I've been somewhat absent lately, more by default than design. We wrapped up harvest this week and tillage will take us another week or so. It's November and we are wearing T-shirts outside. Mother Nature is sure treating us with temps in the high 50s low 60s. This makes it hard to want to be inside when I get home for the day. We have been trying to soak up that last minutes especially with daylight savings upon us. It will be dark by the time supper is on the table.
Speaking of supper I had to break out my favorite soup recipe last night even with the warm temps. Best part is this recipe is one part easy and two parts open cans and dump. I am a true believer that there is nothing wrong with taking a shortcut, sometimes it is needed.
We survived Labor Day weekend and are trying to ease our way into September, but let's be honest it will be Christmas in the blink of the eye. As a farmer's wife I fully enjoy these falls months as harvest begins and the fruit of our labor is removed from the fields and either brought to market or stored on the farm. Fall also means apples. We have contemplated planting apples trees for several years now, they were actually supposed to be my Mother's Day gift in 2015 but as you can guess that didn't happen. I promise Mr. Farmer had great intentions. We know that our family and neighbors would fully enjoy our apple trees as much as we would. I continue to dream of all of the apple pies, apple bars, apple crisps, apple sauce, and apple juice that I could make with these apples from our phantom apples trees. One day these phantom trees may become a reality, but until then we have decided to graciously accept apple donations. Thank goodness for gracious parents! I have been able to make several pans of apple crisp as well as dehydrate some. Dehydrated apples make the perfect snack. Soooo good! Not a surprise though is that apple slab bars have been the biggest hit. Tonight I kid you not I walked into the kitchen as Mr. Farmer was holding a half a row like a piece of toast...devouring it. I laughed and he goes "what?" I assumed it was a rhetorical question so I shook my head and didn't respond. So here it is the bars that can't stay in the pan for more than a day because they are THAT good!
Apple Cuts - (I call them bars above but Mr. Farmer informed me that "cuts" is the correct technical name)
7 cups apples, peeled and sliced
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup butter, melted
1 tbsp sugar
1 egg, separated
3/4 cup of crushed corn flakes or similar cereal
Put cut apples in a bowl with the 3/4 cup of sugar and cinnamon, stir and set aside. In a mixing bowl combine flour, salt, butter and sugar. Place egg yolk in a one cup measuring cup, add milk to the 2/3 cup line. Mix with flour mixture. Take half of the dough and roll to fit a jelly roll pan (extra flour will be needed to roll out the dough). Place rolled dough in the pan and top with crushed corn flakes. Fill the bottom crust with apple mixture. Roll out the remaining dough and place atop the apples. Trim and crimp edges. Beat the egg white and brush the top crust. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 45 minutes. Let cool and top with powdered sugar icing if desired.
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
Combine ingredients and add additional milk until an icing consistency is reached. Drizzle on cooled apple cuts.
I find this recipe baker friendly and have adapted it from one of my go to church cookbooks to fit our taste buds. The dough is pretty no fuss and hard to mess up, which I LOVE! Here is to a late night snack or early morning breakfast of apple cuts. The apples make it nutritious so go ahead and have one for every meal. ;)
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.
Planting season is upon us and the wheels are turning like crazy. Late nights and early mornings are leaving all of us a little groggy, but I can hardly wait to see God's work play out as seeds begin to sprout. One struggle for us whether it be planting or harvest time is meals. What do I make? Do I need to bring supper to the field? How will it reheat for leftovers? Will our almost one year old be able to eat it? Is it easy? Can I prep it ahead of time? The list really goes on. If my husband had a choice he would prefer if we ate this meal once a week at a minimum. The meal is CROCKPOT SAMMIES. That's it, nothing fancy. Minimal ingredients, easy to prepare and cook and oh so TASTY!
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!