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There's No "Sub"stitute
Friday 29th of July 2011 08:19 PM

By Kim L. Fritzemeier

KFRM Central Kansas Reporter

Farm Wife along the Stafford/Reno County Line

I like to cook and bake. But I also want to make the most of the time I spend in the kitchen. When Brent was home, I decided to do a little multitasking.

One of his mealtime requests was BBQ Meatballs. It makes a big recipe, so I put some regular-sized meatballs in the freezer for another meal. I use a regular-sized ice cream scoop to make uniform main dish meatballs. I put Curly's BBQ sauce on the main dish meatballs and then stuck them in the freezer to use later. (The original recipe had a homemade BBQ sauce; my family likes Curly's better. Who am I to argue when it saves me time?)

Then I used a smaller scoop to make miniature meatballs. These smaller meatballs also went into the freezer, but I didn't put any kind of sauce on them. I pulled them out for Meatball Subs, one of the suppers I transport to the field.

I thawed the meatballs and then browned then in a non-stick pan. For these sandwiches, I used a hoagie bun and put a mixed shredded cheese on both the top and bottom. Then I broiled it until the cheese was melted and slightly browned.

You could make your own spaghetti sauce, but I used a jarred sauce. I put a little in the skillet after the meatballs were cooked through. Then I spread a little bit on the bun before putting down a quartet of meatballs.

The verdict? They were better than Subway's version. (Of course, Subway isn't delivering to the field, now are they?)

Even if you're not carting meals to the field, this is a good way to make your family think they are getting different meals - even when it's the same ol' meatball. And it saves you a little time, too. Bonus!

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Capturing Moments
Thursday 28th of July 2011 06:35 AM

By Kim L. Fritzemeier

KFRM Central Kansas Reporter

Farm Wife along the Stafford/Reno County Line

August 18, 2010, A Walk on a Dewy Morning

There are always two people in every picture:
the photographer and the viewer.

~Ansel Adams

Photographer Ansel Adams might have been talking about photography judging at the county fair. (I don't think he was, but he might have been.) That old wornout adage about "Beauty being in the eye of the beholder" certainly holds true for fair judging.

I entered photos in both the Stafford County and the Pratt County Fairs this month. As I said after last year's fairs, I've been exhibiting since I was 10 years old. Old habits die hard.

The judging format is different for each fair. At Stafford, a 1st, 2nd and 3rd is chosen in each class. At Pratt, it doesn't matter how many photos are in the class: Blue ribbon exhibits (in the judge's opinion) earn blues. Red ribbon work earns a red, and so on. Pratt also awards top blues in each class and then gives 13 purple ribbons in the adult division.

I had some success at the Stafford Fair. My spider web photo (at the top) earned Reserve Grand Champion. I also got prize money for my rainbow photo taken in a hay field. Xi Zeta Eta in St. John will use it to illustrate their community calendar.
August 2009

But I guess the photography judge at Pratt and I "saw" eye to eye. I always agonize about which ones to enter. For an indecisive person who wants to make the "right" choice, sifting through thousands of photos taken during a year is not an easy task.

Plus, it's just so subjective. What one person loves, another feels "ho-hum" about. Judging is all about one person's judgment at one point in time.

So I was thrilled to see 5 purple ribbons on my 10 entries at the Pratt fair. Only one photo got a red.

These were all the purples:

Taken at our silo, April 2011

Taken in Valentine, Nebraska, in October 2010.

Brent's hand holding my great-nephew Braden's foot in September 2010.

This little bird fell out of a tree into my front driveway August 2, 2010.

This was taken in January 2011 at a neighbor's farm pond.

The harvest photo got a top blue in the still life class. It was taken June 14, 2011, when harvest was interrupted with a brief shower. I'd never had a photography judge call me before. He wanted to know if I'd used Photo Shop to "build" this photo. I didn't. It was straight out of the camera. (Of course, it was among several I attempted that evening. It just happened to be the best one.)

"Sometimes I do get to places just when God's ready to have somebody click the shutter."
~Ansel Adams

I hear you, Ansel.

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Future Farmer of America
Wednesday 27th of July 2011 11:26 AM

By Kim L. Fritzemeier

KFRM Central Kansas Reporter

Farm Wife along the Stafford/Reno County Line

I have no idea whether Braden (my great-nephew) will be FFA material. He's only 11 months old, so we'll give him a little time to decide. But, the old Fisher Price Family Farm got a workout during Braden's visit to his great-grandparents' house, just like it did when the first generation of grandkids came to call.

He appears to be pondering the high cost of farm equipment and how that will translate to his bottom line. It's serious business.

Braden really got into his work. A good FFA member wants to make sure his cows and horses stay in the barn and don't escape before a guy can shut the barn door.

Braden also had his first outing to a county fair. A guy needs to check out the different species to see what he might want to add at his own barnyard. He and Aunt Abby explored the sheep barn at the Pratt County Fair.

It's always good to get advice from a veteran farmer.

Braden and Great-Grandpa Moore

Even hard-working guys need a way to unwind after a busy day of farming.

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4-H: A Family Legacy
Tuesday 26th of July 2011 08:20 AM

By Kim L. Fritzemeier

KFRM Central Kansas Reporter

Farm Wife along the Stafford/Reno County Line

Bob & Janis Moore, July 21, 2011

I pledge my head to clearer thinking

My heart to greater loyalty

My hands to larger service

And my health to better living

For my club, my community, my country and my world.

The 4-H Pledge, Written in 1919 by Kansas 4-H Leader Otis Hall

It would probably be a better world if all of humanity would think about the principles that 4-Hers vow to uphold. Clearer thinking, greater loyalty, larger service, healthy living, better living ... those are all attributes that would do this old world a whole lot of good.

For more than 100 years, 4-H has been changing lives. Back in 2006, we celebrated 100 years of Kansas 4-H. The youth program has been part of the national landscape since 1902.

My family's involvement with 4-H started with my parents back in the 1940s. Both were members of the Lincoln Bluebirds 4-H Club in Pratt County, the club that my siblings and I later joined. All four of us and all seven of the grandchildren have been part of the 4-H program, two in Pratt County in the same club their grandparents attended, two in Stafford County and three in Clay County.

Last week, my parents received a surprise honor from the Pratt County Fair Association. The Kraisinger/Clarkson-Frisbie Service Award is given for outstanding service to the fair association.

During the awards presentation, my brother Kent read a couple of excerpts from life stories my parents wrote for their grandchildren.

My dad, who was a 4-H member for 8 years, wrote:
"I bought a bred registered Hereford heifer at the C-K ranch near Brookville, Kansas. The heifer had a calf, and I had a cow and calf project. I also had an Angus fat steer project. Sears and Roebuck had a program that would give a 4-H member a gilt. The only cost was your agreement to bring a gilt from the litter back the next year to the fair that would be given to another 4-Her. When I finally quit the pig project, I had many, many offspring from that gilt.

I remember going to the fair at the present location on the hill when there were no buildings. The cattle were kept under a very large tent. I stayed at the fair at night, sleeping on a blanket spread on the hay next to my calf.
My mom, who was a 4-Her for 9 years, wrote:
"In 4-H, I learned cooking and sewing, which is about all girls took for projects in those days. My mother was the sewing leader. I liked to sew and usually got blue ribbons on my work. My cooking, especially breads, was a different story. My sister always did well with breads, but I usually got red or white ribbons. I think she liked to play in the dough more and that is what it took to make good bread."
As most former 4-Hers do, they again got involved in 4-H and the fair when their children were little. My dad served on the county fair board and fair committees. My mom was a community leader for the Lincoln Bluebirds (later Lincoln Climbers) Club, the very club she'd been involved with as a girl. She was our club's sewing leader from 1967 to 1978 and helped with projects on the county level as well.

But they didn't quit working with or caring about the 4-H program or the fair after their kids "graduated" from the program. They've continued to give their time and they've contributed financially to building projects in recent years, especially after a tornado destroyed many of the Pratt fair buildings in 2002 and to rebuild the livestock arena at the Stafford County Fair.

As it is with most 4-H families, we learned through example. My parents devoted time and energy to the 4-H program. As 4-Hers ourselves, we learned about how to conduct meetings, serve on committees, set goals and follow through on projects.

We used those skills to serve as community leaders for our kids' 4-H clubs. We've used those principles to serve in other capacities in our communities and churches. Our kids learned the same. And I figure that the great-grandchildren will eventually join 4-H clubs and experience the 4-H Motto:

To make the best better.

It sounds like something the world should aspire to.

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Broken Promise
Monday 25th of July 2011 11:03 PM

By Kim L. Fritzemeier

KFRM Central Kansas Reporter

Farm Wife along the Stafford/Reno County Line


The thunderheads filled the sky Sunday afternoon. It looked promising. We were teased with the aroma of rain when a few drops fell onto our windshield.

But it was another day with no measurable rain on the Stafford/Reno County line.

The cloudy sky gave a pretty blue backdrop to another broken promise. Last week, a neighbor swathed and baled his dryland corn crop. At least he'll have something to feed his cows come wintertime.

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