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Propane refill hits budget; hog butchering on tap

We had 200 gallons of propane delivered this morning. The price was $2.69 a gallon, which is probably the most we have paid since we started using it. When we lived in Indiana, we didn't use propane. It makes one eager to see spring and the arrival of warmer weather.

Also, with the days getting longer and staying daylight longer, it also will help not to use the propane lights as much. With using the lights for heat on those really cold days, it emptied the tank fast. We had our 500-gallon tank filled right after Christmas, just before the price went up to approximately $5 a gallon. We sure were relieved our propane supply held out until the price came down this much. We use propane for our water pump, water heater, refrigerator and the heater we have in our pump house.

This morning, the mercury dipped to 4 degrees, but it sounds like warmer weather is on the way for the weekend. We are hoping that holds true as we want to butcher four hogs. On Friday evening, we will dress four big hogs. Two will be for Jacob and Emma, and two for us. Early Saturday morning, the big black kettles will be filled with water to get it boiling to cook all the meat from the bones. All the hams, pork steak, tenderloin and bacon will be cut out, and the meat cut from the bones. The sausage will be ground, pon hoss (scrapple) made and lard rendered.

We decided instead of butchering hogs at Jacob's and here we would rather make one big day of it and butcher them all at the same time. We should have plenty of help with Jacob, Emma and family, and sisters Verena and Susan helping. Our oldest daughter's special friends also will help, and they sure make the work easier and go much faster. It's hard to believe daughter Verena is seeing someone. Time does not stand still, that is for sure. The family seems to keep getting bigger, but I can't complain as all the boys are nice and respectful.

Yesterday, the girls and I had a cold drive to the veterinary clinic and back. We renewed the dog license for Buddy, our border collie, and Rover, our rat terrier. Rover had to be along as he needed his shots updated. He looked pretty cozy laying on the buggy floor. There were so many other dogs there, but Rover is well-behaved so we didn't have any problems. I was glad Buddy didn't need any shots, as he takes up more space in the buggy.

I can't wait to start sewing again since my sewing machine once again is in working order. Our friend, Terry, stopped in to say hello Friday evening, so I asked him if he would look at it. It was knocked out of timing, and that was what was messing up the stitching. I will wait until all the meat is put up though.

It sounds like we will be hosting church services in May. Spring cleaning will have to be started soon. Saturday also will bring us into March already, and that means the planting season isn't too far off. Right now, with the cold weather, that is hard to imagine.

I will share the doughnut recipe mother always made on butchering-day morning. I want to make some Saturday. These doughnuts taste good for only one day, then they get soggy. They are good.

Yeast doughnuts

2 packages yeast

1 cup lukewarm water

1 cup scalded milk

6 cups flour

2 teaspoons salt

1รขÑ4 tablespoon shortening

3 eggs

4 tablespoons sugar

Sift flour in a separate bowl. Pour water over yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar. Stir and let stand. Meanwhile, pour scalded milk into a bowl and add salt and then shortening. When lukewarm, add water, yeast and 3 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Add beaten eggs and rest of flour. Let rise until double. Punch down. Cut out into shapes and let rise again. Then fry in hot grease until golden.