Signs of Spring-Babies & Upside Down Salad

add dressing to salad

Spring lambs

winter last hurrah 2018 front yard

The view out our front window-Hopefully the last hurrah for winter

The last few weeks have been interesting here in Iowa.  It’s like winter finally decided to arrive “better late than never,” and now won’t let go.   As a person who loves the warmer weather, these last few weeks have been a challenge.   At least the snow hasn’t been lasting long.  Today, just before the frozen mix started coming down we welcomed our first lambs of the year!  As you can see Mama & boys (yes, they are both rams) are doing well.

newborn lambs with ewe

Our 1st lambs of 2018

My husband likes lambing in late spring to avoid the cold and snowy weather.  He doesn’t have to use heat lamps ensuring they stay warm enough and the lambs tend to do better overall.  With today’s colder temps, the heat lamp is back in use for the babies to warm up when they need to.

3 kittens in the straw 2018

2 week old kittens

As I look for other signs of spring around the acreage, I’m still amazed the crocus are still blooming.  They’ve been snowed on at least 4 times now.  The robins and red-winged blackbirds are braving the weather and we have baby kittens too!  All signs the seasons have changed–now for the temperatures to follow suit so we can start getting in the garden.

Spring salads

salad ingredients

Upside Down Salad ingredients

I am excited for Winter to really give up its hold and rest until late December.  This snow day in mid-April makes me think of spring foods, especially lettuce salads.

meat and herbs in pint jar

Meat, sesame seeds and herbs in a pint jar

It is too early for fresh garden lettuce, but thanks to the food industry I can have lettuce any time of year.  While it may not be the same as having it fresh, I was craving some spring-time crispness.


add dressing to salad

Add your dressing of choice, I like olive oil and maybe some balsamic vinegar

Salads are great, especially when they are prepared and eaten fresh.  I like my lettuce  topped with meat, herbs, as well as olive oil and maybe  a splash of a light balsamic vinegar.  But transporting salads to work, school or somewhere other than home, can be a real challenge.  The dressing and other toppings fall to the bottom of the container instead of remaining on the top where you want them.  Not to mention the spills that occur if the lids don’t seal tightly on the containers.

salad ready to go

Upside Down Salad ready to-go

I don’t remember exactly where I came across this idea, but someone shared it with me, solving the dressing on the bottom problem.

salad ready to eat

Upside Down Salad ready to eat. Enjoy!

I put all my ingredients in a pint jar in reverse order.   Then, when the Upside Down Salad is dumped out into a bowl, the meat, toppings and dressing are on top.  This makes it easier to mix it up a little before enjoying this refreshing taste of spring.  You could use a bigger jar (quart sized), but I recommend using something with a wide mouth.  They are easier to pack, dump and wash.

Coming soon! 

Learn how my friend, Kelsey Upah, provides school-grown lettuce in the salad bar for Gilmore City-Bradgate Elementary students.  I’ll also share how they have turned education upside down and created an atmosphere where students are learning in unconventional ways.

What are some creative things you’ve done or seen with lettuce salads?


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