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Copyright 2013 Rocky Mountain Rider. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Reproduction of any editorial material, artwork and photos is strictly forbidden without express written permission of the publisher. For information about reprint rights, please contact the editor; editor@rockymountainrider.com.

 

Dog Hair & Mule Sweat  

with Natalie Riehl

editor@rockymountainrider.com

 

November 2013 issue  

 

     “Too soon old; too late smart” is the old saying that — for some reason — pops into my mind more and more frequently these days. I keep reminding myself that life is “one long learning experience.”

     Here’s something I learned just this summer about cooking hamburgers on the grill. Dear readers, there are, no doubt, many of you who already know this! But for those who don’t….

     The perfectly cooked hamburger is one that stays flat and extends to the edge of the round bun. I would pat the hamburger meat into flat, round discs, but as they cooked, they would always shrink up into a ball.

     I figured it might have something to do with the way I was making them, so I went in search of a hamburger press, and discovered one that people just raved about. However, it turned out that the feature they all adored was that it put a divot in the middle of the burger. Apparently, it was this depression which kept the hamburger flat. So I purchased one.

     Then, coincidentally, within the next week, I heard a radio cooking program which talked about summer foods and grilling, and sure enough, their experts mentioned the dimple in the middle of the burgers.

     Heck, I need not have purchased the hamburger press. I could have used the back of a spoon or even my thumb to make the sacred divot.

     But, believe me, this indentation is a tip that really works!

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     Each fall, for quite a few years, my equines have been gifted with bags and boxes of apples. These apples are called “windfalls” and generally have bruises, worm holes and bird-pecked nicks.

     However, this year, we received a couple of boxes of good apples. Montana ’s Bitterroot Valley , where we live, was originally subdivided in the early 1900s and marketed to people who could make a fortune starting their own apple farms. The ten-acre tracts of land were narrow and long, and designed with orchards in mind.

     Apple orchard ventures were only moderately successful, mainly due to the unpredictable climate and late spring freezes. We still have a few, local commercial orchards which grow classic McIntosh apples. But here and there, old orchards can be found and they have varieties of apples grown in another era.

     A mix of these, I imagined, might be in the boxes we received. Ah-ha! I thought, I’m going to freeze them. I knew about the table-top apple gadgets, but had never used one. I found a sturdy specimen which peels, cores and slices all in a few turns of a little crank.

     I had two large bowls — one for the processed apples and one for the cores and skins. The volume in each rose at about the same rate. I froze some of the apples, plus made a large baking dish of apple crisp, which has lasted through the week.

     What a great gadget! Zip! Zip! Zip! I didn’t count the numbers of apples I ran through it, but it seems I still have a boxful!

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     Many thanks to all our readers for filling out our Reader Survey. We will be announcing the winner in our December issue.

     Also, remember to send in photos of your kids riding horses by November 9 for consideration in our annual “Kids & Horses” photo album.

 

                                             

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Copyright 2013 Rocky Mountain Rider. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Reproduction of any editorial material, artwork and photos is strictly forbidden without express written permission of the publisher. For information about reprint rights, please contact the editor; editor@rockymountainrider.com.

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PO Box 995 • Hamilton, MT 59840 • 888-747-1000  •  406-363-4085 • info@rockymountainrider.com