Today we tackled the job of butchering chickens. The men’s help was a big asset and greatly appreciated. Some of you may have heard your grandmothers talking about the "old-fashioned method" of plucking chickens. It worked well and was quite simple. The old-fashioned method involves dipping the chickens (after they have been killed) into hot water with baking soda, which allows the feathers to be picked off easily. Next, a small torch was used to singe off the last bits of feathers. After gutting the chickens they were ready to be cut up and cooled off. The cooling process is always an important step. The cold well water did a wonderful job with chilling them in a short time.

Tomorrow, the chicken will be cooked in water. After it is fully cooked the broth is drained and used for a large variety of items such as cooking noodles, making gravy, or soup. The chicken is again cooled and picked off the bones. It’s delicious to put in casseroles, stuffing, chicken noodle soup, etc.

Recently, Julia and I were in the backyard snapping green beans when we heard a commotion in front of the house.

"Let’s go see what’s going on," I told Julia. At that moment they rounded corner. It was my younger sister, Anna Faith along with a cousin. They had figured out a way to hitch their two ponies together as a team. I was impressed with their imagination. Even though it wasn’t professional, it worked well.

This week’s recipe will be one from my sister-in-law. It’s simple, yet delicious and definitely an excellent way to use up several extra tomatoes! 

Editor’s Note: the recipe below calls for Bisquick. Gloria has a homemade version of this popular product, you can find the recipe at



2 cups Bisquick mix

2/3 cup milk

Mix well and press in an 8 X 11 pan.


3 large or 4 medium-sized tomatoes, sliced

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon parsley

1 teaspoon oregano

Salt and pepper to taste.

Put a layer of tomato slices on top of crust and sprinkle brown sugar over. Then season with parsley flakes, oregano, salt and pepper.


1 cup Miracle Whip-type salad dressing

3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Stir and spread over tomato and spices.

Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

(Variation: bacon or browned sausage or onions may be sprinkled on top of salad dressing mixture if desired)