Tuesday, January 8, 2013


I run a small CSA.  (community supported agriculture)

I often get questions from people who are interested in participating.  I find it interesting that most of the people wanting to join, want food raised in a humane way, without all of the hormones and also want it to be CHEAP.  This is quite impossible.  It reminds me of the sign you see in lots of small businesses.  You can have cheap but not good, good but not fast, and never cheap and fast and good.

The food industry in the last 30 years has really warped our notion of how food is raised, eaten, and most certainly purchased.  I would love to provide for my family and raise animals for people cheaply.  It is just not possible.

It is heartening to see that there is a movement on the horizon that is getting bigger and louder, that wants better food.  It seems that people are even becoming willing to pay for this type of food.  This brings me to the conclusion that most people need to stop and really analyze what they eat and what the dollars they spend are paying for in their food budget.

If you have never eaten a chicken raised in the sun on a local farm, please don't compare us to the bland, tasteless stuff on your local grocery store shelf.  It doesn't even begin to compare.  Most people do not know what pork, beef, chicken, turkey, etc REALLY tastes like.

Unfortunately eating well is going to take spending your food dollars in a very different way.  You will have to make choices.

When considering how to spend your food dollars with local farmers, compare local farmers to each other, not to grocery stores and big bulk stores.  We cannot compete and most of us do not want to even try to compete.

Besides, what is more important in this world than what you put in your mouth and eat?  Really.   What?????

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A new normal??

I stayed awake most of last night listening to the wind howl against the house.  The house swayed and shuddered.  This is an old house, so she has been through many storms.  "A tough old bird" as my husband said this morning.  Still, you can't help but worry when the wind is roaring through the valley.  The high tunnel held as well.  Since we are new to the high tunnel, I was a little worried.
October 2011

I found a picture of last October when we had a snow storm as well.  Not much accumulation, but still snow in October.  Maybe this is going to be normal.  I can remember my Grandmother and Grandfather telling me stories of large snows the likes of which I had never seen. 
October 2012

Well, we are warm and dry and the animals all have warm shelter and plenty of food and water.  I have fed and milked and I am ready for a day of warming up the house with the oven cooking!!  I hope to also get some time watching the fire burn in the stove with my feet up!!

What are you up to in the storm?  I hope warm and dry!!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Getting away from the grocery store

 Today we are waiting for the perfect storm to come.  Yesterday we went to town to buy the remaining items we would need just in case we really got the big storm and the power went out or whatever.  We had to laugh at what landed in the truck.  Goat food, chicken and turkey food and dog food.  No human food at all.  I am finally at a place where I buy in bulk those items that I do not produce here.  I must admit that it is more work to make all of your meals and "convenience" items yourself.  That being said, I really enjoy the results of making things myself.

This evening I made a homemade chicken noodle soup with chicken I canned and stock.  I decided to make the noodles.  While making the noodles, I decided to make fettuccine for later.  It was certainly easy enough to make a larger batch of pasta dough!

I also decided that we needed a breakfast item.  I had leftover mashed potatoes in the fridge and since I was in a pasta mood, why not make a potato dough for sausage and cheddar hand pies.

The storm may or may not come, but we are certainly prepared for warmth and eating!!  I hope that everyone get through whatever weather is thrown your way without much damage!!  

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Lemon/lime Soda

As I write this, I am sipping on a cup of lemon/lime soda that I made.  Yes, I made it.  I enjoy the taste of a soda now and then.  I used to drink a Dr. Pepper at lunch every day.  After Christmas, I came down with the bug that Gwen came home with from Afghanistan.  Nasty foreign bug!  The end result was that I no longer wanted my Dr. Pepper at lunch.  Probably not a bad thing, but strange.

Recently I purchased the 75th edition of the Joy of Cooking.  As I skimmed, I noticed a recipe for simple syrups and a blurb about soda not being very good for us.  I decided to try to make my own to see how it would compare.  

As usual, we have been sold a bill of goods by the food industry.  On my, is the soda good!!!  I spent about ten minutes making the syrup and purchased a 99 cent bottle of seltzer water.  

My first attempt is lemon/lime.  I still have a bunch of oranges and that is going to be my next try.  

The following recipe is adapted from the 75th edition of the Joy of Cooking:

Simply syrup for lemon/lime soda

2 cups of sugar
1 cup of water
2 lemons
1 lime

Place the sugar and water in a sauce pan.  Squeeze the lemons and the lime into a small bowl, set aside.  (I do wash the lemons and limes with a little soap to make sure all residues are off)  Cut the rind of one of the lemons into strips and place in the sauce pan with your sugar and water.  Slowly bring to a simmer.  Stir occasionally.  Cover and simmer for 5 minutes.  Allow the syrup to cool and then pour in the lemon/lime juice.

To make the soda, place desired amount of seltzer water into a glass and add syrup to taste.  Enjoy!

How easy is that??  If you decide to try I would love to know what you think!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Chicken Pumpkin Carving

I love having chickens.  They provide eggs and amusement.  The all have personalities and are great to have around.  That being said, chickens are also a pest.  They love your flowers to death, they eat anything left out and will even contemplate jumping on the grill when you are cooking.

I went apple picking today.  The wind was starting to blow when I left.  When I returned my white pumpkin was on the ground and the chickens were happily "carving".


Friday, September 30, 2011

Beginning of Fall

I am so glad that the weather is cooling down.   I am so not a fan of heat and humidity.  When the weather cools down, my thoughts go to the kitchen.  I love to cook and bake.  None of which do I love in the heat.  Of course, the last few months have been time to "put up the harvest".  I have finally gotten to canning my garlic.  I finally found a way to preserve the garlic that didn't involve drying or roasting.  I have pickled garlic!  I hope it is as good as advertised in the Ball Book of Canning!

I have also become a fan of the doughnut pan.  I have made both chocolate and apple cider doughnuts.  Wonderful!  These are not as heavy as a dunkin' doughnuts and not at all like a fried doughnut.  They have a light airy texture.  The batter is almost like a pudding.  I have all sorts of ideas for this doughnut pan.  Plus, most recipes are for 6-12 doughnuts.  Perfect for experimenting and they never last long enough to become stale.
I am looking forward to the cooler evenings and warming up the house with lots of meals!  Happy Fall!!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Refrigerator Pickles

Jeff always wants a crisp pickle.  He is not fond of the pickles I can.  We both really like a pickle that is dill, but has a garlic flavor.  Recently I found a recipe for Refrigerator Dill Pickles that had both a lot of garlic and dill in it.  Perfect combination!!!

I tried the recipe a few weeks ago and we began eating them this week.  YUMMM!  Nice and crisp with a garlicky dill flavor.  If you like pickles and have extra cucumbers, you should try some!

Refrigerator Dill Pickles 

Adapted from Whole Eats & Whole Treats

1/2 gallon small cucumbers, halved or quartered lengthwise
1 small onion, sliced
3 cloves of garlic, lightly smashed and peeled
1 handful of dill fronds or dried dill
1/4 cup coarse Kosher salt
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar

Stuff the cucumbers, garlic, and dill in a 1/2 gallon jar or a crock with a lid.  Boil the salt, water, and vinegar.  Pour over the cucumbers.  Let cool to room temperature and then refrigerate.  Eat after a week or two in the fridge.  They should keep for several months!