Monday, May 25, 2009

Prepare: Memorial Day, baking and growing corn

Today is Memorial Day.

To celebrate, we find out that North Korea has the bomb and has successfully detonated it. This is like discovering your drunk good for nothing brother in law has your ATM card and PIN and has been in Vegas with it for two days. Only trouble can come of this.

Today we remember those who have died for our country.

Money is tight. Even if it wasn't, I don't take car trips on Memorial Day, I don't take my wife out on Valentines and we never go out New Years Eve. Why tempt fate? We stayed home this weekend waiting for word on my next commission check and counting our pennies.

A year ago, many of our friends were taking "quick" vacations this time of year usually to a family friendly resort. Not this time. Everyone is staying home or close to it. A swimming pool in the backyard is an instant vacation.

I had enough of reading about homemade bread and my wife hates to bake, so I went to the kitchen. So far I have made two loaves of oatmeal bread, one traditional white loaf, two white/wheat loaves (rising now) and a big batch of oatmeal cookies. Nothing has cost me more than one or two dollars in ingredients which I store anyway. You do have storage food don't you? Flour, sugar, salt, yeast, oil, oats? Buy these items in bulk, add them and you can make something good to eat in the kitchen. I buy them in big bags and repack them in 5 and 6 gallon buckets.

Bread making takes less time if you have the right recipe. I used one from the Joy of Cooking which described itself as fast and easy. Do you have any cookbooks or do you get all of your recipes online? What would you do if the internet was down? My oven is over thirty years old, but it works. I have to admit, it was a lot easier to bake using the Kitchen Aid. I would be up the creek without the mixer. It could be done by hand (and will be after the SHTF), but why make it harder this time.

The bread turned out better with each loaf. As of right now, I am down to a half of the last two loaves. The wife and kids ate it all despite the fact that dad made it. Which brings up another thing, guys. You can cook can't you? Remember all that stuff Heinlein said about "con a ship, plan an invasion, change a diaper..etc"? Best brush up on these skills now before you HAVE to.

The corn is coming up in the garden. I am going to put down another stand in a few days while this one is getting up there. I planted some more tomatoes and herbs this weekend. The beans took a beating in the recent rain storms, but are holding their own.

Corn is funny. Many gardeners say not to grow it as it takes up space and water. But corn is what gardening is all about to me. Kids love to watch it and its good to eat right off the stalk. All of us should be closer to where our food comes from.

My mower had a plastic bag wrapped around the blade making a big fat mess (wife told me to finally mow down that brush in the corner). I had to take it apart and remove the bag. Next some oil or something clogged up the muffler so that came off as well. This can't be much harder than a tractor, so I am ready to graduate to the big time now. ;).

I took the kids out today, let them play in the hose, cooked hot dogs outside and served them with baked beans. I practiced baseball with my son for an hour or so, his hitting is getting better each week. Have to have him ready for his division rivals this week. The whole thing set me back, what? Five bucks? How hard is this, folks?

Today is Memorial Day. You can't thank a vet on Memorial Day. This day is for the ones who never came home. The ones whose remains are buried in Europe, Asia, at sea. Those souls who wait quietly to be reunited with the rest of their platoons, squads and shipmates someday. The ones who were told, "Rest, you have done well, my son".

Today is Memorial Day. I remembered it at home, with my family in my little piece of America that was bravely provided for me and mine with the blood of men and women far, far better than me. I can do them no greater disservice than to forget their ultimate sacrifice and vainly act as if nothing in the world is wrong and that I have all the time in the world. Their actions will not be forgotten and this nation will prevail.

Enjoy the holiday, hang the flag and say a quiet prayer of thanks for those valiant souls who never saw the loving returned embrace of home.

2 comments:

Bitmap said...

"My mower had a plastic bag wrapped around the blade making a big fat mess."

Isn't that fun.

John said...

Bit, Yeah. And you think "I'll just pull it off". Right. 15 minutes of cutting and pulling and this growing pile of plastic bag mixed with chewed up leaves, grass, some piece of string and who knows how much dog cr*p mixed up in the whole thing. No wonder people hire someone else to mow their yard.
Thanks for reading!

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