Monthly archives "January 2012"

Duck Egg Custard

Today I made custard for lunch with our ducks’ eggs. So fresh, so vibrant and lovely-the custard turned out not only a gorgeous color, but had a satin smooth texture. Yum! This dessert, made with eggs from happy happy ducks is actually good for you! Loaded with protein, calcium, B vitamins, healthy mono-unsaturated fats and some mineral rich maple syrup to boot.

The basic recipe is as follows: Whisk 3 whole eggs in your pot, off the heat. Stir in 2 cups milk (we used fresh goats’ milk) and a 1/4 cup maple syrup, a 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, and  apinch of salt. Then start to heat on low/medium, stirring for about 5 minutes until the mixture is thickened. Eat right away with fresh local berries, or pour into serving bowls and refrigerate until firm. You can also cool the custard and then freeze it in your ice cream maker for an out-of-control summer luscious treat. Absoutely divine. The richness of the duck eggs is what makes this very simple custard a knockout.

Beer Braised Rabbit

Beer Braised Rabbit
adapted by Khaiti French of L.T.D. Farm
from the “Joy of Cooking”
1 rabbit, cut into 6 pieces
1/2 lb ground pork or sausage meat -OR- 1/3 cup olive oil
1 cup beer- any kind,
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup flavorful broth
1 tsp caraway seeds
1 tsp Lemon Peel, grated (Meyer lemons are lovely in this)
1 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp each of salt and pepper

Place rabbit pieces in a deep skillet, cover with pork sausage (or olive oil) and then add the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 2 hours. Delicious! Serve with something to soak up the juices, like brown rice or mashed potatoes.

Duck Egg Pasta

Duck Egg Pasta

duck eggs make the BEST homemade pasta!

The extra protein in our lady ducks’ eggs make homemade pasta even more robust and rich. Give it a try! One thing we learned is that whole mixing on the counter top is not a good idea- just use a bowl to avoid making a giant mess. The ratio is so easy (this is for 3 servings)- 3 eggs to 2 cups white all purpose flour, a pinch of salt. Stir, knead, add more flour if needed, then plop out on a floured board or countertop. Vigorously get the sheet as thin as you can with a rolling pin, flouring your board as needed. Cut into strips that are about the same size, and drop all at once into a pot of boiling water. Stir and boil gently for 3-5 minutes, depending on how thin you got your pasta sheet, until the texture is to your liking. Dress with fresh greens, sauteed in a little olive oil, some garlic. So simple, yet fancy and delicious! Get creative with your sauces- red wine morel feta? tomato thyme and olive? The sky is the limit for your kitchen creativity!

Surprise!!!!!!!!

Honey had her kids this morning! Twin boys are both doing very well, their dad was a pygmy goat, you can see how tiny they are compared to Belle (she’s grown alot though!) Having kids on a nice gentle snowstormy January day is a great thing. We’re all covered in colostrum over here learning how to use the bottle. Here’s to January kids!

brrrrrrrrrrrr

It was inevitable that deep winter would come, and here we are on a morning of eleven degrees below zero. It’s terribly worriesome to have animals in weather this cold. Luckily the ducks are designed for cold, as their bodies are surrounded by a nice, thick layer of fat….just like seals who bob about in the Arctic Seas, undaunted! This morning warm water was brought to them at 5am, in the darkest, coldest hours of the morning. The stars were twinkling, the quarter moon showing it’s shadow. What a surprise to find 23 beautiful eggs that they had laid for us! 3 had frozen and burst their shells (those are what we call “farmers’ perks” eggs) but the remaining eggs are going into our first 2012 duck egg order. There are several families waiting for our duck eggs, those who have children who can’t eat chicken eggs. We’re so glad we can once again supply their families with pure nutrition and goodness. As the egg numbers climb each day, we’ll be bringing duck eggs to the Twin Cities Co-ops very soon. The ladies are very contented right now. They enjoy their fresh hay for snacking and snuggling on and still take baths in their tub, even in the subzero temps.

Early this week we added two new milking goats to our herd. Honey and her daughter Brenna are both pregnant Oberhasli goats. They had an encounter with a hormone-crazed fence-jumping Pygmy Billy goat about 4 months ago, so their kids should be extra adorably tiny. Honey is solid black and growing enormous. When we first went to see her, she looked pregnant, but not THIS pregnant! Hoping she’ll wait for a fair weather day to have her kids, and then our first milking of 2012 will commence. Then 12 hour lock down begins- goats need to be milked regularly every 12 hours to encourage an ongoing, consistent supply of their delicious milk.

May on alert with the newbies on the block. Her daughters Babycakes and Bunny, always at her side.

Bluebelle, working hard, growing from puppy to extraordinary farm dog.

2012 begins

Very exciting news- on jan 3rd, we found the VERY first duck egg of 2012! Now the year has begun for real! For the last 3 days, one egg each day, and if conditions are good for one of the ladies, chances are the other gals will follow suit. We may be delivering eggs to the Cities starting in February, we’ll keep you posted here. The predator has hit the trail for some time now, but we’re keeping the dogs on nightly stake out as a precautionary measure.

In about a month, the first goat kids are due to be born! The 3 older goat mommas are all showing the “baby bulge” big time, and we’re really excited for bouncing joyful kids on the farm again….as well as fresh milk for drinking and cheesemaking. Cultured goat milk only has so many uses, and the flavor is rather strong after 3 months. Did you know real raw milk will naturally culture itself into a type of buttermilk?

Eating from our pantry and “root cellar” had been amazing. We have one bowl full of the very last fresh tomatoes, but they ripened indoors, so they aren’t the primo tomatoes you’d think of. Still- that’s better than those trucked thousands of miles from CA! There are still some Napa Cabbages to use, they hold very well into winter, a big surprise. Turnips extend mashed potatoes, and are wonderful in organ meat pot pies. Winter radishes have been another surprise- the red meated ones are wonderful sliced in a vinagrette with carrots and napa! The only downside to eating at home all the time is all the dishes that never end! Winter crops are essential to get by without much grocery store shopping, and we’re planning to offer an awesome winter share next fall. These winter storage and use experiences will help us determine what and when to plant things this coming season. If we grow things we don’t use or eat, chances are others wouldn’t either, so we’ll put our winter-of-local to use in the winter share.

The first litter of Rabbit Kits is now at 3weeks. The babies are bounding out of the nest box, eating big-bunny food with momma, nursing and growing fast on her very rich milk. Psycho Suzy/Jill is a great mom, and is transforming into a very sweet rabbit with some patient coddling. We had the rabbit harvesting experience a couple weeks back with our local rabbit guru, and can now say rabbit is a very delicious meat. We simmered ours in beer, fruit vinegar, with caraway, lemon and diced salt pork. Yes, rabbit is very very tasty, and surprisingly filling! A little goes a long way -one small rabbit extended into 6 meals for us. We met our Amish neighbors and purchased two more young does, so we can begin supplying rabbit meat this year. Let us know if you are interested.

Our pigs are being harvested next week. It’s a relief actually, as these pigs have been such crazy rabblerousers. They basically ran off (while playing with each other) all the calories they ate…..all summer. There were the multiple times they got out to greet us at the door. The amount of damage an loose omnivore could do on our farm is mind-boggling! You cannot grab a pig as there is nothing to hold onto, and they are pure muscle. Needless to say, it’s been a memorable time with these pigs. They had quite a life here, and we still love them up each day with pats and scratches on the back. 2 or 3 pigs max at a time is highly recommended, and this is what you do- you learn as you go.