Hi, I'm Rebecca Harrop, Mifflin County Dairy Princess.
It sure was a beautiful week last week. I know everyone had to enjoy the warm weather and sunshine. We were pretty busy on the farm trying to get caught up. Uncle Dave and Uncle Bob were hauling manure. Ben was planting corn while Dad was spraying. Uncle Dan kept the young cattle tended. I did my usual work and whatever else they needed me to do. I got to run up to Union Mill and pick up alfalfa seed, and I picked up some stuff at East Gate also. That was fun. Some of the neighboring farms have hay down as well. I think we might have to quit planting corn when we get to the "flats" and make haylage till they dry up some.
Most farmers have some wet spots they have to work around each spring but I believe this year there are some extra ones to deal with.
Mom mentioned she has been seeing a lot of tractors, spray equipment and other farm implements on the road on her way to and from work. So just a reminder to be careful when you meet a piece of farm equipment on the roads, especially at night. Most farmers are putting in some pretty long hours right now, so try to watch out for us. Dad was pretty upset the other day because a car passed him almost at the top of the hill in Siglerville and there was a pickup truck coming the opposite way. He was sure there was going to be an accident.
Thursday I was scheduled to be at the annual FFA banquet and awards program. I was excited to be there and see some of my friends. I am a big believer and supporter of the FFA program. I want to congratulate all the award recipients. You all did a great job. I gave a short speech highlighting the promotions Macy and I have done so far this year. Dr. Potorti from Big Valley Animal Hospital was the main speaker. I really enjoyed his comments.
Saturday Macy and I were at the Little League picture day event. We saw lots of Little Leaguers and their parents. Good luck to all the players and coaches this year.
Spring brings a lot of outdoor activities for everyone. Whether it's the kids' baseball, softball, school sports such as track and field, a weekend game, or a relaxing bike ride, we all need to make sure we are getting enough calcium and vitamin D to keep our bones strong. Dairy products contain the nine essential nutrients we need to help repair our muscles after strenous physical activity.
Chocolate milk is an excellent recovery drink after a workout. When you compare chocolate milk to other drinks such as soda and sports drinks, there is much more sugar added to those than to chocolate milk. The best advice is to read the labels, that way you know exactly what you are putting in your body.
This week I have two recipes. One is an asparagus dish that Mom, Dad and Gram Harrop really like. I don't think Mom made it yet this spring but I'm sure she will soon. The other one is for a cupcake that you can use for your favorite graduate's party.
1 cup water
1/2 cup oleo
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 cup flour
1 cup grated gougere or cheddar cheese
1/2 pound ham or sausage
Preheat oven to 356. Combine water, oleo, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Add flour and cheese. Stir well to make a dough. Remove from heat. Add eggs and beat one at a time. Grease a large au gratin pan or 10-inch pie pan. Smooth dough over bottom of pan. Make a well. Bake 30 minutes. Cook meat and steam asparagus. Make a cheese sauce.
Place meat on puff when done baking. Top with asparagus. Pour cheese sauce over all. Serve.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
4 (1-oz.) squares unsweetened baking chocolate, melted, cooled slightly
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/3 cups water
1/2 cup butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 teaspoon almond extract, if desired
1/2 to 2/3 cup half and half or fat free half and half
Decorator sprinkles or sugars to match school colors
8 mini peanut butter cups, unwrapped
8 (1 3/4-in. square) dark chocolate candies, unwrapped
Peel apart black or red string licorice, separate into individual ropes
Candy-coated chocolate pieces
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place paper baking cups into 24 muffin pan cups; set aside. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in medium bowl; mix well. Set aside.
Combine sugar and 3/4 cup butter in large bowl. Beat at medium speed until creamy. Add cooled chocolate, eggs and vanilla. Continue beating, scraping bowl often, until well mixed.
Reduce speed to low; add flour mixture alternately with water. Continue beating until well mixed. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin pan cups. Bake for 14 to 15 minutes or until set. Let cool 5 minutes.
Remove to wire cooling rack. Cool completely. Combine all frosting ingredients except half and half in medium bowl. Beat at medium speed, adding enough half and half for desired frosting consistency. Frost 8 cupcakes. Place peanut butter cups onto cupcakes, bottom-side up.
Attach chocolate square to peanut butter cup, using small amount of frosting. To create tassels, cut licorice ropes into 3 1/2-inch pieces.
Place 3 pieces together; flatten 1 end. Attach to chocolate square using small amount of frosting; place 1 candy-coated chocolate piece over flattened end of licorice. Push slightly into frosting to secure.
Place decorated cupcakes in center of large platter. Frost remaining 16 cupcakes; sprinkle with decorator sprinkles or sugars. Place around decorated cupcakes.