after having six conversations yesterday…  which was six more than I had participated in for most of the week… I came to the conclusion that moms are stressed out right now...

I only talked to women so I have no idea the stress level men are at…  

farming 18 years ago was romantic…  harvest in particular was very romantic…  being a city girl and moving out to a farm I was pretty enamoured with farm life and the urgency of harvest…

I would cook all day and then take suppers out, set up a table in the field and have all my dishes set out for the farmers to scoop some up… I would then pack it all back up into the trunk of my Kia car and get into a combine or grain truck with the farmer…

and I would stay with him until they were done for the night…  we’d watch the harvest sunsets, see northern lights and the night sky filled with stars… the smell in the air even was romantic to me…

then we decided to have children

not quite so romantic trying to cook with babies and toddlers around your feet… and not nearly as romantic in a combine or truck with small children…

then, as these children get older, even less romantic when the farmer is harvesting and the mom is stuck running the kids from rink to cross country to football…  and bedtimes are a struggle – no matter the age of the child…

this is why we need school to start up again

to all the teachers out there eagerly awaiting tomorrow when school resumes, thank you for bringing the romance back to farming!

you are giving moms everywhere a chance to not be angry all the time… or worried that we are not raising our children properly (because you get to raise them now)…

things in the house will not get moved – for a whole day – and the sound of children fighting will only happen for the evening now…

I feel like tomorrow morning around 8:30 am you will be able to hear a sigh of relief echo over the land…  as moms everywhere – whether heading off to work or working at home – are left alone for the first time in months…

I am so sorry for the moms that have children too young to go to school… there is no shame, even if you work from home, to check your kids into a daycare for a few hours of sanity…  I know I will not judge…

steph dipple's rhubarb cornmeal crostata

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup cold buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup coarsely ground cornmeal
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes

Filling:

  • 5 cups chopped rhubarb
  • 3 tbsp fresh orange juice
  • zest of one orange
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • pinch of salt

Garnish:

  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 tbsp almond milk (or whole milk)
  • sugar for sprinkling
  • whipped cream

Directions:

  • for the crust, whisk together the egg yolk and buttermilk
  • in another bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, sugar and salt
  • add the butter to the flour mixture and using your fingers or pastry cutter, work the butter into the flour
  • pour the egg yolk and buttermilk over the flour/butter mixture
  • combine, wrap in plastic wrap, and place in fridge to chill
  • for the filling, toss the rhubarb, orange juice, brown sugar, cornstarch, and salt
  • preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • put well chilled dough on a well-floured counter and roll it into a circle
  • transfer to a baking sheet covered in parchment paper
  • pile the filling in the middle of the crust
  • fold the crust up and around the fruit filling and press the edges together to seal
  • whisk the egg white and milk and lightly brush over the edges of the crust
  • sprinkle with sugar and bake for 35-45 minutes
  • let cool for at least 2 hours before cutting and serving
  • serve with whipped cream

there is no amount of sleeping in that makes up for having to take care of your children all day…

I’m not generally a morning person but I will wake up at whatever time I need to in order to get my kids shipped off for the day!

greek chickpea salad

Ingredients:

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 cups cooked penne pasta, cooled
  • 2 cups canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup red onion
  • 2 cups quartered grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 1 chopped orange bell pepper
  • 1 chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup black olives, sliced
  • 1 or 2 chopped cucumbers
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

Directions:

  • in a large bowl, combine the garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, zest and salt
  • to that add the remaining ingredients and chill in the fridge

the farmer thinks it is so easy to take care of kids all day… his advice – ‘work them, give them jobs all day, take their phones and iPad away, tell the boys to play football together and enjoy it, have them help you’

this is more how the days go… I wake up and tip-toe around hoping to not wake anyone else and have a few precious moments to myself…  I spend the rest of the day trying to hide from them…

there is a reason people get jobs outside the home…  it’s because they don’t want to be at home…  why don’t they want to be at home???  because children live there…

I’m convinced that my kids wake up and decide which out of the three of them is going to make a consistent effort that day to ruin my day…

I picture their conversation going as such… over the breakfast I supplied for them…

‘who’s turn is it?…  are you up for it?… she did mention this morning that it was going to be a great day and nothing was going to get her down… you’ll have to bring your ‘A’ game…  and can you beat yesterday’s record by making her cry before lunch?’

oh sure… they are helpful with the manual labour around the farm… and the oldest can now do a lot of the driving around and moving vehicles etc…

but you can have them teachers…  oh you can have them…  and thank you! if you need anything you know where to find me…  blissfully sipping tea in silence catching up on bookwork I’ve been too mentally plagued to do for the last two months…

beef and broccoli

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp rice wine (or rice vinegar)
  • 4 tsp sesame oil
  • 3-4 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp minced fresh ginger
  • 2 tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 lb sirloin steak (I used T-bone), trimmed of fat, thinly sliced against the grain
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 cups broccoli florets
  • 4 medium green onions, sliced

Directions:

  • in a shallow glass container (9×13), whisk together the cornstarch, soy sauce, rice wine, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, brown sugar and oyster sauce
  • add the steak and let marinade at room temperature for 30 minutes
  • in a large wok or frying pan, add broccoli and 1/2 cup water and steam until just barely done
  • transfer the broccoli to a large bowl
  • saute the beef on med-high in sesame oil
  • add the beef to the broccoli – add more soy sauce if you prefer
  • serve the beef and broccoli over some brown rice with green onions to garnish

(less romantic also due to the fact that there are this many trucks in the field… was a lot more romantic when it was one)