Saturday, March 10, 2007


Our family was so fortunate as to have a small farm (two and a half acres). We fenced off about one fourth of an acre for the garden. We bought the farm in 1965 from a Jones family who lived in Texas. I think we were very lucky and very blessed and had more foresight than
we knew, in buying the farm. I was raised on a farm that was situated two miles south of the town of Bicknell, Utah. After I was married, I just had to have some land to work and raise my family on and teach them how to work hard. “You can take the farm away from the girl, but
you can’t take the farm out of the girl.”
We paid $1,300 for that first acre of ground. We had to borrow the money from the Geneva Credit Union and paid the loan back at $50.00 per month. This was a lot of money for us to go in debt.
It is interesting to know that we prayed about buying the original acre. We wanted confirmation from the Lord if that was the right thing to do. We prayed and prayed and asked and asked and nothing came as an answer, not one indication. So, we thought the thing through in our heads and went ahead with the transaction. Years later I realized that the Lord did not need to be bothered in that regard. Buying the farm was one of the best moves we made and I guess the Lord knew we would go ahead and get the land.
We raised a large and productive garden. The whole family worked very hard in the garden and we were rewarded in return. We planted all the kinds of fruit trees that would grow in our area and all of the kinds of berries that we could raise. In addition, we milked a cow that Arleen’s parents gave us. Milk to drink, half & half cream, whipping cream, ice cream, butter, and butter milk were products of the cow.
Bob learned to milk the cow and Arleen’s farming knowledge of the milking skill came in handy when that operation was required of her. Robert Lee, Wesley, Kerry, Stacy , and Todd all learned to milk. I guess with that many brothers and because Tafta was my cute little daughter, she was not enlisted in the milking endeavor. Rett was too young and the cow milking experience had stopped by the time Rett came along and was big enough to be enlisted in the milking chore.
We all helped out, but the brunt of the work fell on Bob. He went to milk before leaving for work in the morning and again in the evening after work. Bob brought the milk home from the farm in a small milk can. I strained the milk and the milk was transferred into gallon bottles
and quickly put in the refrigerator for cooling and safe keeping.
After the cow first freshened or gave birth to a calf, we had more milk than our family could use and we sold a gallon of milk to one or two neighbors. We sold the milk for thirty to fifty cents a gallon.
It was an exciting and wonderful event when the cow gave birth to a new calf. I guess, because our chickens lay eggs, the children said the cow was going to “lay a new baby calf.” It was fun to wait and anticipate the new little animal. Of course we never knew the exact day
that the calf would be born and the event was anticipated with much anxiety. Near the expected time of arrival, we all went to the farm each day. When the cow finally did “lay her baby,” the children all wanted to pet and hug the calf and feel the soft hair of the new born. The mother
cow was protective, but generally patient in allowing us to enjoy and love the little animal.
The cow was really a family pet and she stood quietly and patiently while the children rubbed and patted her head or sides or rump. They pulled tufts of grass or weeds in their hands and fed the cow. They extended love to her and she gave love back in return.
Bob built a stanchion to feed the cow while he milked her. He put hay in the enclosure and poured dairy grain over the top of the hay. He was kind and gentle with her and she returned in like kind. One day while he was milking her, the cow reached around and put her head back toward him. She gave him a big wet lick up the side of his cheek with her long rough tongue. We all laughed at that experience, but Dad did not think it was too funny. “That crazy cow!” he said.
Home made ice cream was a wonderful, tasteful treat that we made often on a Sunday evening, especially during the cold winter months. I followed my mother, La Vern Taft’s, receipt for making ice cream. Her receipt called for a cooked custard as the foundation of that special treat. The custard needed to be cooked for at least an hour. “Then the custard will not taste raw,” Mom said. I rigged up a double-boiler effect by setting a six-quart sauce pot in an electric
frying pan with about an inch of water in the bottom of the frying pan. The water in the bottom of the fry pan prevented any scorching of the milk product.
In the winter we used what ice we had in the ice cube trays from the ice compartment of the refrigerator to make ice cream with. The remaining ice was gathered in the form of icicles from the house eves of the neighbors homes. Some of the icicles would be three feet or more in length. It required three children to gather the needed ice, two to carry a large tin tub and one to knock the ice from the roof into the tub. They used a brook to knock the icicles down. The children had such fun gathering the ice.
In our early family days we used a hand-turned freezer that was given to us. The older children turned the freezer and a younger child sat on a coat or a bath towel put over the cold ice of the freezer. These small bodies helped hold the freezer stable when the ice cream began
to freeze harder in the freezer can.
A fun and delight some spin off from the cow and ice cream was to have ice cream for breakfast the next morning. The six-quart freezer can held more ice cream than we could eat on a Sunday evening. On Monday morning the family loved to remove the towel that covered the
top of the freezer and take off the lid. They dug the still frozen delicacy out and we ate it for breakfast. My, what special treats to start a day with. We sometimes had bananas and walnuts that we ground through a little nut grinder to put with the ice cream.
One Monday morning Mother was at our house. She was shocked to see the children eating ice cream for their early morning meal. “Oh, Sister,” Mom said, “aren’t you going to feed these kids a better breakfast than that?”
“Why Mom,” I replied “This is a wonderful meal: eggs, milk, cream and fruit. What could be a more healthy meal?”
“Yes,” Robert said, “and it tastes so darn good. In addition, Craig and Stew will be jealous when I tell them what we ate this morning.”
“Well, I guess so,” she said and joined in the tasty breakfast.
Rich blessing and rewards in our life because of hard work, a family working together and a families milk cow.

Grandma La Vern Taft’s recipe
3 scant quarts of milk 1 tsp. salt
1 cup flour 1 can condensed milk
3 cups sugar 1 tbsp. lemon flavoring
1 qt. cream 1 tbsp. vanilla flavoring
10 eggs whipped until they are fluffy

Put the milk, and can of milk on to cook in a six-quart sauce pan set in a fry pan with water in the fry pan. Mix the flour, sugar and salt together and add to the milk mixture and stir well. Cook in the double boiler for about an hour. Be sure to stir frequently and keep mixture from sticking on the bottom of the pan.
Remove filling from the heat and add the eggs to the milk mixture. Be sure to add several spoonfuls full of eggs to the hot milk, and stir well. Add all the egg mixture to the filling and stir well. Set to cool. When cool pour through a strainer into the freezer can. Add cream, lemon and vanilla flavoring.

1. To make Maple Nut flavor, leave one cup of sugar out and add one cup of brown sugar when you cook the filling. Add one tablespoon of maple Nut flavoring in the place of the lemon flavoring to the freezer can. This is a very rich good flavor.

2. To make Carmel ice cream, caramelized one half cups of sugar in a frying pan over the heat of a burner. Add to the filling before the filling is cooked. Cut back one half cup of sugar in the filling.

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