Have you noticed? The month of June only has a few days left in it, summer officially began on the 20th, and the days are already hotter than we probably would like them to be. Life goes on slower than what it usually does due to the pandemic, we wear masks when asked to, in public and we try to keep our “social distance” from the next person. I try to stay at home as much as possible, but circumstances sometimes get in the way. I’ve had to purchase a new refrigerator and had to go looking for one. Major stores no longer service what they sell, (not even for the term of the warranty), so I had to check elsewhere. Thanks to a good friend, we found one that could be delivered within five working days…and this was awesome because what we had been being told was early to the middle of August, with one store even telling us possibly as long as until October. None of this would work, as I’d already been using my old back-up fridge since things started closing down in March, and even the thought of two or more months longer had me fairly upset. Thank goodness, they offered me a pretty good deal, took the old one away, and will service as needed!
The one thing that I have noticed that seems to upset folks more than anything else, is that we’re not allowed to have our usual size funeral with family and friends and they see on TV a funeral that was over the top. Also, we can’t gather in groups of more than a certain amount and the rioters and protesters gather in great numbers, as do rallies for the various office seekers.
We’ve had a little rain, but not an over abundance, and as usual could use a little more. Around my area, gardens are growing like the proverbial weeds, and everything is pretty and green. The folks that lease my land and my brother’s, recently cut and baled hay and seemed to get quite a few bales, and my sisters son-in-law cut and baled theirs this past week and had a good crop also. Right now everywhere you look, someone is in the field cutting, raking or baling, and as long as they don’t get too many showers, they will be fine.
Since my mind was blank about what to write this week, and it is way too early to write Independence Day, I came across the following in one of my files. It was originally from one of my daughters, and since folks always ask “Where do you get ideas for your column”? Now you know. Also, it fits the bill as being one of those things of trivial information that you think you’ll never use and then someone asks you a question about something strange, and you know the answer.
HOT OFF THE PRESS
As the paper goes through the rotary printing press friction causes it to heat up. Therefore, if you grab the paper right off the press it is hot. The expression means to get immediate information.
We don’t see this anymore since the papers are all done with computers, but if you’ve been or worked in the “print shop” part of The Devine News, you can see tiny bits of lead in the walls. It took me a while to figure out what they were!
A SHOT OF WHISKEY
In the old west a .45 cartridge for a six-gun cost 12 cents, so did a glass of whiskey. If a cowhand was low on cash he would often give the bartender a cartridge in exchange for a drink. This became known as a “shot” of whiskey.
THE WHOLE NINE YARDS
American fighter planes in WW2 had machine guns that were fed by a belt of cartridges. The average plane held belts that were 27 feet (9 yards) long. If the pilot used up all his ammo he was said to have given it the whole nine yards.
BUYING THE FARM
This is synonymous with dying. During WW1 soldiers were given life insurance policies worth $5,000. This was about the price of an average farm so if you died you “bought the farm” for your survivors.
IRON CLAD CONTRACT
This came about from the ironclad ships of the Civil War. It meant something so strong it could not be broken.
PASSING THE BUCK/THE BUCK STOPS HERE
Most men in the early west carried a jack knife made by the Buck knife company. When playing poker it as common to place one of these Buck knives in front of the dealer so that everyone knew who he was. When it was time for a new dealer the deck of cards and the knife were given to the new dealer. If this person didn’t want to deal he would “pass the buck” to the next player. If that player accepted then “the buck stopped there”.
Here’s the recipe for a snack to have summer fun with. My daughter tells me that she has a very hard time keeping the cinnamon one in her house; it seems to always disappear quickly.
Cinnamon Snack Mix
1 box cinnamon Teddy bears
1 box cinnamon Chex®
2 cups pretzels
1 can mixed nuts or peanuts
2/3 cup butter
½ cup honey
2 tsp. cinnamon (or more if you like)
1 cup vanilla, butterscotch or cinnamon chips
In a large bowl, combine the Teddy Bears, Chex, and nuts. Melt together the butter and honey, stir in the cinnamon and drizzle over previous mixture and stir to coat. Transfer to two lightly greased or lined with parchment paper pans 15x10x1” size baking pans. Bake at 350ºF for 12 to 15 minutes, stirring once. Cool completely, stir in chips. Yield about 6 quarts. (Works best to cook 12 minutes, stirring after first 6 mins).
Buffalo Style Snack Mix
2½ quarts popped popcorn, divided
2 cups corn chips
1 cup dry roasted peanuts
¼ cup butter, cubed
2 Tbs. Louisiana-style Hot sauce
1 teaspoon celery seed
In a large bowl, combine 2 cups popcorn, corn chips and peanuts. In a small saucepan, melt butter; add hot sauce and celery seed.
Remove from heat and pour over popcorn mixture and toss to coat. Transfer to a greased 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Bake at 350ºF for 10 to 15 minutes or until crisp. Place in a large bowl; add remaining popcorn and toss to coat. Store in an airtight container.