mehrling’s Muse,(https://amehrling.com/about/) for whatever reason, I no longer get her notices. Perhaps her niece, a WordPress Techie, oops, Happyness Engineer, knows the reason behind that glitch. I do keep up with Anne’s husband, John, through E-Mail however. We have to keep that Train Ride going, right John. Oh, and Anne, I’m glad to hear the vision is good after the Cadillac Surgery, and you two are not flooded out.

From the Netherlands to America

Back about seven weeks ago, granddaughter Samantha and husband, Zed, transported their four children to Zeds parents. Sam made the trip alone. The kids would spend six weeks with Zed’s side of the family. 

Here is a rundown by Grandmom Elaine on their activities as posted on FaceBook and a few pictures.

Well that’s a wrap! The Wild West Grannie

Four grandkids for the summer.

– Seattle in a flash (space needle, Ferris wheel, fish market)

– Ranch adventure (horseback riding, dirt bikes, ATV, chores, water trough swimming, milkshakes, baseball, branding, birthday party, ditch wading, lawn mowing, treehouse climbing, a few bumps and bruises, fireworks, babies and Moosey) Thanks Cindy, Erik, Mylee, Scott, and the ranch crew for all the help.

– Burns adventures (yardwork, city pool, rodeo, church, parade, baby blessing)

– Road trip to Idaho (older “cousins”, swimming pools, RV sleeping, police car, Bear World, pizza and family) Thank you Sara, Rachel, DaeNell, Ben, Zach, Melina, Savannah, and all the others of the family there…so much appreciated help.

– On to Utah- (family time- more older “cousins”, baseball, dinosaurs, more good food, ducks, chickens, and solid sleep). Thank you Jessup and Amanda and family.

-then Colorado (water trampoline, watermelon and burgers, piano, run and run, feed chickens, sleep like the dead) Many thanks Bringhurst bunch!

– on to Missouri (quality cousin time, sleepovers, pizza, ice cream, Aunts and Uncles, swimming, jet ski and tubes, splash pad, baseball, trampoline, amusement park, Wonder of Wildlife Museum and Aquarium, rodeo, beef demo and the Oscar Meyer WeinerMobile, and 3 new babies) Thank you Uncle Dallen, Uncle Wes, Uncle Jeff, and the Aunts!

– fly to Detroit for next adventures with other grandparents. Good luck and have the best time Jeff and Kathy. We miss them already ! Amazing is all I can say Elaine, good job.

Off to DelMarVa

The kids hung out with “G” & Pappy, Sam’s parents on the Eastern Shore of Maryland for the next two weeks. The backyard pool got a whole lot of attention. Zoe, who didn’t like putting her head in the water on day one, was swimming under water by the end of the visit.

Trips to the beach at Ocean City and Assateague, the wild horses, no, not the kids, the ones at Chincoteague, VA were enjoyed. Great times with Libby and Ben, (Dogs,) Aunts, Uncles cousins, and friends. A special set aside day for a Barbecue and an invite for all friends and family to come and get reacquainted with the kids was great. Pappy had his usual array of Brats, Burgers, Dogs & Chicken on the grill. 

 The visit was too short, and before we knew it the kids, with pappy and G in tow, were off on their return to Europe via PHL to AMS. That’s Philadephia to Amsterdam for you non-flyers. Pappy & G would spend ten days across the pond; they would visit with friends Brian and Rose, travel the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, and hang with Sam and Zed a bit. 

All four kids would start school, Zoe a first timer in Pre-K. Free at last, Free at last, at least for a few hours Monday – Friday for same and Zed to declare.

Zoe, the new Pre-K kid
May be an image of 5 people, child, people standing and indoor
Top to bottom, Dx, Ana, Mia

Misc.

So my friends I’m back out here once more. Our chickens are producing eggs once again after a brief hiatus from the production business. My but they were slackers for about three weeks. We’ve gone back to layer crumbles with Fly Larve,a few Sun Flower seeds and a 1/2 cup of song bird feed and the protein boost seems to have done the trick.

Now you are up to date as of, let us say, to 8 August, 2021 anyway. A few more happenings in the journal, for the sake of being called a Rambler I’ll close for now. 

If you don’t have a Covid shot, I wish you’d get one. Take care of the elderly, and Semper Fi to all and God Bless the men and women in Blue.

The Rooster

Thanksgiving Will Be Different this year

Below is a normal Thanksgiving Baking Tabel at the home of the Rooster. With daughter Kathryn supplying the venue, our normal seating chart of 25-53 names will not be reached this year.

2019
2 Mac and Cheese, 2 Pupkin, 1 Cherry, 1 ShoeFly

Our new peeps arrived on October 20’th, 13 girls and a boy. At this point we have not a clue, which one is the boy, who will be named Gregory Peck? I had that contest back in September, if you recall. Hard to believe I’ve been this tardy since my last Blog Post.

These are a few of the chicks at four weeks of age in their new surroundings. We got a mixed batch of breeds this time so we must wait a bit yet to really know what we got. I’m guessing this will be our 6th flock over the past 17 years. Some years back we lost an entire flock due to the N1A1 Virus. Now we must worry about keeping this flock’s keepers healthy.

Who said, ” Wear your MASK?”

4 weeks and growing.

Over the years we have obtained our birds through a variety of sources. Several neighbors have provided a few from time to time, due to predatory birds and animals feasting. Eight birds at one time went to the larder of a local fox, on the same evening nonetheless. Busy little bugger he was, on that night. Our most recent loss was to a Bald Eagle several months ago. We are surrounded by 50 acres of farm land and allow are birds to free range once reaching adulthood. A good Rooster protects his flock quite well. Something circling overhead, crowing prevails and the girls are led under the closes tree. Knowing who provides the feed and snacks, we are like the Pied Piper of Hamelin and they follow us everywhere.

When we purchase from a commercial grower we will use Murray McMurry in Iowa and Meyer in Ohio. We have never been disappointed in either source. It’s a great Hobby and you can not beat a free range egg. This batch came from Meyer in Polk, OH. They were born early of the 19’th, put on a plane in Cleveland and arrived overnight in Baltimore. Somehow, by 1345 hrs, 1:45 PM for those who don’t know the children arrived at our local Post Office in Salisbury, Md. Who says the Post Office is slow? For those who wish to learn more, https://www.backyardchickens.com/ is a great site.

The Mrs. with the shipping box. Yep, that’s how they come.

Be safe one and all.

Longevity and Adventuring

For the past five months, I’ve worked for a local Nursery. I spend two, sometimes three days a week as a driver and companion to one of the past owners. For the sake of this blog, I’ll call him HL. This man is the kindest and most pleasant man to spend a day with. I must also mention, he’s quite witty and shares a lot of history with me.

This is not my first rodeo doing this type of thing. Back in the late nineties, I was a driver and aide to the late James Brady and his wife Sarah. Jim was the Press Secretary to President Reagan at the time of the assassination attempt on March 30, 1981. I’ve written a blog in the past of one little tidbit during that time. Jim was another one of those people with a unique wit.

HL’s son is now in charge of the nursery business. In the early twenties HL’s father immigrated to America from the Netherlands as a Bulb salesman. He got this whole nursery thing started. The nursery as it’s known today started in 1962 with the first propagation in one unheated, deep cold frame.

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https://www.chesapeakenurseries.com/bout

HL loves traveling about the Delmarva Peninsula, looking at land, specifically farmland, as well as historic homes and buildings. We’ve also gone to the Pokomoke Discovery Center, where we learned about River Otters and the Harriett Tubman Underground Railroad Historical Site.

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Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Nathional Park
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On an other day we ventured to the Assateague National Seashore MD, VA

Moving On

A past Thursday found us at a long time employee’s Retirement and Birthday Party. The Company electrician was hanging up his non-conductive Electrical Plyers for a well-deserved cruise in the Carribean with his wife of 64 years, Judy. Kern was also celebrating his 84’th birthday that day and ending his 48’th year at the nursery.

L-R Father -Son- Kern
The table is set.
They came to say goodby.

So this old writer is still staying busy, gathering material, as he moves around the Eastern Shore of Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia. Oh, and did I mention, HL buys lunch each day, there is a story in that process at most every meal. I’m thinking I’ll have to start a Gastro info blog from time to time. Have a great Sunday everyone.

Don’t forget to check on the elderly.

theRooster

Clean Sheets

Gardener's Desire
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Our eldest daughter writes an article periodically for one of our local newspapers. Some time ago I wrote an article in my WordPress blog about making your bed as a first thing to accomplish each day. That Blog included the speech by Navy Seal, Admiral William H. McRaven. His speech was delivered as the commencement address to the graduates of The University of Texas at Austin on May 17, 2014. This article tells you about those sheets you should use to make that bed. I hope you enjoy her article. Thanks Kathryn for making this an easy blog.

POPULATION HEALTH

Florence Nightingale’s words help the healing environment

By Dr. Kathryn Fiddler

Saturdays at my house meant we had two choices: get up early, find your bike and get out of the house; or stay inside and clean with mom.

As often as we could, my brother, sister and I got up and out early, but a few times we stayed in and helped. We vacuumed, washed the floors, cleaned bathrooms and changed all the sheets. As much as we complained, changing sheets was our favorite part.

As a second-generation nurse, mom was trained to make a clean bed, and she made sure we knew how as well. She always said clean sheets were important to good health.

We would strip the beds and she would wash the sheets, then hang them on the clothesline to dry. Once they were dry, we would carry them to our bedroom.

The memory of carrying crisp fresh sheets to my room still makes me smile and brings me comfort. We pulled the sheets tight, made hospital corners on the ends and smoothed out the blankets.

Today I still relish my fresh sheets. I change them weekly and find great joy in slipping under the sheets in a freshly made bed.

Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing who was born in 1820, also believed in the importance of clean linens. While supporting soldiers in the Crimean War, she taught the nurses the importance of environment to healing.

She educated them on the healing value of fresh air, quiet surroundings, clean food, water and clean sheets. Her work led to reduced illness and death for British soldiers in the

war. Her work also inspired the training, for centuries, of nurses to come.

Today, 200 years later, the World Health Organization and the American Nurses Association has named 2020 the year of the nurse, in honor of the birth of Florence Nightingale, and in recognition of all nurses and midwives throughout the world.

Nurses are the largest group of healthcare professionals in the United States and have been named the most trusted profession for 18 years in a row.

Here on the Delmarva Peninsula, we have nurses in hospitals, in providers’ offices, in health departments, community centers, insurance companies, hospice, skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers, home health, veterans’ agencies and so many other places.

They have roles as mothers, fathers, caregivers, neighbors, spouses, and they support healthcare delivery and community outreach every day.

The skills, knowledge and roles of the 21st century nurse have all evolved since Florence Nightingale, but her philosophy of caring for the whole person and the value of cleanliness and disease prevention continues to be critical to good health today, and among our core values of nursing.

Dr. Kathryn Fiddler, DNP, MS, RN, NE-BC, is Vice President for Population Health Management at Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury.

theRooster

A share by someone I follow

Caterpillars Don’t Become Butterflies!

Posted on January 6, 2015 by mitchteemley

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Did you know that caterpillars are not “transformed” into butterflies? In metamorphosis (the name of the process), a caterpillar is liquefied. Only after its actual death can entirely new creature, a butterfly, emerge!

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But most people’s image of the process is more like Eric Carle’s classic children’s book The Very Hungry Caterpillar, in which the little caterpillar “makes a cocoon around himself and goes to sleep, only to wake up a few weeks later wonderfully transformed into a butterfly!” (amazon.com)

The Very Dead Caterpillar would probably have sold fewer copies. But it would have been more accurate.

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When I was a kid, I used to love going to La Mirada Creek and catching those pudgy little pre-frogs we called pollywogs (you may have known them as tadpoles). I would bring them home and dump them into a tub, and then watch with fascination as they shed their tails, sprouted legs, and crawled out like showroom models: “The new Frog!” That’s transformation (“change of form”) and it’s majorly cool. But it’s not what a caterpillar does.

A caterpillar dies.

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After building its own coffin (cocoon), the caterpillar seals itself inside—and dissolves. And then, in a process only vaguely understood by scientists, that stew of free-floating genetic material undergoes a total metamorphosis (“change of nature”).

In other words, butterflies are not souped-up caterpillars, they’re entirely new creations made from caterpillar soup!

Not surprisingly, caterpillars and butterflies are used as spiritual symbols in virtually every culture on earth. But because the real process is so radical and so little understood, they’re nearly always represented as symbols of transformation, rather than metamorphosis. To be fair, many religious teachings do help people become better caterpillars.

But that’s not enough.

According to Jesus, God doesn’t want souped-up caterpillars, he wants butterflies. He wants us to die to ourselves (Luke 9:23-24) and become completely “new creations” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Just like caterpillars do.

The Apostle Paul (in the Greek language of Romans 12:1 and 2) describes the process of metamorphosis like this:

Present your bodies as a living sacrifice (build your cocoon and get in!), holy (‘set apart’), acceptable to God (nothing short of metamorphosis can accomplish this)… Don’t be conformed by (don’t take on the ‘shape’ of) this world (or ‘age’ or ‘era’), but (instead) be metamorphosed (changed in your very nature) by the renewing (‘regenerating’ or ‘re-growing”) of your mind (incidentally, the Greek word for mind is psuche—the same as the Greek word for butterfly!) so that you may be discerning (only by being metamorphosed can you know) what is the will of God (as opposed to the will of a dark and broken world), what is good, well-pleasing, and perfect (‘complete’ or ‘whole’—in contrast to the incompleteness and brokenness of this world).”

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Caterpillars and butterflies are the world’s most popular symbol of transformation. But they’re also a far more powerful and challenging metaphor than most people realize.

It’s still the beginning of a new year. What better time to start over, not just as “the new You!” but as a completely new creation!

Are you ready to start work on that cocoon? Thanks Mitch, much appreciated, theRooster

Don’t forget to check on the elderly.

One Day in January

We are past the weekly hump and I find myself alone, well, except for Ben whose asleep on the couch. It’s 0525 and I’ve been up since 0332. Don’t you just love those digital clocks?, Why in the name of sleep would a Rooster be up crowing so early you ask, because the Mrs., the cackling hen, is prepping for her trip to the gym. God Bless her, the eldest among the fit she sweats with, and they are most kind to her to boot.

As for me, I’m a sane and still moving elder who goes to the MAC center, I do stressful stuff like stretch and tone, in a chair. I did do a mile on the treadmill yesterday. It wasn’t quite like the Mother Hen’s walk across the Bay Bridge, but it was good for my bones and cardio system.

Lately, some quilting’s been started, it will next go to the Annex, be put on the quilting frame and the actual quilting process will begin. This time some Big Stitch quilting will be tried. Me dear lady has done Machine, Lap and small stitch in the past. Here are some examples of Big Stitch.

Two of the most recent Baby Quilts are pictured below.

As for me, I’ve been checking on the chickens, gathering eggs, taking the dog for runs and mentally working on a future Blog. Here are a few pictures of recent views.

Tranquil Wicomico Creek at sunset.

Geese by a local pond.



I do wish they would they wouldn’t air their wings in the dead tree opposite our home. I do hope they’re not trying to send me a message.

Don’t forget to check on the elderly.
Semper Fi   theRooster