Indoor Winter Greens

Back a while ago, The Farmer found this book by Peter Burke in his local library and took a long gander. (Here is the link to the local library. The author also has a website with supplies and an outline of his method.)

Year-Round Indoor Salad Gardening: How to Grow Nutrient-Dense, Soil-Sprouted Greens in Less Than 10 days

In the book, Mr. Burke shows a simple way to grow sprouts on soil, without the need for grow lights or other expensive equipment.

This is The Farmer’s second winter using the method, and here is what it looks like for him.

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February Challenge – Organ Meat

I can hear it already – “What do you mean organ meat?  You mean, like liver? And why do it the 2nd month of the challenge? Can’t we wait until later in the challenge?”

Organ meat has to be included sometime.  It is a legitimate meat that local farmers will sell. It includes the odd pieces – heart, liver, tongue, kidneys, brains, ox tail, chicken feet, pig feet and hocks. (Ox tail, chicken feet,  and pig feet and hocks aren’t technically organ meat, but we will allow them for this challenge.)

We have scheduled organ meat in February because that is traditionally when our family eats heart (Valentine’s Day).  (And yes, we have eaten rabbit at Easter and would consider reindeer at Christmas!) Rather than have just heart this month we have included all organ meats.

What are ways to prepare these items?

  • The feet and hocks make good stock that can serve as the foundation for soup or for the liquid to cook rice in.
  • Heart and tongue I tend to boil and slice and serve as part of dinner or in sandwiches.
    • Chicken hearts I saute with onion, celery and/or mushrooms in oil.  Once the onion is limp or the celery is soft, then I turn it to low and let it simmer with the lid on to make sure that the hearts are cooked.  I have several young children that like this as their birthday meal.
  • Sliced kidneys or liver can be soaked first in milk.  If I soak them, I do it for 30 minutes, change milk, soak them again for another 30 minutes.  For the kidneys this reduces the urine smell/flavor.
    • Kidneys – I have made steak and kidney pie.  More recently I have made Tom Clack’s Deviled Kidneys from Shannon Hayes The Grassfed Gourmet. It is sliced kidneys in a spicy ketchup sauce that is then served with bread or over potatoes or rice. (Recipe to come later in the month.)
    • Liver
      • This can be ground or finely chopped and mixed in with other meats.
      • Before we moved to the farm, I always would cook liver with onions.  We would sometimes serve it as a sandwich with tomatoes and lettuce and mayo and call it a Real Man’s Sandwich!
      • One of my early farm customers gave me a recipe for Danish Liver Pâté.  Her in-laws were from Denmark.  Her mom sent the recipe in Danish to her, her husband translated it into English, and she gave it to me.  It is raw liver, blended with milk, egg, flour and seasonings, which is then baked and served on crackers or bread.  This is now my main way to serve liver. (Recipe later this month.)
        • A similar recipe adds sausage and omits the milk and egg.  My children like this a little better.  Lots of things taste better with sausage! (Recipe later this month.)
  •  If you have a good way to make something with some other organ meat, make it and include it in the comments.

Again, the rules are that this made from organ meat grown local to you.  Comment below by March 3, 2018, with what you made, how you liked it and how you would make it differently next time.

Organ meat is on sale for $3.75 / lb through March 3, 2018.

 

 

January’s Challenge – Beef/Wild Game

January’s challenge is beef/wild game.  The challenge:

  • Choose a cut of beef, venison, or wild game that was locally grown in your area. This includes anything that comes from beef or wild game – roasts, steaks, bones, ground beef, meaty shank soup bones, stew meat, ribs.
  • Make a dish with that cut of meat.  It can be cooked in the oven, on the stove top,  in a crockpot, on the grill, in the instant pot.  It can be a dish where it is mainly by itself or can be part of a stir fry where it is a small part of the whole dish.  The key is that it is a cut of beef or wild game that was locally grown.  Check our currently available page to get some beef from us.
  • Serve it with thankfulness and enjoy it!
  • Comment here or email me that you made this.  You can include a recipe,  and your thoughts on how it tasted and how those who ate with you liked or didn’t like it, and what you would do differently next time.
  • Deadline to comment or email me is February 6, 2018.

For details for the whole challenge – 2018 Local Food Cooking Challenge

What beef dish are you going to make?

2018 Local Food Cooking Challenge

Announcing – drum roll please! – The 2018 Local-Food Cooking Challenge!

RULES:

  1.  Make a dish – main dish, side, dessert, whatever – from the category for that month.
  2. The category item needs to be local food for you. For example, if you make a breaded chicken dish in March, the chicken must be locally grown, but the breading ingredients do not.
  3. Comment to me by email or in that month’s item post about what you made and how you made it, how you and any that you shared it with liked it, and how you might change it until another time. Each item you make gives you 1 entry in a drawing. Limit 1 entry per month.
  4. On January 1, 2019, we will have a drawing from all the entries for 2018 for a $50 gift certificate to Treasures of Joy Farm. Members of our family living in our immediate household are not eligible for the drawing.
  5. Categories by month are:

Happy planning, shopping, and cooking!

Christmas Traditions

Christmas is a special time for many people. The Farmer has very pleasant memories of going to Grandma’s house for Christmas. Besides playing with the cousins, The Farmer loved Grandma’s nut tray, cracking shells and enjoying tastes that he did not get at home.

As an adult, The Farmer wanted to shape Christmas to his own liking, and since The Farmer’s Wife was willing, a unique format for our meals has developed.

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Dried Beans

Many of the pole beans we grow can be eaten as a dried bean. This means that you don’t harvest the bean when it is young and green. You let it grow full size.

As the beans mature, the seeds inside the pod get much larger. The pod drys out in the wind and sun, leaving the bean’s seeds as the part of the plant that is eaten.

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Fresh Turkey for Thanksgiving

Benjamin Franklin, commenting to his daughter about the bird shown on the Great Seal of the US, stated the following:

“I am on this account not displeased that the Figure is not known as a Bald Eagle, but looks more like a Turkey. For the Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America… He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on.”
Source: Smithsonian Mag via the Franklin Institute

Yes, it is true that turkeys are a bit vain and silly. But I’m not sure about that courageous part.

The turkeys we raised this year are heritage-crosses, meaning that two heritage breeds were crossed. Like all of our animals,  the turkeys have been raised outdoors in fresh air and sunshine, regularly moved to fresh grass, and provided with non-GMO grain.

We will have six turkeys available Monday or Tuesday, November 20 or 21 (the week of Thanksgiving),  and they will be sold fresh (not frozen). We are guessing that they will be between 10 and 20 lbs and cost between $70 and $100 each.

Cooking helps with recipe links follow.

Continue reading “Fresh Turkey for Thanksgiving”

After-Thanksgiving Turkey Soup

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After-Thanksgiving Turkey Soup

This is a soup that my children request year round. 

Course Soup
Servings 5 quarts

Ingredients

1 leftover turkey carcass (from a 12- to 14-pound turkey, or whatever size you have)

Vegetables - Use mixture of vegetables, perhaps the ones below, to equal about 4 cups

3 medium onions, chopped

2 large carrots, diced

2 celery ribs, diced

1 cup butter or oil or fat

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups half-and-half cream or milk or cream

1 cup uncooked long grain rice

2 teaspoons salt, opt.

3/4 teaspoon pepper, opt.

Instructions

  1. Place turkey carcass, including bones, meat, and skin, in a soup kettle or Dutch oven or 8 qt. stockpot and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for at least 1 hour. Remove carcass; cool. Set aside 3 qt. broth. Remove turkey from bones and cut into bite-size pieces; set aside.

  2. In a soup kettle or Dutch oven, saute the onions, carrots and celery in butter, oil, or fat until tender. Reduce heat; stir in flour until blended. Gradually add 1 qt. of reserved broth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.

  3. Add cream, rice, salt, pepper, remaining broth and reserved turkey. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30-35 minutes or until rice is tender. Stir about every 5-8 minutes as it has a tendency to stick to the bottom of the pan. If it gets too thick, add more broth, water or milk.

  4. Any remaining broth can be frozen for use another day.

Recipe Notes

16 servings (~4-5 quarts)

Original recipe