Spring has definitely sprung in Minnesota and we are in our transition into S-U-M-M-E-R! I just love this time of year and who doesn't love being able to take the kids outside after supper to run off some extra energy!?! I am beginning to wonder how we survived all winter? So, Mother Nature I thank you for finally returning us to our regular warm sunshiny programming.
All of our crops (wheat, sugar beets, corn and soybeans) are up at this point and some of them were nipped by frost a week and a half ago. We lucked out and everything of ours came out of it. Some of our neighbors to the north weren't as lucky as they will be replanting portions of their fields. A late frost is not unusual, it's more of a matter of when, not if. In the pictures below you can see the effects the frost had on the corn, by the browning of the leaves.
Our garden is also planted and what we didn't have enough blankets to cover from the frost I had to replant, luckily it was only 4 cucumber plants. I actually can't believe how well everything is doing! It makes me so excited for all of our yummy produce to come, but makes me less than excited to weed (thank goodness my hubby mixed me up some roundup to spot spray weeds)! Each year I say I need to not have the "go big or go home" mentality when it comes to the size and scope of the family garden and each year I somehow manage to capitalize on the "go BIG" part. I might learn my lesson one year, maybe, nah probably not...
So cheers to a growing season filled with timely rains and the perfect number of growing degree days.
A dear friend requested that I share my rhubarb pie recipe here, after she saw a glimpse of it on Instagram. Now I will take a moment to restate my unwavering love for ALL things rhubarb. So far this year I have made cake, muffins, pie, and simple syrup. The simple syrup may be my new favorite as it is provides the perfect twist to a mojito! Can you say d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s! Ok, let's get back to the main attraction of today, PIE!
The crust recipe I use is my go to know matter the type of pie. It is the most no fail recipe I have found. I grew up on crusts made with lard, but as of late vegetable shortening stole my heart for a flaky to perfection crust. So here we go, rhubarb pie, Laceys Loving Lawrence style.
1 c flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 c + 1 tbsp. vegetable shortening
2 tbsp. cold water
Cut shortening into flour and salt mixture, then add cold water. Roll out crust and place in 10 inch pie plate.
1/2 c milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 cup flour
1 1/2 c sugar
4 c fresh rhubarb, cut up
3/4 c flour
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c butter
Beat eggs; add milk, vanilla, flour and sugar. Mix well. Stir in rhubarb. Pour into unbaked pie crust. Bake for 35 minutes at 350 degrees. Cut butter into flour and sugar; put over pie and bake an additional 15 minutes.
*If you prefer a pie crust on top, double the crust recipe and leave off the topping.
Oh and don't forget rhubarb pie is served best while warm with ice cream! Besides who counts calories anyways and if you are just remind yourself that rhubarb is a vegetable ;) Happy eating!
People close to me know that I am somewhat of a serial garage saler and by serial I mean addict, enthusiast, devotee, aficionada. Get the picture? I’m the one that should have a HUGE bumper sticker reading THIS CAR CARRIES A CRAZY GARAGE SALE LADY, SHE MAY UNEXPECTEDLY BREAK OR TURN DUE TO AN APPROACHING GARAGE SALE. Now I know that wouldn’t all fit on a bumper sticker but I’d be ok with one of those vehicle wraps as long as it gets the job done. Please don’t let me husband in on my plans, he will disagree with this idea.
Now enough about my garage sale go getting wheels, onto the real guts and glory: hitting the garage sale jackpot. The one where all of the clothes are name brand and good condition with several complete snow suits hanging in the corner and three pairs of crocs priced on the floor. Now I know what you’re thinking, Crocs, really Lisa get your crap together! Honestly though they are by far the best garden shoes for my kiddos. They go from mud and muck to clean with one wash of a hose. I don’t have to worry about them accidently getting them wet and I don’t have to be the obnoxious mom screaming “Get out of the mud puddle already!” Are you getting my drift I HIT the J-A-C-K-P-O-T!
Even better I got oodles of items as you can see for $150, again this may seem pricey but when I tell you what I got…mind blown!
Now that you know my haul here are my TOP FOUR tips for a successful haul:
Spring is such a joyful time of year. Here in Minnesota we are happy to FINALLY see some green grass and hear the birds chirping after a long cold winter. It is such a joy and delight walking around the yard with the kiddos, showing them all of the new life that has sprung from the ground or lifting them up to take a peak in the bird houses.
When we moved to our current home we were fortunate enough to buy from family members who loved gardens, both flower and vegetable. There is an established asparagus patch, raspberry bushes, several flower gardens, a large plot for a vegetable garden and three established rhubarb plants. Yes, THREE! We've grilled up asparagus already so I knew we need to get our hands on the rhubarb as well!
I have quite a few go to rhubarb recipes and most of them bring me back to my childhood. I specifically remember how much I despised rhubarb picking and cutting days in my early teens. It just seemed like a never ending task, boy oh boy have things have changed. Now I can't turn down a reason to make something with rhubarb and I LOVE trying out new recipes. As much fun as new recipes can be, this rhubarb muffin recipe is TO DIE FOR.
Mom's Rhubarb Muffins
1 1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup oil
2 tsps. vanilla
1 cup buttermilk*
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups chopped rhubarb
2 tbsps. melted butter
2/3 cup white sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
Mix brown sugar, oil, egg and vanilla. In a separate bowl combine the dry ingredients. Once combined alternate buttermilk and dry ingredients into the brown sugar mixture. Mix until well combined, being sure to scrape the sides of the bowl. Fold in rhubarb. Spoon into muffin tins. Mix topping and sprinkle on top of each muffin. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
*If you don't have buttermilk in the house you can use 1 tbsp. lemon juice or white vinegar plus enough milk to measure 1 cup. Stir and let sit for 5 minutes before using.
Sometimes I find myself just needing to slow down and it's funny how God realizes this. I run, run, run until I'm ragged with little time for the REAL things, the THINGS that matter. I look around my house and I know that it could be cleaner, the laundry could be done in a more timely manner, but is that what makes me more holy or accepted by God? No, absolutely not. As our family continues to grow, as I continue to work in town, and as my husband continues to put in long hours farming I have come to realize that time is very precious. These are the years we can't get back with little ones growing as fast as weeds. These are the years to stay focused on our marriage, even with littles needing us often. So the other morning when I woke to this reminder to slow down and SOAK IT ALL IN, how could I pass it up?
"My purpose is to give life." John 10:10
I'm Lisa, a farm wife, mom and old lady at heart (or my husband tells me so). Agriculture, quilting, and baking were my first loves and now I get to enjoy them with my family!