Friday, October 28, 2011
2 eggs, lightly beaten
7/8 cup canola oil
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup molasses
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups unbleached white flour
4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup date pieces
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly grease two cookie sheets.
Use wire whisk to beat the eggs in a large bowl.
Add oil, sugar, and molasses, and whisk again.
In a medium bowl, combine flours with baking soda, salt, and spices.
Add to sugar mixture and mix well.
Stir in nuts and date pieces.
Roll into balls the size of walnuts and place on cookie sheets 2 inches apart.
Bake 12 to 15 minutes.
Transfer to wire racks to cool.
Makes 3 dozen.
Thursday, October 20, 2011
|Here you see the "basal plate" of the clove, which goes downward when planted. The roots will grow from this base, while the leaves will shoot up from the pointy end of the clove.|
|Use a rake to fill the holes, and then add 5 - 6 inches of straw mulch. |
We've added a chicken wire cage as protection from marauding deer.
Here at Full Circle Farm, we grow two types of stiffneck garlic, "Red Chec," and "German Extra Hardy." Stiffneck garlic varieties are generally considered to be more flavorful than softneck varieties, and are thus more popular with
home growers and gourmet restaurants.
I hope you are inspired to plant even a small patch of garlic. Its health benefits are widely recognized. And you can never have too much. Because its flavor is superior to grocery store garlic, it is always a welcome gift for friends and family. When we harvest more than we need for the year for ourselves and friends, our local food co-op is always happy to purchase whatever we can supply.
And you can save out part of your harvest for next year's "seed!"
For more information on garlic varieties and production, see the book
"Growing Great Garlic" by Ron Engeland
Sunday, October 9, 2011
Here's the recipe:
2 cups milk
1/3 cup canola oil
1 and 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder.
1 cup blueberries
Beat the eggs, then add milk and oil and beat well.
Mix the dry ingrdients thoroughly.
Mix dry and wet ingredients together. Stir in berries.
Heat your griddle. It's ready when a drop of water flicked on it jumps and sputters and is gone. Lightly oil the griddle.
Ladle batter onto the griddle, and cook 2 - 3 minutes on the first side, until bubbles form, but before they pop.
Flip and cook about 2 minutes on second side.
Serve with organic butter and real maple syrup. Smiles all around.
Saturday, October 8, 2011
|I'm not sure if this photo conveys this, but the sides and bottom of this vase are very thick: |
thicker than a canning jar, for instance.
Thursday, October 6, 2011
This is a recipe for pickled pepper rings. The Original recipe, in The Homesteading Recipe Book by Patricia Crawford, called for sweet peppers, but we love it with hot peppers.
|These are Anaheim peppers, hot but on the mild side of hot...|
|Be sure to wear your rubber gloves when you handle hot peppers.|
You can also learn about water bath canning at: http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/how/can_home.html.
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
When the peppers are cool, put on rubber gloves and strip the skins off with a sharp knife. This is a messy job, but these peppers are so good on sandwiches all winter, you'll be glad you made them!!
Put on the two part lids, label, and freeze. Be sure to leave 1/2 inch "head space" at the top of the jar to allow for expansion.
|Here's a close-up of Jack stripping the skin off the pepper. |
I hesitated to post it here because I took this shot before he remembered to put on his gloves.
Monday, October 3, 2011
Here's a good way to use up some of those less than perfect potatoes from the home garden. You know the ones I mean...poked by the potato hook, or tasted by the vole...
If you look closely, you may be able to see the holes in the potatoes. I will cut away any bad parts and put them in the compost. Also shown are my newly harvested leeks and some chives for garnish. Leeks are great for cooking in a chunky soup like this because they break down so completely in the cooking process: giving the soup a full, creamy texture without the addition of cream (extra calories,) or the need to puree in an appliance (extra dishes to wash.)
Once you have gathered all your ingredients, set a kettle of water on to boil. About two quarts will do.
Now chop your leeks into medallions about 1/8 inch thick. Saute them right in the soup pot, to keep your dishes down to a minimum. Saute in oil or butter, or a little of each. Add salt, pepper, and dried basil or oregano. I added some chopped chives and parsley as well. When leeks turn golden and translucent, carefully add about two inches of boiling water. Then cut your potato into bite sized chunks and add to the boiling stock. Add some chopped carrots if you have them. Keep chopping potatoes and adding them to the soup, adding more water as needed to keep everything covered. Simmer until potatoes are soft, about 15 minutes.
You'll notice that I've not given you specific amounts. I've given you my basic process for making soup:
- bring 2 qts. water to a boil in a tea kettle while you chop vegetables
- in a stock pot saute the "aromatics:" onion or leeks, garlic, peppers, carrots, celery
- add boiling water or reserved vegetable cooking water from an earlier meal
- chop and add remaining vegetables from those needing most cooking time to those needing least
- simmer until all vegetables are desired tenderness.
- turn off heat and add 1 tablespoon miso dissolved in 1 cup cold water and stir in well
- garnish with fresh herbs and serve
Sunday, October 2, 2011
|Jack pulls up a potato plant in August to show a young fella|
where potatoes come from!
For storage potatoes, however, we leave the potatoes in the ground till fall, allowing their skins to become a bit stronger, to keep good things in and bad things out, as they say...
You may dig potatoes for storage as soon as the plants die back. The ideal tool for this is a potato hook, as seen in this photo. My suggestion is to shop the tag sales for an inexpensive older tool, which will probably be more well-made than any that you would find for sale new. Plus, you will be keeping your money local.
Here you see the straw much being pulled back to reveal the soft soil beneath. And you usually find some small beneficial animals like this spotted salamander living under the protection of the mulch as well.
Salamanders and earthworms improve the soil tilth (texture and permeability) by digging through the soil, and in the case of the earthworm, digesting it. Organic gardening practices allow these animals, and the soil micro-organisms that we can't see, to survive. Chemical fertilizers and heavy machinery create dead, compacted soil that cannot easily absorb water. (Recent flooding of the American Midwest can be blamed in part on short-sighted, profit minded, agricultural practices.)
Use the potato hook to gently lift the potatoes from where they rest, just below soil level. Some damage from the hook is unavoidable, and any potatoes with holes poked in them should be eaten soon, for they will not keep. Better yet, dig the potatoes with your hands. Then you can feel around for the potatoes and pull them out without any damage at all.
Be sure to choose a dry, sunny day for potato harvesting. The potatoes will come out of the ground with a bit of earth clinging to them, and you want to remove as much of this as possible before storage. By leaving the potatoes to lie in the sun for a short time, this earth witll dry out, and can be easily rubbed off as you collect the spuds. But you do want to get the potatoes out of the sun, and out of the light for that matter, as soon as possible. This is because light causes poisonous alkaloids to form, showing up as a green tinge on and just under the skin.
Ideal storage conditions are cool, dark and humid. A cold cellar is ideal, but the basement may work as well. You don't want to store your potatoes in the garage or in a shed where they might freeze. Store only damage free potatoes and do not wash before storing; just wipe off any excess soil, as mentioned above.
These potatoes have been separated out because they have suffered some damage and aren't good candidates for storage. Some have fork pokes, but most have been nibbled on by voles. Voles look like moles, but they eat vegetables, whereas moles eat meat. (V=vegetables, M= meat, get it?) These potatoes wil be eaten right away as soup. Just cut off the damaged portions and salvage what you can. Approximately 20% of our potato crop was attacked by voles. Just one of many examples I could give of why I have no patience with people who complain about the prices at farmer's markets!