Tag Archives: chickens

RECIPES: An Angel of a Gluten-Free Strawberry Cream Pie!


Fresh Minnesota strawberries have always been a favorite of mine.  As a child on the farm, I spent many hours, nose down, elbows up, with pink stained berry juiced lips, fingertips, and knees in our berry patch helping to fill bowls and my belly with fresh strawberries.

In addition to the threat of ravishment by predators such as hungry children, our berry patch was constantly under surveillance and in immediate peril from the farm’s chickens. I have often wondered why no one ever put a chicken wire fence around the berry patch to keep the chickens out, and have concluded that it was either because of the patch’s large size, it seemed like a lot of work to haul the small roll of chicken wire from the shed all the way across the lawn and find enough sticks to hold it up, it would be an eye sore, or that we all believed that grandma enjoyed chasing chickens with her broom and it was a good source of exercise for her.

Grandma’s broom protected, from friend and fowl alike, a berry patch that produced oodles of strawberries.  Many large mixing bowls and gallon ice cream buckets were filled everyday during the height of the season.  Berries that were not consumed fresh or used in a dessert became jam or were preserved by canning or freezing.

In addition to our farm producing lots of berries, we also seemed to have a never ending supply of heavy cream and eggs.  This recipe for Strawberry Angel Cream Pie calls for only five ingredients, eggs, sugar, cream of tartar, cream and strawberries….which makes it gluten-free.

Strawberry Angel Cream Pie

Preheat oven to 275 degrees.

4 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup of sugar

In a large stainless steel or glass mixing bowl, beat four egg whites and cream of tartar until frothy.  Gradually beat in, a little at a time, one cup of sugar.  Continue to beat until very stiff peaks form and meringue is glossy looking.   Spread meringue into the bottom and sides of a nine-inch pie pan.

Bake for 60 minutes.  Do not remove from oven.  Turn the oven off and leave the pie crust in the oven until completely cooled.


2 cups of heavy cream
1/4 cup of powdered sugar
1 cup of mashed fresh strawberries, sweetened to taste

In a medium-sized mixing bowl add two cups whipping cream.  With an electric mixer, beat until stiff. Add powdered sugar and mix to combine. Fold mashed fresh strawberries into the whipped cream.  Fold gently until the berries and cream are combined.  Pour into meringue pie shell and cool in refrigerator until ready to serve.


Fresh strawberries and/ or an additional cup of sweetened whipped cream.


Additional strawberry recipes on this blog:

Praise the Lord, Leukemia and Pass the Strawberries

Honey, I Miss You and Jamming with the Queen Bee

Father’s Day Breakfast “WOW!”: Strawberry Cheesecake French Toast

Impressive Father’s Day Dessert: Chocolate Strawberry Cream Puffs

Sweet Heat: Strawberry Jalapeno Jam

Something Old, Something New: Microwave and Crockpot Strawberry Jam Recipes

Taming the Wild Strawberry: Mary Lincoln’s Strawberry Jam Recipe

Picking Berries and Fresh Strawberry Dessert

Great Aunt Ida’s Fresh Strawberry Pie


The memory of picking ripe strawberries and eating them as God intended, right out of the patch and warmed by the sun, was such a pleasant one that I wanted to pass it on to my children.  So, every June, when the berries became ripe, we made our annual pilgrimage to one of our local growers to pick fresh strawberries.

Good memories and traditions rarely happen by accident.  Someone, at sometime, made a conscious decision to make an effort.  Always choose to make that effort for the children in your life.  Sharing your time with children is the most important thing that you can give them, in addition to your love.  

And, don’t forget to support our local growers! 




What is On My Mind Today: Blind Chicken?


The strutting rooster

Why on earth would anyone give my 84-year-old farmer father who is still a dead shot a blind chicken?

It cannot find its food or water.

My father has never been able to stand watching an animal suffer or pass up an opportunity for target practice when a shooting is called for. So, he is on his way out to the hen house right now with his 22 rifle to shoot the doomed old biddy.  It will be one clean shot to the head and he won’t miss.

Moral of story:  Don’t give blind chickens away. They can only eat and drink because they have memorized where their food and water are placed.  Giving blind chickens away to a farmer in Swede Grove township, Minnesota is a capital offense….for the chicken, and unfortunately not for the dumb ass who gave the poor hen to my dad.

Thor’s Stories: Leprechauns

There are eight different stories in this series about the ingenuity and adventures of a boy named Thor.  If you are looking for a few tales about Leprechauns to share on St. Patrick’s day,   Leprechauns tend to run amok in five of these stories.

Below are links to all of Thor’s adventures and a brief description of the story line.
I hope you and your children enjoy Thor’s Stories.

Morton the Squirrel and the Great Chicken Race.  Thor and Morton begin their battle for supremacy of the backyard when the rascally squirrel goes after the boy’s chickens.

Morton the Squirrel and the Mighty Explosion.  Grandpa Walter saves Thor from an overwhelming squirrel attack.

Thor and Grandpa Walter Find Blueberries and Bigfoot.  Thor and Grandpa Walter find more than just blueberries in the woods on Minnesota’s North Shore.

Thor and the Rooster Pirate King. This story tells about how leprechauns came to own the magic feather they keep in their hats.

The Midnight Dinosaur Rhubarb Rampage. Do your children know how to write in secret leprechaun code?  Thor will show you how in this tale of ingenuity and backyard mayhem.

The Dog with Magical Eyes.  Leprechauns sometimes can be just plain handy, especially when your dog is suffering from magical eyes.

Thor and the Troll Toll.  The King of the Leprechauns has no tolerance for bullies, especially troll ones.

Thor Saves Christmas.  Thor and the leprechauns come to the rescue when Santa’s elves all come down with Blue Snot Flu, 

Children’s Story: The Hen Who Wanted to Fly

Once upon a time there was a farmer.  On his farm lived many different kinds of animals.  He was a kind farmer and was always very good to his animals for he loved them very much. As fond as he was…

Source: Children’s Story: The Hen Who Wanted to Fly

Thor’s Stories: Thor and the Troll Toll

This is the next story in the saga of young Thor that I wrote two summers ago for my Grandson while I was in the midst of my cancer battle and awaiting remission and a stem cell transplant

In this story Thor learns about the power of love when he has to save his precious hens from a terrible old troll who oozes orange slime.

I have also included the recipe to make Metamucil’s slimy orange flubber.

I hope you enjoy Thor and the Troll Toll!

The Swedish Farmer's Daughter

troll 3.jpeg

It all began with a splat against his bedroom window pane. The splat was Morton the Squirrel, Thor’s arch enemy. The squirrel was stuck to the window with gooey orange slime. Orange-slimed squirrels in the backyard known as “the jungle” could only mean one thing a garden troll was loose and oozing.


Thor quickly ran to the window to take stock of the situation. What greeted his eyes was the face of Ned the one-horned troll drooling and dripping with orange spittle. This troll had eyes as black as midnight, a long nose and chin with hair growing out of his ears.  His ears deserve a special mention due to the fact that the big hairy things hung so low that they rested on his shoulders. The troll used to have two curly horns, but one was broken right off and so now he only had a lefty.

Normally, the leprechauns took care of Ned. They…

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Thor’s Stories: Thor and the Rooster Pirate King

Here is another Thor story that I wrote for my grandson, summer before last when I was going through chemotherapy and facing a stem cell transplant. I have cleaned up the typos I did not catch in the original copy. This story is about a mean rooster and good overcoming evil.

The Swedish Farmer's Daughter


Thor and the Rooster Pirate King

Thor had just finished hooking up his video game controllers to play some Minecraft when he heard a sound that would send shivers down the spine of any suburban chicken raising human. He heard a rooster crowing in his backyard…known as the jungle.

This was no ordinary get out of your bed you lazy bones and meet the new day type of crowing.  It was a hale and hearty shiver me timbers type of yahoo that could only have been beak bugled by the great rooster pirate king–Red Beard.

The legend of the great rooster pirate king was quite well known to Thor. Stories about this foul fowl bully’s selfishness, meanness, dishonesty and stop at nothing quest for treasure had been told and retold around many a family’s camp fire.

As the legend was told, once you had seen the great rooster pirate king you would never forget him. Red Beard was easily recognized…

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Purple Mountains Majesty and Grilled Chicken

Montana mountains and wheat fields

Growing up on our farm grilling outside consisted of cutting and whittling lilac bush sticks with a jack knife into sharp little spears, then stabbing a coarsely ground skin-on wiener and roasting it over a very large outdoor fire made up of sticks, grass clippings and pine cones raked up after the most recent thunderstorm. This attention to recycling detail made us fully compliant with Swedish farmer’s commandment–waste not want not.

weiner roast

After roasting your wiener, it was then time to spear a couple of nice sweet soft white fluffy marshmallows onto your stick, hold them over the fire until they lit up like the 4th of July with at least a four-inch bright orange flame, chase a younger sibling around the yard with your sugar-fueled torch until either the fire burned itself out or your mother got her hands on you. Then, you very meekly, without smirking, ate the charred remains of the marshmallow.


The simplicity of the wiener roast was the extent of our outdoor meat grilling for many generations. I suppose it wasn’t so much a lack of interest in protein dietary diversity preparation methods that had prevented an early introduction to marination and grilling of meat on the farm. I believe that this obvious missing link in the culinary evolution of animal muscle consumption techniques resulted not so much from a lack of interest in the subject matter, but moreover from a generalized adversity to further exposure to the daily elements of heat and humidity which would only be extended should external environment cooking methods be tried.  In other words, we liked eating tasty meat, but were just too darn hot to cook outdoors after a long day spent baking in farm fields. (Can you tell I used to write wordy confusing at times nonsensical copy for politicians.  LOL! )

The first grilled food I can remember tasting was during one of our annual trips to Great Falls, Montana to visit my Aunt Margie, Uncle Klynn, and cousins Debbie and Laurie. Their home was surrounded by neighbors, not fields, and there was a store closer to their house than the barn was to ours where you could buy Popsicles for a nickle. If you couldn’t walk the short distance to the store, there was a brightly colored van chiming the song, “Pop Goes the Weasel” that stopped and sold ice cream treats right in front of their house. I knew right then, that the big city held marvels such as I had never experienced on the farm.

Uncle Klynn was an accomplished architect and designed several major buildings in the state of Montana.  He was also the first man I had ever seen wear short pants and open toed shoes…without socks!   The man was a revolutionary.  For no matter how high the heat or humidity on the farm, the men folk always wore long pants.  They even wore long pants when we went fishing. In addition to being fashion forward, my Montana uncle was also the first adult male I had ever seen cook–he used a Weber grill in his backyard.

It was at Uncle Klynn’s home that I first tasted grilled meat.  Grilled hamburgers were a revelation, but what remains foremost in my mind’s eye and taste buds was when he grilled chicken and once even a whole turkey.  Not only did he grill the poultry, but all that deliciousness was basted with tangy sauces–none of which were white. What a shock it was to my young mind that there were more sauces in this world than Swedish white sauce, ketchup and mustard.

Montana’s snow capped mountains and Uncle Klynn’s  poultry grilling expertise opened up a whole new world for me.  The discovery of  a land with endless vistas of striped golden wheat-filled plains abutting purple mountains majesty was just a little more exciting than discovering that were a variety of cooking sauces. From that time on poultry became so much more than something to feed, butcher, pluck, freeze, casserole, bake and fry. Chickens and turkeys could be turned into saucy barbecued masterpieces of culinary delight!

Lime Marinated Grilled Chicken with Mango Salsa

Mango Salsa:
2 mangoes, peeled and diced into small cubes
½ red bell pepper, finely chopped
½ cup orange juice
juice of 2 limes
3 Tablespoons of minced fresh basil
salt and ground pepper to taste

In a medium-sized bowl add the diced mangos, bell peppers, lime and orange juices, salt and pepper and the basil.  This mixture should be covered and refrigerated for 2-3 hours before serving.

2 Tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
2 Tablespoons frozen limeade concentrate, thawed
½ teaspoon salt
ground pepper to taste

1 chicken cut up for grilling, or 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts.

 Line the inside of a large mixing bowl with an unzipped, 1- gallon Ziplock bag.  Next, added the marinade ingredients of salt, pepper, limeade and orange juice.  Zip bag shut and mix ingredients together.  Open bag and put in the chicken.  Take out as much air out of the bag as possible without spilling the marinade and zip bag shut. Let the chicken marinate in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours.  (Always marinate chicken in the refrigerator to prevent food borne illness.)

Heat the grill and adjust the rack for proper cooking.  Grill the chicken until brown and the juices run clear.  (Do not under cook chicken, if you do, you are just sending an invitation to a nasty food borne illness to attend your barbecue.)

Serve chicken topped with the mango salsa, and sides of cold salads.

Wheat fields of Montana