We’re cutting silage again and have been all week. Craziness is the catch word for the day/week/month and I’m just barely keeping my chin above the water. But like a duck, I am paddling like mad!
I’m thinking about sending these to Martha. She’ll probably think I’m a genius. This is how I pack lunches to be taken to the fields. Assembly line. I should get a patent don’t you think? First you hang up the needed number sacks, then put a package of crackers in each one. Then the fruit, then the veggies, cookies, muffins, cheese sticks, pudding, spoons…well, you get the idea. The sandwiches are the last to go in. And a napkin. Martha would be proud!
I was going through some photos on my iPad…have I mentioned what great pics I get with that little doodad?! Only thing it doesn’t have is a zoom. Or maybe it does have and I just haven’t discovered it yet. Anyway, found these pics that I took during the first round of cutting and wondered what Martha would say.
Of course, Martha has never cooked for silage crews, even the simplified lunches that we now make. But I’d bet my last dollar that she’d decorate the bags with a handcut symbol of each cowboy’s personality. And add a little bit of Iced Strawberries for a fantastic snack. Yep, I’m being snarky. Martha can be snarky sometimes too I’ve noticed. I’d hate being a guest on her show. I’m afraid I’d tell her to hush and listen and quit butting in…I digress. Again.
Have I mentioned how we used to cook for our silage season/harvest? No?!!! Here goes and bear in mind, this is the absolute, total truth…no exaggerations used in the making of this post!! The following is a sample menu for one day. We made up two weeks of menus in advance and prayed that would get us through the harvest. It usually didn’t.
Baked Steak…a HUGE roaster full of chicken fried steak smothered in gravy and slow baked
Baked Cheese Potatoes-in later years, morphed into the famous Hash Brown Casserole
Freshly Baked Hot Rolls or Angel Biscuits
7 Up Salad-basically a lemon jello & 7 Up w/marshmallows, bananas, pineapple, Cool Whip
Gallons of fresh cucumbers smothered in cream w/dash of sugar and vinegar
Tons of cantaloupe and watermelon
Brookville Cole Slaw, a salad that is really a dessert
Bushels of fresh tomatoes just cut up and served like dessert!
The Famous Green Bean Casserole
Apple piesssssss!!! from scratch
Texas Chocolate Cake
SO….after cooking half the night, then all morning, we’d start loading food up around 11 in the pickup to take TO THE FIELD. Once there, we set up tables and chairs, then drug all of the food out…remember we are in the middle of a corn field. In the hottest part of summer. With dirt blowing. And corn stalks between your toes. Ideal setting yes?
The mom of BB would set out the plates…real plates, not paper or styro…real forks…oh I forgot the tea. So we had tea and water jugs, 5 gallon jugs and lots of ice. And I chased kids because we usually had at 6 at the most, depending on who wanted to ride trucks for the day. And on the 100°+ days, they would still ride with no air conditioning in any vehicles then except for the packing tractors. Did I mention it was HOT?!! It was. Very.
Now for years, my MiL did all of this by herself. Once we moved back to the farm, I was her right hand cook assistant, while my SiL was a truck driver. Believe me when I say that there were times when I felt bad about NOT driving trucks. I knew that another driver would be a God-send. But I didn’t feel THAT badly about it and they were never desperate enough to even consider it!! Thank goodness. Those big trucks just scare the living daylights out of me. And besides, Granny needed help!
Back to the food. So, we’d get all the food out along with homemade jams, butter, ketchup..all the fixin’s. And swat the flies, grasshoppers and about 138 other insect species that I couldn’t ID if you put a gun to my head. Oh and mosquitoes. Once we got everyone fed, which ran from 20 folks to 40. We never knew how many we would be feeding. And that’s when Granny (MiL) would say her famous words….”better to have too much than not enough.” And she ALWAYS had too much!
Once everyone was stuffed to the gills, we’d pack up all of the food, tables, chairs and cranky kids and head back to my inlaws’ house to clean up where everything was unloaded…again…and fill the dishwasher then finish washing up what wouldn’t fit. I became an expert dishwasher loader!! There is an art to loading and baby, could I get a LOT of stuff in that dude! We had leftovers to repackage and refrigerate. OH…and if we had the energy, we’d sit down and eat our lunch and hope we wouldn’t doze off and fall out of our chairs.
And then….IT WAS NAPTIME!!!! Can I get a hallelujah on that?!! I’d load up all kids going home with me and quickly herd them to all available beds where they didn’t have to sleep…just rest! And read a book. 🙂 Worked every time, as exhausted kiddies would be asleep before their heads hit the pillow! And me? I fell literally onto the sofa and hoped I hit it squarely. Or else I’d be on the floor which at that point, didn’t bother me at all. I was down for the count!! Amen.