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Agrarian Harvest

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Best Strawberry Rhubarb Pie & the Crust Failure

This is probably the best pie I have ever made.

strawberry rhubarb pie
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

The farmer and our son love pies, any kind of pie. The farmer especially likes fruit pies. The problem here is that I stink at making pie crust. By the way, that is hard for me to admit. I’m a bit of a perfectionist, so I will work on something until I perfect it. And I have worked on making pie crust for the last 13 years, I haven’t had one that has turned out or been good. So I tend to stick to graham cracker crust and cream pies, I know it’s not a healthy option, but I can make them and they are good. The problem is that graham cracker crust and fruit pie filling don’t work too well together. And the farmer is a little picky about his pies; he doesn’t want a soggy crust! And he will let me know when things are too soggy, too salty, under cooked, too bland, too anything, the list can go on. However, the one thing he has never commented about is food being cooked too long or too crunchy. He likes food well-done with some crunch to it and I like everything under-cooked and rare.

Anyway, back to the pie. Last year, our son helped make a strawberry rhubarb lattice pie and it was delicious. By the way he made the crust himself last year and it was good. Yaaay, it’s a bit embarrassing, my 8 year old makes better pie crust than I do. So this year, I decided to try it with a graham cracker crust and a crunch topping. And it was amazing!!! Even the farmer loved it!

So here is the recipe:

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

12 graham crackers ( I always use the one without high fructose corn syrups or dyes)             1/4 C Butter                                                                                                                                                          3 1/2 C Rhubarb, chopped                                                                                                                              3 1/2 C Strawberries, hulled and halved if they are large                                                                     1/4 to 1/2 C Sugar, depending how sweet you want it. I always use the least amount so 1/4 C. 1/4 C Cornstarch                                                                                                                                                1 1/2 C Oatmeal                                                                                                                                                 1/4 C Brown Sugar                                                                                                                                             1/4 C Pecans, Walnuts, or nut of your choice

Melt the butter. Crumble the graham crackers and mix with melted butter. Press into a pie plate. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 8 to 10 minutes. I cooked mine until it was dark, overcooked to me, but just right for the farmer. Set aside and let cool.

In a pot, combine the rhubarb, half of the strawberries, sugar and cornstarch. Cook over medium heat until thickens, stirring often. Remove of stove top and stir in the rest of the strawberries. Pour into the prepared pie plate.

For the topping: in a food processor combine oatmeal, brown sugar and nuts. Blend until chopped up or the consistency that you like. Sprinkle on top of pie. Let pie cool and set up, then enjoy! I hope you enjoy this pie as much as we did!

 

 

Recipes . . . . Collard Greens

As a farmer’s wife, it is thrilling for me to be able cook meals with ingredients that come directly from our farm. And I love doing it on a daily basis, however, with farming life tends to get really busy when the produce is abundant. We get consumed by task that need to be done on the farm and don’t make time to cook meals from scratch some days. On busy days we come in the house late and everyone is really hungry and tired, we tend to fall back on eggs for our quick and easy go to supper. There are so many ways to cook eggs and it is quick, then we can fall into bed to get some rest.

 

I’m always willing to try new recipes or ways to prepare things and like to experiment with my cooking. The farmer teases me from time to time that our kitchen is more like a lab.  So when I have successful new recipes or favorites I want to share it with you. I may even let you know about some of my failures. I’m wanting to spread my joy of cooking farm fresh food. I’m hoping to share on a regular basis some of our recipes that we use for preparing our produce and meat. We always eat what is in-season and readily available on our farm.

 

So at this time my focus is going to be on collard greens. I’m actually new to growing and eating this leafy green. We have been told it is a southern food. So I turned to our aunt and uncle that lives in Alabama for advice on how to cook these greens.  Tcollard greens 2hey gave me some ways to cook collard greens and I came up with some of my own ideas after search the website for recipes. Then, of course, I didn’t follow any reci
pe exactly. I do my own thing, always do!

 

Here is how we have prepared and ate collard greens so far:

  • Saute in a frying pan with bacon grease, salt, pepper, and chopped green onions and green garlic. Cook them this way on a grill and they will taste even better!
  • Throw them in a soup!  I made my version of Italian Wedding Soup, which involves just cooking sausage (not making meatballs . . . .  that takes too much time) and throwing everything in the pot to simmer. So I used collard green in the soup instead of kale. It was delicious!
  • I  boiled a ham hock with water and chicken broth. Then added sauteed onion, green garlic, salt and pepper. The ham hock simmered for several hours, then about 45 minutes before we wanted to eat I put the collard greens in the pot to simmer. This turned out like a soup, I had lots of broth in the pot. It was very good, the kids even loved it!
  • Cook the collard greens  in a pot with a little chicken broth and onions, season with paprika, salt and pepper; then drop in cornmeal dumplings on top. Put the lid on and steam the dumplings until done. This one is a favorite of our aunt and uncle from Alabama. I have yet to make this but plan to be cooking it up this week, except I plan to add chopped fried bacon to the greens. Yummm!  I will most likely post on our facebook page how it turns out.
  • Substitute them in any recipe you would use kale or cabbage.  They can be tough when ate raw, but I think they make an excellent Cole Slaw salad.

 

I am loving collard greens now! They are so versatile and don’t cook to mush, unless, of course you cook them waaaayyyy too long. Then they can turn to mush.

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