Thursday, February 13, 2014

Farmer Fred Award November 2013: Meals to the Field Continue

Every day that the combines run, we provide a meal or two to the crew and our visitors. We have a good cafe in town that makes meals "to go" on the days when I can't. Most of the meals are prepared in the GriggsDakota kitchen. This year we began in August and through Barley and Wheat harvest we provide two meals per day. Later in the Fall there is only one meal provided, but it has to include some extra things that can be eaten through the afternoon. There are long dark hours when the work continues. We finished combining in Griggs Dakota on November 22 as the snow was falling. It's a grind and a joy. That might be a good definition of work that you love. I love it, but it is work.
The November Farmer Fred Award is presented to:
Meals to the Field Continue
originally published on November 14, 2013

The back side of harvest is bumping into the holiday season and meals are still needed every day in the field.
The meal no longer arrives in a bag, we are all sandwiched out. We use "to go" boxes for to keep things warm and organized. In the later Fall, we deliver only one meal each day.
There is a sandwich bag with plastic utensils, a wet wipe, napkins, a wrapped toothpick and a treat. 
Since there isn't an evening meal, there is an extra snack with each meal.
 How many buns, muffins, cookies, brownies, and popcorn balls have been produced in this kitchen over the last few months? No one keeps track. However many there have been, more are needed and so the preparation continues.
 Knives are my favorite kitchen tool and by the time the meal is prepared the countertop is usually scattered with them. I like old ones and new ones, but especially appreciate sharp knives.
 Above is fresh pineapple and sweet potatoes seasoned with brown sugar, butter and cinnamon. 
"Is this a new recipe?" The question has been asked at our table thousands of times. The answer is "yes," it has just a slightly different combination of spices than the last recipe and I can't find that one anymore. The Internet, with its endless recipes, has made me careless. I misplace recipes or toss them, even very good ones, with the confidence that there will always be another similar combination to be chosen and tried.
Everyone seems to appreciate warm foods as our days grow colder, and while I do occasionally include a few sturdy salads, such as coleslaw, we serve a hot meal. 
So dinner simmers or bakes.
As I dish up this meal, I resist the temptation to float it in a sea of butter, as Grandma would have.  
Of course, I use some butter, but in moderation.   
The meal comes with dessert. Cobbler, crisp, pie, cake or something creamy with a graham cracker bottom are placed into smaller boxes and transported separately. 
Soon, all that is left is the kitchen cleanup.
And the meals go out the door to the corn harvesting crew in GriggsDakota.

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