Rural System, Inc.
 Sustained rural lands; sustained profits

Rural Rounds
The Hard Cookie for Good Times

It is hypothesized that the Rural Rounds may become a profitable product of The Products Group.

The Rural System, Inc.'s Rounds are delicious cookies or biscuits that have been perfected over years of use by me in the field for over 50 years. They are derived from a recipe that is over 150 years old, one that was carefully guarded by Mrs. Lena Bosserman Rinsland of Staunton, Virginia, as many favorite specialty recipes were guarded years ago. The recipe, one of only several found for pfeffernusse, is from the Black Forest of Germany. It bakes up into hard cookies that one forester has carried each year for over 50 years in his field jacket. They are great to "put between your cheek and gum" to soften and to while away the time while hunting, fishing, passing the boring part of a long hike, doing field research, or poaching. They're especially good on Christmas bird counts. The "real people," those with a long term view of life and their environment, savor their Rounds for a long time (the record is said to be 55 minutes). Most people cannot wait and risk breaking their teeth, but eat them anyway. They are light-weight and the spices within them are intriguing within the energy-rich survival food on the long hikes into the backcountry. They're hard as a hickory nut. You don't want them in your hip pocket when you slip on the wet log or leaves! When the rain is falling on the tent and the campfire goes out, they are great for a snack in the cold and dark.

Placed in a spoon and "floated" in the top of a cup of steaming coffee or tea, they soften and make any coffee break special while you discuss the problems and solutions for rational rural and wildland management.

Don't let the kids break their teeth on them because they are hard little things. Once they learn to soften them in their mouths, they'll appreciate you giving them a pocket full or putting some in their backpack for a snack at the end of the day or for their walk to the park or an outdoor learning experience.

Possible addition: The Rounds are made and cooked by church people in licensed kitchens of the Counties. Five percent of the profit from these sales goes to their churches. Another 5% goes to a group promoting strong relationships among churches, theology, and environmental stewardship. Another 5% goes to wildland research, especially that related to food habits and nutrition of wild animals, horses and goats, geese, and humans when in the great outdoors.

A Rounds Box (a wooden box for a big bunch of these special field cookies) is available and it is made from local woods that are thinned from Certified forests. The careful thinning allows the forests, animals, and water supplies related to them to improve from past abuses. You help by buying, eating, and giving Rural System Rounds as presents.

Start an annual tradition of giving a Rounds Box (or several) to a friend, relative, employees, or someone you really dislike (but who will surely grow to love you because of the magic of the Rounds.)
They keep coming around!

The Old Ranger

The recipe:
5 eggs
2 cups sugar
Grated rind of one lemon
3 tablespoon lemon juice
6 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cloves
Nutmeg is the hard kernel fruit of an evergreen tree and mace is the bright orange lacy covering over the nutmed. Nutmeg has the more delicate aroma of the two.
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon mace (don't use)
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 cups chopped nuts (pecans)
1/2 cup chopped citron (original)
1/4 cup chopped citron
1/4 cup chopped cherries
1/4 cup currants
Beat eggs well.

Add sugar 2 tablespoons at a time (slowly).
Beat thoroughly.
Add lemon rind and juice.
Add fruit and nuts. Mix well.
Add sifted dry ingredients. Mix well.
Chill at least an hour.
Roll 1/2 inch thick. Cut 7/8-inch diameter rounds.
Place on cookie sheet. Let stand overnight to dry.
Next morning, invert and put drop of fruit juice or brandy on each. Bake at 300 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes, until they are a pretty color. Makes at least 200 cookies. Store in a tin. Let ripen and soften before using.

Rounds are not sold in bulk but special gift boxes are available. These are rough, "punished wood" boxes, handmade by local crafts people from wood sawn from trees thinned from managed forests. They are given a stain from the local forest so that every box is unique. There is no extra box; these are real boxes for mailing. They have a thousand other uses once the biscuits are eaten. Inside each box comes a packet of weeping love grass, one of the warm-season grasses being recommended to improve wildlife conditions on farms. It can make a pleasant addition to the perennial garden. A pamphlet is included on warm-season grasses and their importance for mammals and birds soon after a tree harvest or a farm field or meadow has been left to revert to nature. Other opportunities within Rural System, Inc. are included with each box.

Perhaps you will share ideas with me
about some of the topic(s) above at

Maybe we can work together
... for the good of us all
... for a long time.

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