Strawberry Rhubarb Coffee Cake

Several years ago we found a recipe called Strawberry Rhubarb Coffee Cake and used it at Easter for our Easter breakfast. The original recipe has a layer of cake, a layer of strawberry rhubarb filling and another layer of cake. Not wanting to take time to make the layers, I mixed it all together. Here is the recipe with that adaptation.

Strawberry Rhubarb Coffeecake


Fruit portion

  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3 TBSP arrowroot powder OR 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 2 cups chopped fresh rhubarb or frozen rhubarb .5-.6 lb. is about 2 cups
  • 1 package 10 ounces frozen strawberries (OR fresh; either way, I do slice or quarter these.)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Cake portion

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour OR combination of whole wheat and all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk OR 1 TBSP vinegar - any kind - added to 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Crumb topping, optional

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted


Fruit portion

  • In a saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch; stir in rhubarb and strawberries as they are, fresh or frozen. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in lemon juice. Cool.

Cake portion

  • In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda. Mix in melted butter. Add eggs, buttermilk and vanilla; stir until moistened. Mix in fruit portion until evenly mixed. Pour into a 13x9 in pan or 2 round cake pans.

Optional topping portion

  • Combine sugar and flour in a small bowl; add melted butter until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle over batter.
  • Bake at 350° for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean and cake is golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Yield: 12-15 servings.

Original recipe

Scapes and Rhubarb

Chicks! From the Post Office?

Lots of things come from the Post Office: bills, refund checks, Amazon packages, catalogs, magazines. But did you know that we get baby chicks in the mail? That’s right!

Box chicks come in

We get day old chicks from a hatchery in Pennsylvania. They are hatched at the beginning of the week, shipped overnight or 2 day air, and we get them when they are a day or two old. We get a phone call from the Post Office that they have arrived and then we go pick them up. Here is a picture of a box with baby chicks. This box holds 100 chicks – 25 in each quarter. So yes, our baby chicks really do come from the Post Office.

About 25 chicks in 1 quarter of the box

How can the chicks survive the trip? They have each other to stay warm as they travel. As for food, my understanding is that part of the egg stays inside the chick and feeds the chick for the first week of its life. So the chick doesn’t need a lot of food and water right away, which allows hatcheries to ship birds.

Brooder – notice heat lamps above chicks

Once the chicks arrive here, we put them in a brooder in the barn. This is a protected area that keeps predators – weasels, rats, cats, hawks – out and keeps the chicks in. It also has heat lamps that the chicks can live under so they can stay warm until they have the necessary feathering to go outdoors. We dip their beaks in water so they can find the water in the future. Sometimes we also dip their beaks in the (non-gmo) feed, so that they can find that again as well. The birds will live in the brooder for 3-4 weeks depending on how they grow and feather out and depending on what the weather is like.

At 3-4 weeks we move them outdoors to a larger protected pen. They sleep in an old truck cap or in this moveable hut, eating grain, drinking water and eating grass and vegetation and insects. They are protected by fencing from our guard dog, Gaia, and she in turns protects them from other predators – weasels, rats, hawks, foxes and coyotes. We move them regularly to fresh grass.

Movable hut
Truck cap model with Gaia, the guard dog, in front

At 10-11 weeks we process them and sell them as fresh or frozen chicken. Our chickens will probably weigh between 3 and 6 lb.

So how can you get some chicken this year?

1. Join our meat CSA and get 1-2 chickens each month as part of the monthly share. Reply to this email to let us know you would like to be part of our monthly Meat CSA.
2. Pre-order chicken by putting $5.00 down on each chicken you would like. Any chickens that are pre-ordered will be $4.75 / lb. We can take the $5.00 in cash, in check or at our website by using a credit card or Paypal.
3. Purchase chicken as you want or need it for $5.50 / lb.

I hope you will purchase some chicken from us this year. Reply to this email if you have questions. And once you have done that I hope you can enjoy some fresh air and sunshine! We wish you strength and joy in your day!

One other note: Westcott Farmers Market is on Wednesdays from 2-6 p.m. If you would like regular emails about currently available items, subscribe here! See you soon!

Can You See the Sunshine?

Hungarian Goulash

Here is a delicious, oven slow-cooked beef recipe. It comes from Jenny McGruther at Nourished Kitchen. She has written several books, including one by the same name – The Nourished Kitchen – available both at amazon and OCPL.

Here is her recipe with my notes:


3 tablespoons lard, butter or oil
3 medium yellow onions, chopped fine (OR 3 cups of vegetable combination, like celery and mushrooms)
¼ cup sweet paprika
2 teaspoons whole caraway seeds
2 pounds beef chuck roast cubed (OR your choice of beef)
1 cup long-simmered beef bone broth, beef stock or water
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (OR plain vinegar)

Heat the oven to 275 F.
Melt the lard or fat in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Cook the onion or vegetables for a short time to begin to soften. Turn heat to low and continue cooking until soft and tender.
Stir the paprika and caraway seeds into the onion or vegetables, and then stir in the cubed beef, stirring constantly to prevent the paprika from burning. Cook the beef in the onions and spices about 4 minutes, then stir in the beef bone broth and vinegar. Cover the pot and transfer it to the oven. Allow it to cook in the oven until the beef is tender, about 2½ to 3 hours.
Serve over noodles (OR some starch – rice, potatoes, bread).

Other notes: If possible, cook it on the top of the stove in the same pot as you will cook it in the oven. If not possible, you could transfer to a different dish to cook in the oven. Probably, you could also transfer it to a crockpot or slow cooker and cook it on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 5-6 hours. I haven’t tried that to see how that would work.


Jenny’s original recipe