Stalking the Dreaded Cutworm

On the way to pick up the children from school, they see the cowboy standing by the side of the road and realize it was indeed Memorial Day weekend. For the rest of the summer it will be open season for guests, both week-enders and those who drop in on their way back from Topanga Days.

But they have plans. Tonight, the avid gardeners and their friends will stalk the deadly cutworm.

As all experienced hunters know, careful preparation is all important. The best method of procedure is as follows.

Fortify the members of the expedition with an excellent dinner. Put the young children to bed, lock the dogs in the house, the cat in the bedroom, and the chickens and the roosters, if you have any - which God forbid – in the henhouse.

Mix carefully one and a half ounces of powdered arsenate of lead with two pounds of wheat bran and enough water to make it crumble. Add half a pint of molasses - the cutworms, oddly enough, do not like maple sugar – and a soupcon of orange juice. Mix well. The mixture should be soft and not runny.

At sunset let the hunters, armed with a teaspoon of this in the bottom of open baby food jars, advance to the plants which have been assigned to them and place one on the base of each.

Retire inside silently and make sure all hands are washed well.

For desert the guests will have Fairy’s Chocolate Pudding that was made the night before.

In the morning remove the remains of the bait and count your prey. Discard in good order.

Fairy’s Chocolate Pudding

Line the bottom and sides of a deep glass bowl with split lady fingers. In a double boiler melt half a pound of Baker’s sweet chocolate and four tablespoons of water. Beat the whites of four eggs to a fine, stiff froth. When the chocolate is smooth and cool, add three tablespoons of powdered sugar and the beaten yolks of the eggs. Then fold in the whites. Pour it on the lady fingers and put it in the refrigerator for the night.

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