I'm always looking for healthy food options and one morning I was looking out the window and noticed our bounty of Red Clover. I remembered always picking and eating it as a child. The clover smells so sweet, so surely, there must something you make to eat with it. So I took to the Internet, it had to be something my family would actually eat. They're pretty fussy when it comes to me ripping weeds out of the yard for their dinner.
In researching red clover I found this powerful herb is packed with vitamins A, B, C and also contains calcium, magnesium, potassium and selenium. Red clover is a great source of protein, fat, as well as fiber.
I found this recipe from "Simply Beyond Herbs" So, I thought I'd try it. So simple and uses only 3 ingredients.
Red Clover Pancakes:
One large banana
A handful of plucked purple petals
You will need a frying pan and your favorite oil. We used Olive oil.
Mash the banana then add in the 2 eggs, stir well. Blend in the clover. Drop into hot oil 2 TBSP at a time. They are difficult to turn if you make them any larger.
They looked so good, I put them on a plate. (Without the clover garnish I didn't want to give away how they were made) and took them out to the family. They were a hit, a BIG hit! Even my granddaughter wanted me to make them again the next morning. When I told my husband the pancakes were made from clover. He was silent for a moment and then said, "Not too bad...not too bad at all"
I've always looked at Dandelions as unwanted weeds. A lush green lawn was the way to go. Then we moved to the farm. Lush green lawn went right out the window and enter the Dandelions. I gave up on trying to eradicate them and noticed that Dandelions are visited daily by bees, sweet ants, butterflies, all kinds of little insects and goldfinches. Hmm, I decided to take a closer look at the dreaded Dandelion and found that each flower is surprisingly different then the other, like snowflakes. I decided to look up all things Dandelion. I found these little guys can become SO many different things! oils, vinegar, food, salves, soaps and teas just to name a few! Holy Cow! The list just kept going! Then I saw Dandelion jelly. Seriously? eww. But, the kids had no school and they were getting bored. I thought a nature lesson would be good. Dandelion Jelly it is! We took a bucket and went out to collect Dandelions (away from where the dogs are. Of course!) We picked the bigger flowers until we got about a gallon and took them to the house. We had to remove ONLY the yellow flower heads NO green, apparently it gives a bitter taste to the jelly. We filled TWO compacted cups (took about an hour, a tad bit tedious. I just kept thinking, "I hope this is worth it") and took the remains out the chickens. They loved them too. From there you boil 4 cups of water and pour it over the dandelion heads. Let cool, cover and put in the fridge overnight. This is making "Tea". Don't let the smell deter you, it will improve. The next day we poured the mixture through a fine colander and ended up with a little over 3 and 1/2 cups. we put that in a sauce pan with 2 T of lemon juice and a pouch of Certo, We also made a batch with powdered sure jell and they both worked perfectly. Bring that mixture to boil and then add 4 cups of sugar. Bring to boil and let boil a few minutes stirring to avoid sticking. Pour the golden jelly into hot jars, screw on the lids and put them into a boiling water bath for around 10 minutes. Then be prepared to shock your tastebuds with the taste of Dandelion Jelly. A velvety smooth palate of mild honey and hint of lemon. Pleasantly surprised and kid approved, I now look at Dandelions in whole different light.
Every year I have this big dream of a garden overflowing with fresh vegetables. I Love the taste of a fresh picked Tomato. Often times they don't make it back to the house. Every year something gets in the way. Farming is a lot of work that has something unexpectant popping up nearly everyday. So, Our garden...well..just isn't as successful as I would like...I'm being nice, it's usually horrible!! This Year we had flooding clear through the the first week of June. The garden was just not going to happen. I did manage to throw in a couple of Tomato plants and figured we'd just hit the Farmers market for the rest. However, Mother Nature stepped in..She gave us a pumpkin patch and LOTS of tomato plants. Then the other day I was out in the field, I spied a suspicious looking vine. I walked up to it and it was a watermelon plant! I struck Gold!!! I was so excited, I pulled back some of the leaves and there they were, big beautiful watermelons!! I grabbed my husband and said, "Build a fence around it HURRY! before the horses or the goats see it!" He laughed and said, "It's made it it this far!" I supposed he was right. I am so excited that we will have watermelon on our table grown right here on our Farm, not by me but by the curious workings of Mother Nature. Somehow or another one little watermelon seed was able to find a place in our field to take root and grow. Maybe if she works her magic again, we will find another vine growing somewhere on the Farm next year too.
I looked everywhere for the "perfect" watering can for a DIY project. Finally, I bought a vintage one off EBAY from the 1940's (As best as I can tell). When it arrived I was so surprised at the effect it had on me. The can was Beautiful, right down to the old copper "rose". I hadn't intended on using it but, I filled it and headed to my garden. What a feeling I got using this old watering can. It was like a whole different perspective, such a calming effect. For nearly 80 years this sweet watering can was used to love and care for someones garden. Now, the can is in my care and after me hopefully someone else will fall under its spell. I realize the watering can was probably replaced by the garden hose. Although the hose is faster and more efficient we now miss out on the simple pleasures of the watering can.
I know we can all go and grab a jar of jelly off the grocery store shelf and...it's a lot less work....
BUT! Where we live the roadsides and ditches are FULL of fruit producing trees and shrubs, all growing wild. 🤗 We go out often and check our "spots" to see how things are ripening. That means beautiful drives through the back roads, which we love. Then as the fruits begin to ripen WELL, We ladies LOVE to berry pick! We grab several 5 gallon buckets and the kids, we jump into the old farm jeep and get to picken'! Thank you Mother Nature!! Of course, you can get pretty hungry pickin' berries so we eat them too. :) We (hopefully) get lots of buckets of fruits to make into jellies, jams, pancake syrup and wine. Such a fun time! We just drive around all the old backroads with the kids as our "spotters" and pick black raspberries, mullberies, chokecherries, plums and (my favorite) Elderberries. All of these grow wild around us. When we aren't able to collect enough berries for jelly we make malts or ice cream toppings. It's always a Win! The Elderberries are amazing. We have to stay ahead of all the wild animals that love them too. The berries have to be picked at just the right time for the perfect taste and they're so small, about half the size of a pea, that it takes several pounds of them to make our jellies. The ones in the picture have a long way to go, when ripe they're a deep dark purple. Elderberries are a lot of work, you have to sit and pick them off the heads ONE berry at a time. It's a tediously long process. The rewards are worth it though. If you've ever had homemade Elderberry jelly, pancake syrup or a glass of elderberry wine you know what I'm talking about! Delicious!! There's a lot of family memories packed into each jar of jelly. It usually starts with "Who wants jelly on their toast!" Remember when......
We have a festival twice a year called the "Southern Iowa Junk Jaunt". It's in June and again in October. Little shops start popping up for miles. You get a map that connects all the little towns along the way. Kids are out with lemonade stands and others sell sandwiches and homemade candies. People come from all over the United States to shop. The Centerville, Iowa square is alive with some of most wonderful people you could ever meet. They have wine tasting and some of the best food ever. Little shops not open any other time of the year are chucked full of everything you just HAVE to have. Antiques Farmhouse country and artisans of all kinds.
I found this adorable little square table with 4 ladderback chairs that had woven seats. I just HAD to have it! I looked at my car and thought, How can I get all that into my Caliber??? No, that just wasn't going to happen. Worried that someone else would buy it while I was figuring out how to get it home, I snatched it up and paid for it. Then, I made the call... I called my dear husband, who knew this call was coming, according to him LOL. He drove our truck nearly an hour to meet me and load up my table and chairs. I was SO Excited. He said coming to get my table was a lot cheaper then letting me drive his truck! He's sooo funny.
I got it home and went to work. I sanded off all the old paint and put wheels on the table. Then I sealed all the wood. I put it out on our breakfast porch. Right now, it's very country or shabby chic. I might paint the chairs later, I don't know. I absolutely LOVE it though! I cannot wait until October!!
As we all slumber peacefully in our beds, the phone rings. Our neighbor heading in to open her little shop for breakfast informs us that our herd of Goats are taking up the road way. Geeez! Don't goats ever sleep in??? So, We get Jen and Michael up and off they go to herd them back to their pasture. Of course there's always that one that wants to do its own thing. I look out the window and there she goes running past the pasture and on up the hill. Gary was commentating the whole thing to me, OPE! Jen sees her and she's on it! He gets in the truck to go and help out because who wants to run up and down our steep Missouri hills at 5:30 in the morning? Without having had morning coffee! Finally, they're all back in the pasture, Jen and Michael turn to leave and the goats are like, "OH! We're going again!" No, no we are not. LOL They ended up being shut into a smaller pasture until we get the fence fixed later today. (Thank you spring flooding) In all that commotion the cattle had lined up along the fence of their pasture with plenty to "say" too. :) Gary decided to just go ahead and move them since they were all right there watching the goat action, he opened the gate and off they went all in a row to the other pasture. (They know the drill) The horses ran in from their pasture up by the barn and lined up at their feed bowls I guess they thought they needed breakfast now too. I love our Farm and all of its inhabitants. Missouri is so picturesque and so is our farm. Everything is so nature inspired and I never tire of watching it. We are blessed and I never forget it not even for a day. Hmm. with the look on Wally's face one might believe this early morning mutiny was planned.