The Press-Dispatch

February 7, 2018

The Press-Dispatch

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C-4 Wednesday, Februar y 7, 2018 The Press-Dispatch HOME LIFE TO ADVERTISE: Call: 812-354-8500 Email: Visit: 820 E. Poplar Street, Petersburg Deadline: 5 p.m. on Monday Brighter Side by Janice Barniak Footloose and farm-free 814 Niblack Blvd., Vincennes, IN 1-800-743-7004 If you need a home, we have the financing options available for you! WE FINANCE CREDIT SCORES ALL $59,900 Homes starting at VISIT: • FAX: 1.877.312.2100 NO APPLICATION FEES OR OTHER OBLIGATIONS TO APPLY. 21st OFFERS FINANCING FOR: HOME ONLY LAND HOME LAND IN LIEU BUY-FOR USED HOME FINANCING SECONDARY HOUSING CALL 812-789-5498 Financial Stress Behind On Payments Unwanted Inheritance Tired Landlord Moving Divorce/Separation House Needs Repairs CASH FOR YOUR HOME Together We Can Find A Solution KOREAN BEEF QUESADILLAS By Monica Sinclair One of my family's favorite dishes is Korean Beef. This week, I found a recipe that expands on that and I can't wait to try it. It will definitely be on the menu for next week. It's just a couple of more steps than Korean Beef, so it will take no time to whip up this delicious dinner. Enjoy! INGREDIENTS 8 large flour tortillas 1-1/2 lbs. ground beef 1/4 c. brown sugar 1/3 c. soy sauce 3 cloves of garlic, crushed 1 T. sesame seeds 1 T. fresh ginger, grated 1/4 t. crushed red pep- per flakes 3 c. shredded mozza- rella 6 scallions, chopped DIRECTIONS 1. Brown the beef in a large skillet sprayed with cooking spray. 2. While the meat is browning, make the sauce by adding the brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic, sesa- me seeds, ginger and red pepper flakes to a small bowl. Whisk to combine. 3. Once the meat is browned, add the sauce to the skillet, stir and cook for 5 minutes. 4. Set the meat aside in a bowl and wipe out the same skillet. 5. Heat up the skillet again with another coating of cooking spray and lay one tortilla down in the center. 6. Add an even layer of beef (about ¾ cup) then cover with ¾ c. mozzarella and then 2 T. scallions. 6. Top with another tortilla and press down with a dinner plate. 7. A fter 3 minutes check the bottom tortilla to see if its browned. If it is then flip over to the other side and cook another 3 minutes until brown. 8. Transfer to a cutting board to cool while you make the other 3 quesadillas. Source: MEALS IN Monica's MINUTES Share your favorite recipe! Monica's Meals in Minutes PO Box 68, Petersburg, IN 47567 FACEBOOK MAIL EMAIL I went to the Gibson County beef preview over the weekend, despite not knowing a heifer from a hole in the ground. I admire the spirit of the kids getting in the ring with an animal five times their weight and posing it with a sharp metal stick. That takes more guts than snake charming. Only for one summer of my life did we ever raise farm animals in my family, and by "we," I mean my mother, because I'm indoorsy, and nev- er had the knack for it. I was in fifth grade, I think; we lived in the 600 -per- son town of Exeter, Mo., and my mom was on a vicious bad luck streak. My stepfather, George, had just left for good. ( Why do people say "for good" when it almost always means the opposite?) He was a man who, in my memory, was only known for his ability to make an excellent tuna salad and for saving a lab rat named Bernina. They had married in one of the quaint get-hitched-quick country cha- pels with my grandfather as the wit- ness, my mom looking clear-eyed and happy at the camera in a white dress with a tall lace collar, if mem- ory serves. For weeks after he left, she still set his plate, heaped with food on the ta- ble, then wrapped his leftovers after- wards. My grandpa called George "Chick- en George," maybe because the man was too chicken to make a real go of things with my mom or maybe because he worked at a Tyson chicken plant. Shortly after the separation, my mom was the victim in an accident. When an insurance settlement from the other driver came through, some- how her boundless optimism came back a little, infused by the cash, and she decided to go to an auction and start a little yard farm. A friend had a truck, and she bought a sad, goopy-eyed auburn steer, bare- ly above a calf. The steer is the bachelor uncle of the cow world. He cannot have children, so he is for eating. To be sure we didn't get too attached, my mother named him Dinner and put him to pasture beside the house, where there sat a barn so old we weren't sup- posed to touch the pencils inside be- cause they had real lead in them. The barn worked well enough when the weather was good, but, especially if there was lightning, Dinner would es- cape. He would panic, maybe because we'd over-sheltered him; his eyes would roll around in his head and he'd go off the reservation. A piece of advice: never let a steer in the house when he's a baby, or he'll show up again when he's an adult, and a full-sized cow will ruin the vi- nyl kitchen flooring faster than any- thing. You will never get your depos- it refunded. Anyway, the next thing my moth- er did was mail-order chickens and build them a backyard coop. Mail or- der chickens are nothing like mail-or- der brides, which I hear is a thing. At least if we'd ordered a bride, (or hus- band,) the person could have helped us around the house or bottle-fed the steer, but chickens are nothing but work from day one. We ordered two dozen and 21 sur- vived cuddled into the plastic frame of my brother's racecar toddler bed. As babies they were always cold, and had to be kept under lamps. A fter those, we got four pigs, two potbellied pigs and a horse. Every time my mom took in the open space of the yard or makeshift pasture, I worried something else was on its way. Right around the time we got the horse, it all started going south. Firstly, horses are great escape art- ists. We lived on Locust, practically next door to the school, and he took to capering around school, as if he thought he was Mary's Little Lamb. A teacher declared it was the last straw when she was exiting her car one morning, before her first cup of cof- fee, and turned around to stare a curi- ous horse in the face. I guess it was terrifying. Secondly, Exeter did not want to be a one-horse town, they wanted to be a no-horse town, so people tried to stop my mom and discussed ordinances that would prevent in-town farming, which was literally shutting the barn door once the horse is out, though as an adult, I can see their point. Add to this that every time we had a fierce rain, Dinner—now denied the comforts inside the home—would need to be caught. One of these times when a truck was unavailable, my mom and grandpa had to take the seats out of his Dodge Car- avan and try to coerce the beast in- to the back to haul him with only the help of my mom's legally blind board- er she had to take on once the set- tlement money ran thin and because George left. You can have such poor eyesight, you're legally blind without being com- pletely visionless, but the little bit of sight he had did not help him when it came to dropping a rope over a calf's head. If only we had planted a garden like a normal family, I kept thinking. Mom kept say- ing if we prayed and we waited, Chicken George would come home. I guess I'm old enough to con- fess that, in an act of pre-teen re- bellion, I never re- ally did pray for George's return, not from any deep place in my heart. That seems cruel to my mother in hindsight. Because whether she was bot- tle-feeding the steer, feeding chick- ens or catching a horse, my mom was not really with us that summer, as she shoved more chores beside the facto- ry work she already did to support me, my sister, my brother, a blind board- er, not to mention the animals, all of whom were quickly becoming just more mouths to feed. One day she came to where she set George's plate out but didn't put food on it. Eventually, I don't know when, George didn't have a place at our table. But it seemed like an entire summer we had one eye on the pasture and one eye on the driveway. It was my grandmother who came down the driveway, though, and changed everything for us. A fter a 14-year divorce, my grandpa and grandmother reunited at our Ex- eter house in the wake of my grand- mother's cancer diagnosis. They de- cided to re-marry, and the whole fam- ily, including my mother, pulled back together and moved to their Posey County home, which was in Cynthi- ana, and farm-free, unless you count two rows of blackberry bushes. The roosters were barbecued, lay- ing hens sold, and Dinner went into a deep freeze. My mom left the farm, and with it, the possibility of ever reuniting with Chicken George, so she could be with her mother. When the door closed on that pos- sibility, it was like the end of a bad storm—like my mom saw some kind of lamppost or lighthouse or just some- one finally leaving the porch light on for her, to guide her back in the house door. Somehow, my grandmother's can- cer gave my mom a way to see herself home, to us, just us, her own hungry herd. John Freed and Cade Freed lead a cow back to their trailer Satur- day at the Beef Preview at the Gibson County Fairgrounds.

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