Saturday, November 21, 2015

First snow on 900 West

First snow at the new house! It was getting dark, but you can tell it covered the ground! Let it snow! I am heading off to a craft party!
Crystal Kellner

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Payday Chex Mix

I am bringing out this Champion Beginner Microwave cooking recipe Macie exhibited at the 2014 Jasper County Fair.  Payday Chex Mix is a fast snack to make for kid's lunches or for the husband to throw in his lunchbox to snack on while spending time in the tractor this fall.

Harvest is going by so fast.  There have been no rain delays yet.  I haven't had much time to spend in the kitchen.  Most time in the kitchen is spent at the kitchen in the office.  Meals at home are far and few between. Last weekend Ryan spent some time with his dad in the field.

A snack like payday is enjoyed by everyone in the house, and simple enough the kids love helping make, and lick the bowls!

Payday Chex Mix
6 cup Chex Rice Cereal
1 cup Peanut Butter
1 cup Light Corn Syrup
1 cup Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
1 cup Peanuts (optional)

Mix 1 cup Light Corn Syrup and 1 cup Sugar in microwave safe bowl.  Microwave for 3 minutes.  Stir. Microwave for another 1.5 minutes.  Stir.   Add 1 cup Peanut Butter and 1 tsp Vanilla. Add peanuts if desired.  Pour over Chex Rice Cereal. Mix carefully, make sure cereal is completely covered.  Pour over wax paper to cool.  Cut into small pieces or tear off and enjoy!
Crystal Kellner

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Eggplant Parmesan


My good friend, Stacy, from The Backroad Life  handed me an eggplant at the farmer's market and told me I needed to try one. So I took two.  Brought them home and sat them on my counter for awhile.  They are a beautiful vegetable, but I knew I needed to make something that I would hope the whole family would try.  I decided to make Eggplant Parmesan.  

  This is a simple recipe.  It didn't take very long to assemble and put in the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  I put one cup of bread crumbs in one bowl and two beaten eggs in another bowl.

Bake the breaded eggplant in the oven for 10 minutes or until it turns a golden brown.


 I put two cups of spaghetti sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 baking pan.

Layer the baked eggplant on the spaghetti sauce. 




Keep layering sauce, eggplant and cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Crystal Kellner

Friday, August 21, 2015

Mrs. Wages Salsa

I sent my husband a text today, "I am craving Chili's." 

He asked, "Are you craving their salad?"

I am craving chips and salsa!

What is even better is to run home and grab a jar of canned salsa and get my fix!

Mrs. Wages Salsa mix is on the of easiest things to can. Approximately one bushel of tomatoes will fit into a large pot, and just add the mix. I also like to add my own veggies from the garden as well.  I add jalapeno, onions and garlic. 

We enjoy this salsa all summer/ winter long! Chips and salsa are my comfort food! Can't live with out it!

Crystal Kellner

Friday, July 31, 2015

Ag Question: What does 4-H mean to you?

Year #2 of the Jasper County Fair is in the books.  Congrats mom and dad! We survived and as we are preparing for State Fair we are already making a list of things do different next year. Things we need to buy, and other things we need to improve on.

2015 family picture

There are days when you are wondering why are we doing this? Why am I getting up early and staying up late to do chores? Who's project is this anyway? :)

Mason front and center for the beef show.
But the moment the kid head to the show ring for the first time, this mom gets a little teary-eyed, but don't tell the husband.

Ryan showing in mini 4-H swine show

Watching Macie improve her showmanship skills every time she went back into the ring was very rewarding. There are so many showmanship skills to work on!

Macie placed 2nd with Duroc gilt

I think she's growing up too fast!

I know the best part about 4-H is friends.  It's priceless and a forever bond.  Sure, there is some fun competition. These smiles, and the milkshakes, and the late nights make it all worth it!

Crystal Kellner

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Summer on the Farm: The Week Before the Fair

This post is for my daughter.  For when it's her turn to have kids with busy schedules and they may decide they "want" be in 4-H, she will understand that history has a way of repeating itself, and things are going to get a little crazy. Maybe all the craziness is self-inflicted, but you get the idea!

Sorry, but this won't be easy. Taking on a new project that doesn't get completed. This will happen.

Throw in a few late nights and early mornings. (chores)  Moments like these don't compare if you plan to have livestock year round on your farm. It will be more work but it will be worth it.

A few (many) evenings dad was home cooking supper while mom was doing chores with the kids!

Mason had chores figured out! Juice and his chair! He asked me if dad was home sleeping! 

If you need clean laundry, until fair is over, go look for it in the clean pile. Simple enough!

If you are thirsty, get a drink out of the hydrant.  If you hands get dirty in the barn, wash them at the hydrant. Dirt on your boots? Rinse them off at the hydrant!  Need a towel? Wipe them on your jeans.

If you need showmanship practice, take them showing!

Throw in a couple of general projects in the mix.

Your dad loves to help in the kitchen.  Meat and potatoes kind of guy.  He wouldn't mind a dessert afterwards as well.  A batch of chocolate chip cookie bars doesn't last long in our house.

This year food project  was baking a muffin that contained Vitamin A or Vitamin C.  Microwave cooking this year was microwave fudge.

The muffins were a family favorite.  I even brought to work, and they were a hit. They were delicious enough that she brought home A's on her muffins and fudge!

Hope next week goes smoothly too!

Berry & Jam Muffins

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup whipped butter
2 egg whites
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups oat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup strawberries, hulled and quartered
1/2 cup raspberries
1/4 cup reduced-sugar strawberry preserves

This recipe makes 12 servings

Preheat oven to 350°F. Fill cups of a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.
In a large bowl, mix sugar and spread. Add egg whites individually and mix well after adding each. Stir applesauce and vanilla into mixture. Add oat flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Stir until dry ingredients are just combined, but do not over-mix. Fold in strawberries and raspberries.
Fill each muffin cup halfway with batter and spoon a teaspoon of preserves into the center of each. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until muffin tops are lightly browned and a toothpick can be cleanly inserted and removed from their centers.
Turn muffins out on a wire rack to cool. At room temperature, store in an airtight container for up to 2 days, or freeze for up to 1 month.
Crystal Kellner

Monday, July 06, 2015

Ag Question: What is the flooding impact in Jasper County?

Indiana Governor Mike Pence, Congressmen Todd Rokita, and Indiana Farm Bureau President Don Villwock. visited the Culp Farm Thursday, June 3rd to survey damage caused by recent heavy rains in Jasper County. The USDA says 19 percent of Indiana's 5.7 million acres of soybeans and 21 percent of its 5.7 million acres of corn in very poor or poor condition.

As you can tell, they are standing in a field, but there is a huge wash out.  There were many roads closed due to high water, which lead to wash outs on many roads.

The State Climate Office says 18.06 inches of rain was measured in Jasper County in the month of June.

The Governor also visited Cass County the same day to view their flood damage.  I am very interested to hear what assistance will be available for farmers, if any besides crop insurance.

Brownfield Network  interviewed Governor Pence, and he said that by they had accessed nine counties by the end of June, and they had submitted reports to the FSA Office. None of those counties reached 30% of damage to declare a disaster. Farmers are encouraged to submit crop damage reports to their FSA office as soon as possible to help measure the extent of the damage for this year's crop.  July may prove a different story for those counties.

Congressman Todd Rokita visiting with Jasper County Farm Bureau members. Photo Credit: Wayne Belden

Crystal Kellner

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Happy 8th Birthday Ryan!

Happy Birthday Ryan
He turns 8 today!
Ryan loves all types of sports, and plays whenever he has a free moment! 

This year he got Student of the Month in Mrs. Zarse's second grade class.

He is excited about another fun week of fishing!

Ryan enjoys hunting with buddies! He gets very excited about going with his dad, and has no problems waking up early to get in a duck blind!

One example of his art work in 2nd grade.
Crystal Kellner

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Strawberry Glaze Pie

Crystal Kellner

Friday, June 19, 2015

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Strawberry Freezer Jam

It's strawberry season. I'd love to find a big strawberry patch and pick a couple flats, but it's also baseball season, so this year we had to purchase strawberries.  We were completely out of strawberry jam, so that was a must-do this spring!

This project started after the kids went to bed the goal was to keep it simple! Dave helped clean the berries when I worked on getting the kids ready for bed when we got home from the ball game.  Can you tell in the picture it is still daylight out after 9 pm, and it is so hard to get the kids to bed in the summer time!?! And it's hard to convince them they won't want to get up early the next day.  Constant cycle.
We have always had good luck with Sure-Gel.  It has been the most consistent product to use. We had really good luck with it again this year.  Now it is up to you on what type of consistency you want your strawberries to be in your jam.  I would usually use a berry masher, and we would have larger chunks of berries in the jam.  This year I decided I would use the ninja.  It normally sits out all the time now because I like to make strawberry smoothies every evening.  I was very happy with the consistency of the jam.  It was easier than the normal berry smasher (is that even the correct name?) I used.

One batch equals one box of Sure-Gel. I bought four for this project, don't forget to buy a larger bag of sugar.  I measured out 2 cups of purred strawberries.

I poured the two cups of strawberries into a larger bowl and added four cups of sugar.  Sugar totally out-scales strawberries in this recipe.  Let that sit for awhile.  Make sure you follow directions that are in the box because mixing the pectin in the boiling water is very important. This is what sets the jam.  Stir the boiling water into the berry and sugar mixture.  Pour into the jars, and leave set for 24 hours.  Place in the freezer until you are ready to use.

Crystal Kellner

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Ag Question: Where can consumers find corn products?

 I am approaching this question on the different side of the equation.  I am not a producer, I am a consumers.  I work at a grain elevator.  So when products are shipped from the elevator to a large processor, what are those products used for? In this post, I will use corn as an example, and we will talk about  Tate & Lyle as the processor.

There are many Tate Lyle locations in the United States, and their headquarters is located in London.  There are two processing plants located in Lafayette, Indiana. One on the north side, another on the south side.  The north plant takes waxy corn and the south plant takes commercial corn.  Corn can be shipped in by truck or rail.

When most consumers think about corn, they think about the corn being fed for livestock consumption.  There are many products consumers use that are delivered to these processing plants. You can check out the brands websites.

Tate & Lyle said consumers make up for 75% of their consumption of products.  Their products range from food, starches, gums, ethanol, pharmaceutical care, cosmetics and feeds.

The list is long of the products made from corn. 
Waxed Paper & Waxed Cardboard
Bio-engineered Bone & Gum Tissue
Splenda & Equal
Paving Bricks
Coated Asprin
Jelly Beans & Licorace
Molded Plastics
Spark Plugs

Splenda, a sweeter you are probably familiar with, has a sugar like taste and a sweetening power 600 times more than regular sugar.  Sucralose was discovered by Tate & Lyle in 1976 in London.  Splenda was launched in 1992. Sucralose is sold to food, beverage and pharmaceutical companies.

If you are interested on the history of Tate & Lyle, visit their website.
Crystal Kellner

Wednesday, May 27, 2015


Scotcheroos is a gooey, rice krispy treat with peanut butter, chocolate, and butterscotch! It is a fun snack to make with the kids! 

Scotcheroos is a gooey, rice krispy treat with peanut butter, chocolate, and butterscotch!  Chasing Saturday's

Kids and the husband love desserts.  

My daughter had to bring a dessert for a teachers lunch, put on by the Student Council.  I checked the box on the signup sheet to bring a dessert.  I figured she could handle carrying something simple on the bus in the morning.   She came home and told me I was to make Scotcheroos.  

I knew I needed to pick up enough supplies to make two batches. One to take to school and one to keep for the family at home.  


Pour six cups of rice cereal in a large bowl and set aside.

Melt 1 cup sugar with one cup of white syrup on the stove. When it begins to boil, remove from heat and stir in one cup of peanut butter

Scotcheroos is a gooey, rice krispy treat with peanut butter, chocolate, and butterscotch!  Chasing Saturday'sScotcheroos is a gooey, rice krispy treat with peanut butter, chocolate, and butterscotch!  Chasing Saturday's

I used half a bag of chocolate chips and half of a bag of butterscotch chips and carefully melted them over the stove, on medium heat. Pour immediately over the rice mixture.

Scotcheroos is a gooey, rice krispy treat with peanut butter, chocolate, and butterscotch!  

This is the part where blogging isn't so pretty.  I realized I need a picture of the scotcheroos, and this is the last piece left.  



1 cup white syrup
1 cup white sugar
1 cup peanut butter
6 cups Rice Krispies cereal
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips


Grease 9x13 pan and set aside.
Pour 6 cups of Rice Krispies cereal in large bowl, set aside.
Melt one cup sugar with one cup white syrup in a saucepan on the stove.
Remove from heat when it begins to boil, and stir in one cup of peanut butter.
Add mixture to cereal a little at a time while stirring.
Spread in 9x13 greased pan.
Add 1 cup chocolate chips and 1 cup butterscotch chips into microwave safe bowl. Cook 30 seconds and stir, and continue until melted.
Spread over cereal mixture.
Wait until cooled to cut into squares.

  • You can prepare the sugar and white syrup in the microwave, cook 3 minutes, stir, 1.5 minutes, stir, and add the peanut butter.
  • Depending on how gooey you like the cereal, decrease 1/2 cup of cereal.
  • Place Scotcheroos in the refrigerator to cool faster.

Crystal Kellner

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Easy Rhubarb Cobbler

Easy Rhubarb Cobbler is the perfect dessert in the summer when rhubarb is in season. Rhubarb is so pentiful, you will find many ways to make desserts with it! 

Rhubarb wasn't something I grew up with. I wasn't introduced to it until I was dating Dave and he told me he liked rhubarb.  I think I was trying really hard to impress him, and tried to make a strawberry-rhubarb pie. I remember there was a co-worker who said he had way too much rhubarb in his garden and his wife had enough as well. 

So I took the rhubarb back to my apartment and tried to make a rhubarb pie.  I really didn't know what I was doing! That weekend we were visiting his parents in Indiana, and he had this grand idea to take the pie with us.  

First stop was his grandparents house, with the pie in hand.  He wanted his grandpa to try this pie I had made for the first time.  I was embarrassed.  It was runny and I was suspicious of what a rhubarb pie was really suppose to taste like.  I think Grandpa John added more sugar to his slice and ate all of it.  I am sure it wasn't close to what Grandma Lois made, but he ate it with a smile. He was always one to say very positive things, especially when it came to desserts. 

Spring is here again, and I have rhubarb from Dave's parents garden.  Delicious. Fresh. 

 I decided I would try something different this time, and make a cobbler.  You can find the recipe for Easy Rhubarb Cobbler here.  The rhubarb cooked perfectly, it was sweet.  The cobbler topping was good. I think it would work great to add any fruit you would like.  It was best to eat it warm, and add some vanilla ice cream!




  1. Set oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Grease a 9-inch baking dish.
  3. Mix the rhubarb and 1 cup sugar, and place in the baking dish.
  4. To make the cobbler batter: combine flour, 3 tablespoons sugar, baking powder and salt.
  5. Cut in the cold butter to make a crumbly mixture.
  6. In a small bowl, whisk/combine the egg and half and half cream.
  7. Add to the dry ingredients; stir with a fork to create a stiff batter.
  8. Drop by spoonfuls on top the rhubarb/sugar mixture in the baking dish (does not have to cover completely).
  9. Bake for 35-40 minutes.
  10. Serve warm topped with ice cream

Crystal Kellner