Travel & Outdoor
Country Extra

Country Extra September 2016

See more of America's countryside with every issue of Country EXTRA!  Country EXTRA is delivered in between your issues of Country.  Celebrate the people, places and stories that make country life so special. Discover America through first-hand reader visits with country folks, full-color photos, reviews of country inns, country-fresh recipes and time-saving tips and shortcuts.

United States
Trusted Media Brands Inc.
Read More
7 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
from the editor

lawn. When we bought our home a few years ago, I enjoyed getting behind the wheel of the riding mower. But as our list of chores grew, my enthusiasm for mowing waned. My son, however, couldn’t get enough of it. When he was about 18 months old, we gave him a toy push mower. He’d move that red-and-blue toy up and down the yard. Today he’s still too young to do any actual mowing, but his zeal for “cutting” the grass runs as strong, and it gives me hope that he’ll make a fine lawn boy someday, just like reader Marshall Jon Fisher’s sons, Satchel and Bram. You’ll read all about their summer adventures in groundskeeping on page 24. Also in this issue, you’ll hear from Linda Lachimia and her husband, Norman. These…

1 min.
meet our contributors

John Wiebe (above with his granddaughters) lives in Westhaven, California, among the redwoods with his wife, Carol. They’ve been married for almost 62 years. Their Mennonite heritage, along with life experience in rural Minnesota and Kansas, prepared them for survival on the coast, where John chops wood. Read about them and their dog, Tumbi, on page 62. Gail Cartee enjoys being involved in her community and church. Her passions for writing, teaching and quilts led her to help write the pioneer-themed Vacation Bible School program for her church. On page 52, Gail recounts how a forgotten box of quilts brought the past and present together for her, the church staff and the children at Bible school. We kick off our annual photo contest on Sept. 26. Enter your photo online, and you…

1 min.
everyone has a story...

Photography We appreciate a good picture around here. Our readers take adorable photos of country life. If you’re a shutterbug with images to share, send them to us. We might print yours, so please tell us a little about what’s going on in the photo. Themes we are looking for include back to school, birthdays and snow play. Local Flavor Country cooking simmers with yummy recipes, and we especially love any heartfelt stories behind them. Tell us about the cooks in your family whose meals always leave you wanting more. Or, let us know about a local restaurant that does down-home right. Please include photographs and a recipe (if you’ve got one). What’s Old is New Again Do you find beauty in treasures from the good old days? Have you fixed up a house, cabin…

2 min.

I’ve lived in a large metropolitan area most of my life. Although there is much I love about the big city, I’m starting to think small towns may have us faux cosmopolitans beat nine ways to Sunday. This came to mind one Saturday when I found myself in Commerce, about 60 miles northeast of Dallas. I was there to play with a band at the town’s annual Bois d’Arc Bash. The street festival celebrates the tree of the same name, which is French for “bow wood.” The bois d’arc is also commonly known as an Osage orange tree, and the fruit is sometimes called horse apples or hedge apples. Artists, musicians, entertainers, performers and vendors are drawn to town for the event, which is held the last weekend in September. The Texas…

2 min.
moments of grace

Making Lemonade From Lemons When my daughter Wendy was 3, she often helped me in our garden. She pulled weeds, help me pick vegetables and point out invading insects. She even had a basket that she used to carry squash, tomatoes, cucumbers and okra. Every time we ate something from the garden, she was convinced that she had done all the work to produce it. One day Wendy proudly handed me her basket and said, “Daddy, I picked the tomatoes for you.” It was filled to overflowing with tomatoes of all sizes, but only one color: green. I thanked her and pondered my options. I browsed dill pickle recipes, but found none for green tomatoes, so I adapted two recipes. We enjoyed them for months. And true to her way of thinking,…

1 min.
cast-iron comfort

Homey Mac & Cheese PREP: 20 min. • BAKE: 25 min. • MAKES: 8 servings 2/2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni 1/4 cup butter, cubed 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon pepper 3 cups 2% milk 5cups (20 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce 1/2 teaspoon paprika DIRECTIONS 1. Preheat oven to 350°. Cook macaroni according to package directions for al dente. 2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat butter over medium heat. Stir in flour, salt and pepper until smooth; gradually whisk in milk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; cook and stir 2-3 minutes or until mixture thickens. 3. Reduce heat. Stir in 3 cups cheese and Worcestershire sauce until cheese is melted. 4. Drain macaroni, then stir into sauce. Transfer to a greased 10-in. ovenproof skillet. Bake, uncovered, 20 minutes. Top with remaining cheese and sprinkle…