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Feeling Spoiled

April 23, 2014
April 20, 2014 -  Hope you're staying warm today buddy

April 20, 2014 – Hope you’re staying warm today buddy

It’s 40°F this morning, beef stew sounds good, so I go about gathering the ingredients for the evening meal.  All the while I have in my thoughts a novel I just finished about folks who settled here in my town.  Written by the great-granddaughter of the immigrants, the story tells of the hardships they suffered carving a farm out of tall timber in the rugged hills above the Columbia River.  She weaves good fiction about real people and real places and makes me feel spoiled.  Her great-grandmother had no freezer for beef, nor tractor to till the garden for vegetables or even a NOAA site for a pinpoint weather forecast.  They walked everywhere.  The author’s ancestors and mine settled here in the same time frame.  I can only imagine the similarities in the two families and the situations they faced.

And I was whining about suiting up in rain gear to go move the cows.  Gah.  All I have to do is throw this together and put it on the back of the cookstove, and maybe whip up some biscuits at dinnertime.

Our stew ingredients do come from here, thank heavens for a farm pantry.  Reading Juliana’s hardships as a farmwife though makes me feel a little weak in the knees.  In the stew today (all easily come by I might add).

Beef stew meat – freezer (thawed out yesterday because I do have access to a weather report)
sweet corn – freezer
green beans – canned
carrots – canned
tomatoes – canned
potatoes – storage (optional here due to allergy, I cook them separate for individual addition at serving)
onion – dry storage
garlic – dry storage
herbs – dry storage

Here’s the book information.  It’s self-published and available from the author or at the library.
Where Eagles Nest “The Second Wave of Pioneers” by Helen Wand


17 Comments leave one →
  1. April 23, 2014 10:09 am

    Yep, I had our stove a’crankin last night and we woke up pretty toasty! Thanks for Helen’s book link; she’s now at the top of my list, along with Lierre Keith’s The Vegatarian Myth. 😉

    • April 23, 2014 10:55 am

      Feels good though! I think my tomatoes are a little displeased with me though 😦

      It’s a good story in a “Little House on the Prairie” way. Helen’s mom was one of my 4-H leaders, I’m loving the connection.

  2. Chris permalink
    April 23, 2014 4:16 pm

    I would love to read this book too! There are no prices on the website though, can you tell me the price of this book…is it hardback or soft cover?

    • April 23, 2014 4:54 pm

      Chris, I have no idea how much it costs, since I am reading a library copy. I think her contact info is on the site, you might mention in your email to put a price on the site.

  3. Chris permalink
    April 23, 2014 5:51 pm

    Will do!

  4. April 24, 2014 5:00 am

    Thanks for giving the link to the book. I would like to get a copy too!
    Enjoy your post so much!
    Grandmama from Alabama

  5. April 24, 2014 5:28 am

    Cold and windy here today, but after 20F tonight it’s suppose to be 60’s and mild tomorrow. I think beef stew sounds great for supper!!

    I searched the book in my library system, but no go. There’s a book called Sugar Mountain by a local author about a town near us, and our system didn’t have that either.

    I often think about what life was like back then, how they coped with all the work, and no handy gadgets. But what really astounds me is how they survived without the super warm clothing or insulation in thier houses we have now. I know I would not have.

    • April 24, 2014 8:54 am

      Pam, I know they had to be tough, makes me feel like a wiener for sure. Chainsaws to cut wood, electricity, and on and on. The stew hit the spot – it’s a little warmer today but still raining and hailing like crazy 😦

  6. jennifer permalink
    April 25, 2014 6:21 am

    Hi wonderful post. I love your blog! Is someone in your family allergic to potato? My daughter complains she gets a belly ache from them but I have never heard of a potato allergy. I am curious about your potato avoided. Happy cold spring day!

    • April 25, 2014 9:06 am

      Jennifer, they seem to put my hubby into gastric distress, which is a bummer because he loves potatoes. Solanum allergies are pretty common, he’s lucky peppers and tomatoes don’t seem to have the same effect. Potatoes were high on the allergy test for him.

  7. Elizabeth permalink
    April 25, 2014 11:03 pm

    As a wannabe farm girl living in the city, your posts are endlessly fascinating to me. My family has a farming history, but as a city kid the idea of farming had been a bit romanticized to me. Your blog has really opened my eyes to the work as well as the rewards of farming and I thank you for that. I have a much deeper respect for the life my grandparents lived thanks to you.

    Your most recent post reminded me of something I read off a link from another post of yours…oh, maybe 2 years or so ago? (Pre-baby in my timeline) And I have not be able to find it again! Maybe you remember it or can point me in the right direction?

    It was an archive upload of a farmer’s journal from the 1800 or 1900’s. He was a businessman turned farmer and he kept meticulous notes on everything he did to his farm ( the cost of imported manure and minerals to add to the soil) as well as the costs of the business end (buying the crates to ship the strawberries in to the city) plus the labor of his family involved in hand-picking and packing up the strawberries as well as the prices they fetched in the city.

    It was a fascinating read but baby happened and I didn’t finish it. I would love to read it again, if only I could find it. I particularly remember his discussion of the strawberries for some reason, but other crops were probably in there as well.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks so much for sharing your farm with the rest of us!

  8. Elizabeth permalink
    April 27, 2014 5:22 am

    So completely off topic…..
    We’ve decided to strengthen our pasture vitality with animals by mob grazing this summer while ALL our neighbors are using the chemical weed n’ feed. As you could guess, we are coming under scrutiny and some “good natured” comments like “you don’t really know what you are doing, do you?” And “you know the county could come out here and fine anyone who isn’t taking care of the noxious weed problems on their property”. As the tractors of chemicals are traversing back and forth across the neighboring properties, I’m loosing some of my resolve. So I just need a little support: mob grazing and stock piling really does result in healthy pastures and healthy, happy animals. And though our neighbors might think we are crazy, we should just nod and smile when we receive helpful comments like the ones above because the health of our land will be obvious over time…..right?

    • April 28, 2014 7:34 am

      Yes, it does, but your neighbors will never come around I’m pretty sure. Weed n’ Feed will just grow grass and take out any broadleaf good and bad in a pasture. It’s the lawn mentality, or monocrop type thinking. Pastures should be more than just “grass.” Mob stocking takes a little time compared to the quick herbicide fix we are used to. Hang in there.

  9. May 4, 2014 9:30 am

    Thanks to Christine for telling me about your blog. I know Mother taught alot of 4-H in her day, so I’m not surprised she taught you. Thanks so much for reading Where Eagles Nest and commenting on it. It was such fun to write that I’m writing a sequel…May I put a link to you blog to my website? Helen

    • May 4, 2014 9:26 pm

      Helen, thank you! There’s no need to put a link on your website, but I would be happy to be one of your beta readers if you’re looking for more eyes on the project, let me know, I would love to help. Missing Ig and Alice 🙂

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