Friday, August 31, 2012

No Pie for Moving Day (But they did get cookies)

It's moving day for the cattle at the Big Pasture on the Rattlesnake Creek. Even with last week's rain, the grass is depleted. Randy and his cousin, Don, have been taking turns hauling hay bales to the pasture to make up for paltry pasture offerings in the past few weeks.

So today, there's a five-man crew ready to sort and move the cattle home. For the second year in a row, we will sell the calves instead of feeding them through the winter. This second year of drought has left us with enough hay and silage to feed the mama cows this winter, but not enough for the calves, too. The calves will go through the sale ring next week. 

Last year, we sold the calves in mid-October. In 2010, we finally moved the last pairs off pasture in mid-November. What a difference two years of drought makes!
Moving day was also different in the "olden days." (Now I sound like a real old-timer, don't I?) Back when Randy's and Don's fathers and grandfathers owned the pasture, the women would bring a hot meal to the pasture.

I've done it before, and I offered again. But, instead, I packed lunches for Randy and Jake this morning. Randy says it's easier since all five people aren't necessarily in the same place at the same time.

But I did pack an extra treat for all the guys. No, it wasn't pie, which was part of the Fritzemeier tradition. With me, they just got bar cookies.
I didn't make them look all pretty for the guys. I just dressed up some of the bars to show they are versatile enough to go in a lunch pail for a cattle moving day - or they can look pretty on an assorted cookie tray for people who won't be eating them with dirty hands.

The guys didn't get the pretty napkins either.
White Chocolate Blondies
Recipe adapted from Cookies and Cups blog
1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips, divided
5 tbsp. butter
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9- by 9-inch pan with baking spray. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine butter and 3/4 cup white chocolate chips. Melt them together, cooking for 1 minute intervals at 50 percent power until melted, taking care not to burn. Stir together as much as possible, though the butter will somewhat separate from the white chocolate.

In a mixing bowl, combine sugar, eggs and vanilla, beating until smooth. Pour in the white chocolate mixture and continue beating until smooth and combined. Add the flour, baking powder and salt; stir until just incorporated. Add in remaining 3/4 cup white chocolate chips.

Spread in prepared pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until set. Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars. If desired, drizzle with additional melted white chocolate. You can also add a Hershey's Cookies and Creme Drop to dress them up for a cookie tray, etc. Or serve them plain - without any additional adornment.

Note:  When I am baking, I want to get the most mileage out of the mess. So I doubled the recipe and baked it in a sheet cake pan. They baked in 15-20 minutes (but I have an oven that runs a bit hot.) 

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