It's official. I put in my first hour of raking hay today. I know. Just one hour. It's really no big deal, but I love doing it. My job in haying is to spell the others when needed or fill in when someone is gone. This is the tractor we use to rake hay. It's a John Deere 2520 and I think it was purchased brand new back in 1972. It has really been a terrific little iron mule for us. I like it that there is no cab on it so when you drive it, you are totally open to the elements -- the sun and wind and bugs -- and you feel the heat of the engine blow back in your face as you drive along. I like the heat so it doesn't bother me much as long as I have lots of water on board.
Looking out over the raked hay to the bales that are already made.
On the other side of me, you can see one bale way over to the left and then there's a tiny speck that is the swather cutting more hay. (click pic to enlarge for a closer look) All this hay needs to be raked before it is baled up and....."we've only just begun..." (Do you hear Karen Carpenter singing in the background?)
Here's my front view from the tractor seat. A. just put a new muffler on the tractor and it makes such a big difference in the amount of noise it makes and now the pipe is taller so the exhaust doesn't hit me in the face, even when I stand up while driving.
Here's the rear view as I watch the wheels spin the hay into the middle to make one big windrow. Sorry this picture is a little crooked, I was in motion while taking it.
Just me and my shadow...and the lark buntings and the hawks and the deer flies. The boys wear their iPods while raking since this is a mindless job, but I don't. I'd rather listen to my GodPod or pray or sing or think my own thoughts. Can you see why I love this job?
One more thing before I sign off. I just had to share this easy and delicious caramel roll recipe with you. I think it's kind of an old recipe, but it's new to me and it's so good! I made these for Sunday breakfast this past weekend and they were a hit! I think if you make these on Sunday, the calories don't count.
Sticky Caramel Rolls
1 large package of butterscotch or caramel pudding mix (cook & serve)
1 c. pecans (or nuts of your choice or no nuts)
1/2 c. butter
3/4 c. brown sugar
1 bag frozen Rhodes dinner rolls *
Before you go to bed..... grease a large baking pan. Mix butter and brown sugar together. Place frozen rolls in the greased pan. Sprinkle dry pudding mix over the rolls and then sprinkle brown sugar mixture and pecans over the rolls. Let them sit over night on the counter top to rise. Bake in the morning at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until golden. When the rolls are done baking, I turn them out onto a large platter to serve. Be careful, the caramel is super-HOT!
*I don't use a whole bag of rolls, but just enough to fit in my large baking pan in a single layer.