Real Food Mama

Musings about cooking, eating and everything in between.

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble April 25, 2010

Filed under: Baking,Farmer's Market,Recipe — realfoodmama @ 9:42 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Rhubarb and StrawberriesI love spring. Not only are the birds singing, the flowers blooming and the sun shining, but foods much missed over the winter are making a comeback. And the very best thing, in my mind, is the reappearance of strawberries and rhubarb – one of my favorite combos.

So this evening I decided to make an easy dessert. A simple crumble that has just enough good things in it to make it seem nearly like health food.

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble

1 pint organic strawberries – sliced
3 large stalks of fresh rhubarb – sliced
1/4 c sugar, approximately

for topping:

1/3 c whole wheat flour
1/3 c rolled oats
1/4 c brown sugar
1/4 c what germ
1/2 tsp salt
4 TBSP butter

I like to cook my rhubarb and strawberries before making something like this. The primary reason is to avoid over sweetening, or worse under sweetening, your filling. If you cook them together with the sugar on the stove top first, just until they soften, you can gauge whether or not you need to add more sugar before the final baking.

Once this has been done, go ahead and mix up your crumble topping. Place the flour, sugar, salt, oats and wheat germ in a bowl and whisk until well mixed. Using a pastry blender, add the butter and mix until you get a coarse crumb.

Pour the strawberry and rhubarb mixture into an 8×4 bread pan and cover with the crumble topping. Bake at 350 degrees until the filling bubbles and the topping mixture just begins to brown. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream and enjoy!

Aftermath

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Chickens, gardens and goats oh my! April 17, 2010

Filed under: Animal Husbandry,Home Economics — realfoodmama @ 5:19 pm
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Tomato seedlings - Black Krim

Things here have just been crazy. So much so in fact that I barely have time to cook, much less write about it.

In the past three weeks we have planted our salad garden, built a chicken coop, welcomed two baby goats and a dozen chickens into our household and have started a variety of seedlings. Things are all going very well with the exception of the eggplant. For some reason none of the seeds sprouted and I admit to being pretty upset about this given that eggplant seeds can take nearly two weeks to germinate and they need to be about a month along before you can transplant them outside. So if we replant the seeds this weekend, the mature plants won’t be able to go out for six weeks which is nearly a full month after the last frost date here.

I am determined, however, to grow them so even with the late start I am hopeful we will get some fruit this season.

On a brighter note, the tomato’s are doing absolutely fantastic and I am hoping another two weeks in the solarium will really get them going. In addition to tomatoes and eggplant, we also did some Ancho chili’s and will be doing tomatillos tomorrow. We will also be planting some new raspberry bushes, since we killed our last year when they got placed next to the potatoes, a grape vine (yippie!) and a couple of new trees, including a peach. We will see how that does here, as it was a gift and not purchased locally.

Our spinach, lettuce, cress, arugala and the first round of peas are all sprouted and doing very well outside, and all of the trees are flowering, although the apricot buds are already blown which is rather bizarre.

Apricot tree

The baby goats are getting enormous and are taking pretty much all the milk mom has for themselves. Any attempt to milk her at this point is met with an empty udder and much exertion on my part. Tonight is the first night they will be separated from her, however, so I am hopefully that tomorrow morning I will get a lot. We shall see…she is incredibly hard to milk.

On another goat related note, my Nubian lost a horn today while trying to prove her dominance and although she is slightly bloody she seems otherwise uninjured. For those of you readers who are not goat owners, she didn’t lose a big horn, she has what the goat world calls scurs, and these are remnants of an improper disbudding or horn removal at a young age. They tend to be less well attached than the real thing. Aside from being kind of gross, she seems unfazed by it so that is good.

As for the chickens, I think we have one rooster and eleven hens. The reason I think this is due entirely to the fact that one of them is getting a very red comb and none of the others are. I could be totally mistaken however, as I know next to nothing about chickens. However, if I am correct, not only will we be getting a huge number of eggs, but we also may have the opportunity to allow the hens to brood, resulting in chicks next spring!

That is pretty much all that is happening here at the urban farm. I am hoping that once the livestock issues settle themselves and we get back into a routine that I will be able to focus, once again, on cooking and eating. Until then however, here is a nice shot of the greenery in my solarium!

Happy Eating!

Plants

 

Goat disbudding and the horror of it all. April 13, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — realfoodmama @ 12:48 pm

The kids have been disbudded and they are both doing fine, although one has a rather odd growth coming out of one of the horn buds. I am a little concerned that the disbudding didn’t take. Apparently, from what I’ve read and learned, male goats are harder to disbud than females as the horns are much more stubborn. I am hopeful that it won’t sprout into a full on scur, but I’m not confident it won’t. Here are some pics:

As you can see, it is white, seems to have no hair growing on it and has pushed the scab from the original disbudding up and off. It doesn’t smell funky, the little guy is romping around like normal and generally acts totally healthy so I am not convinced it is an infection, although I was originally worried that was the case.

Any thoughts are helpful!

Aside from the above mentioned issue, the goats are doing well. Eek seems to be over motherhood already, which is a good thing because I plan on selling the boys this weekend…unless the weird scur issue makes them unsellable. She has put on some weight and her foot is finally fully healed and all of her hooves have been clipped. She does okay on the milk stand, but given how frequently the boys are draining her, I’ve managed to get no more than a few tablespoons at a time and that was under much duress! Hopefully when I start separating them (first time tonight!) I will get more milk from her.

All in all, my caprine friends are doing well, are ornery as ever, and generally stink. But I love em!