Results for tag "local-food"

The “Farmstead Kitchen” Series


“What’s for Dinner?”

Sometimes it’s just hard to think of something to eat for dinner, even if all kinds of ingredients are staring at you from the cupboard, freezer, or fridge! I’ve been enjoying Pinterest lately, searching for recipes and gazing at mouth-watering photos. The only problem with some of these beautiful recipes is that most call for out-of-season and other store-bought ingredients. I try to use what is at hand in my farmstead kitchen, and that precludes following most of these recipes.

Eating for me is all about flavor AND sustainability. Eating is an agricultural act, as Wendell Barry has said. You literally vote with your fork each and every day for the kind of world you want to see in the future.

Being a farmer on a budget who happens to grow actual food (many farmers these days only grow animal-feed or ethanol crops like field corn and soybeans), I have a variety of fresh and preserved ingredients to choose from for meals. I raise pastured animals for meat and have a very diverse garden that feeds customers and ourselves, and I almost always have duck eggs (although only frozen eggs while the ducks enjoy their winter vacation). I can, ferment, cure, dry, freeze, and root cellar our products all spring, summer, and fall. Nevertheless, we all still get into cooking ruts and need some inspiration. I decided to begin the “Farmstead Kitchen” series as a way to broaden my own cooking horizons, while sharing what it is like to eat from a diverse farmstead throughout the year. Even if you don’t have a farmstead, we can all learn to focus on what is available in season from local farms and learn how to preserve food for out-of-season use.

frosty frost

After quite a brown & dry beginning to winter, the region has been blanketed with snow. In the mornings, we’ve had relatively warm air currents leading to some spectacular hoar frosts. Don’t you just love it? Our animals are all doing fantastic in this new season- rabbits come with their own fur coat, and we are raising our youngsters outdoors so they can grow healthy and sound with lots of hay and room to romp about in the sun and fresh air. We’ll be offering fresh rabbit throughout the winter, email us to reserve yours. Rabbit is an incredibly nutrient dense meat, very healthy and lean- delicious marinated and grilled, or stewed with herbed dumplings on top.

Rabbit is the new local grass fed meat!The ducks are insulated with not only a down jacket, but also a plump layer of fat. Our lady layers are blessing us with eggs MUCH later in the season than ever before….which can only mean they are very content and happy with their new duck barn, deep bedding, hay for snacking, constant fresh water and days spent sitting outside in the sun. We absolutely love our ducks! Look for the Holiday Special going on now until Christmas at several of the Twin City Co-ops. We did have a couple of episodes with a hawk scoping out our ducks, which is very scary for them and for us. The safety of our ladies is extremely important to us! And so- we got the ducks some guardians, a pair of French Toulouse Geese. They are drop dead gorgeous, very calm and are doing a great job patrolling the duck pasture and keeping an eye on the sky.Still scratching your head over gift ideas? Please know we have set up a PayPal account in order to sell our handmade goatmilk soaps online, and shipped directly to your door! These soaps are the most moisturizing EVER, being made up of 50% goatmilk! There are 8 “flavors” to choose from, let us know if you have any questions about ordering. We can customize your mix of flavors and wrap up gift bundles with festive ribbon so they are ready to go. Our soap is sold by the pound, as the bar sizes vary (they have a rustic look from being handcut.)  Thanks so much for your support!

Gluten Free Baking with Duck Eggs–a sampling!

Title: Gluten Free Baking with Duck Eggs–a sampling!
Location: Mississippi Market Co-ops
Description: Khaiti will be serving up samples of a delicious gluten free gingerbread cake made with the amazing duck eggs from our farm. Duck Eggs are simply fabulous for Gluten-free recipes, as they add a heavenly richness and also have extra protein, which helps bind the cake together better. Saturday 12/22 -Come visit the Selby store from 11-2, and West 7th location from 3-6!

Here’s the recipe!

Gluten & Dairy Free

Black Sticky Gingerbread Cake

adapted from www.101

by Khaiti French, LTD Farm

What more can you ask for? Moist, delicious, unique…this whole grain cake is easy to make, dairy free, has a crunchy, delicious top and serves a crowd!

3 large Duck Eggs eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup Almond Breeze
1 cup / 8 oz earth balance
1 cup unsulphured blackstrap molasses
1 cup  flavorful, real honey
1 cup dark brown sugar
3 cups Cooqui Multi-Purpose Gluten Free Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 Tbl ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Combine the butter, water, molasses, honey and brown sugar in a large (10-12 cup size) metal mixing bowl and place bowl over a pot of simmering water, stir the mixture frequently until the butter is just melted, and all of the ingredients are well blended. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
Heat the oven to 325F now, with a rack in the center. Line a 13x9x2-inch baking pan with parchment paper, letting it hang over the edges. This will help you remove the cake from the pan later.
In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, all-spice and cloves, and set aside.
When the molasses mixture feels just warm to the touch, add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the milk and stir to combine. Fold the dry ingredients into the batter, and don’t be overly concerned if you can’t get every lump out.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for ~45-60 minutes. Start checking for doneness after about 45 minutes. When the top of the cake springs back when touched you’re good. For me this is usually ~55 minutes, but the baking time will depend on your oven and the shape of your pan.
Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes, then, using the overhang of parchment (if you’re using a rectangular pan), lift the cake out of the pan and cool completely on a wire rack before cutting. If refrigerated, the texture becomes dense and sticky – in a good way, just let it come up to room temperature before serving.

Serves 12-16.

how to properly cook a duck egg

How to cook a Duck Egg? Go easy on the heat. Here’s how we do it:

Warm a cast iron skillet on Medium high with a little oil in it. Crack your eggs in the pan, break the yolk if desired and salt and pepper them. As soon as you can flip the egg over “safely,” do that, and then TURN THE HEAT OFF. Leave the cast iron pan on the burner and then your egg will finish cooking for a couple minutes with this gentle heat. Duck eggs have a considerably higher amount of protein, so if you cook them too hot, too fast, the protein will seize up, causing a tough & rubbery egg. If you cook your duck eggs as described above, they will be silky, luscious & have a rich creamy texture.
We’d love to know how do you cook your duck eggs as well as your favorite recipes!

duck egg doughuts & duck egg mayo recipes

Duck Egg Doughnuts- these are the best fried in organic lard and are dangerously delicious! A very special treat.

A duck egg doughnut with it’s “hole” intact!

3 1/2 cups white all purpose flour, 1 cup sugar, 3 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp cinnnamon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 2 Tblspn fat, 2 duck eggs, 3/4 cup milk

Heat cooking oil in a small cast iron pan, so it is about half full. heat to 375 degrees- if the oil is not hot enough, the dough will just absorb the fat, not fry properly.

Mix 1 1/2 cups flour with rest of the ingredients, blend 30 seconds on low speed, and then 2 minutes on medium. Scrape the batter off the sides of the bowl into the middle. Stir in remaining flour, mix and turn dough out onto a floured board. Roll to 3/8 inch, cut with a floured doughnut cutter (or cut into shapes, the smaller the quicker they fry.) Slide doughnuts into hot fat, just covering the surface area of the pan. After about 2 minutes, they rise to the surface, now you flip them over. Cook another 2-3 minutes on the other side, then carefully remove them without pricking the surface and drain on a paper towel lined plate. Continue with the remaining doughnuts. Eat as is, or sprinkle with sugar.

Duck Egg Mayonnaise

Aoili is a wonderful thing, delicious on everything from sandwiches to potato salad to roasted pork! We came up with the most delicious and creamy duck egg aoili that can also double as a thick mayonnaise on sandwiches. We can’t officially recommend that you eat this because it uses raw eggs, but we love it and eat it at our own risk! This is the basic mayo recipe, to make an aoili just add about 4 cloves of finely minced garlic at the beginning and use olive oil instead of safflower. This makes about 5 cups, so you can half the recipe for a more manageable portion.

4 large duck eggs
1 Tablespoon dry mustard
1 Tablespoon sea salt
a dash of cayenne
4 cups oil (we use safflower for a milder flavor)
3/4 cup white vinegar (apple cider is good for a real tang)Combine one cup of oil in food processor along with the eggs (white and yolk), mustard, salt, cayenne. Process until smooth. SLOWLY drizzle in 2 cups of oil, making sure it is completely emulsified as you go. Then slowly drizzle in vinegar, and the remaining 1 cup of oil. At this point all the sloshy sounds in the processor should start to become quiet. You know it is perfectly emulsified when all you hear is the whizz of the motor. Season to taste and store in fridge for about a week.

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.