Archive | April 2014

Rhubarb Harvest Time & Some Asparagus Too

Plants are finally starting to s l o w l y  g r o w and I had the first harvest of the season last week when I cut the rhubarb to  make rhubarb custard dessert.

IMG_4028Obviously I washed the rhubarb and sliced into small pieces.

IMG_4036Here is the recipe for the Rhubarb Custard Dessert.  Preheat oven to 350*.

Crust: 1/2 cup pastry flour

2 tablespoons powdered sugar

pinch of salt

1/4 cup cold butter

Cut the butter into the dry ingredients and pat into a 8″ square glass baking dish or a 8″ by 12″ glass baking dish. Bake in preheated oven for 15 – 20 minutes.

Rhubarb filling: 2 1/2 cups sliced rhubarb (Place in mixing bowl)

1 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup pastry flour

1 cup top cream (or use half & half) (top cream is what I dip off the top of the gallon of raw milk I bring in for us to drink)

1 large egg

Stir sugar & flour together. Pour over rhubarb and mix. Beat egg and pour into cream, stir. Pour over rhubarb and stir well. Let set while crust is baking.

Pour rhubarb into baked crust; lower oven temperature to 325* and bake for approximately 45 minutes. After baking 45 minutes, partially insert table knife into the center of the dessert. If the filling is still slightly “runny” replace in oven and bake 5 – 10 minutes more. When fully baked, remove from oven and let cool before serving. If you cut the dessert while still hot, it will become watery.

I normally double the recipe and bake in a 9″ by 13″ glass baking dish. Baking time is at least 60 minutes. Every oven is different, you will need to adjust the baking time to your oven.

The original recipe for this dessert came from my neighbor friend, Annetta Shirk. She added more sugar and didn’t add the egg. I tweaked it and made it my own. You take the recipe and tweak to your taste and make it your recipe.

IMG_4040I have asparagus growing close to the rhubarb, some had peeked through, not a lot, just enough for a meal.

IMG_4029IMG_4030There was just enough asparagus for a taste. Soon there will be an abundance of asparagus!


Relief Sale Quilt Blocks

At the March guild meeting, I took 2 more applique kits for the 2015 Michiana Mennonite Relief Sale quilt. Those blocks are now completed. Here are blocks 11 – a & b

IMG_4026and blocks 12 – a & b.

IMG_4027The sharper curves on these last 2 blocks were challenging for me. I just couldn’t get the bias curve as smooth as I wanted.

The pattern is Stars & Sprigs by Kim McLean. To see the pattern, click here.

Once in a Lifetime

My husband will be 62 this fall and he has lived his entire life on our farm.  It is not unusual to have Canada geese fly over the farm or make a stop at the pond, but he never has seen them land on top of the silo.

IMG_4016They just stood there awhile and looked around, finally they flew away. Maybe they were looking for a good nesting site.

My Favorite Day of the Year!

Every spring an event happens here on the farm that I very highly anticipate. Most people won’t appreciate the excitement that builds toward this event. “The Event” is called . . . putting the cows out on pasture! Yes, Yes, Yes!!!!! So much less barn work now and the cows enjoy it too.

Here are some pictures of the girls enjoying their first day of the season on the grass.

IMG_4023IMG_4022Isn’t green a beautiful color?

Springtime Blossoms

My spring flowers are starting to bloom. They are a welcome sight after a long, snowy winter.

IMG_4003IMG_4000Do you see something else starting to grow? The maple trees were loaded with seeds last fall, which means I will be pulling the sprouts this spring.

Here is an update on the aloe vera plant.


Dear Jane Retreat, part 2

I forgot about this little top. I participated in a 3″ finished block exchange at both Dear Jane retreats in 2013. There were 6 participants. We each made 6 sets of 6 blocks for a total of 36 blocks for each retreat. I decided on a simple setting of cornerstones and sashing.

IMG_3979The outside border fabric came from A Little Bit of Lolly’s during my shopping trip.

I have sewn the borders on this top since I have been home.

IMG_3995A close up of the center block.

IMG_3996This quilt was designed by my friends Edith Shanholt & Janice Nelson. They were traveling north in Michigan on US 37. While driving, they discussed the creation of this design and decided to call the quilt 37 North.

This top is not completely finished. The blocks that look like half-square/triangles are actually dimensional. A square of background fabric was folded in half diagonally, then basted onto the colored block. Now I need to turn that diagonal edge back and sew it down. The result will be a cathedral window look but I don’t know if I will complete the quilt that way or not. I think it looks very pretty just as it is and will need to think about it awhile.

Dear Jane Quilt Retreat

I’m home from the spring Dear Jane quilt retreat which was held at the Farmstead Inn in Shipshewana, Ind. Wow! So much inspiration, so many ideas, so much sewing, so little sleeping!

I got a lot accomplished. The first project completed were my Buck-a-Block blocks.


I don’t know if these look like baskets or not.

The next project was a “Zippy Strippy Quilt”. Sometimes they are called jelly roll quilts but around here they are Zippy Strippies! They are supposed to work up fast and it did. I sewed the center in 3 hours but then it took me another 3 – 4 hours to sew on the borders. I never thought it would take that long.



Next on the list were the split 9 patch blocks for the Perkioman Mountain quilt. I still have some more to sew, then I’ll update the lay-out.


After all this sewing, I was ready for a break so I did some shopping. At the retreat I am considered a “local”. We locals are used to having the many numerous quilt shops in the area, so we don’t spend the 4 days of the retreat constantly fabric shopping.  However, I did buy some fabric.

This is the fabric from Spector’s dry goods store. Not a lot of fabric, just a few pieces to add some interest to some scrappy quilts.

IMG_3977And this is what I purchased from A Little Bit of Lolly’s (they don’t have their own web site, so the click will take you to Lolly’s web site).

IMG_3978 I purchased the blue because I thought it was pretty and I like blue fabrics. The other pieces are to be fussy cut for fussy cut stars.

After the shopping I started sewing again. I worked on a kit I had purchased back in 2009. I don’t have a picture because the borders didn’t get completed. I always cut fabric into the required pieces at home so I can start sewing immediately at retreats and not tie up the cutting table. Unfortunately I forgot to put the leftover fabric into my bag so I didn’t have the necessary fabric for the corners of the border. I’ll try to finish it this week and show it to you. I also sewed some table runners and I’ll get pictures of them too.

I had a wonderful time at the retreat and I’ll go again in November, but it is so nice to be home again.