Farm Tales

Welcome to my farmlife. This is a place to sit and chat, talk about what we do here and for you to ask questions or post opinions on all that is farm. So much to do so little time.

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Farm to Table

Posted by MaryAnn the FarmWife on October 5, 2015 at 2:05 PM Comments comments (2)

Yesterday, was the first time in several months, that I had a weekend day unexpectedly off. Thank you Joaquin. We do Farmer’s Markets every weekend from the beginning of June through the end of October. Those three days, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, are generally packed with tasks, and far overscheduled to have any social time for spending with friends. We do figure out a way, to go to other people’s parties, celebrations, but we are like walking zombies and always have to run home to milk a cow.

Last Thursday though, the Sunday’s Farmer’s market was cancelled. So what do I do? Shove a social event in the few hours of down time I will get. It was wonderful. If any of my dear friends is reading this and were not invited, patience please. I only had the kitchen for entertaining, and we can only get 6 dinner guests in here. The dining room, is filled with Farmer’s Market and dairying equipment…no room for a crowd in there. You will all get to visit us very soon…And we do miss you all.

As for yesterday, after milking the cow, doing dairy stuff, feeding livestock, washing/boxing eggs, vegetable stuff, and about a dozen other farmy things, I had about two hours to straighten up the kitchen…and then an hour or two for a bit of cooking before the neighbors arrived.

The important things were tidy. There was a table and chairs to sit at, and the bathroom was user friendly. It was not a perfect home, but not completely embarrassing.

A kitchen supper is rather informal and fancy place settings were not necessary. A stack of plates, and some silverware were put out for each course, and everyone seemed to fare pretty well. My friends were fed, wine was poured, and all went to bed with full tummies and content with a night of talk, laughing, and tasting.

So for the most intriguing part of this post, the food. I cooked. I really enjoy cooking, and it was a good day for me. The reason that I started growing all these odd varieties of gourmet vegetables is that I really like to cook. Ingredients are key.

So what did I make? I only did four or maybe 5 courses. We were eating on a Sunday evening, and a late night doesn’t work for those who have to get to Manhattan early on Monday morning. I had to be done with it all by 9PM. I only had a couple of the items prepared ahead of time and had to cook or finish the courses with my friends and a glass of wine.

I started with some homemade sour dough batons and some fresh mozzarella. Plain, nothing fancy, and the bread was straight out of the oven.

A pan of Tomatoes Provençal was introduced. Hot carmelized garden tomatoes, were cooked until soft with olive oil, and fresh garden herbs…divine with the bread and cheese. I had slid these in the oven as people arrived. Now tomatoes roasted doesn’t sound as heavenly as they truly are. You have to try them one day.

Then I threw together a pan of Veal Saltimbocca with a Marsala Mushroom pan sauce. Pounding the veal cutlets, while I sipped a cocktail, and rolling them up…a leaf of fresh sage in each roll. Lovely.

While a couple people went for a stroll to look at the calves I scrubbed the potatoes, and then cleaned the kale. They arrived back just in time to help finish the cooking and put together the main course. Boneless Oxtails simmered in ruby port with julienned carrots, fresh chopped tomatoes, torpedo onions, fresh celery, fresh herbs and leeks. Served with our purple mashed Magic Molly Potatoes, with a healthy amount of fresh butter and cream and then some Nero Di Tuscano Kale with garlic and olive oil… Rich, and wonderful after a few blustery cold damp days.

A bit of cleaning up after dinner, and I peeled a few apples, sautéed them in some butter, added a good dose of Krakken Rum, an assortment of raisins, pecans, a bit of sugar…then sealed it in some puff pastry squares. Popped them in the oven. Once the pastries were done, a slice of Vanilla Krakken Rum Semi Fredo from the freezer was added to the plate with a drizzle of caramel sauce. Not too shabby.

Done. Dishes and silverware went in the dishwasher, a few pans were washed, and a good meal was finished.

A menu for a Blustery Damp October Sunday:

Hot Sour Dough Breads served with Homemade Mozzarella

Tomatoes Provençal

Veal Saltimbocca in a Marsala Mushroom Sauce

Boneless Oxtail Stew served with Mashed Purple Magic Molly Potatoes and Kale in Garlic and Oil

Fresh Apple and Rum Pastries with Vanilla Krakken Semi Fredo and Homemade Caramel

 

The meats, cheese, dairy, herbs, vegetables, apples were all from my farm. Flour, sugar, salt, pepper, olive oil, mushrooms, nuts, raisins and liquors were all purchased. As farm to table as we can get in New Jersey. If we only had olive trees, I could figure out most of the rest.

 

The BROODY HEN

Posted by MaryAnn the FarmWife on July 23, 2015 at 10:35 PM Comments comments (0)

This is Barbara. She is one of our loose foraging bug patrol chickens. She just hatched a nice clutch of eggs. So we have cute peeps. Barbara has a story though.

 

She isn't one of our chickens. She suddenly appeared here about four months ago. She is a really pretty Dark Laced Brahma. I doubt she moved in of her own accord. Most likely, someone needed to find her a new home and saw our place with all our wandering chickens, and thought it would be a good place for her.

 

Well, that isn't how it works. They dropped this well cared for hen out of their vehicle, and left her to fend on her own. No secure pen, no regular food, no regular water.

 

Chickens are not nice. They don't allow new chickens to simply move in with them. The small bands of foragers, did not allow her to join them and chased her off at every turn.

 

We saw her, and recognized that she is not a 'fend for herself type of bird' but couldn't put her in the big pen for safety. A new chicken dropped into a large flock is normally killed by the flock to protect their own. So we had no choice but to let learn to be a chicken on her own.

 

We try and make sure she has a safe place to sleep in the barn and keep an eye on her, but we really can't do more than that. She stays with Maybelline and the Jersey calves. John tosses her some feed every so often - the other wanderers are pretty jealous.

 

Barbara decided she wanted her own flock. After a brief affair with a wandering gigolo rooster, she sat for 21 days and started her own. Good for Barbara.



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