If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Cold Snap

We are experiencing a cold snap - you know, that day or two when the temperature drops down into the range where we would think it is comfortable in the winter months but in the spring after we have been enjoying sixty, seventy, and even some eighty degree temperatures it seems c-o-l-d.  I think the old wives' tales say that this is blackberry winter or dogwood winter or something like that.  I don't know whose winter this is but it is a bit nippy and breezy out there after we have had several sunny and warm days - and after Mike and I have already planted a few little veggies in our garden. 

These are days that I enjoy, though, in reality.  We have been working just enough to get sore and tired but not back into condition for longer days and grass cutting and weed pulling and extra chores that the sunny and warm weather beckons us outside to tackle.  It reminds me not to get in too much of a hurry to plant flowers or sow seeds and to step back and give Mother Nature a little bit more time.  So, it gives us an excuse to take it easy on a Sunday afternoon - which, by the way, is exactly what we did this weekend. 

It also gives me a chance to have a last blast of some cold-weather-type foods.  So, I stirred up a pot of chili.  Then, later this week we might also enjoy chili-dogs, hay-stacks, Frito-chili-pies, or pour the left-overs atop a salad from the jar!  Yum!  I also dug deep and found a recipe that used to be a go-to for me when I was a busy farm woman.  It comes from when I worked with chores that kept me out at the barn till it was later than most people even think about eating, much less stirring something up for supper (the evening meal for those of you who are hoity-toity). I could come in from the barn and stir up a pot of chili or something equally as quick, easy, and filling simple, tasty, and nourishing, dump the ingredients for this cake into a pan and we had a gourmet meal in a jif! 

Dump Cake is also a recipe that was a good one for when you got a call from a friend telling you they were going to stop by for a visit.  Mercy!  God help any good southern woman who doesn't have something to dish up and serve guests!  The name of it sounds terrible but the taste of it makes up the difference.  I sometimes like it with some vanilla ice cream melting over top of it or with pecan pieces sprinkled on top just before baking.  In a stretch, it could be called a fruit cobbler, I guess.  Mostly, I just think it is delicious. 

Anyway, I couldn't find my old recipe and a quick search through my favorite cook books didn't turn it up either.  So, I had to resort to surfing the net do some further research for the recipe.  Even though I had heard mention of her cookbooks and blog, I had never visited The Pioneer Woman's site.  Boy!  I sure have been missing out!  I got distracted did a little more research and found several recipes I plan to try.  I highly recommend that you click over HERE and check it out. 

I did have to adapt The Pioneer Woman's Dump Cake Recipe just a tad.  She used margarine in her recipe and being the good dairy farmer's daughter that I am, I just couldn't bring myself to do that.  Plus, I don't buy margarine.  It is just one of those things I that is deeply ingrained into my raisin's.  My Daddy told us that if we don't support the hand that feeds us who is going to do it?  Therefore, we always have REAL cheese and REAL butter in our household.  (Mike must have been taught the same things because he never has mentioned it.) 

That advice is just one morsel of the wisdom imparted upon us when we were growing up on the farm.  Another bit is that a lady is a woman who can be knee-deep in cow manure one minute and in less than an hour be decked out in a dress, hair fluffed, and smelling like a rose.  A lady isn't one of those pampered, pale-skinned, women who don't know what it means to really work.  Being a lady is a woman's actions and includes more than just her appearance.  A real lady knows how to work hard and appreciate others who do.  She treats other people with respect, courtesy, and consideration and presents her best at all times.  I think I got this lecture morsel of wisdom imparted upon me when I was trying to shirk some chore so I could go to the house and get spiffed up and fluffed up to impress some no 'count boy (maybe even the man to whom I'm now married!).  At the time I didn't question how my Daddy would know the qualifications and characteristics of a lady.  I guess I just knew the qualifications and characteristics of that man and how I could easily get his number ten boot in my fanny.  At any rate, when I reflect now, I guess he was pretty much on target with that one, too. 

So, back to my recipe, instead of margarine, I simply used all butter.  HERE is my adapted recipe for the Dump Cake.  It and our pot of chili warmed us up on this breezy evening!