The Roundup

Some summer bounty from our garden this year

Fall is here so it’s time to dust off the crock pot. Crockery Pot Cooking offers a huge array of recipes to try in your slow cooker.

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The New Neighborhood

In front of our house looking east down our road

Along the two mile stretch of our gravel road from the county highway on our east until the first cross road to our west, there are seven acreages. That leaves much room between neighbors, but not so much that you don’t know each other. The first neighbor to give us a welcome and introduce himself and his young son gave us some sage country advice, “Out here we are friendly, but we like to be left alone.” Last year we were visited by another one who has an art degree, works at a local co-op, and helps run a custom jewelry business with his wife. Yet another works as a physical education teacher, and the other two are a cattle rancher and the crop farmer who owns almost all the land around the rest of us. On the property closest to us to the east the house is gone. The out buildings survive and the family keeps it up, mows, and the yard light still burns at night, but no one lives there. What used to be the eighth acreage was sold a few years ago, all the outbuildings removed, and now corn grows where the yard was. The only clue that anything but crops ever existed there is the short, weedy gravel driveway approach from the road, and the four digit house number sign leaning next to it on a post. There are two streams that wind through the area and cross under our road at either ends of our two miles. A cemetery with a couple hundred graves sits on a hill overlooking our road and one of the streams. The oldest burial I have found dates from 1881. Usually the vehicles on the road belong to local folks going to and returning from jobs, giving a wave if they see you in the yard. The traffic will soon increase to a steady stream of farm equipment, bringing in the fall harvest.

Website Review: National Weather Service

I have been using the National Weather Service website for years now. It is part of my morning routine to check the weather and the news before I begin my day. Just enter your zip code for your local forecast. The site also offers radar, weather records and education, alerts and safety information. I have sampled other weather sites over the years and the NWS has the most accurate weather information and forecasts I have found on the web.

Spicy Summer Salsa

Some salsa recruits from our garden

Since we finished moving to the country last winter this is our first garden out here. We planted in a freshly tilled section of the yard and the results have been almost unbelievable. We have put up 12 quarts of tomatoes so far and we should easily be able to at least double that while also making stews, soups, spaghetti, chili and salsa. All that from seven plants. I am going to make my third batch of salsa this weekend and thought I would share the recipe. As usual, I don’t measure the ingredients, so flavor to your taste.

Ingredients:

Celery, diced

Green onions, sliced

Tomatoes, diced

Garlic cloves (I use a hand held garlic press)

Green peppers, diced

Jalapeno peppers, diced

In a mixing bowl stir together all the above ingredients then add:

Basil, salt and pepper, cilantro, parsley, paprika, oregano, Tabasco, cayenne pepper and cumin. Stir well then chill or serve at room temperature with tortilla chips.

This version is chunky. If you prefer more juice, puree some tomatoes and a scoop or two of the salsa together, and add back to the bowl.

Massacre at Mountain Meadows

A depiction of the massacre

I recently finished reading a book on a very disturbing episode in U.S. History. Massacre at Mountain Meadows was written by Ronald W. Walker, Richard E. Turley, Jr. and Glen M. Leonard and published in 2008. The book centers on the circumstances leading up to and including a Mormon and Indian attack on a wagon train in Utah Territory. The authors were given access to LDS archives and also combed through primary sources to assemble this well researched and engrossing work. After giving a through look at the history of the Mormons up to that point in history the events chronicled mainly involve Mormon settlers living in the Utah Territory, some Paiute Indians, and emigrants passing through on their way to California. A wagon train of around 120 men, women and children, mostly from Arkansas, is traveling through the Territory in 1857. They stop to rest and refresh at Mountain Meadows, a well known area on the trail. For a variety of reasons including the Mormon history of persecution by others, suspicion of outsiders, and a fear at the time of an invasion and war with the U.S. Army, the wagon train is attacked on September 7 by a Mormon militia and some Paiute Indians. The emigrants circle the wagons, dig in and fight back for five days. On the 11th the militia approach the wagon train under a flag of truce and deceive the emigrants into surrendering. Given the title of the book one knows what the ultimate fate of the emigrants will be, but the description is still heartbreaking to read. Only one man was tried and convicted, 20 years later, of mass murder. He was hauled back to the site of the massacre and executed by firing squad.

The Roundup

Flowering weeds in our front ditch

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