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Elevenses

In honor of 11/11 earlier this week, did you know to sit down for “elevenses.”

elev·ens·es

British
: light refreshment (as a snack) taken in the middle of the morning

If the term sounds familiar, you might have run across it in one of Winnie the Pooh’s adventures. Pooh loved his elevenses, often having honey on bread with condensed milk. A practice that most likely led directly to his Stoutness Exercises. “When late morning rolls around and you’re feeling a bit out of sorts, don’t worry; you’re probably just a little eleven o’clockish,” says Pooh.

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Photo by Andrew Poole via Flickr.com

(Interesting to note that in the first part of the 1800s, elevenses in the U.S. meant a late-morning whiskey break. A practice that most likely led directly to a midday nap.)

Sticking with the British version, I thought you might enjoy this custom with a few of our Raising Jane recipes:
Sweet Potato, Cheddar & Sage Biscuits
GF Apple-Buttermilk Muffins w/Maple Glaze
Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Butter
Easy Gluten-free Quiche
Cinnamon & Sugar Cake Doughnuts
Satsuma Orange Marmalade
GF Jalapeño-Cheddar Popovers.

And to go with your tea and sweets, you might want to grab a partner and play Elevenses: The Card Game of Morning Tea, available on Amazon.com.

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Also, Anthropologie has an Elevenses collection—perfect for brunch get-togethers or anytime you want to evoke the spirit of morning tea. Happy elevenses!

 

boost your farm vocabulary

Ever come across the term “nitrogen fixation”? No, not someone who’s obsessed with the element; rather, “The biological conversion of atmospheric nitrogen to a form that can be used by plants for their growth.”

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Frederick Walker, The Old Farm Garden, 1871 via Wikimedia Commons

How about cotyledon? “An embryo or seed leaf that usually serves as a food reserve.”

Or Piedmontese? “A breed of beef cattle that originated in Italy.”

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Photo by Peter von Wesendonk via Wikimedia Commons

And did you know that “Hereford” is both a breed of cattle and swine?

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Hereford calf. Photo by Jjron via Wikimedia Commons.

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Hereford hog. Photo by gopixpic.com.

These and hundreds of other terms can be found on the Farm World Agricultural Glossary. Farm World, the largest farm newspaper in the Midwest, will help you find “beef cattle breeds commonly raised in the United States” or help you decide whether to use “hop” or “hops” when referring to that hoppy beer you know and love.

From acaricide to zorse, you’ll find nearly everything you need for farm-fresh palaver.

What’s an auroch?

Is it a bird? … a plane? …

No, it’s a cow.

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If we could trace the ancestry of my Miss Daisy far, far back, we would find a link to something called an auroch—the foremother of the modern-day cow. Wild aurochs were large, lean cattle who roamed the plains of Europe, Asia, and Africa by the millions. Auroch remains have been found that are thought to be 2 million years old.

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Photo by Prof saxx via Wikimedia Commons

Aurochs were still plentiful in the time of the Roman Empire, but aggressive hunting resulted in near extinction by the 13th century, when only nobles, and later royals, were allowed to hunt them, and poaching was punishable by death. The last known cow died in 1627 in Poland.

Efforts are now underway to “breed back” the species using modern DNA technology. A European breeding program has resulted in hundreds of second- and third-generation crossbreed cattle that resemble the auroch, and scientists hope to find a way to take DNA from the bones of aurochs in museums and recreate a modern-day clone.

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Photo from The National Museum of Denmark via Wikimedia Commons. An auroch dating to 7500 BC, one of two well-preserved aurochs skeletons found in Denmark. The circles indicate where the animal was wounded by arrows.

What’s next … a domesticated T Rex??! Fetch, Dino!

Mad Libs

Do you remember Mad Libs?

First published in 1958, this cleverly kooky word game soon became a household name, and kids of all ages are still crazy about it today. In case you’ve somehow been left out of the Lib loop, Wikipedia’s official definition for the game reads, “Mad Libs is a phrasal template word game where one player prompts others for a list of words to substitute for blanks in a story, before reading the often comical or nonsensical story aloud. The game is frequently played as a party game or as a pastime.”

Knowing my love of word play, I’m sure you won’t be surprised to see that I’ve made up my own farm-themed “phrasal template” (an ag lib?) for you. It takes at least two people to play, so consider it a good excuse to gather up a friend (or three) for a little midday silliness.

To Play:

  • Print my “Ag” Lib story, below, or cut and paste it into a Word document.
  • Read the story silently, pausing to ask the other player(s) to provide words to fill in the blanks, according to the parts of speech in parentheses.
  • Jot their words in the blanks.
  • When all blanks are full, read the story aloud to the other player(s), and get ready to giggle.
  • Just remember: the goofier the word choices, the more laughs you’ll share when you read the finished story.

MaryJane’s “Ag” Lib:
Good Morning, Farm!

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One _______________ (adjective describing the weather) autumn day, Farmer Jane woke up and gasped, “_______________ (Interjection)! I’m late for milking _______________ (name, female)!”

She _______________ (verb, past tense) out of bed and yawned _______________ (adverb) as she pulled on her favorite pair of _______________ (adjective) rubber boots and a _______________ (type of fabric) hat. Out the door she _______________ (verb, past tense).

On her way to the big _______________ (adjective, color) barn, Farmer Jane passed the _______________ (adjective describing sound) chicken coop. “Alright, girls,” she called to her _______________ (adjective) hens, opening their gate. “Out you go!”

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She tossed the hens a few pieces of _______________ (noun, type of food) from her pocket and continued on her way.

Jane had hardly passed the coop when she was _______________ (adverb) stopped in her tracks by her big, _______________ (adjective) farm dog, _______________ (name, masculine). He’d come _______________ (verb ending in -ing) frantically out of the pasture and now skidded to a halt in front of Jane.

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He held up his paw and whined _______________ (adverb). She lifted the dog’s paw and looked underneath.

“_______________ (Interjection)!” Jane exclaimed.

There was a _______________ (adjective describing size) _______________ (noun, object) stuck right between the poor pup’s toes! Since Jane couldn’t grab the _______________ (same noun, object) with her bare fingers, she had to _______________ (verb, present tense) to the tool shed and fetch the _______________ (noun, type of tool). “This should do the trick!”

Farmer Jane told the dog to roll over, and he stayed perfectly _______________ (adjective) as she yanked the pesky problem from his fur.

Stuffing the _______________ (same type of tool) into her pocket, Jane _______________ (verb, past tense) on toward the barn. Her tummy was _______________ (verb describing sound, ending in -ing), but there was no time to eat. She would fix herself a big platter of _______________ (noun, type of food) after milking.

Jane _______________ (verb, past tense) _______________ (adverb) into the barn without watching where she was going and landed … _______________ (interjection)! … in the middle of a fresh pie. And it was NOT the pumpkin variety, if you know what I mean.

“Oh, _______________ (same female name as in the first line of the story),” Jane sighed.

The gentle Jersey turned her head, glowering at Jane as if to say, “You’re late!”

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Farmer Jane pulled her boot _______________ (adverb) from the _______________ (adjective) pile and and nodded at the cow.

“Okay,” she said _______________ (adverb). “I guess I deserved that.”

Without further ado, Jane sat down on her _______________ (noun, object) beside _______________ (same female name as in the first line of the story) and got to work.

The End!

If you completed your silly story in a Word document, I would LOVE it if you’d copy it in the comments below (I only ask that you keep it kid-friendly, my dears).