Reader Letters, July/August 2021
By Grit Readers
Letters from our readers this month include musings on saffron, homemade noodles, uses of blood meal, and cherishing family time.
Sold on Saffron
As I read “Sow, Sow, Sow a Row” (Our View, March/April 2021), I noted that Caitlin couldn’t find a vendor for saffron bulbs. I’m writing to give you the name, address, and phone number of a nursery in Oregon that sells saffron bulbs.
When I visited Oregon in 2018 with my best friend, she and I stayed with her godmother in Scio, Oregon. She took us to this nursery where she buys her seeds and other things. While looking around the store, I was excited to find saffron bulbs! I bought a dozen, and received advice on growing them. When we finally ventured home, I put them in a pot, watered them lightly, and waited for a sign of life from the dormant bulbs. Finally, not long after planting them, I saw shoots of green in the pot. So much excitement! After a few months, I had to stop watering them, as they need a rest from June until the first of September.
Nichols Garden Nursery
1190 Old Salem Road NE
Albany, OR 97321
To great gardening,
Infant Quilt Patterns
I just found out that I will be a great-grandmother, and I would like to make a nice quilt for the new baby. If anyone has a pattern for an animal-shaped quilt or a cute baby quilt they would like to share, I would really appreciate it.
PO Box 3
Grainfield, KS 67737
I’m a 40-year-old mom of six looking for pen pals. I love doing everything the old-fashioned way, and would love to chat with like-minded people. Topics I love include all things natural, self-sufficiency, and making everything from scratch. I’d love to write to people from all over the world who love GRIT. I’m way up here in Canada, but don’t let the cold scare you — I have a warm heart!
1575 Homer Watson Blvd.
I need license plates from the 50 states for a special project. Your help would be greatly appreciated. I will reimburse shipping.
299 Bradley Brown Road
Mount Airy, GA 30563
I would like to receive buttons of all types and kinds.
317 Jackson St.
Puryear, TN 38251
‘Looking For’ Correction
Readers, In the March/April 2021 issue, we mistakenly said that Vera Leach of Frankfort, Indiana, was looking for fabric to make “gifts.” We should have said “quilts.” We apologize for this oversight. -Grit Editors
Wondering About Weaving
My Italian grandfather, who lived in eastern Ohio, used to weave little grass baskets. Here is a photo of one that he made for me in the 1960s. I’ve saved it all these years. The little basket measures 1-1⁄4 inches, and the stem is about 21⁄2 inches long. It has darkened with age; it used to be a lighter tan color. I don’t know what kind of plant he used, but I was always fascinated that he could weave such a beautiful basket. I wonder if any of your readers have any experience with grass weaving, or perhaps have instructions on how to make a similar basket?
I enjoy reading GRIT. Years ago, after I’d make an angel food cake, I would take the egg yolks and add water, a little salt, and then as much flour as I could mix in. I would roll the dough on a floured surface, cut it into noodles, and dry them for a couple of days. (They can be frozen for later use.)
You can boil broth from beef or chicken, and then drop frozen noodles into the boiling broth. Cook the noodles until tender, and then salt to taste.
I’m 91 years of age, and most Sunday dinners, we would have chicken or beef and noodles with mashed potatoes. It was good eating while growing up. I still make my own noodles and put them in freezer in bags until I want to cook them.
A Cut Above
When I saw “Waste Not, Want Not: How to Cut Up a Whole Chicken,” (May/June 2021), I couldn’t wait to read through it and pick out all the wrong ways to cut up a chicken. It was easy — there were none! I’ve cut up hundreds of pheasants, grouse, partridge, and turkeys (and a few chickens) that I’ve harvested over the course of 65 years of hunting. Meredith Leigh does it exactly as I do for a six-piece cut, although I do one thing differently: I always delay removal of the oysters until after I split the leg from the torso and pop the femur bone out of the socket. I can then open up the cut and better see the oysters for easier removal. You can leave them attached to the thigh, which is what I do, or separate them. I learned about the oysters at a turkey production class at South Dakota State University in 1959. I hate the way many butchers process chickens. Most times, if you get a thigh at a chicken dinner, it comes complete with a portion of the back, with kidneys intact.
Dickinson, North Dakota
What’s the Deal with Blood Meal?
I saw the note about blood meal barriers to thwart off rabbits in the January/February 2021 issue (“Blood Meal Barriers,” Mail Call). What is blood meal? Do you buy it or make it? If so, where or how?
I raise rabbits. They’re a lot of work for me now, as I can’t go down my steps when it snows or ices, so I bring them up on my porch. I love my rabbits, but with my health problems, I may have to let them go.
Fried rabbit is delicious, but I put most of mine in a Crock-Pot around 10 or 11 a.m., and let them slow cook all day. I add kale during the last hour, and then have dinner and a side dish.
Virginia S. Baker
Virginia, blood meal is dried and powdered animal blood. It’s often used in gardens as a nitrogen amendment. It’s possible to make it at home, though the process can be messy and requires a lot of blood. Homemade blood meal is a great option for those looking to use every part of the animal, but if you’re not set up to make your own, it can be purchased at most garden centers and hardware stores. — GRIT Editors
Looking Forward to Family Time
Our whole family loves your magazine! We peruse it each month with excitement, always finding new ideas and inspiration. My 6-year-old son asked me to take this photo of him. We thought you might enjoy it! We’re a family of six kids, two adults, a dog, and a nice little bunch of chickens, living in a small town in Montana. Thank you for such great articles! We look forward to learning more about making the most of our space, and doing it as a family.
Share Your Thoughts
We welcome letters from our readers. If you’d like to comment on an article, share your opinions, or submit a “Looking For,” send us an email (with photos, if available) to Letters@Grit.com, or send a letter to: GRIT Mail Call, 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609. Electronic submissions are more likely to receive a timely response.
Easing Farm Chores
Boyd Hastings shares tips and tricks for making routine farm chores easier as you age from weighted gates, to elevated milking stands, to a wheelchair firewood fetcher.