Thursday, April 19, 2012

America's Farmers

Fred Neveu's painting The Farmer  looks so much like my own Grandpa, even the old tractor he sets on is familiar. I can reach back in my memory and my Grandpa is there, I can hear his voice and remember his strengths. They formed me as a child and for that I'm grateful.

The farm at Lead Hill is rocky land, dotted with locust and cedar trees. When Mom was little, her Dad grew wheat and farmed the land which had to be a very difficult job. In later years, the ones I can remember... Grandpa ran cattle on the land. The tractor was Grandpa's workhorse, pulling out stumps before they robbed him of pasture. The cattle he raised depended on him for grass year round, it was a 7 day a week job.

Grandpa couldn't leave the house without me tagging along, we'd go from one field to the next bouncing along in his old International pickup.The cows would come running when they heard it, that meant hay or grain. Along the way, there would be fence to fix or gates to mend. I was the gate opener... it felt like an important job when I was 10! 

It was pretty easy to pick a recipe this week... a great new grilling cookbook by Aaron Chronister (who just happens to be an Arkansas boy) and Jason Day. Pages and pages of delicious All American barbeque for our summertime enjoyment! 

You're Welcome...
All-American Stuffed Burger
Yield: 4 burgers

2 pounds ground sirloin
2 packets Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix
4 slices American cheese
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
4 hamburger buns
Mixing bowl
STEP 1: Place the ground beef in a large mixing bowl and, using your hands, thoroughly combine the ranch dressing mix with the meat.
STEP 2: Form the seasoned beef mixture into 8 even-sized patties that are about 4 inches wide. We’ll use two 1/4-pound patties for each burger, so it’s best to make them thin.
STEP 3: Place a slice of cheese on 4 of the patties. If the corners of the cheese are close to the burger’s edge, tear them off and place on the center of the cheese slice. There should be about a 1/2-inch “no-cheese zone” around the edge of the patty so that we can seal it all inside the burger.
STEP 4: Stack another patty on top of the cheese and completely seal the edges where the 2 patties come together. Be sure to seal the burger as tightly as possible, otherwise the cheese will ooze out during the cooking process.
STEP 5: Grill the burgers over direct medium-high heat until they are done to your liking.
STEP 6: Baste the burgers with barbecue sauce for the last 2 minutes of grill time. Serve on toasted buns.


  1. Oh wow, so many thoughts here- especially about my grandpa and his cattle days- we only saw him & grandma in the summer, but I will always remember those days on the farm- shelling peas, and riding in the back of his pickup (before they outlawed it!).

    1. So many great memories of my Grandparent's farm, I was one of those kids that rode in the back of the pickup!

  2. Kind of looks like Will Rogers, doesn't he? Can't believe it, but in your second photo showing your grandmother and grandfather, your grandmother looks enough like my grandmother to be twins!
    Love the road sign; says it all, doesn't it?

    1. He does! Isn't that funny that our grandmother's looked similar? When I think of her, I see her in that little kitchen in front of the stove!

  3. great post and great memories. my father had a tractor very much like that one. :)

    1. Grandpa's tractor was his pride and joy!

  4. Farming and ranching, etc. is hard work. People that work hard for a living, have my admiration. It's not an easy life, or job.

    Love the painting!

    1. Me too... would love to have it hanging in my house!

  5. We don't teach our children enough about the work of farmers - where would we be without them?
    There's nothing I like for dinner more than a really good hamburger. In fact, the family laughs at me because that is what I always want for my birthday dinner.

    1. I love a good burger too, we have a favorite place we go to on Friday nights that makes a killer Bacon Cheeseburger!

  6. Great post. I also remember tagging along with my grandpa through the fields,creeks,up one holler and down the next on his old tractor. Some of my favorite memories.

    1. Grandpa would brush hog when he was in his upper 70's, I think he was happiest on a tractor!


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