Friday, June 27, 2014

Garlic with Thick Pork Chops. Delicious, Pastured Whole Roast Chicken

Romanian Red Garlic and Thick Pork Chops:

Check out this garlic beauty at market- all wrapped up in purple and white.  Garlic really is the best flavor for pork chops. And well, some rosemary too.  So, oil that grill and season our thick, bone-in pork chops with garlic, rosemary, salt, and pepper and grill to medium. Slightly pink on the inside is great!

Delicious, Free Range, Pastured Chickens

Wow! Chickens raise outdoors on pasture are delicious.  The fresh air, sunshine, grass....these are our ingredients that seem so obvious and straightforward.  Our chickens roam, yep... roam and run around, not roam indoors in a industry chicken "barn", but they roam outdoors on terra firma and the fresh grass.  Scratching the earth, pecking insects, running up to their favorite feeders at full flapping their wings.

Yep, we know the animals that we eat...and we like it that way.  It is transparent, it is the natural way an animal should live, and it is delicious. 

Whole Roast Chickens ~ Marie's Kitchen Chicken Tips~
For whole chickens, loosen all the skin over the breast with your fingers. Just put your fingers under the skin at the neck, pull, and separate the skin from the breast.  Then stuff the herb, salt, and garlic mixture that you use for the outside of the chicken all over the breast.  This makes a nice herb infused roast chicken breast.  Your herb rub doesn't soak through skin when you just rub it on the outside, so this step literally packs flavor right onto the meat.
>>See our Roast Chicken recipe here<<

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Harvest Day!

Keegan and Hannah in the Salanova lettuce 

Cool dude- Keegan

Sarah is a bunching machine!

William is hauling the harvest.

Delicious Recipes for Those Garden Fresh Veggies!

Angie's Dad's Best Cabbage Coleslaw

aka...Tangy Coleslaw

Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Ready In: 30 Minutes
Servings: 20
"An absolutely delicious coleslaw, more tart and tangy than the creamy kind. It keeps well and can be made ahead of time."
1 medium head cabbage, shredded
1 large red onion, diced
1 cup grated carrots
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 cup white sugar (Please feel free to cut back on sugar- William and I put 3 tblsp of sugar or honey)
1 cup white vinegar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon dry mustard
black pepper to taste
In a large bowl, combine cabbage, onion, carrots, and celery. Sprinkle with 1 cup sugar, and mix well. In a small saucepan, combine vinegar, oil, salt, dry mustard, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Pour hot dressing over cabbage mixture, and mix well.

Printed from 10/30/2013

Fresh Gingered Beets

Adapted from The Passionate Vegetarian, 2002.

Basic Cooking Method
1.       Wash beets well. Cut off and discard root tails and all except 1 inch of stems.  Do not peel.  Cook, covered in lightly salted boiling water for 40 to 50 minutes or until just tender. Drain.  Let cool until easy to handle.
2.       Slip skins off beets under running water.  Carefully slice each beet into 1/4 inch thick slices, removing and discarding remaining stem ends.
Once the beets are sliced, you may splash them with a bit of olive oil and store for about 2 days before using or creating them into a dish.  I like to store beets in Mason jars, so they don’t stain the Tupperware.
1 bunch of beets (approx 5 large beets or 10 golf ball size beets)
1 teaspoon butter
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1-2 teaspoons finely diced ginger
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons water

1.       Heat 1 teaspoon each butter and oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.  When the oils are sizzling hot, add the cooked beets and toss them in the hot fat. 
2.       Then add 1 to 2 teaspoons peeled very finely dice ginger.  Toss for about 30 seconds.
3.       Then add 3 tablespoons brown sugar and 2 tablespoons water.  Cook, stirring, until the water and brown sugar have bubbled into a glaze, about 30 seconds.

Orange-Beet Salad
From Better Homes and Gardens annual Recipes 2001
Marie’s notes: I used olive oil instead of walnut oil and plain chevre instead of feta cheese. I also omitted the orange peel (the peel of conventional citrus have a high concentration of pesticides) and used 1 extra tablespoon of orange juice.
Tip: Roll the plain goat chevre or feta cheese in a black pepper and thyme mixture (coat the cheese in herbs)  to keep the red juice of the beets from staining the cheese.  I let the beets marinate overnight in the dressing, drained the beets, and then topped the beets with the walnuts and cheese on the dinner plates.   It was delicious!

3 medium beets (about 9 oz)
3 Tbsp. walnut oil or salad oil
1 tsp. shredded orange peel
2 Tbsp. orange juice
1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar or white vinegar
2 Tbsp. broken walnuts toasted
3 Tbsp crumbled feta cheese
¼ coarsely ground pepper
1.      Wash beets well. Cut off and discard root tails and all except 1 inch of stems.  Do not peel.  Cook, covered in lightly salted boiling water for 40 to 50 minutes or until just tender. Drain.  Let cool until easy to handle.
2.     Slip skins off beets under running water.  Carefully slice each beet into 1/4 inch thick slices, removing and discarding remaining stem ends.
3.     Meanwhile, for dressing, in a screw-top jar combine walnut oil or salad oil, orange peel, orange juice, and vinegar.  Cover and shake well.
4.     In a medium mixing bowl gently toss the beet slices with the dressing. Cover, and chill to marinade for 2 to 24 hours. 
5.     To serve, let mixture come to room temperature. Gently stir walnuts into beets. Sprinkle with feta cheese and pepper. Makes 4 servings.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Baby piglets- Day 5

The piglets are out and about in the pasture. 

Chestnut and Swannanoa the sows are incredibly hot- even in the morning when it is only about 77 degrees. I'm pretty sure the hard work of lactating is making them sensitive to the heat. They spend more time wallowing that the 2 pregnant sows who are a similar size and color. 
Nothing like a water hose to make a pig happy.

All pigs need a wallow when it is warm (and it's certainly warm: 87-90 degrees these days).  The sows are so big and they just sigh as they lay their bellies down into the cool mud.  We've been running water from the irrigation system straight into their wallows almost everyday. There must be water in the wallow to cool them down.  We do like that the wallows will dry out if we let them- that will prevent disease and bacteria from building up in the water.

This is a deluxe wallow- it is under a 10 by 10 tarp shade shelter.  I'm filling the wallow with a hose.

The piglets are learning how to drink water. This is not the water we want them to drink, but they're having fun exploring their surroundings!

This is the pasture farrowing huts that we built. You need a truck or tractor to move them, but we wanted a nice big hut for each sow and her litter.

Nap time.

They will bury themselves in hay even when it is 90 degrees outside.  The slanted boards are to for the sow to lean against when she lays down. The piglets then have a safe area past the boards. The piglets have to watch out when they weigh 3 pounds and the sow weighs 300-400 lbs.  

Sibling 5 days old!

Dinner! Each sow gets 15 lbs once a day of a 18% protein feed to help her meet her nutritional needs while she is lactating.

Tired after a grand adventure.

Baby piglets- Day 1

These piglets were born Friday the 6th.  We had 12 piglets in one litter and 9 in the other.

Being born is hard work

Just 1 hour old.

This one has mama all to his self.  He is trying to figure out how the teats work.

Hard work= nap time. 1 hour old.

It was about 85 degrees. A perfect temp for baby piglets.

Mama pig-Chestnut -thought it was too hot!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Mama Pigs on the Farm

Here's a tour of our 4 sows on the farm.  We'll have 2 litters of piglets in just a few days from now. We have sows at the farm so we can raise our own piglets.  We've struggled with finding piglets at the right time, with the quality, breeding, and characteristics that we must have to raise great pigs out on pasture.

This is Swanannoa, a Duroc/ Berkshire cross, who is expected piglets in just a few days from now.

This beautiful pig is a sow (mother pig) who is expecting piglets in just 8 days from now. We are on baby pig watch! Her name is Chestnut.

This is Flopsy Lopsy. She'll have piglets in July. She is half Large Black heritage breed and  half Hampshire. She was bred to a Large Black boar.

This is Clementine. She is best friends with Flopsy Lopsy. She'll also have piglets in July. She is also a Large Black and Hampshire cross.

More food?