Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp

Its been officially spring for 2 months and 10 days. Spring means lots of things but one of the things I most look forward to is Gardening. This year in my garden I FINALLY have rhubarb to harvest and was able to pick some for the first time this week!

I love rhubarb but it seems like most recipes have some much sugar in them so last year I went in search of a low-sugar rhubarb crisp recipe and found this low-sugar Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp at allrecipes.com. This recipe is great because it uses the natural sweetness of the strawberries to offset the tart of the rhubarb. I tweaked the recipe a little bit and came up with the following, talk about a simple recipe:

Low Sugar Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp:

  • 4 cups chopped fresh rhubarb
  • 1 pint strawberries, hulled and sliced (use an egg slicer to speed up the slicing)
  • 2 tablespoons honey (more for a sweeter crisp)
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch

Topping:

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F

2. In a medium bowl, mix together rhubarb, strawberries, honey, and corn starch. Transfer to a 9×9 baking dish. (tip: I just mixed it right in the baking dish and tossed it with clean hands)

3. In a medium bowl, stir together rolled oats, brown sugar and melted butter. Mix together until completely combined.

4. Bake for 40-45 minutes in the preheated oven, until rhubarb is tender and the topping is toasted.

Low Sugar Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Low Sugar Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

I think this is best served warm with vanilla ice cream. If you are going for the low-sugar theme serve with low-sugar ice cream, which is really good and my hubby doesn’t even know its low sugar.

I love rhubarb, so check back for some more delicious rhubarb recipes this summer! Do you have a favorite recipe you would like to share?

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You might drive a farm vehicle if…

This past week I had to drive my husband’s farm car a few days to town so it could get fixed up a bit. Driving that vehicle got me thinking about what make a farm vehicle worthy of being called a farm vehicle. So with the help from my husband and a few co-workers here is a list of 33 items that might signify you drive a farm vehicle; I think you have to meet at least 5 of these for it to be considered a farm vehicle.

You might drive a farm vehicle if:

  1. You can write your name in the dust on the outside and inside of the vehicle
  2. There are disposable plastic boots in the backseat
  3. You can’t quite determine what that smell is but it’s likely a combination of manure and something else
  4. There is an empty pop can or ten in the back end or on the floor
  5. It has a lot of rust on it
  6. There is at least one idiot light that is always on
  7. The AC and/or heat don’t work
  8. The windows don’t roll down or if they do they don’t go back up
  9. The oil gets changed 2 times a year if it needs it or not
  10. When you fill up with gas you add more oil
  11. Your vehicle has 4 different brands of tires and 2 different styles of rims
  12. Tailgate? Its either missing or so bent its not possible to close anymore
  13. Likely the vehicle was a hand-me-down
  14. Your wife can’t take the car anywhere with good clothes on unless she puts a blanket down on the seat
  15. A building collapses onto it because of the weight of snow, and “totals” it with a few large dents in the roof and box; you say it’s still a good pickup and continue to use it, but the insurance company says you just can’t insure it with full coverage anymore. (Wait, it was still insured for full coverage? WIN!!!!)
  16. When it rolls down the driveway and hits a telephone pole, all you do is laugh
  17. There is a fuel tank and tool chest in the back
  18. There are still ears of corn hanging out in the back from checkin’ the crop from the year(s) prior
  19. There is always at least one big rock in the back that you threw in because you saw it from the road
  20. You can’t drive at night because the lights haven’t worked for years
  21. Radio is set to an AM station
  22. You cannot lay a sheet of ply wood down in the back of the pick-up because the 5th wheel plate will wreck your wood
  23. You have to “pump” the gas/throttle when you turned the key to get it to start
  24. The farm dog is riding shotgun
  25. You can never find the tool you need in the shop because the farm vehicle has most of them
  26. The P-R-N-D-3-2-1 doesn’t mean anything, you have to put it into gear by feel
  27. Each vehicle has a can of ether in it to help motivate it to start
  28. There is a coat, hat, or shirt with some sort of seed logo on it
  29. There is a water jug with some sort of seed logo on it
  30. There are lots of fast food wrappers on the floor
  31. There’s a stack of insurance cards but the current one isn’t in the truck
  32. The only time it gets washed is when it rains
farm truck

Epitome of a farm truck

What would you add to the list? Leave me a comment and don’t forget to subscribe to get email updates!

Planting and Pigs

The farm has been busy for the last week. Why? Because its planting season! I wrote about planting my garden last week and about tillage work. My husband has been helping with tillage work at the farm and here is his view from the cab.

tillage

This piece of equipment we refer to as a ripper.

In addition to tillage work happening at the farm, we are busy planting!

Filling up with seed

Filling up with seed

Behind the pickup is a seed tender, its pretty much a trailer that they can put big plastic bins of seed on and an auger puts seed  into the boxes. The other option is to get your seed in 50lb bags and load each box bag-by-bag.

Just like different varieties of plants in a garden, there are different varieties of corn all with different traits and maturity dates (days until harvest).  The farm plants a handful of varieties and will use the corn raised to help feed the pigs.

Today it was 100°F at the farm and that means extra work. Kyle got up this morning at 5:00AM so he could get to the farm early for a few different reasons. One reason was so the sows would be done eating and digesting food long before it got too warm. The second reason was to make sure all of the cool cells were working, since this is the first hot day since last fall you never know if things are still going to work the way they should and its vital to keep the pigs cool.

A cool cell is like air conditioning for the barns, they utilize evaporative cooling to reduce the temperature in the barns by 8+ degrees. Unlike the expression “sweat like a pig”, pigs can’t actually sweat so they rely on their environment to help regulate their body temperature. Pigs, just like people, can have heat related problems like heat stress. Pork producers really don’t like really hot days, they worry about the pigs but certainly are glad they have the pigs in barns and not out in the sun (pigs get sunburns like people) where they have more problems with overheating.

Stay cool, I know the pigs are!

Garden: Planted

What a difference 9 days makes!

What a difference 9 days makes!

Finally, the weather has been nice for more then one day! I took advantage of a couple of warm days and planted my garden. I talked about getting antsy for spring in my Garden: Prep Work post and thought it might snow Thursday of that week. Well guess what, we missed the snow but a hour away the got 18″+!!

Garden Planted

Planted!

I planted the garden on May 7th this year. I have not planted everything yet, I’m still waiting to plant my tomatoes and peppers until the night lows aren’t in the 30°s.

In the corner with the straw are my potatoes! Yes, I’ll admit I saw the idea on Pinterest; I grew them this way last year and it didn’t work the best so I thought I would alter it a little bit and try it one more time. For my garden, where space is limited, its nice to be able to plant potatoes without taking up much space!

The same day I planted my garden, the farm started planting corn! I know all of my farmer friends are getting pretty anxious to get corn planted because they can all remember last year they were done planting by now!

Just like I prepped my garden, the farmers have been prepping their fields this week before planting. They have some bigger and far more advanced equipment then I do. I’m pretty old fashioned and didn’t use a garden tiller to work my garden, just a hand tiller. I spread some rabbit manure on my garden and likewise the farmers are recycling animal manure and using it as fertilizer for their fields. I know those farmers are sure happy for the advancements in technology, can you imagine farming multiple football field size areas of land by hand?!