Boilermakers Continue to Celebrate Agriculture with Purdue Ag Week

Hello everyone! I hope you’re having a great week so far! Have you had a chance to catch any of my other posts about Purdue Ag Week?  If so, what did you think? Have you learned anything new about agriculture? If not, you can read about them here, here, here and here. (Then return to the question above and let me know if you learned anything new.) :)

Learning new things about agriculture is one of the main goals of Purdue Ag Week, and the ag students are doing a great job of educating their peers about all areas of agriculture. One way they are doing this is by daily agriculture quizzes. Each day members of the Ag Week Task Force have been giving away prizes when students take a quiz about agriculture. This year, they are having students take the quiz (which features different questions each day) on their phones so they can better record the scores. Once students are done with the quiz, a Task Force member will hand them an answer sheet and go over the answers with them, along with a fun prize!

Want to test out your knowledge of agriculture? Give the quizzes a try for yourself! Here is the link to Thursday’s quiz. Answers to the questions will be posted on the Purdue Ag Week Facebook page so check back at the end of the day to see how you did! (I’ll also add the link on here after they have been released.)

In addition to the daily ag quizzes there have been some awesome events so far, with even more in store for Thursday and Friday.

Purdue Ag Week - Thursday

Thursday is the ever-popular “Pet A (Goat) Kid” event, along with a diversity in agriculture session from the MANNRS Club, a “Truth or Myth” Ice Cream session from the Food Science Club, mini tractor pulls and various other club events throughout Memorial Mall.

Thursday Instagram Challenge: Take a selfie with a farm animal featured during Ag Week events. Then, post it to your Instagram account along with the hashtags #mAGnifyPurdue and #mAGnifyChallenge and you’ll be entered to win a prize!

Celebration of Agriculture: 8 – 10 p.m. (Memorial Mall)
Thursday night will be a Celebration of Agriculture, a social event for the entire Purdue student body, where students can join together in community to continue conversations about agriculture. They will have free pork burgers along with other food, games and music. The goal for this event is to create an opportunity to build a sense of community within the College of Ag and with students from other colleges, too!

Celebration of Ag Social

To wrap up the week, there will be three club events on Friday from the Cattleman’s Club, Ag Business Club and IAAE. As well as another daily ag quiz and Instagram challenge!

Purdue Ag Week - Friday

Friday Daily Ag Quiz: See just how much you know about agriculture with the final daily quiz. To give it a try, click here. Then head over to the Purdue Ag Week Facebook page to find out how you did. (As mentioned above, I will post the link to these answers as well after they are released.)

Friday Instagram Challenge: “Favorite Photo Friday” – Post a picture of your favorite Ag Week memory and make sure to include the hashtags #mAGnifyPurdue or #mAGnifyChallenge.

 


Continuing the Conversation After Ag Week:
Purdue Ag Week will be coming to a close after Friday, but it is my hope that the conversation about agriculture will continue throughout the year. Agriculture, and the farmers and ranchers who dedicate their lives to growing our food, are so incredibly important to all of us and we shouldn’t take them for granted. I encourage you to join me in thanking farmers and appreciating our country’s advances in agriculture by following some of these agriculture causes:

Congrats to all of my fellow Boilermakers on a successful Ag Week!

 

BoilermakerAg

 

 

 

 

Purdue Ag Week: Wednesday – Farmer’s Breakfast and Oxfam Hunger Banquet

When you go to the grocery store to buy bread, apples, milk, eggs, cereal, cheese, spinach, etc., have you ever thought about how much of the price goes back to the farmer?

Probably not. The amount might surprise you.

Did you know that for every dollar spent on food in America, farmers only receive 12 cents back? 12 cents! The other 88 cents goes to packaging, food processing, transportation, retail trade, food services, energy to keep goods cool, and finance and insurance.

Farmer’s Breakfast: 9 – 11 a.m. (Class of 1950 Building)
This is another misconception that Purdue Ag students are trying to bring awareness to during Purdue Ag Week. Many people think they are paying a lot for food while farmers get rich off the profits. But in reality, farmers put a lot of time, effort and resources into growing a product they don’t end up getting much financial return on.

To demonstrate this, students from the Ag Communicators of Tomorrow and Collegiate 4-H are holding a Farmer’s Breakfast. During this event, students will receive a complete breakfast (that would normally cost them $2.00) for only 25 cents. This amount demonstrates how much the farmer would earn back from the cost of that meal.

The fact that farmers do so much work for not much in return just shows how much passion they have for what they do. Farming is truly a lifestyle and you can’t just be in farming for the money. Because on average, you won’t make a ton. Farmers simply do it for the satisfaction of helping feed the world.

So next time you see a farmer, give them a thank you for their hard work and selflessness. They deserve it.

 

Oxfam America Hunger Banquet: 6 – 9 p.m. (PMU Faculty Lounges) – RSVP Required
Also on Wednesday, Ag Week Task Force will be hosting 100 students for an Oxfam America Hunger Banquet where students will get a firsthand experience with the effects of global hunger and listen to a keynote address from Libby Crimmings of the World Food Prize.

But this isn’t just your normal dinner banquet. At an Oxfam America Hunger Banquet, the place where you sit, and the meal that you eat, are determined by the luck of the draw—just as in real life some of us are born into relative prosperity and others into poverty.

hunger banquetPhoto: Josh Kuroda – http://www.oxfamamerica.org/

When guests arrive, they draw tickets at random that assign each to a high-, middle-, or low-income tier—based on the latest statistics about the number of people living in poverty. Each income level receives a corresponding meal. The 20 percent in the high-income tier are served a sumptuous meal; the 30 percent in the middle-income section eat a simple meal of rice and beans; and the 50 percent in the low-income tier help themselves to small portions of rice and water.

That would give you a big dose of reality, wouldn’t it?

A master of ceremonies reads a script to guide participants through the interactive event. Finally, all guests are invited to share their thoughts after the meal and to take action to right the wrong of poverty.

I had never heard of this experience before, but I think it is such a creative way to bring awareness to hunger and poverty. Because as with as many resources as we have in this world, hunger and poverty shouldn’t be something people should have to worry about.

If you’re at Purdue and would like to attend the Hunger Banquet, sign up here: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0b4fabae2ca4fe3-oxfam

_____________________________________

Ag Week is only at the half way point, and I just have to say how impressed and proud I am to see students putting together all of these excellent events to help bring awareness to the various parts of agriculture.

I can’t wait to see the rest of the things they have in store!

Tomorrow I will be sharing about Ag Week events for Thursday and Friday. Thursday is the ever-popular “Pet A (Goat) Kid” event, along with mini tractor pulls and various other club events. Thursday night will be a Celebration of Agriculture, a social event where students can join together in community to continue conversations about agriculture. And wrapping up the week on Friday will be three club events from the Cattleman’s Club, Ag Business Club and IAAE.

Happy Ag Week!

 

BoilermakerAg

Purdue Ag Week Continues: Kiss a Calf, Facts on GMOs, and Hammer Down Hunger

Hello everyone! How was your Monday? Mine was fine, but definitely not as exciting as what was happening on Purdue’s campus for Purdue Ag Week!

Milk Monday was once again a success, with hundreds of students enjoying free grilled cheese and milk while learning some facts about dairy products. Check out these great Milk Monday photos from Purdue student and fellow blogger, Samuel at Life of a Future Farmer!

MILK MONDAY 2015

Boilermakers ended their Monday with the privilege of listening to Dairy Carrie and Brian of The Farmer’s Life share about life on the farm.

Today, Ag Week continues with a variety of engaging events.

Purdue Ag Week - Tuesday

Kiss A Calf: 10 a.m – 3 p.m. (Memorial Mall)
Kicking off the day is Heifer International’s new event. For a small donation ($1) which will go to Heifer’s global ag efforts, students can love on a little calf!

Getting to give these little calves a smooch is adorable, but the cause these donations will go to is the real star of this event. Heifer International’s mission is to work with communities to end world hunger and poverty and to care for the Earth.

Founder of Heifer International, Dan West, was a farmer from the American Midwest who went to the front lines of the Spanish Civil War as an aid worker. His mission was to provide relief, but he soon discovered the meager single cup of milk rationed to the weary refugees once a day was not enough. And then he had a thought: What if they had not a cup, but a cow?

That “teach a man to fish” philosophy is what drove West to found Heifer International. And now, nearly 70 years later, that philosophy still inspires their work to end world hunger and poverty throughout the world once and for all. They empower families to turn hunger and poverty into hope and prosperity – but their approach is more than just giving them a handout. Heifer links communities and helps bring sustainable agriculture and commerce to areas with a long history of poverty.

“For generations, we have provided resources and training for struggling small-scale farmers in order to give them a chance to change their circumstances.” – Heifer International

Ag Policy and GMOs: 10 a.m – 3 p.m. (Memorial Mall)
Also in Memorial Mall, will be the Agronomy Club and ASAP discussing Ag Policy and GMOs. These are both hot topics in the agricultural industry that most people don’t know much about.

GMOs (genetically modified organisms) are simply the process of intentionally making a copy of a gene for a desired trait from one plant or organism, and using it in another plant. This process is used to select valuable traits such as reduced yield loss or crop damage from weeds, diseases, and insects, as well as from extreme weather conditions, such as drought.

There are several misconceptions around GMOs that these students will strive to clear up. One is that GMOs are bad for our environment because the farmers that grow them spray huge amounts of pesticides. But in fact, GMOs actually reduce the impact of agriculture on their environment and their costs — by applying pesticides in more precise ways, for example.

Another misconception is that people think all crops are now being genetically modified. This isn’t true either. Did you know there are currently only eight crops commercially available from GMO seeds in the US? They are corn (field and sweet), soybeans, cotton, canola, alfalfa, sugar beets, papaya, and squash.

A lot of the crops that people think are GMOs are actually hybrids. (For example, a honeycrisp apple is a hybrid, not a GMO.) A hybrid produce is created when two different varieties of a fruit or vegetable, or two different types of a fruit or vegetable, are cross-bred with each other. This is not the same thing as a GMO where a selected trait has been inserted into a plant’s DNA.

To learn more about GMOs, I encourage you to visit www.GMOAnswers.com.

 

Hammer Down Hunger 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. (Memorial Mall)
The final event of the day will be the second annual “Hammer Down Hunger” meal packing event. Last year, students from Ag Week packed over 57,000 meals to send to underprivileged children in Haiti. This year, their goal is to pack 70,000 meals!

hammer down hunger2014 Hammer Down Hunger event

I don’t think they’ll have a problem hitting their goal. The Ag Week Task Force told me that the shifts for this event are already filled by around 500 students (from all over campus) willing to volunteer! How awesome!

I hope everyone has fun at all of the events today! I’d love to hear if you get the chance to attend any of them! If you post any photos or updates on social media, be sure to use the hashtag #mAGnifyPurdue so I can see how the events are going.

Also, be sure to check back again tomorrow for Wednesday’s events. One important event I’m looking forward to sharing with you is the Farmer’s Breakfast from Ag Communicators of Tomorrow and Collegiate 4-H! This unique event will be providing students with a complete breakfast meal for only $0.25 – check back tomorrow to learn the meaning behind this certain price!

Happy Purdue Ag Week!

BoilermakerAg

Purdue Ag Week: Milk Monday and Dairy Carrie

Purdue Ag Week has officially begun! As I mentioned in my last post, Purdue Ag Week is a campus-wide initiative at Purdue University that encourages meaningful peer-to-peer conversations about agriculture. Over 25 College of Agriculture student clubs are working to inspire others to See What Ag Gives by hosting interactive events this week across campus.

Purdue’s Collegiate FFA kicked off the week’s festivities with a Farmer 5K Run/Walk to raise awareness about agriculture and the unfortunate reality of food insecurity. It was a success! The event raised $720 for a new Food Finders Food Bank school pantry that will help feed school children during the summer and help battle food insecurity in the Lafayette area. Great work everyone!

Milk Monday: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. (Memorial Mall)
The next event on the schedule is Milk Monday! Hosted by the Purdue Dairy Club, Milk Monday highlights facts about the dairy industry and promotes the nutritional benefits of dairy products by providing students with free grilled cheese sandwiches. The Dairy Club plans to give out 1,000 grilled cheese sandwiches on Memorial Mall around lunchtime. (Seriously, who doesn’t love a good grilled cheese? Can you guys deliver one to my office?)

This event always holds a special place in my heart, because when I was a senior at Purdue, we (Ag Communicators of Tomorrow) partnered with the Dairy Club to hold the very first Milk Monday as part of Grand Alternative Week! It’s so great to see this tradition continue as part of Ag Week and spreading even more awareness for the dairy industry.

Milk Monday - chelsea

Milk Monday - group

Oh and if you stop by, be sure to snap a picture of your Milk Monday experience and enter the #mAGnifyPurdue Instagram challenge! (More details below.)

Dairy Carrie: 4 p.m. (Krannert Auditorium)
Then, keeping with the dairy theme for the day, the Dairy Club is bringing in blogger Dairy Carrie to speak at 4 p.m. in the Krannert Auditorium! If you aren’t familiar with Carrie, she and her husband farm with his parents on their 100 cow dairy farm in southern Wisconsin. She writes about agriculture and her life as a dairy farmer on her blog, The Adventures of Dairy Carrie.

Purdue Ag Week - Dairy Carrie Ad

As part of Ag Week, Carrie will be sharing her agriculture story and giving students the chance to ask questions and learn more about what life is like on a dairy farm. And from what I know of Carrie, she’s pretty funny, so I’m sure you’ll also get a few laughs along with it.

I really wish I was in town to attend this event, because Carrie is a great blogger and has wonderful life and on-farm experiences to share with everyone. If you’re going to be in town, I really encourage you to attend her session! If, not you can learn more about her by heading over to her blog or Facebook page.

Ag Week Instagram Challenge
Another neat feature of Ag Week is their new Instagram challenge! Each day they will be having a contest on Instagram featuring a different challenge that coordinates with that day’s events. With each contest, you simply post a picture on Instagram that meets the challenge and enter by using the hashtags #mAGnifyPurdue or #mAGnifyChallenge.

Monday’s Challenge – Post a photo sharing about your experience at Milk Monday!

It’s only the second day of Ag Week and they already have a lot of great things happening! The events continue tomorrow with Heifer International’s Kiss a Calf, Agronomy Club and ASAP’s sessions on Ag Policy and GMOs, and the Hammer Down Hunger meal packing event. Check back tomorrow to learn more!

Happy Purdue Ag Week!

BoilermakerAg

mAGnify: A Closer Look at Agriculture with Purdue Ag Week

With the majority of our population being three generations removed from the farm, knowledge of how food is grown and where it comes from is decreasing with each generation.

But more recently, consumers are looking to know more about what is in their favorite foods and how they are grown. So in an effort to help increase awareness about agriculture, students from Purdue University created Purdue Ag Week.

Purdue Ag WeekIn its fourth year, Ag Week is a student-organized event that aims to show the campus of Purdue what agriculture gives. The Purdue Ag Task Force, a Purdue student organization, leads the effort and aspires to make Ag Week an event where the various facets of local, national and international agriculture are understood and celebrated.

The theme of this year’s Purdue Ag Week (April 12-17) is mAGnify: A Closer Look at Agriculture. Throughout the week, more than 20 student clubs and organizations will be hosting interactive events that highlight different aspects about agriculture. The goal of these events will be to give students a closer look at how farmers, ranchers and the agricultural industry produces the food, fiber and fuel that are so vital to all of us.

In addition, members at the Ag Task Force booth on Memorial Mall will be giving away t-shirts, stress balls and koozies when students take a quiz about agriculture. This year, they are having students take the quiz (which features different questions each day) on their phones to emphasize technology and better record the scores. Once students are done with the quiz, Ag Task Force members will discuss the answers with them and share additional facts about agriculture.

I realize many of you might not be able to physically attend if you are in different parts of the state or country, but I still wanted to help spread the word about this awesome event and pass along the important facts being shared at the various events.

This week, I will be publishing a series of posts highlighting the various Ag Week events that will be taking place. Be sure to check back to see all of the things they have in store!

SUNDAY, APRIL 12
Kicking off this year’s Ag Week will be Collegiate FFA’s Farmer 5K! In this farmer-themed run/walk, students are inviting runners to grab their bibs, flannel, and other farm gear to raise money for the Food Finders Twin Lakes Student Food Pantry. This race is aimed at raising awareness of the agricultural industry and supporting efforts to help end food insecurity.

Did you know that one in six Americans experience hunger or food insecurity? This combined with the fact that farmers will have to produce an estimated 70% more food by 2050 in order to meet the rising world population demand is alarming.

During the 5K, runners will blaze past agriculture facts as they complete the course, learning about different food, farms, and farmers around every turn. The race begins at 9:30 a.m., with on-site registration and packet pick-up taking place from 8:00am to 30 minutes before the race at the Purdue Engineering Fountain. All runners and walkers must be registered. If you’re interested in participating, or even just watching, you can find all the details on their Farmer 5K website.

Farmer 5KAg week continues on Monday April 13 with the Purdue Dairy Club’s Milk Monday event and a presentation by dairy farmer and blogger, Dairy Carrie! Check back tomorrow to learn more about these fun and exciting events. Also, don’t forget to follow along on social media by using the hashtag #mAGnifyPurdue and following @PurdueAgWeek on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Happy Ag Week!

 

BoilermakerAg

In Honor of Pi Day: Cushaw Squash Pie

I originally wrote this post for my contribution to RuralHousewives.com back in November, but never got around to posting it on this blog. Well, today is the day. It’s Pi Day! And what better excuse to honor this special “Once in a Century” Pi Day than with a special pie recipe!

In case you forgot since freshman geometry class, Pi (π) is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. Pi is a constant number, meaning that for all circles of any size, Pi will be the same. The diameter of a circle is the distance from edge to edge, measuring straight through the center. The circumference of a circle is the distance around. *

Today is a very special Pi Day that comes but once in a century. The date, 3-14-15 will be the only time before 2115 that the date reflects five digits of the magical, infinite number, 3.141592653… Oh and be sure to note the time 9:26:53 this morning and night, when even more digits will match pi!**

The star ingredient of this pie (which is very special to my family), cushaw squash, is grown in the fall. But you can stick this recipe in your recipe box and save it for when fall rolls back around! Hope you enjoy!

BoilermakerAg.com_CushawSquashPie

 

NOVEMBER 11, 2014 — During the fall, the typical star ingredient is pumpkin. And there are pages upon pages of recipes for it. But as this Thanksgiving approaches, I wanted to feature a unique ingredient that is sure to win the rookie of the year award at your Thanksgiving table…squash! But this is not just any ole’ squash recipe, it is my family’s traditional Cushaw Squash Pie!

“Squash pie?!” you might be asking. “That sounds awful!” Well let me tell you, it’s anything but awful! It could win over pumpkin pie any day in my book.

To me, squash pies are a familiar family favorite and are the star of the show every Thanksgiving. But as I’ve gotten older it seems that few people know about them!

As I started thinking about it even more, I realized that I hadn’t had much experience making them. That was always Grandma’s job! So when I was home this weekend I took the opportunity to spend some quality time with my wonderful grandparents and learn exactly how to make one of our favorite family recipes.

And since this recipe is just SO incredibly good, I am going to share it with you too!

Before we get started, I’ll give you a little more background on what cushaw squash actually is.

SquashPie_09

Cushaw squash  – “wait, that’s not just a gourd?”

The green-striped cushaw is a crookneck squash that typically weighs 10 to 20 pounds and grows to be 12 to 18 inches long. The skin is whitish-green with mottled green stripes and the flesh is light-yellow. It is mild and slightly sweet in flavor; meaty in texture and fibrous.

It is sometimes called “cushaw pumpkin” and is often substituted for the standard, orange, jack-o-lantern pumpkin in pie-making.

Cushaw is mainly grown in the southern and southwestern United States. It is a hardy plant, one that tolerates heat and resists the deadly vine borer; can be grown easily in vegetable gardens, and it can be stored for an unusually long time. While the green-striped cushaw is not endangered per se, it tends to be grown in small batches for private use, and is not widely available in retail markets. Although widely known, the cushaw is a favorite ingredient in a few culinary cultures, including to some southwest Native Americans, to the southern Appalachians, and to the Louisiana Creoles and Italians.

Making cushaw butter is a family tradition in Tennessee, and all around Appalachia cooks prefer to use cushaws in their pumpkin pies.

This squash pie recipe has been passed down from my great grandma, Mary Alice Griffin (“Grannie Griffin” as we refer to her), who grew up in Blackford, Kentucky. And according to my grandma Patsy, aka “Grannie Pat”, it may have even been passed down from Grannie Griffin’s mom, Florence.

My mom and grandparents recently took a trip to Blackford to revisit some of the places grandma and great grandma grew up and it was incredibly fascinating to learn about! I wasn’t able to go, but my mom captured some wonderful pictures to keep as memories of the trip and our family’s history.

Veteran’s Day

As I was writing this, I remembered that today is Veteran’s Day. I wasn’t sure at first if I was going to be able to incorporate that into my post about squash, but as I was looking back through the pictures my mom took, I was reminded that Blackford, KY also has a wonderful Veteran’s memorial!

That was the perfect sign that I couldn’t, and shouldn’t, go without recognizing its significance in my post.

BlackfordVeteransMemorial

My grandpa Jim, or “Gramps” as I like to affectionately call him, was a veteran of the Korean War and was also along on the trip to Blackford. He enjoyed looking at the bricks in the memorial and even found one of my Grandma’s uncle, Major!

 

Family and history have always been important to me, but I think I have come to appreciate them even more as I get older. And one thing I try to always remind myself is that our country is what it is today because of the people who have come before us and worked to build it.

So today, this post goes out to the Veterans in my family as well as all of the brave men and women who have fought, and are still fighting, to keep our country safe. From the bottom of my heart I want to say, THANK YOU.

Squash Pie with Grannie Pat

This past Saturday I invited Grannie and Gramps over to my parents’ house and got a lesson in Squash Pie making – straight from the pro. My sister was there to help document the day with pictures, allowing me to fully concentrate on learning all the tips and tricks. And my dad, well, he was just there to be the taste tester. :) It was such a fun afternoon!

Alright, now let’s get down to business. The first step is to cook you squash. This can be a little bit of a process so be sure to plan in advance. I found a great tutorial on how to cook cushaw squash from The Novice Chef, but my Grannie Pat’s way of doing it seems even easier!

Step 1: Cooking Squash

Begin by washing one cushaw squash. Cut the neck of the squash off and cut into slices, (like the Novice Chef suggests). Then, cut the main part of the squash inhalf and scoop out the seeds like a pumpkin. Once that is done, cut the squash into large chunks. Here’s the difference in this technique – DON’T worry about peeling the squash before you cook it. And trust me, you’ll be glad you don’t have to worry about it because peeling a squash like this is a pain!

IMG_2354

Cook the squash in boiling water until the pulp of squash is soft. Let cool and the peel will slide right off. Once the peel has been removed and the squash is cool, place it in a food mill, food processor, or blender and puree until smooth. This creates the pulp for the pies.

(My mom had several bags of squash pre-cooked so we didn’t do the whole cooking process during this lesson, but it seems pretty straight forward.)

We store the pulp in Ziplock bags in the freezer. This can be kept up to three months or you can also can the squash to save for the whole year! We can it in chunks, not as a puree.

Step 2: Make Crust & Prep Pie Plate

Since we were going all out for this example, we decided to make homemade crust, but if you’re in a hurry, store bought pie crust will be fine as well. Grannie said that’s all she ever uses now days!

Grannie Pat Tip #1: Before putting your pie crust in the pan, rub some butter around in the bottom of the pan and it will prevent the crust from sticking to the bottom.

Place your pie crust on your pie plate. Since we were rolling our dough out, we rolled the crust up on a rolling pin to help keep it in good form as we transferred it to the pan. Make sure to press your crust down around the entire bottom of sides and so you’re not short when you cut the excess crust off the edges.

SquashPie_04

Once you have your pie crust positioned, cut the excess crust off around the edge of the pie plate. And I always like to add a decorative little fluted edge around my pies just for presentation.

Step 3: Preheat Oven and Make the Pie Filling

Before you start with the filling, remember to preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

For the filling, start by breaking two eggs into a large mixing bowl and add 1 ½ cups of sugar. (The original recipe calls for 1 ¼, but Grannie Pat always adds extra.) Beat until smooth and then add in your squash pulp.

  SquashPie_24 SquashPie_22

Grannie Pat # 2: If you want to make great big thick pies, just double the recipe for the filling.

Next add in the milk and vanilla. For this, Grannie says it doesn’t hurt if you put more than the recipe calls for so just eyeball it. In this case, I added about ¼ teaspoon more that the recipe says. Depending on your strength of vanilla extract, this can be increased or decreased.

SquashPie_25

I was using our local town’s specialty, Grandpa Derr’s Vanilla Extract, which is a little bit stronger than most varieties so I didn’t add too much over.

And finally, you’re going to add a thickening agent of flour and water, (also known as a roux). To do this, get a little bowl and put 2 Tbsp of flour into a ¼ cup of cold water. Sometimes she just guesses at it without really measuring. Keep mixing it with a fork until all of the flour is dissolved in the water.

Grannie Pat Tip #3: The more of this you put in the faster it bakes and the thicker it gets. Grandma usually doubles it and decreases the baking time if she’s in a hurry.

Once dissolved, add to mixture and beat a little more until combined.

Step 4: Building Pie and Baking:

Before you pour the filling into the crust, I have one awesome little secret for you. This one comes straight from Grannie Griffin. Her trick was to sprinkle the pie crust with some sugar before you pour anything in. Her reason, not sure. But why not?

SquashPie_27 SquashPie_28

Pour the filling into two unbaked pie crusts and sprinkle the tops with cinnamon and nutmeg. (Grandma does more cinnamon and less nutmeg.)

SquashPie_33 SquashPie_08

Then place in the oven for at least 45 minutes. Grannie Pat’s original recipe says to bake for 15 minutes at 425 and then reduce to 350 until set. But depending on your oven, you may want to just watch it to see what works best. And be sure to keep checking them to see if they shake.

Grannie Pat Tip # 4: You need the right amount of shake! They’ll still shake when they’re done, but you just have to keep watching them. (This comes from years of practice so until you become a pro at identifying this shake; you can stick a knife down in the pie to test it. When the knife comes out clean, the pie is done. If filling is left on the knife, keep baking for a few minutes.)

Once the pies are done, let them completely cool on a cooling rack before serving. This allows it to fully set up and obtain the consistency of the familiar pumpkin pie.

Serve with cool whip and store leftovers in the refrigerator… if there are any. :)

IMG_2357

This blog was longer than I normally write so if you’ve made it this far I want to thank you for taking the time to read about my family’s history and this recipe that is so special to us.

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration with your family and I’d love to hear if you decide to add our squash pie to the menu!

Full Printable Recipe: Cushaw Squash Recipe

 

Photos courtesy of Ali Nord and Becky Nord
*Information courtesy of http://www.piday.org/learn-about-pi/
**Information courtesy of http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2015/03/14/pi-day-kids-videos/24753169/

Create Great Moments More Often

This past weekend, I joined my fellow Indiana Farm Bureau Young Farmers for our annual leadership conference in Indianapolis.

I always enjoy attending this conference because I get to visit with friends from all across the state, learn more about the latest topics in agriculture, and hear some great messages from the keynote speakers.

In the four years that I’ve attended this conference, I always come away with some great inspiration. But there was something especially inspiring during this year’s keynote presentation from Kelly Barnes.

Kelly was born and raised on a small family farm in eastern Oklahoma and his message is centered around the stories, life lessons, and virtues he learned growing up.

His presentation was “Create Great Moments More Often” and what came from it was some very important reminders that I think we all should live by.

Three Ways to Create Great Moments

1. Be present. Be in the moment.
Truly be there. Whether it’s in class, your career, or with your family, take every opportunity to be engaged in what you’re doing. And also truly listen. I’ve learned over the years that you can always learn something from every situation. But if you’re not truly “present” you might miss something significant. So join me in putting those phones and computers down sometimes and just be present.

2. Appreciate the little things. Because sometimes they are all we get.
Never neglect the little things. I can’t always remember every conversation I’ve had with my parents or grandparents, but the unexpected care package Mom sent me during finals at school, the good luck letter Dad wrote me when I tried out for the Purdue softball team, the time my Grandpa carried me all the way back from the creek on his shoulders because I didn’t wear shoes and our 4-wheeler broke down, or the hand-written cards I get in the mail from my Grandma… THOSE things make the biggest impact.

“The thought does count, but it’s the action that makes the difference.”

Kelly also shared something that I learned to live by from a young age by playing sports. You can’t achieve things by cutting corners. Always catch the call with two hands. Don’t step inside the court when running laps. And run hard all the way through the base. Those lessons relate to every aspect of our lives whether you play sports or not.

3. Pack an extra sandwich.
At first, this sounded silly. But then Kelly told us about this story about his daughter’s classmate and it touched my heart.

Kelly’s daughter and his neighbor’s daughter are in the same pre-school class. Every Friday they take a field trip and have to bring their lunch. The night before the field trip, his neighbor was packing her daughter’s lunch when her daughter asked if she could pack an extra sandwich. Her mom kindly explained… “No, you have plenty. We don’t waste food.” So the daughter when off without a word. The next week she asked again, “Can you pack an extra sandwich?” And her mom said again, “No, you have plenty, it’s not good to waste food.” And the daughter nodded and went on with her evening again.

Then the next week came around and her daughter asked a third time if her mom could pack an extra sandwich. This time the mom asked more and her daughter explained how every Friday a little boy in her class comes and asks if she is going to eat the rest of her sandwich. Not because he is a bully. Because he didn’t have food of his own to eat.

When his neighbor finished telling Kelly this story, he talked about it with his wife and wanted to do something to help. He didn’t know the situation or didn’t want to overstep boundaries but knew he couldn’t sit back and do nothing. His wife said, “It’s simple. We’re going to pack an extra sandwich.”

I was fighting back tears at this point. What a heart wrenching story. And sadly, it’s a story that is true for too many people.

So what did Kelly suggest we need to do when we see these moments in our lives?

Create great moments for other people.
Be “we focused” in a “me focused” world.
Look for the things that need to be done.

Kelly ended his talk with this simple rule that we as a population need to get back to living by.

BE TO GET.

Be a friend to get a friend.
Be involved to get something out of it.
Be willing to fail to get success.
Be willing to do the small things to get the big things.
Be willing to love to get love.
Be positive to get that positive life.

Because if you be to get, you’ll get to be.

I hope this can serve as an inspiration to you as it did to me. I want to end by giving a HUGE thank you to Kelly for sharing these great messages and reminding us of what the important things are in life. Also, thank you to the Indiana Farm Bureau and Young Farmers Committee for bringing Kelly to speak and putting on a wonderful leadership convention. Go out and make some great moments everyone!

BoilermakerAg

A Generous and Giving Breed

boilermakerag:

Such a great post from my friends over at Sarah Sums It Up about the true passion and dedication that farmers have for what they do. Please give it a read and a like!

– BoilermakerAg

Originally posted on Sarah Sums It Up:

By Katie Thomas Glick and Sarah Thomas

It was a chilly December Saturday on the farm. The barn lot was covered with snow and filled with several semis, but our family didn’t own all of them.  So, why were there so many semis parked in the snow covered barn lot? While many of you were listening to Christmas music and finishing up your shopping, our family was trying to finish harvest.  Yes, just because the seasons according to the weather change does not mean they have changed for the farmer.  Only a few of those semis belonged to our family, the others belonged to different farmers. Farmers who were so generous to give up their time and help our family.  This year was a bountiful harvest (the largest in our state’s history), but it was a wet harvest. We needed more space to store the corn and soybeans we grow…

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Christmas In The Country: Gift Exchange Reveal

A few weeks ago I shared that I was going to be participating in the Christmas In The Country Gift Exchange and today I get to reveal what I received from my secret Santa, as well as what I sent as my gift to Darcy!

The gift that I received was from Amber Rugan of A Gentle Word. Amber is from Kansas and writes about faith, family, food, farming, fun and photography. I wasn’t familiar with Amber’s blog so I was looking forward to meeting someone new and learning more about her!

Amber’s Secret Santa gift to me came in two stages. First I received this large box on my doorstep which contained a real Christmas wreath from Delp Christmas Tree Farm, a local farm in her area. How neat!

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We always had a real Christmas tree when I was growing up so this was a nice little reminder of home for the holidays. She later revealed that she tried to send me a wreath with Purdue colors but it didn’t work out. (That would have been awesome though!) But the wreath she ended up sending worked perfectly and was right in time to add some more festive decorations for the Christmas Sweater Party we had at our house!

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The box the wreath came in didn’t have much description of who it came from besides her name so I was intrigued to learn more! A week or so after that I received Amber’s second package. It included a very sweet note sharing more about her and the story behind her gifts, some cute mini jars with mints in them for me to share, a package of M&M’s to share, a blog ornament and the infamous Christmas Gift Exchange lump of coal! (I’ll explain more about that in a minute).

Amber joked that the blog ornament was tacky and it was the only one that she could find. But I think it’s just perfect. I’ve never even seen a blog ornament before so great job to you, Amber, for even finding one! :)  I already have it hanging up in my office at home!

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Alright, now for the story behind the lump of coal. Back in 2013, this bag of coal was gifted to Amber as part of her Gift Exchange present by Colby Miller of MyAgLife.com. It serves as a light hearted reminder that coal-deserving sin places us on Santa’s naughty list. But thankfully, naughty boys and girls are offered the gift of Jesus.

In reading the tag closer, I realized it is actually a bar of soap colored and scented like real coal, but what a creative reminder about the real reason for the season! You can read more about Amber’s experience of receiving the coal here. On the back of the tag it has the history of where this coal has traveled each year so my job now is to keep it and pass it on to someone next year!

Thank you Amber for all of your creative and thoughtful gifts! I truly enjoyed them and am grateful for the opportunity to meet and learn more about you. I hope you and your family had a wonderful Christmas and New Year and I look forward to keeping in touch!

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The recipient of my Secret Santa gifts was Darcy Sexson of Success is Reason Enough from Oregon! I had never been to Oregon so I had to do a little research on her blog to find out what type of things she  might like.

I wanted to send her something local, something fun, and something homemade. I started with a cute calendar from a local shop that featured images from Indiana. Then, in reading Darcy’s bio, it said she isn’t a huge fan of cleaning (who is, really?) and ended up finding the perfect little decoration for her! And my homemade item was an arm-knitted infinity scarf!

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I was really proud of this one because it was my first attempt at making one. It wasn’t the easiest of project at first, but it turned out great once I got the hang of it.

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I was really excited to see what Darcy thought of my gifts and based off of the sweet thank you card she sent me and her gift reveal blog, she loved them! You can check out her response and learn more about her here. Glad you enjoyed your gifts, Darcy! :)

Finally, I want to say thank you so much to Robyn at The Ranch Wife Chronicles, Jamie at This Unchartered Rhoade, Laurie at Country Linked, and Erin at Diaries From the Dirt Road for hosting and organizing this fun event!

To see all of the other bloggers who participated, click on one of the host’s links above for the link up!

~Chelsea

Fresh Artistry: Cooking Like A Chef At Home, Without The Hassle

Many times when I get home from work, I find myself standing in front of the pantry or refrigerator trying to decide what to make for dinner.

I try to plan for what meals to make while I’m at the grocery store, but I don’t always have time to think it all through. And when I don’t do that, I end up having an idea to make a certain dish only to find that I don’t have all the ingredients, or even more common, I just throw random things together and hope for the best.

Does this ever happen to you?

Most of the time my experiments turn out pretty well, but wouldn’t it be nice if you could take the hassle out of meal planning and cooking?

If your answer is yes, then you should definitely check out Fresh Artistry! A small Indianapolis-based company, Fresh Artistry focuses on helping the home cook feel and look like a master chef, with none of the hassle or skill required.

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How do they do that, you ask? You pick the recipes you want to make for that week, and they send the ingredients and recipes straight to your doorstep!

That seems really simple, but Fresh Artistry goes above and beyond to provide you with a quality service. In each box you receive local meat, fresh produce, and all the spices and ingredients you will need to complete the dish – with all the guess work taken out of it. All ingredients come pre-portioned and prepped so all you have to do is combine and cook.

I first learned about Fresh Artistry from fellow Indy blogger, Sara, at Solid Gold Eats and I was so intrigued! They began by serving the Central Indiana area, and are now providing their service to the whole state of Indiana starting on Friday, December 5, 2014!

Founder, Tom Blessing, and the Fresh Artistry crew are all about making a quality experience for their customer, so before their big launch, they sent a few of us bloggers a meal to test out for ourselves and provide them with feedback on what we thought. I had never used a food delivery service before so I was excited to try it out. And right from the time it arrived at my doorstep I was impressed!

They send their meals in an insulated box with a custom liner that has enough insulation to last a night on your porch if you aren’t home when it arrives. And when you’re done with the box, you can send it back for them to recycle and use again! With their new launch, they’re coming out with a feature where you can print off a return postage label to send back your box, box liners, and freezer gel packs. They will then clean/sanitize them, and reuse them. It reduces their landfill footprint, saves you storage space, and saves them money. Win, win, win, right?

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The recipe I got to make was Peach-Chipotle Glazed Chicken with Smashed Potatoes and Green Beans. Besides turning out absolutely delicious, here are some other neat things I learned while making the meal.

1. They literally do take the guess work out of everything, all the way down to storing and keeping track of your ingredients! For each recipe, they separate out the ingredients that are best stored on the counter or pantry, and what should go in the refrigerator, and place them in neat and simple bags with the corresponding recipe on the label so you can’t get things mixed up.

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2. The ingredient guides and recipe cards are neatly designed and super easy to follow! They provide cooking and time saving tips to keep all of their recipes to about 30 minutes start to finish. They even go so far as to lay out what size pans and bowls to use!

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3. They truly do care about what you think and listen to your suggestions on how they can make their service the best that they can be. While I was making my recipe, I wrote down a few small notes on their cooking instructions and portions of their seasoning and Tom appreciated my comments and sent them to his team to work on. I really appreciated that the staff took my suggestions to heart!

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Plan and Pricing
The plans are broken up into 4-plate meals and 2-plate meals, depending on your size of household, and you can choose the menu each week. And with each plan, there are no delivery costs!

Family Plan

  • Feeds 2 adults & 2-3 kids
  • $29.99/meal ($89.97/delivery of 3)

2-Plate Plan

  • Perfect for smaller households
  • $19.99/meal ($59.97/delivery of 3)

One other unique thing they do is make sure you have the flexibility to fit your lifestyle. If you know you won’t be home a certain week, or aren’t able to make the weekly commitment at any point, you can easily pause, cancel, and restart your service at any time! Just log-on to your account on their website and adjust your settings.

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I would say that looks restaurant-worthy, don’t you? Thanks Tom and team for letting me try it out!

Overall, I really like the business model that Fresh Artistry has and the food was delicious!

I think Fresh Artistry could also be a great gift for that foodie in your life, recent college grad starting out on their own, or even parents or grandparents who may not have as easy of a time shopping for themselves.

Want to try Fresh Artistry out for yourself?

With their launch, they are rolling out a 1-box purchase opportunity for a limited time that’s not attached to a plan. Food is an experience and they want people to experience their meals!

With Christmas gatherings coming up, this could be a perfect chance to give them a try. Your guests will definitely be impressed!

So head on over to their website and check it out. While you’re there you can also learn more about their menu options, plan details, and more info about the service. And don’t forget to like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter for their latest updates and blog posts!

If you do decide to give Fresh Artistry a try, or have used them before, I’d love to know what you think! Hope you like their food as much as I did!

~Chelsea

 

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