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.
duck eggs so fresh they nearly bring tears with their beauty!
i forgot to whisk the eggs before i added the the milk-
stirring over the low/medium heat
oh yeah- hot custard poured over frozen raspberries from a neighbor's farm
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.
duck eggs also make the BEST homemade pasta!
The extra protein in our girls’ 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 about two servings)- 2 eggs to 1 cup flour, a pinch of salt. Stir, knead add more flour if needed, then roll out vigorously 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. Boil maybe 5 minutes, depending on how thin you got your pasta sheet. Just boil 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!
rhubarb from a friend, we've established our own giant patch now, for next year and beyond
some of our broiler chickens that we're raising for our chicken share customers
Life has been good out here. Our first CSA boxes in May did not have any of our own veggies, as April was snowy and nearly sunless, so nothing grew! Radishes sat in the soil, not growing like they would have. We found wild ramps to share, and padded the boxes with extra eggs, soaps and other farm made goods. The June boxes begin next week, and we are so excited for all the good stuff we get to share now! Fresh, tender Kale (soo good with duck eggs for breakfast! Just sautee for a few seconds in olive oil, crack an egg on top and flip after a minute. Greens enriched eggs the easy way!), sorrel, cauliflower and broccoli, fresh peppermint, lettuces, china choy, baby salad mix, radishes….it’s so exciting. The first tomatoes are being formed on the plants, and the summer squash are about to bloom and start producing mountains of zucchini and patty pan squash. Kohlrabi is doing well, parsley and beets are taking their time, carrots are beginning to be visible. Brussel sprouts are starting to reach for the sky, and cabbages thinking about starting heads. Some of our cauliflowers are forming tiny heads. The heat wave we all experienced of over 100 degrees really pulled a fast one on the brassicas, who thought, that’s it, time to make seed. So we have some tiny heads, and some of the plants burst into bloom when it suddenly was 45 at night. They thought winter was coming, so time to make seeds for the next generation!
The Green Beans and other beans are coming along nicely, but that’s another month away before we see beans to pick. We’re growing some for fresh pods, and some for the dried beans we’ll shell in the late fall, after the pods dry. For those of you who got to have some of our fabulous winter squash last year, and know the special method we have for seeding them (using the pigs), you’ll be happy to know the pigs did it again, and we have squash plants everywhere!! Even though the growing season is so short in this climate, the bounty is insane, when it all works out. So funny to be salivating over winter squash at the start of summer.
Trixie is a Bancha goat -half boer, half la mancha- my own creation! She's milking not too heavily this year, her first, but her milk is really really creamy. Excellent for cheesemaking. Note her tongue!
It’s also been challenging this spring. First we lost Metallika’s son, Prince, to something we don’t know what. We took his body to the WI State Veterinary lab for an autopsy, but haven’t heard anything. he died completely suddenly, no warning signs or anything. Being from a set of triplets, and being the smallest one, he may have had some kind of defect that prevented him from living a full life. It was heartwrenching to lose such a robust, handsome and friendly little guy, and not be able to do anything about it. So far, we’ve had no problems with his sisters or any of the other goats, so it must have just been a fluke.
Then we had a predator come. We’ve not had much trouble ever before, due to Little Blue and Javi’s protection of the farm. But this jerk-hole snuck into the side shed where the little fat broiler chicks were brooding for a week or two before we could move them outside. This predator came two nights in a row, we think it is a weasel based on what we found. We lost 12 chicks at about 2 weeks of age. So we moved them outside a bit too early, but we needed them out of the den of the beast. We camped in our tent next to them that first night, having nightmares of weasels chasing baby chicks. We had two nights of peace. Andrew built a weasel trap which we baited, but caught nothing yet. And then it got cold one night, and all the chicks piled together in one end of a box, and ended up suffocating 6 of their chick buddies. Man oh man. We really are trying, but this has been a frustrating struggle.
Gardens are always a challenge, something is always hard. We’re starting with freshly tilled sod, and so despite cover cropping to hold back the weeds, we have had to go back and double dig some beds that got out of hand. Luckily the stream of baby plants needing transplanting never ends, so there is always something to put in the new beds. We’ve been totally on top of succession planting (yeah!), and now that the weather is kind of normal, we’re looking forward to lots of veggies cascading into our lives and sharing that bounty with our CSA.
Rosie and her boyfriend Lance!
What else is going on out here? We decided we want to raise our own piglets instead of having to buy them from outside farms. And Rosie is such a magnificent pig were sure she’s gonna be an awesome mom. So we got her a suitor. Lance is a Tamworth boar, a heritage hog breed. He’s been hanging out next to her for 2 weeks, we’re all waiting for when she goes into heat in a couple days, and then hopefully piglets will be in the works. A huge thank you to Harvey from Carlena Farm, for raising such a nice boar and bringing him to us. Lance is so mellow and such a stunning guy, and he’s been singing Rosie sweet nothings pretty much all day long.
Rosie enjoying the sprinkler spa on the 100 degree day