When the girls were in elementary school, we spent about a year living on a farm. My husband worked for a farmer at the time. He enjoyed working outdoors.
One day ElRoy found a baby rabbit in a field. He put the frightened little orphan in his pocket where it was content to stay. When ElRoy got home, he removed the bunny from his pocket and showed it to Lisa and Susie. It was love at first sight. Of course they wanted to keep it. The poor thing would never survive on its own.
The girls named their new pet, "Peter." He was first fed warm milk with an eye dropper and later a toy baby bottle was used. Peter thrived and became a very healthy rabbit. He was very tame and loved to be near the kids.
The rabbit shared many adventures with the girls ... the stories I could tell! Peter left a lasting impression on all of us, especially our oldest daughter, Lisa. Many years would pass and she would later immortalize Peter in a poem. The Buffalo, N.Y. newspaper published the poem. Lisa sent me a copy. I put it in a safe place. And of course, now I can't locate it - so I'm unable to share it with you.
Today, another rabbit has become a part of our lives. I often put bread out for the birds and squirrels - in feeders and on the ground. One particular rabbit has taken a liking to bread. I've named the little creature Sara Lee (hope it's a female). She is less timid than the other rabbits that run through our yard. I've been able to get within 10 feet of her.
Sara Lee and the birds have come to a mutual understanding. If Sara Lee claims a piece of bread, the birds stay away while she's enjoying her lunch, but if she leaves the bread and scampers off, it's every bird for himself. The winged creatures are quick to search for any crumbs Sara Lee has left behind.
I try to feed our visitors about the same time every day. I put out bird seed, corn and bread scraps. During the summer months I include peanut butter, jelly and orange halves. Sara Lee usually shows up shortly after I've scattered the bread in the yard. Corn gets her attention, too. She's one smart rabbit and is no longer the scrawny creature that first appeared in our back yard.
It's grilling weather
VEG-BEEF BAKE (on the grill)
Line 9x13-in. pan with foil (easy clean-up). Spray foil with cooking spray.
Layer ingredients in order given:
5 onion slices (separated into rings)
2 handfuls fresh green beans, trim and leave whole
1 pound ground beef, shape into 5 patties (not too thin) and season to taste
After placing beef patties in pan, surround them with:
5 med. potatoes (peel and slice into fourths)
2 bell peppers (1 red and 1 green), cut into pieces
2 sm. zucchini, cut in chunks
Diced tomato [may use half of a 14 oz. can; include some of the juice]
Additional onion (wedges)
4 to 6 pats of butter or margarine
Seasonings: seasoned salt, garlic powder, Mrs. Dash (table blend)
2 ice cubes
Cover pan with foil and seal tightly. Place on top rack of gas grill. Cook on med to med high (between the two settings) for 1 hour. May shake pan from side to side to distribute juices, but don't peak.
Use caution when removing foil.
Note: I have an old 9x13-in. pan reserved for use on the grill.
A cool salad for a hot summer day
CREAMY CUCUMBER SALAD
3 cucumbers, unpeeled
3 slices red onion, cut up
1 or 2 green onions, chopped
1 cup dairy sour cream
1 tsp. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. dried chives
Salt and pepper to taste
Wash cucumbers and cut off ends. Slice thin. Gently combine cucumbers, red and green onion. Stir together sour cream, parsley and chives. Pour sour cream mixture over cukes and onions; gently fold until cukes are coated with the sour cream mixture. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Cover and chill before serving.
Note: may substitute 2 T. fresh snipped parsley for the dried.
No baking required
GRAHAM CRACKER COCONUT BARS
2/3 cup butter, melt
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups crushed graham crackers
2-1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
In a med. saucepan combine butter, sugar and beaten eggs. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Cool. Add the graham cracker crumbs, marshmallows, coconut and walnuts. Spread in 9x13-in. pan. Sprinkle with additional coconut.
PINEAPPLE ORANGE COOLER
1 can (20 oz) crushed pineapple in natural juice, chilled
1 cup orange juice, chilled
1 qt. vanilla ice cream
Place pineapple and its juice in blender container. Cover and blend on high speed until pureed. Add orange juice and ice cream. Blend to desired thickness. Serve immediately. Yield: 5 cups
Just a Thought: Joy is often the ability to be happy in small ways.