From the monthly archives:

March 2010

Oaklawn Park

by Julie Kohl on March 28, 2010

On Wednesday we enjoyed a day at the Horse Races.  This has kindof become an annual Spring Break tradition for us.  Oaklawn Park is a little over 2 hours away in Hot Springs, Arkansas.  They have had live horse racing there since 1904.  The history of Oaklawn Park and Hot Springs itself is REALLY interesting.

Hot Springs has 47 thermal springs that produce water that flows out of the ground at approximately 145 degrees farenheit.  The famous bath houses have been around since the mid to late 1800′s.  They were used as ”health resorts” and people staying in the local sanatorium were often sent to the bath houses for a variety of strange and unusual treatments as well as to enjoy the healing waters of the springs.  A lot of the city, including many of the bath houses were destroyed during the Civil War.  During the rebuilding of the city several disagreements arose about which land belonged to whom.  On April 24, 1876 the federal government took over the land title of Hot Springs and set up a special commission to deal with laying out the city, issue land deeds and set aside a certain portion of the land around the springs to be a permanent government reservation.  Hot Spring National Park is the oldest federal reserve in the USA and the Hot Springs National Park Quarter will be the first released in the America the Beautiful Quarters Program which begins this year.

Gambling became a favorite activity in Hot Springs in the late 1800′s and continued until the “illegal” casinos were shut down in 1967.  During this era Hot Spring became the nations largest gambling attraction in the country, outnumbering the casinos in Las Vegas.  Al Capone and other well known gangsters were flocking to the retreats in Hot Springs.  In 1946, casinos were made “illegal” and gambling came to a halt until 1954 when Orval Faubus was elected governor and chose to “turn a blind eye” to the gambling that was going on in Hot Springs.  In 1967 police were sent by Governor Winthrop Rockefeller to board up the casinos and burn all of the gaming equipment.  The Oaklawn Park Racetrack was somehow spared and to this day remains one of only two legal gambling locations in the state of Arkansas.

We arrived and had lunch which is expensive but good.  They have really yummy corned beef and Reuben sandwiches.  After we ate we watched several races.  Richie really enjoys betting on the horses.  He usually only plays on around $20 for the day and still has fun.  He did win $38.00 on a single race which was neat.  I only bet on two of the races. I just don’t get that into the whole betting part but I like to see the horses and watch the races.  All in all it was a really fun day! The BEST part was that I actually got CARDED!!!! I told the guy I had been 21 for a LOOOOONG time but he still needed to see my ID!

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Winners Circle – Caught in a Cooking Rut

by Julie Kohl on March 27, 2010

Congratulations! The winner of the $10.00 Amazon e-card was Graciegreeneyes or Amy Grace of Washington state!!!  I used random.org to select my winner.  We had 12 individual entries and random.org generated the number 4 and Graciegreeneyes was the fourth entry!

Graciegreeneyes wrote:

“My “go-to” dinner has recently become frittata. With 7 eggs a day being produced by our happy chickens we always have the basic ingredients. You can mix it up by switching the cheese/meat/veggies/seasoning, so you don’t feel like you are having the same thing all the time. They cook pretty quickly too, so you don’t need to have too much planning time either.
We are prone to the “oh, let’s eat out” thing too – fortunately the nearest affordable restaurant is 25 miles from here so it serves as a deterrent:)”

There were many really great ideas and I will be featuring them over the next few weeks!  Thanks to everyone who entered!

The next contest will be in mid April, so check back often!

This contest was sponsored by me and Amazon.com has no clue who I am!

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Killing The Rooster

March 23, 2010

WARNING: Some people may find some of the following pictures and content  to be graphic.  I tried to keep it pretty tame but be forewarned! I butchered a rooster today!  I have never killed and butchered an animal for food before.  My husband killed a deer once but they did all the work – I […]

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Creamy Asparagus Soup

March 21, 2010

It’s spring and one of my favorite vegetables is starting to come into season! I LOVE asparagus.  My friend Jonni recently posted a recipe for a Cream of Asparugus soup that she saw in Bon Appetit Magazine.  The recipe looked great but I wanted to make it my own.  I think celery has an amazing […]

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Free Range Chickens

March 20, 2010

The new hen house is mostly finished. I need to make some minor modifications to the roost area and I need to finish the brooder but otherwise it is pretty near complete.  Our 7 birds that were already free-ranging have been living in it since last week.  They seem to enjoy it and because it is […]

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Caught in a Cooking Rut! (And a Contest!)

March 19, 2010

I find if I dont make a weekly menu it becomes so much easier to say “lets eat out tonight!”  My husband and I have gotten in a bad habit the last few weeks and have been eating out 2 or 3 times a week instead of once.  Part of the problem is that things have […]

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Turnip Greens, Bacon and Shiitake Quiche

March 13, 2010

Today was Basket-A-Month day!  After a 2 month hiatus I am so glad to be getting fresh local food again!  Today’s basket was beautiful and contained Turnip Greens, Spring Mix, Shiitake Mushrooms, Bacon, Sweet Potatoes, Brown Rice, Butter, Milk, Cheese, Sorghum (or Honey in some baskets), a jelly and Eggs.  The eggs in the Searcy […]

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Student Artists

March 11, 2010

Did you know that my “paying” job is as a k-12 art teacher?  It’s true! I see every k-6 student in our school on a weekly basis.  I see all of the 7th and 8th graders on a 9 week rotation and I have 3 high school classes that meet daily!  I am constantly switching […]

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Garden Journal 3-9

March 9, 2010

I am really looking forward to my garden this year and things are starting to come together.  I have been working on my layout plan and I think I have things pretty well situated.   I know this will change some over the next few weeks as I get the beds layed out but here is […]

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Caught Ya!

March 2, 2010

They may pretend not to like each other but now I know the truth!

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