Friday, July 23, 2010

Going 'Home'

Hobby Farm Home is one of a family of magazines targeted toward those who live or want to live the country/homesteader life.
This past spring we were contacted by a writer who was doing an article for the magazine on home-based canning businesses run by women. The author, Lisa Kivirist, has her own food and farm based business so we had a few things in common as we talked. It was a fun interview to do and I was looking forward to seeing the finished product. Though there is always a little reservation in this, as Sean & I have both had enough encounters with the press as to always be a little bit leery. Not to have worried, the magazine arrived last week and it is a lovely article featuring 3 women who use their canning skills to supplement their farm/business income. There are several tips and suggestions on getting started with a small canning business and we even included the secret recipe to our popular Cinnamon Pear Butter. Now I just wish I could meet the other 2 women in the article!

Here's a peek at this issue from the HFH website.
September/October 2010 - Table of Contents

And if you've never seen the magazine, search it out. It's worth it for the pictures alone!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Social Treats

This past weekend we hosted our annual Ice Cream Social for the CSA members. It was a great afternoon with agreeable weather, fun visitors and plenty of good food. We also had lots of requests for recipes so here are the most requested of the foods served at the event:

Chocolate Zucchini Birthday Cake

2-3c. grated zucchini
2 c. flour
1 ½ c. sugar
1 tsp salt
½ c. oil
1 ½ tsp baking soda
1/3 c. cocoa
2 tsp vanilla

Mix all ingredients together, pour into greased & floured 9 x 13” pan. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes.

When cool, frost with Hershey’s Cocoa Frosting
1 stick butter
2/3 c. cocoa
3 c. powdered sugar
1/3 c. milk
1 tsp vanilla

In a medium mixer bowl melt butter, add cocoa and stir until combined. Alternating between powdered sugar and milk, add to cocoa and butter, mixing between. When thoroughly combined, beat in vanilla.
Makes +/- 2 cups.

BGF Chocolate Ice Cream

5 (1 oz) squares unsweetened baking chocolate, melted
1 (14oz ) can sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp instant coffee granules
2 c. half and half
2 c. whipping cream

In a large mixer bowl, beat chocolate, condensed milk, vanilla and coffee granules until coffee is dissolved. Stir in half and half and whipping cream.
Pour into ice cream freezer and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions.
Makes about 1 1/2 quarts.
Recipe adapted from : Great American Favorite Brand Name Cookbook

BGF Zucchini Bread

3 eggs                                         1 tsp soda
3 c. sugar                                    1 tsp baking powder
1 tbs vanilla                                 1 tsp salt
3 c. flour                                     3 tsp cinnamon
2 1/2 c. grated zucchini                1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 c. oil                                         1/2 c. dried cranberries (optional)
                                                    1 tbs fresh grated ginger (optional)

Combine eggs, sugar and vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy. Combine flour, soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add to egg mixture. Then add zucchini, oil, cranberries and ginger. Mix well. Put into 2 greased loaf pans. Bake at 350° for 1 hour.

Rosemary Butter Cookies

1 c. butter
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 large eggs
2 1/2 c. flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp minced fresh rosemary (for more herb flavor, grind rosemary with some of the sugar)

Beat butter at medium speed until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating well. Add eggs one at a time, beating until blended.
Combine flour, cream of tartar and salt, gradually add to butter mixture. Beat at low speed until blended.
Stir in rosemary (or rosemary sugar mixture).
Shape dough into 2 (10-inch) logs; wrap each log in wax paper & chill at least 2 hrs.
Unwrap dough, cut each log into 1/2" slices and place on lightly greased baking sheets.
Bake at 350° for 10 minutes. Remove to wire rack to cool. Yield 3 1/2 dozen.

Recipe source: Gloria Beebout (BlueMom)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Breaking and Entering

This morning when we woke up, the screen was pushed out of the storm door. No we weren't burgled, though our house was entered without our consent. Last night after I went to bed, Sean stayed up in the living room to watch TV. He heard the dogs tussling out on the front steps but they quieted down after a bit and he didn't think much about it.

Sometime later, ready to go to bed himself,  he got up and turned off the TV, but when he walked into the kitchen, there sat Blue and Luci in the middle of the kitchen floor, looking guilty. Huh.

For those of you who aren't familiar with our house (and our dogs) we do not have house dogs. Blue and Luci are outdoor, working dogs. They do not come in the house unless there is seriously severe weather, and then they only get to come into the back porch...not the kitchen.

So apparently, while wrestling they managed to push the screen on the front door partially in and then, naturally, decided to avail themselves of the dog-sized opening. The best part is that the front door is in the living room, where Sean was sitting at the time, so they had to pass within 10 feet of him. Clearly they knew they weren't supposed to be in there, since they snuck past him into the kitchen.

I can only imagine what mischief they could have gotten into had we both already been in bed. Yikes!
Oh and just moments ago Sean hollered, "Blue, NO! Bad dog!"  He heard her this time, as she pushed her head against the screen and was part way through the door. Little sneak! Suddenly our brave farm dog has decided that house life looks pretty cushy! Grrrrr...