Sunday, September 30, 2012

Recipe for "National Pasta Month"

As the month of October begins "National Pasta Month", this recipe makes a meal which encompasses the celebration and makes use of my newly harvested eggplants.  Now, how's that for being frugal?
Farmer Boy Eggplant Parmesan
  • 1 - 2 eggplants
  • 1 large egg
  • flour & bread crumbs (for coating)
  • 1/4 to 1/3 Cup of cooking oil
  • 1 to 2 Cups of shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1/2 to 1 Cup of grated or shredded Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 quart of your favorite Marinara Sauce (or Spaghetti Sauce)
Directions: Peel and slice the eggplant into 1/4 to 1/2 inch discs.  Place the discs onto paper toweling and lightly salt each side. Let them sit for about 10 minutes. (This will help draw out any excess water.)  After the liquid is pulled out, remove any extra salt left on them.
Slightly beat the egg in a bowl.  Place the slices into the egg, then cover each with the flour and bread crumb mixture to coat them.
Heat the oil in a large skillet and lower each of the coated slices into the oil.  Fry, over medium heat, till each is lightly browned.
Place enough of the prepared sauce to cover the bottom of a 11 x 13 inch baking pan.  Arrange the slices on top of the sauce.  Cover each slice with sauce, then Mozzarella cheese and finally with Parmesan cheese.  Cover that with a layer of sauce and more cheese.
Bake at 375 degrees F. for about 30 minutes.
For the meal: Reserve some of the sauce for the pasta.  You can use any pasta that you'd like.  I chose to use regular spaghetti noodles for mine.
Serve the pasta with the sauce, next to the Eggplant Parmesan.  With the addition of a bread stick, you have a great meal!  Add a fresh lettuce salad, a glass of red wine or grape juice and you have something to write home about! (or to blog about, as in my case!)
Happy National Pasta Month!
This is a very simple meal to make, but well worth the effort!  If you make this, let us all know, by leaving a comment here. Thanks.  The Old Man in the Bib Overalls

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

National Pancake Day - Recipe

Since I've always thought of breakfast as the most important meal of the day, I just love celebrating "National Pancake Day" today.

I developed this recipe a number of years ago.  I make these pancakes whenever I have a taste for something special for breakfast.  I hope you'll like the recipe and make some for yourself!
Farmer Boy Peanut Butter Pancakes
  • 1 1/4 Cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 Cup of Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1/4 Cup of quick oats
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 Cup of whole milk
  • 1 Cup of buttermilk
  • 1/4 Cup of water
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Almond extract
  • 1/2 Cup of creamy peanut butter
Directions: In a large bowl, stir all the dry ingredients together.  Make certain that all the wet ingredients are up to room temperature.  Mix them all together (except the water) and add them to the dry ingredients.  (Add more or less of the water to the mixture, as needed, to produce the consistency you like.  It is the chemical reaction of the water with the soda that produces the needed bubbles.)  Let the mixture rest and rise in the bowl for at least 15 minutes.
Drop by ladle onto a lightly oiled griddle, over a medium heat.

I've found the best way to cook these pancakes is to watch the edges for a dry look and wait for bubbles to break on the tops.  Then, flip them over for another minute or so.  Just be careful - they could burn easily, because of the brown sugar in them. (I used to time them as 2 minutes on the first side and 1 minute on the second.  But once you become familiar with your heat and griddle, you can use this other timing method.)

Serve, topped with a pad of butter or margarine and your favorite syrup. (I prefer Maple.)
When I want a little more substance to these pancakes, I add 1/4 Cup of wheat germ.  It bulks them up, without adding heaviness.  You may need to add more water if you use the wheat germ.
If you are real adventurous, you might try combining this recipe with my recipe for sour dough pancakes. (Found here in the archives)  It makes an even heavier pancake, if you like that type.
By the way, I tried this recipe using crunchy peanut butter, and found the nut pieces get in the way of the mixing process.  But, if you like crunchy nuts in them, just add some chopped nuts at the last minute, before you ladle them onto the griddle.

If you make these, let us all know, by leaving a comment here. Thanks.

"If we would not be satisfied until we had passed a share of our happiness on to other people, what a world we could make!"  Laura Ingalls Wilder

I hope you'll become a follower of my blog site, if you aren't already. Thanks. The Old Man in the Bib Overalls

Friday, September 21, 2012

Memories of Wilder Day, 2012

This post is for all those who missed Wilder Day, 2012 and for all those who attended, for all those who went to see Charlotte Stewart and get autographs from her and Bill Anderson and all those who came, expecting to see a parade and all those who finally ended up at my shop!  Oh, and for me too!  Well, maybe it's more for me than all the rest - I needed to convert my disappointments into "Sweet Memories". 

OK, here's the story: We woke up to rain on Saturday.  The forecast earlier that week was for a clear sky and temperatures in the mid - 70's.  Then, later in the week, they changed that to morning showers and then clearing.  Then the day before, they lowered the boom!  The rain continued all day!  Well, not all day - it stopped after everything was over!

I have been putting off this dismal report and hoping that someone else would do it for me - well, there is nobody else!  I was also hoping that I'd be able to get some photos taken at some of the other activities that took place at the Wilder Home & Museum and at the town square.  But, nobody I knew shared any of those - maybe they were as disappointed and down as I was!

Having my shop in town always keeps me from going around to see, for myself, the other activities.  But I understand that the Wilder Home took all their activities indoors.  I heard that the Little Laura and Farmer Boy look-alike contests were held under the gazeebo in the park. (That certainly would have limited the audience!)  And, of course, the crowds everywhere were very small. (Who'd want to come to an outdoor festival, in the rain?)  I was told that the vendors with booths on the town square, all folded up their tents and left by noon, after finding out that the parade was cancelled.  Along with them, went what was left of the crowds!

So, since my activities were planned for 3 p.m. at my shop, only about a dozen folks were left to attend!  But, as they say, "The show must go on!".  And it did!  Marie Tschopp, who portrayed Laura Ingalls Wilder, told stories from Laura's life.  She made Laura come to life!

In attendance at my shop, were some folks I knew only from my online visits.  Most of them knew each other from their attending the recent LauraPalooza in Minnesota.  So it was a great time to meet each other!
Since I couldn't be everywhere in the shop at the same time, taking pictures, I have gathered these from what I was able to take myself and from others in attendance.  I hope this gives you an idea of what happened there.
Marie & Teresa Lynn
Thanks goes out to Teresa Lynn, Larry from the Mansfield Mirror, Sherry Dieter, and others for these photos. If more are sent to me after this posting is up, I'll try to post them as well.
And, I must say, just looking at these has brought back some good, sweet memories and those poor memories are fading.  I was hoping that the activities of the day would put my sales into a something closer to being in the black, but they didn't - it has been a very poor year for sales in my shop.  I only hope that things get better so that I can open again next year.  Right now, with the tourist season just about over for the year, I have gone to opening the shop only on Saturdays - noon till 5pm. But I'll continue to blog throughout the rest of the time, even after closing the shop for the season (which will probably be mid - October).
Thanks to Marie, all my other friends and new friends and all my customers and visitors and  Laura!

The Old Man in the Bib Overalls

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Wilder Days 2012

Well, we're finally there - this Friday & Saturday - Sept. 14 & 15 is the Wilder Days festival in Mansfield, MO.  The festival has been annually held since 1974.

At my shop, Laura's "Sweet Memories", I am pulling out all the stops to make this the biggest day of the year!  I have all my old-fashioned candies, fudge, chocolates and handmade souvenirs in place and ready to go!  (Personally, I'm hoping it will make up for a very slow sales year!)

On Saturday the Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Home & Museum will be have their usual functions; including special tours of the homes.(They usually charge less during Wilder Days.)  They will bring out Pa's Fiddle and play some of the tunes that Pa played.  They have a special guest this year signing autographs, Charlotte Stewart, who played Miss Beadle on the TV show, "Little House on the Prairie". (There may be a charge for autographed pictures.)

On the town square on Saturday, you'll find the usual craft & food booths, music groups and displays.  There will be a parade and costume contests for children - "Little Laura" and "Farmer Boy".  In all, a full day of celebration!  (It's a good idea to bring folding chairs!)

On the front porch, at Laura's "Sweet Memories" at 3 p.m. -  Laura Ingalls Wilder will be speaking (potrayed by Marie Tschopp), telling stories from her life.  Marie has told stories as Laura for nearly 20 years now.  This is her first time to do so here, in Mansfield.  (Free Admission!)
In addition to Marie, you may also wish to come into the shop to meet Freda, 90+ year old cousin of Almanzo Wilder!  She will be greeting people throughout the day as she is able.

And I have planned some special treats and special sale items, while supplies last, so come by early!

For more information and directions & a map, see my shop web site
Hope to see there!  The Old Man in the Bib Overalls

Sunday, September 2, 2012

More "Little House" Drawings

I have completed more drawings of the cast members from "Little House on the Prairie" TV show.   Copies are available for purchase at my shop.  They are each 8x10 inches, ready for framing - priced at $4.95 each, plus tax (while supplies last!).   Sorry, they will not be available for purchase online or by mail order. 

If you come to Mansfield for the Wilder Day Festival, Sept. 15th, they will be waiting for you, while supplies last.  Hope to see you there. 

Laura Ingalls Wilder is scheduled to be at my shop, telling stories from her life.  She (Marie Tschopp) will be outside, on the shop porch, at 3 p.m.  I hope you'll come by my shop for a visit and meet Freda, who is a real-life cousin to Almanzo Wilder.  I will have some very special items for sale during the Festival.  Hope to see you there!

*Note: Samples of other drawings are shown in previous posts, here in my archives.

The Old Man in the Bib Overalls