DECATUR COUNTY – I know I don't have to mention that nasty word. I know you know what it is. I am tired of having it, and going out in it, and hearing about it all over the country.

I feel so sorry for farmers this year.

I know what it is like to live with a gardener trying to raise one so I can imagine what it is trying to put in thousands of acres of crops. Even if they're in the ground, it is probably covered with thousands of acres of water. I hope crop insurance comes through to help them, even if just a little.

But after I get that off my mind, we're very lucky as there haven't been any loss of life on account of it. For the most part, there haven't been a lot of loss due to the tornadoes that went through. They keep coming through the neighborhood, but so far we've missed them. I went out to listen Friday when they were coming through this area, but couldn't hear much wind blowing. I finally went to bed feeling safe for that night.

This year's Home and Family Conference is now history. We got used to the new location and for the most part we adjusted very well. After they saw we needed chairs to sit in out in the halls, they provided them. It's always nice to have a place to sit and reminisce with friends from the past. We welcomed our new State President, Anne Moore, from Bartholomew County. She will begin her term July 1. It is nice to have one living close by so we can become more acquainted with her rather than having one from the northern part of the state who only gets down here for district meetings. .

I learned to do something I've always want to do. I learned calligraphy. It is such a pretty form of writing. It is a similar technique to the way I learned to do penmanship in business college. You use the arm to write rather than just your hand. I haven't practiced it yet, but may when I get my Christmas Cards ready this winter.

Don't forget the sewing day for making the shorts for boys Friday at the Extension Office. This is always a fun day, but unfortunately I can't go again this time. It will begin at 9 and go on until everyone gets tired. You can take a sack lunch or go out .

Have you perfected your recipes for the fair? It will be here before you know it. Don't forget to pick up your book that tells the classes, rules, and dates. They are available at the Extension Office. Remember this is not restricted to Extension Homemakers. Anyone who lives in Decatur county is eligible to enter.

CHOCOLATE CAKE

1/2 cup shortening

2 cups sugar

2 eggs

8 tablespoons cocoa

1 teaspoon vanilla

3/4 cup buttermilk

3/4 cup water

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

Cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs and mix well. Add cocoa and vanilla. Mix well. Sift together dry ingredients. Add alternately with the water and buttermilk beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix until smooth, scraping bowl and beaters. Bake at 350 degrees. For 9 x 13-inch pan; 40 - 45 minutes. For 3 8- or 9-inch pans, 30 - 35 minutes. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes, then remove from pans to finish cooling on racks. A nice moist cake.

CHOCOLATE APPLESAUCE CUPCAKES

1/2 cup shortening

1 cup sugar

1 egg, unbeaten

1 cup applesauce

1 1/2 cup flour

1/3 cup cocoa

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon soda

1 teaspoon water

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon allspice

Cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy; add egg and beat well. Sift flour, cocoa, and spices three times. Add to egg mixture. Dissolve soda in water; add and mix well. Bake in greased muffin tins at 350 degrees for 25 - 30 minutes. Use chocolate or caramel frosting.

CHOCOLATE COOKIES

1/2 cup butter

1 1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup cocoa

4 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

Cream butter and sugars; add eggs and vanilla. Sift dry ingredients and add to creamed mixture. Chill well. Roll in small balls and then in powdered sugar. Place on greased baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10 - 12 minutes.

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Decatur County resident Alice Woodhull may be contacted via this publication at news@greensburgdailynews.com.