Rhubarb and asparagus are sure signs of spring

It is really starting to feel like spring. Earlier today my husband and I went on the search for fresh asparagus and we came home with enough for several meals. It is still crazy to me that around here people go out searching for asparagus because it grows wild along the road ditches. For us it is a fun thing to do and I must say my husband is much better at spotting it than me. I say it is because I have not hunted for it until I came to Minnesota. In southern Iowa, we had large asparagus patches in our gardens.

Today, we just drizzled the asparagus with olive oil and some Real Salt or seasoning salt and put it on the grill! It was delicious. I could eat fresh asparagus every day! And it has such great health benefits. It contains glutathione, which is a potent antioxidant that helps detoxify the liver, it is a natural diuretic and it is contains fiber, iron and other important vitamins. So if you don’t have your own asparagus patch head on out and try to track some down so you can enjoy its delicious flavor and all of the health benefits that go along with it.

Rhubarb2

And tis the season for fresh rhubarb! I was so happy to get some rhubarb from my mother-in-law this weekend. Rhubarb is a sure sign that spring has arrived. And I love the tart flavor that rhubarb brings to the table.

Rhubarb

I decided to create a new recipe today using the rhubarb. And I am pleased with how it turned out. I used organic raw cane sugar in the recipe  and it has a rich flavor kind of like brown sugar so it worked very well in this recipe. Originally, I was going to use only rhubarb but when I had just under 4 cups of rhubarb I decided to add just over 1 cup of strawberries to the mix. I used my last bag of frozen strawberries from our local strawberry patch, Schumacher’s Berry Farm. Thankfully, in less than a month we can go pick more fresh, local strawberries. For this recipe you could use all rhubarb or you could use 2.5 cups of each. Enjoy in moderation. You will notice this recipe has more sugar in it than a lot of recipes I post but with rhubarb the sugar is necessary to help reduce the tartness. I choose to use raw cane sugar because it is less processed. (That does not mean you can overindulge though…too much sugar, is too much sugar.)

Rhubarb1

Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp

4 cups rhubarb

1 cup strawberries

3/4 cup organic raw cane sugar

3 tbsp. corn starch

Topping

1/2 cup gluten free oats (if you need gluten free)

1/4 to 1/2 cup organic raw cane sugar (depending on sweetness you prefer)

1/4 cup almond flour

1/4 cup butter

Heat oven to 375 degrees. In large bowl, mix the strawberries and rhubarb with the cornstarch and one cup of raw cane sugar. Place in an 8 x 8 baking dish. In medium bowl, mix oatmeal, almond flour, raw cane sugar and butter. Pour evenly over the top of the rhubarb and strawberries. Bake for about 30 minutes.

 

 

The Daily Apple puts down roots in Worthington

Sign

I am filled with mixed emotions as we prepare to rename my Worthington, MN, health food store. I am of course excited to see a new name come into play, but I am sad to see the Schafer’s name go. You see the Schafer family had a long business history in the Worthington community. It is a part of our small town’s history. I am so grateful I was able to purchase the health food store from Irma Schafer in 2008. I will never forget how scared I was that day as I took the keys from 93-year-old Irma and realized this is mine. My initial thought was, “Now what in the world am I going to do…” I have so much respect for the Schafer family for believing in me and allowing me to carry on Karl and Irma’s legacy. I am so happy I have gotten to know Herb and Stefanie Schafer and their children. I am forever grateful to them for selling Schafer’s Health Food Store to me.

Irma

Sign1

The top photo above shows Irma Schafer in front of the store on July 15, 2008-the day I purchased it from her. The second photo shows the Schafer’s sign that I had put up shortly after I took over and that is the sign that we took down on Saturday to make way for our new one.

Vitamins and natural health will continue to be “the core” of The Daily Apple but we have “branched” out and added many new “slices” to our small business including clothing, purses, jewelry, kitchen gadgets, vintage and all sorts of unique items. And soon we will be launching an online clothing boutique so people can shop from anywhere in the U.S.

A lot of people have been asking where our new name came from. It goes back four years ago when I opened a store in Storm Lake, Iowa. We spent a great deal of time brainstorming and coming up with a name for that store knowing it would eventually be the name of the Worthington store also. We chose The Daily Apple because often we think of apples as healthy and the name also has a general store feel to it which covers all of the other items we sell. I then went through the lengthy process of trademarking the name to protect our logo and our brand.  We feel our name change will also help us better market both stores. We will mention both Worthington and Storm Lake in our advertising since these two towns are only an hour and a half apart.

daily apple final logo

When I decided to leave my teaching career and buy a health food store, it was a huge leap of faith and many people wondered what in the world I was thinking. I had a real desire to see a small town, main street business continue. We know the story all too well of small “mom and pop” businesses closing up shop because it is too difficult to compete in today’s marketplace or in some cases business owners cannot find someone who wants to buy the business and keep it going. I had a strong desire then and even more so now to help keep this community I call home vibrant.

To each and everyone one of you, near and far from Worthington, if you support small, locally owned businesses I want to say thank you! Really, I want to say THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! Your support is appreciated so much and it is because of people who make this conscience effort that small shops like Schafer’s Health Food Store and now The Daily Apple can continue for many years into the future. Small businesses have a huge impact on towns all across this country. In just over five years, we have given thousands of dollars to local organizations. We support the local YMCA, 4-H, school activities, charity benefits, the local food shelf, United Way, ….the list goes on and on but you get the gist. We volunteer our time to make our communities a better place to live.

During the last six years, we have slowly updated and expanded Schafer’s and with the changes it is time to give our store a name that reflects all we have to offer. As our new sign says, “The Daily Apple. Health. Clothing. Gifts.”

If you live around the Worthington area we invite you to The Daily Apple’s grand opening party this Tuesday, May 20 at 207 10th Street in Worthington. We will be giving away free apples and we will have yummy appetizers for you to enjoy. All clothing and scarves will be on sale. And we are looking forward to the Red Shack Stamped Jewelry Make and Take Party from 3 to 7 p.m.

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Wellspring Devotion, May 6, 2014

wellspringlogoPsalm 90:12-15-“So teach us to number our days, that we may get a heart of wisdom. Return, O Lord! How long? Have pity on your servants! Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us, and for as many years as we have seen evil.”

What a powerful verse from Psalm that reminds us that our days here on earth are numbered and everything we do here on earth should point to God. While we are here in this earthly life that Christ has given us we are to seek the truth and grow closer to the Lord through the word of God. A heart of wisdom that is searching out truth is filled with joy because our hope is in reuniting with Jesus in Heaven. Revelations 21:4 says, “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

So when we are trying to do everything we can to honor and glorify God, we have to understand we are human and we are going to make mistakes. We will be mean to people, we lose our tempers, we become selfish and forget to keep the focus on Jesus. Repenting our sins and making all of our shortcomings known to God is such an important part of walking with Christ. Acts 3:19-20 tells us, “Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus.”

When we repent our sins and give them to God we must let go and continue to work on our shortcomings. The devil is always at work in our lives and he wants us to hold onto our sins and not repent. The devil wants us to be filled with guilt and he wants us to be distracted in keeping our focus on God. As women, we often hang on to situations and emotions from our past and the devil is quick to use this to cause us to worry and doubt our very being by filling us with negative thoughts and self-talk. 1 Peter 5:8 says, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”

When we keep our sights set upon Heaven and the perfection that God has promised us, it makes our troubles and trials on this earth seem bearable. When we think of the selfless sacrifice Jesus made when he was crucified on the cross, we can handle the ups and downs of our daily life because God gives us strength to get through each situation. God uses the struggles and hard times in our life to open our eyes to His gracious love. He uses these experiences so we can be a light in this dark world.

Prayer for the week: Dear Lord, Help me to start each day with your everlasting love. Let your joy fill my body so I can do your will in the place where I am. Please help me to see my shortcomings and ask you for forgiveness. Give me the strength to make changes in my life so I can be more like you. When the devil is creeping into my life, help me to see his lies for what they are. And when he is attacking my life, let me cling to you and the Bible for my shield until that wonderful day when you will return. In your precious name I pray. Amen.

Discussion questions:

Do you have a daily habit that helps you remember to live each day focused on God?

Is there an area of life where the devil has been bringing you down to keep you from growing closer to God?