I recently came across a post on The Art of Doing Stuff about favorite books of all times. The author, Karen, said her favorite book of all time was Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry. Many years ago I both read the book and watched the tv miniseries with Robert Duvall and Tommy Lee Jones. So I decided it was time to re-read it. I enjoyed it just as much this time. It likely helps to have a fondness for the Old West, but the tale of trailing a herd of cattle from Texas to Montana is a great one. The novel hosts a number of vivid characters and the adventures they encounter on the trail. The two main characters, Gus McRae and Captain Call, could not be more different, yet have a strong bond after many years of being Texas Rangers. It has been called an “epic” novel and earned McMurtry a Pullitzer. I was lucky enough to find the sequel to it at the library, called Streets of Laredo. In a completely different genre, McMurtry also wrote Terms of Endearment. This story also made into a great movie starring Shirley Maclaine and Deborah Winger. I think that may be next on the summer reading list.
Not quite Lonesome Dove, a bit closer to home.
Welcome by Rotary president Les Harper.
The local Lloydminster Rotary club has a long standing history of once a year holding a meeting out in the rural community. The aim is to provide Rotarians the opportunity to connect with some of their rural counterparts. For this year’s event the Club was hosted by John and Robin Acton of Lower Shannon Farms, northeast of Lloydminster. The new food producing enterprise is an addition to an existing mixed farm. It is named for John’s family farm back in Ireland.
In addition to the greenhouse vegetables, Actons also have an expansive outdoor garden. They also produce natural beef, pork, chickens and eggs. The greenhouse retail outlet will soon be open to the public on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings from 4 to 8 p.m. A Grand Opening is planned for June 28 at 2 p.m.
The locavore event was held adjacent to the greenhouse where a multitude of vegetables are growing; tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, peppers, eggplant and micro-greens. These were turned into a delicious meal by Amanda and the chefs from The Root emporium along with beef tenderloin, mashed potatoes, bread and a vanilla compote with rhubarb dessert.
Rotarians enjoying the opportunity to connect at Lower Shannon Farms.
Guests were entertained with music from Justin Taylor and learned more about local food from us, KT & Company. They also had the opportunity to tour the greenhouse while visiting with fellow Rotarians.
“You have a doctor, you have a lawyer, you have an accountant, you have a dentist, but do you have a farmer?”
It is so great to have the first homegrown produce of the season. For us that is rhubarb. The simplest thing I made was stewed rhubarb. It took minutes. I cut up six cups of rhubarb in the food processor, threw it in a pot with slightly less than a cup of sugar and 2 TBSP of water. It just simmered on the stove for 20 minutes or so. And it is delicious. Great with vanilla yogurt or ice cream.
Rhubarb also has a number of health benefits. It is an antioxidant; lowers cholesterol; is high in fibre and contains vitamins K and C, calcium, potassium and magnesium. But don’t eat the leaves as they are poisonous.
The next recipe from Canadian living was a Rhubarb loaf.
2 1/2 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4c brown sugar
1/2 c vegetable oil
1 c buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
2 c chopped rhubarb
1/2 c brown sugar
1 TBSP melted butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Preheat 350 degree oven. Combine flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl blend sugar with oil, then whisk in egg, buttermilk and vanilla. Sift dry into wet and put into two greased loaf pans. Combine topping and sprinkle over batter. Bake for 40 – 45 minutes.