Monday, July 19, 2010

Day 23 - Clean Up, Part II

I forgot to mention the most exciting news from yesterday - Grant took his first solo steps!  Just a couple but he's starting to use those legs on his own.  This morning he traveled between the chair and the couch all on his own!  He has also discovered curtain hide and seek.  Oh, my poor curtains.

Rainy morning so the boys and I worked on cleaning the kitchen and living room.  Aunt Sara stopped by on her way north to visit relatives.  She dropped off some more canning jars for me - yay!  Also, a great grain mill for the Kitchen Aid and from my cousin Lori one of great-grandma's teapots!  I can't express my thanks to Lori for such a wonderful and unexpected gift.  It's lovely with a rooster on one side and a rose on the other.  Now I can say I have a teapot.  However, I still don't know that I want to use it for the Iowa State Fair since I don't want to see it accidentally damaged.  Thank you, thank you!  It was nice to see Aunt Sara since I haven't seen her for a long time.  She does encourage me frequently via e-mail though so that is great!

The insurance agent came out in the afternoon.  We did get some for the barn and the roof of the house.  We are afraid the barn is not going to last.  On closer inspection one of the main supports on the north that holds up the haymow is ruined.  Not sure what we'll do with the barn but we should probably move all of the Christmas wreath rings that we have stored in there for the 2010 Christmas season.  Wouldn't be good if we lost that inventory.

After the insurance agent left Alan and I went out to try straightening the two trees that were blown over.  Our first priority was the Concolor since it isn't as prevalent in Iowa (such a pretty type of tree), plus it wasn't laid over as badly as the other.  Used a rope dad let us borrow and the tractor and straightened it up.  Then we dug four holes and set posts (which wasn't easy since the water table was only a few inches down).  Utilizing the skills we've gained setting Christmas trees in the Christmas tree shop at my parent's we wrapped rope around the tree and the posts (tent pole style) and secured the tree.  It is nice and straight.  The best part is if we have to tighten one side or the other in a couple of days it is no problem.  We'll have to work on the other tree tomorrow.

Clark enjoying playing in the mud!
And exploring the tractor!

Grant playing on the quilt while we worked.  

After working on the tree I went out and picked some beans.  Had to lift up each plant off the ground but picked three rows and have lots of beans.  I did notice while I was out there that some of my dahlias are beginning to look sick from all the rain and wet.  Poor things - not much I can do though.  Finally had to quit the garden when the mosquitoes kept going after my face and eyes.  Boy are those things nuts this year!

I do have some cookie dough I mixed up in the morning but never got back to sitting in the fridge.  Hopefully can get to that tomorrow.  They are some of the family's favorites.  In fact, when my husband came home and saw the recipe sitting out he wanted to know how many would be available for public consumption!  (Sigh) At least with cookies there are plenty to sample!  Silly as it sounds yesterday I asked my sister in law if she was up to co-hosting a Christmas cookie exchange again this year.  Since really if we host it in early November we should be thinking about a save the date going out sometime shortly after the ISF.  It was lots of fun (and yummy) last year - I would encourage anyone who wants to try one to do so!  The whole reason I brought it up last year was due to the cookie exchange class I entered during the 2009 ISF.  Also a very fun class - you get to bring a variety of Christmas cookies on a pretty Christmas platter!

Speaking of fun classes -- my mom forwarded this to me today (and yes, I have a very German recipe of my grandmothers that I plan to use).  So if you have a great German dessert recipe here's the class for you:

Ox Yoke Inn Celebrates 70th Anniversary with Dessert Competition at the Iowa State Fair

AMANA, Iowa -- Your dessert could be the Ox Yoke Inn's 70th Anniversary winner. Enter the Ox Yoke Inn's dessert competition at the 2010 Iowa State Fair and win a getaway package for two to the Amana Colonies and the opportunity to have your dessert served at the world famous Ox Yoke Inn.

The Ox Yoke Inn is seeking a delicious, eye-appealing dessert to become our featured recipe in celebration of the Ox Yoke Inn's 70th Anniversary, as Iowa's best loved family restaurant The recipe for your scrumptipus pie; cake, bar, kuchen or strude1 will be highlighted by the Ox Yoke Inn and may be added to our dessert tray during our anniversary celebration.

This contest, combining two of lowa's grand old traditions, the Iowa State Fair and the Ox Yoke Inn, honors Ox Yoke founders Lina and William Leichsenring, who loved to serve their guests delicious, homemade desserts. What better way to celebrate this Iowa tradition, than to offer an opportunity of a lifetime to one deserving cook?

For entry details check the Iowa State Fair website at under Competition, Premium Book, Food Department, Division 89. Judging will be Saturday, Aug. 14 at 11 a.m. at the Iowa State Fair, Elwell Family Food Center. Al1 entries should be brought to the Elwell Family Food Center on or before Aug. 14 by 10:45 a.m. If you have questions about the entry process or entry form, you may contact Arlette Hollister, State Fair Superintendent at 5-15-274-0275.

The first place winner will receive a Saturday night stay for two at the Guest House Motel in Amana, dinner for two at the Ox Yoke Inn and Sunday brunch for two at the Ox Yoke Inn. The second place winner will receive a $50 Ox Yoke Restaurants Gift Card. The third place winner will receive a $25 Ox Yoke Restaurants Gift Card.

Rules: The dessert should be a cake, pie, bar, kuchen or strudel. The recipe should be original, available to the public and not copyrighted. All recipes will remain the property of the Ox Yoke Inn, Inc. The winning recipe will be printed and distributed by the Ox Yoke Inn, for its own use and possibly to the media for publication.

Judges will use the following criteria: taste, appearance and eye appeal. The name of the dessert could include one of the following words or phrases: Ox Yoke, Ox Yoke Inn, Ox Yoke Inn Restaurants, 70th Anniversary, 70 Years of Serving the Best, Tradition, or An Amana Colonies Tradition Since 1940. Judges will consider ease of preparation, cost and availability of ingredients. The recipe must be relatively easy to prepare in large batches. It must be able to be portioned easily. It should not be a frozen dessert The dessert should not melt, crumble or fall apart easily. It must not require special equipment and/or utensils to prepare.

Check the Iowa State Fair Premium book for details on judging and rules at  

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