Friday, November 27, 2015

What Is a Good Age to Ride with a Farmer?

As we in Agriculture strive to get our message out about what we do, this question usually comes up, "To what age should we target our message about Ag?"  My answer is that it's never too late or too early to make an impression on people about Agriculture!

Last year I got word that Tall Guy's Aunt Joyce was coming out to ride in the combine.  This was the FIRST time she had ever ridden in a combine, and her family has farmed all her life!

What a treat it was for me to listen to her react to all that she saw.  I think she could have ridden with me all day!  Sometimes we just assume that farm owners know all about farming, but if they do not live on the farm, sometimes they don't have that first hand experience or equipment is a bit more advanced that the last time they rode.

On the last day of harvest on our farms, I called my niece to see if she would like to bring her family out for a ride in the combine.  They beat feet right over, and these two occupied my Buddy seat.

Young Mr. M was completely fascinated with the whole process!  He saw the corn going into the combine, the kernels filling up the hopper, and then being unloaded on the go into the auger wagon. He loved it!  And according to my niece, he talked about it for days afterward and wanted to know where is combine was......

Well you can take it to the bank that this GREAT AUNT hopped right over to Amazon and found an answer to his question! About a month after he road with me, Mr. M turned 4.  I couldn't think of a better present for him than this 

John Deere Gear Force Harvest Action Combine

Thanks Amazon for the pic!  Now, let's not talk about the "squares of corn," or the interesting proportions of the animals and farmers; let's focus on the big picture.....My great nephew has his own combine~!  Want to know what he thought of it?

Auger might be a bit hard to say, but he remembered what it was and was in a big hurry to get it out of its ties so he could play with it!  I would call that a lasting memory that I know we will add to in the coming years.

The moral of the story is that we as farmers can make a huge impression on those removed from farming, and it is a simple as taking someone for a ride in a tractor, combine, semi, or even a gator! If you know a farmer, ask them if you can go for a ride some time.  If you are a farmer, ask yourself, "Who can I take for a ride next year so that this person or these people can better understand what I do?" If you are not a farmer, ask around, find a farmer to meet, and take a moment to learn more about what we do.

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Saturday, November 14, 2015

Secret Ingredient Pancakes

I am going to give you all a special treat at the end of this post, but for those of us who are on the fly in the mornings, I'm going to share my Secret Ingredient Pancake recipe.  By adding just two simple, secret ingredients to any pancake mix, your family will be raving about your "homemade pancakes" to all their friends.  Promise!

Two secret ingredients will turn your pancakes into a heavenly breakfast.

 Oh. My Stars!  If you all think that the end of harvest signals official down time for farmers, then you need to get to know a farmer better.  We have been going non-stop it seems since the last kernel of corn and soybean went into the bins.  Fall ground work, cleaning up equipment, putting said equipment away in "ready-to-go" condition, working on books and numbers to see just how much grain we have to market, adding a few more calves to our herd of feeders cows, checking on the pregnant mommas out in the pasture, getting two calves and two kids ready for Hoosier Beef Congress in three week (gasping for air!), and then there are the girls, basketball practice fall musical, AND I am leaving tomorrow for three days in Indy for the Indiana Farm Bureau State Convention! Whew~!  Oh!  Did I mention Bear has a birthday on Monday that I am going to miss? Tink's falls on the 30th, and we just celebrated my great-nephew's Big FOUR year old birthday earlier today!  Fun times at the Wallpe Farm!

That part about me leaving for three days had me busy in the kitchen this morning making everyone pancakes and bacon, enough to last them a few more breakfasts while I'm gone.  Cereal is ok for breakfast, but as the mornings get colder, I like for everyone to have a hot breakfast option.

A bit further in the post I am going to share with you my mom's delicious homemade pancake recipe. I love them, my best friend from school can only make these for her crew, or they protest.  They are that good.  BUT........ Sometimes a mom just has to grab the mix off the shelf and get down to business.  We used to be Bisquick mix pancake eaters until I felt the pull of an old familiar face from the mix shelves.  Aunt Jemima called my name, and she is back on my shelf to stay.

To make pancakes with this lovely lady taste like you whipped it all up from scratch, all you have to do is add my two secret ingredients

Ta Da!!!!

It is that easy!  Just follow the directions on the box, and once you have mixed the egg, oil, and mix together, add a bit of Watkin's Double Strength Vanilla and Pure Almond Extract.  I know some of you out there are waiting with baited breath for me to tell exactly how much to add of each, but honestly I just pour in a small bit, taste, and add more if needed.

Results?  My girls say it's like eating toasty angel food cake!

Here are the other ingredients I use, minus the eggs and oil.

I use Fairlife whole milk because it makes Tink's tummy feel better, and the Nestle mini chocolate chips also go in her pancakes because......well because she loves them, and that's what mommas do for their favorite oldest daughters.

What to know another secret?  When I add the mini chips to her pancakes, I spread a bit more batter over them so when I flip them, the chips don't burn from the hot skillet.

Now, if you have the time, and you want to make heavenly pancakes from scratch, here is my mom's To. Die. For. Pancake. Recipe.  

And...Don't forget to add those two secret ingredients to make them even better!  


Becky Lyons' Griddle Cakes

  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 1/4 Cups flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Cup milk
Cooking Directions
  1. Mix all ingredients together, and beat with a mixer until smooth.
  2. Pour into a hot griddle, and flip when edges look firm and bubbles form through the pancake. Check the second side, and remove when golden brown.
  3. Makes 10 small or 5 large pancakes.
Two secret ingredients that will make you pancakes heavenly.

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