Jennifer Burcke

Author's details

Name: Jennifer Burcke
Date registered: July 16, 2012

Latest posts

  1. Product Review: Brinsea EcoGlow Brooder — July 12, 2012
  2. Purple Top Heirloom Turnip — July 11, 2012
  3. Lily Season — July 9, 2012
  4. Cherry Belle Heirloom Radish — July 3, 2012
  5. New Community Chickens Post: How to Prepare for Successful Chick Brooding – Part One — June 30, 2012

Most commented posts

  1. Purina FLIP Camera Giveaway — 90 comments
  2. OXO Five Pound Food Scale with Pull-Out Display Giveaway — 35 comments
  3. Pass the Wheat Nuts — 24 comments
  4. Make Friday the 13th Your Lucky Day! — 22 comments
  5. A Dirty Job for Everyone — 14 comments

Author's posts listings

Orange Genius

Summer is fast approaching and you might need a new recipe for a cold, refreshing drink.  I’m willing to bet that my recipe for Orange Genius on Foodie.com just might help make your summer a little sweeter.  The Orange Genius is a family favorite here at 1840 Farm made with our fresh, raw goat’s milk.

Give it a try and let me know if you agree that the Orange Genius is the perfect drink to enjoy this summer!

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2012/06/orange-genius/

New Community Chickens Post: Coop Planning

Click to read my latest post on the Community Chickens  forum from the publishers of Mother Earth News and Grit Magazine:

Coop Planning:  Five Features to Incorporate in to Your Coop

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2012/05/new-community-chickens-post-coop-planning/

Ultimate Composting – Week Two

It has been two weeks since I started my latest gardening experiment.  There’s no point in trying to hide the truth from you:  I’m growing groceries from what some would call garbage.  Yes, that’s right:  I’m growing celery from the trimmings that usually end up in the compost bin or garbage pile.

While that may sound crazy, here’s something even crazier:  it’s actually working.  The celery has sprouted several stalks since last week.  Small roots are taking hold on the underside and if this continues I hope to be planting the whole thing in a few weeks.

In fact, the celery is making such amazing progress that I decided to add another item to the growing tray.  This time, I added a piece from the end of a head of organic romaine lettuce.  In less than five days, the romaine has already started to grow new leaves and roots.

I can’t wait to see what kind of transformation these specimens will make during the next week.  Right now I’m off to scavenge in the refrigerator.  I know that there must be something else I could add to this edible experiment.

Related Posts:

Ultimate Composting

Ultimate Composting – Week Three

Ultimate Composting – Week Four

Ultimate Composting – Week Five

Ultimate Composting – Week Six

Compostable?  I Think Not. 

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2012/05/ultimate-composting-week-two/

Ultimate Composting

Several weeks ago I shared the disappointing results of my children’s compostable packaging experiment.  In case you missed it, the results were notable for not showing any result at all.  After two years in the compost heap, the vegetable scraps had been transformed into beautiful, lush compost for our garden.  The packaging had not.  It had remained intact, barely showing any sign of degradation.

While I was dismayed at the lack of transformation shown by this supposed earth friendly packaging, I carried on carrying out all of our compostable materials from the 1840 Farm kitchen to the compost bins.  I decided to tuck the packaging back into an actively composting bin and see if the third year might do the trick.

Then I happened upon an article that made an interesting claim:  I could grow organic celery plants for my vegetable garden using nothing but the stump left over from a bunch of organic celery.  I was skeptical.  It seemed far too easy.  I couldn’t wait to see if it would work, so when the aforementioned celery trimming was ready for its usual trip to the compost pile, it was given a place of prominence in the kitchen window instead.

The celery trimming sits in a shallow container of water for a few weeks.  As it does, it will set roots and begin to grow new stalks of edible celery.  I kept checking for either when I changed out the water daily, but for the first few days nothing seemed to be happening.  Today marks the fifth day of this experiment and suddenly the small slice of celery is sprouting a tiny new stalk.

There are miniscule roots beginning to emerge from the underside of the celery.  They aren’t sizable enough to plant in the garden yet, but we’re making progress.  I’m amazed that this method may actually turn something that I would usually toss into the compost bin into a vibrant new plant that can be transplanted into the vegetable garden for the summer growing season.

I’ll keep you posted on the progress of our new composting experiment in the coming weeks.  Until then, I won’t be throwing any celery trimmings in the compost bin.  I’ll be too busy sprouting them in the kitchen window.

Related posts:

Ultimate Composting – Week Two

Ultimate Composting – Week Three

Ultimate Composting – Week Four

Ultimate Composting – Week Five

Ultimate Composting – Week Six

Compostable?  I Think Not. 

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2012/05/ultimate-composting/

New Community Chickens Post: The Best Breed of Chicken for Your Flock

Read my latest post on the Community Chickens  forum from the publishers of Mother Earth News and Grit Magazine:

The Best Breed of Chicken for Your Flock

(click to view the entire post)

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2012/05/new-community-chickens-post-the-best-breed-of-chicken-for-your-flock/

Who’s Watching Who?

Since our day old baby chicks arrived three weeks ago, I’ve kept our Wingscapes BirdCam busy capturing photos and videos of them in their brooding pen.  Today as I was looking through the hundreds of images captured earlier this week, I was taken with two photos of one of our Mottled Cochin Bantam chicks.

In them, she has the stage to herself and seems to be taking full advantage of the moment to pose for the camera.  Then she turns and looks at the BirdCam rather inquisitively.  It was as if she was investigating the camera as much as it was investigating her. So, judge for yourself. Who’s watching who?

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2012/05/whos-watching-who/

New Community Chickens Post: My Pet Chicken (and Yours)

Read my latest post on the Community Chickens  forum from the publishers of Mother Earth News and Grit Magazine:

My Pet Chicken (and Yours)

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2012/05/new-community-chickens-post-a-naturally-beautiful-celebration-2/

Sliced Radish Tartine

Sliced Radish TartineIt’s been raining for days on end here at 1840 Farm.  I know that we desperately needed the rain.  I know that it is technically spring or as we like to call it in New England:  mud season.  None of that matters.  I still don’t like it.  I want to be outside, planting in the garden instead of inside staring longingly out the window at the garden.

After coming to the realization that I couldn’t do anything about the rain, I decided to do the next best thing.  I went to the refrigerator to grab the ingredients to make an afternoon snack.  I hoped that the act of cooking would distract me from the raindrops falling against the kitchen window.  It only took a few moments for me to realize that I had the components to make a family favorite:  sliced radish tartine.

Radishes are one of the first crops to be harvested here at 1840 Farm.  We love to enjoy a freshly made tartine to celebrate the beginning of our garden harvest.  The crisp radish pairs deliciously with toasted pumpernickel bread and velvety butter.  After a long day working in the garden, this tartine made with freshly harvested radishes is a delicious reward.

As I bit into the tartine, my frustration with Mother Nature slipped away.  With each bite, I became more convinced that we did need the rain.  I reasoned that it would help the French Breakfast radishes grow out in our garden.  Harvesting those fresh radishes meant more radish tartine enjoyed with my family.  How could I be upset about that?

Sliced Radish Tartine
Print
Ingredients
  1. 4 slices Pumpernickel or dark rye bread
  2. 2 Tablespoons butter
  3. sea salt
  4. freshly ground black pepper
  5. fresh thyme
  6. fresh chive blossoms
  7. 4 radishes
Instructions
  1. Lightly toast the bread and set aside to cool to room temperature.
  2. Wash the radishes and remove the root end using a sharp knife. Using a mandoline set to 1/8" or a sharp paring knife, slice the radishes into paper-thin slices. If using a mandoline, use the finger guard when slicing to prevent the radish from rolling into the cutting blade or injuring your fingers.
  3. Soften the butter by smashing with the back of a fork. Remove the thyme leaves from the stem and sprinkle over the butter. Pull the chive blossom apart into individual petals and add to the butter. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Mix the herbs and seasonings into the butter using the fork until it is well incorporated.
  4. Using a serrated knife, cut each slice of toasted bread into snack sized pieces. Place the bread on a large platter or board for serving along with the sliced radishes and herb butter. Serve and enjoy!
Notes
  1. Visit www.1840farm.com to enjoy all of our recipes from the Farmhouse Kitchen.
1840farm.com http://1840farm.com/

This post was featured in our newsletter.  To make sure that you don’t miss any of our original content or favorite recipes, DIY projects, and homesteading advice from around the web, subscribe to The 1840 Farm Community Newsletter. Visit our subscription form to become the newest member of The 1840 Farm Community.

Our newsletter isn’t the only way to follow what’s happening here at 1840 Farm.
You’re always welcome at 1840 Farm
and at The 1840 Farm Mercantile Shop on Etsy.
You can also find 1840 Farm throughout the social media universe on
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Flickr, and Bloglovin‘.

We even created a new 1840 Farm Community Newsletter Pinterest board to catalog
our newsletter content so that you could easily pin your favorites to your own boards.

Come add your voice to our conversation!
We’ll hope to see you there!


Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2012/05/sliced-radish-tartine/

Compostable? I think not.

Two years ago, my children and I decided to conduct a little experiment.  That happens quite often here at 1840 Farm.  In fact, it’s strongly encouraged.  We started noticing a lot of compostable packaging on grocery store shelves and wondered just how quickly it would compost.

We buried a few bags, pouches, and cups that boasted their eco-friendliness in the bottom of one of our four compost bins.  I had forgotten all about this experiment until I was harvesting compost for our new raised beds last weekend.   As I used a shovel to remove the compost, I began to uncover the packaging one piece at a time.

While the materials were weakened and slightly worse for the wear, they were still intact.  The food scraps and leaves that had been in the bin were  transformed into beautiful compost.  During the same period of time, the supposedly earth friendly and compostable packaging was unchanged.

Compostable?  I think not.  Something stinks here and it sure isn’t the compost.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2012/05/compostable-i-think-not/

Nearly Wordless Wednesday – May 2, 2012

1840 Farm has twelve new residents of the feathered variety.  They arrived yesterday and I am happy to report that they are all active and well.  They spent the better part of today exploring and trying to master two very important skills:  eating and getting along with your roommates!

They are adorable and we are all enjoying watching them.  There will be daily pictures and videos to share on our Facebook page, but I wanted to give you all a glimpse of them on their first full. day living at 1840 Farm.  Here they are after we gave them all a health check this afternoon.  Moments later, they were back in their brooding pen warming up and exploring their surroundings.

Stay tuned – there will be an unending supply of chick pictures to share!

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2012/05/nearly-wordless-wednesday-may-2-2012/

Grilled Cheese for Everyone

The World English Dictionary defines the word sandwich as a noun meaning “two or more slices of bread, usually buttered, with a filling of meat, cheese, etc.”  It’s hard for me to argue.  I’ve been eating sandwiches for a long time and most versions stay true to this description.

What if there was no bread?  I mean, it is called a grilled cheese sandwich, isn’t it?  This delectable menu item should be all about the cheese.  The bread could be replaced and still leave us with a grilled cheese sandwich, couldn’t it?

Before the bread lovers of the world start composing their rebuttals, I should state up front that I like bread.  In fact, a bite of brioche from Standard Baking Co. can render me speechless by virtue of being too blissfully occupied to care about casual conversation.   It wasn’t a hatred for bread that inspired me to turn the grilled cheese status quo on its head.

Instead, I was thinking of people who want to enjoy the comfort of a warm, gooey grilled cheese but have dietary concerns beyond what type of cheese to use in their sandwich.  I was thinking of my daughter who tries to match insulin to every gram of carbohydrate that crosses her lips.  I was thinking of friends who exclude gluten from their diet.  I was thinking that I love a kitchen challenge where the reward will be a smile on my daughter’s face.

Sure, I could simply substitute two slices of gluten-free bread for those trying to eliminate it from their lunch plate.  Yes, a person counting their carbohydrates could select two slices of low carbohydrate, high fiber bread.  But what if they didn’t have to?

First, I had to decide what qualities the bread was bringing to a grilled cheese sandwich.  There’s the finger food factor.  A true grilled cheese can be picked up and eaten out of hand.  There is no need for a knife and fork.  Then there’s the structure that the bread contributes to the end product.  Melted cheese alone is a bit lacking in structure.  It needs a little assistance in that regard.

There’s the mouth feel that a toasted slice of bread delivers.  It carries the delicious taste of the melted butter and crunches lightly when you bite into it before revealing the soft interior of the bread.  Finally, there’s the look of the grill marks on the outside of the bread.  I can’t help it, but they’re beautiful to me in the same way that grill marks on a perfectly cooked steak are poetic to someone who loves a steak.  They signal that the food bearing those perfect perpendicular marks has been carefully prepared.  They tell me that my grilled cheese has been cooked long enough to melt the cheesy layer hiding underneath yet not long enough to burn the bread.  I had to select something that could wear those marks with pride.

I stood at the refrigerator surveying my options.   I love lettuce and lettuce wraps, but it just wasn’t what I was looking for.  Lettuce would prove too fragile, too difficult to effectively melt the cheese without compromising the taste of the lettuce.   Carrots weren’t large enough and I feared having to blanch them before drying them and then grilling them in order to cook the carrot sufficiently.  I wasn’t looking for a two-hour grilled cheese preparation.  I wanted something that could move from the fridge to the grill pan in only a few minutes much like a slice of bread moves from the breadbox to the pan.

Apples were an easy choice.  I love sliced apple with cheese, so I knew that the flavor would deliver.  I also knew that apples would cook in a short amount of time.  I hoped that the slices would soften slightly but retain at least a bit of crispness when the sandwich was eaten.  The carbohydrate count was more than acceptable given that I would leave the skin, and therefore the bulk of the fiber, intact.

I wanted a backup in case the apple became too soft.  I considered a potato, but a sizable slice would carry almost as many carbohydrates as a slice of low carb bread.  I wanted something a little different, something that would bring a little earthiness to the grill pan.  Then I remembered that there were still a handful of sweet potatoes in the pantry.  We had grown them in last year’s garden and were shocked at how delicious they were.  They were exactly what I was looking for.

Apple, sweet potato, and cheeses in hand, I headed to the stove.  I debated on using a sharp knife or my OXO mandoline to slice the apple and sweet potato.  In the end, I used the mandoline, but also made a few slices freehand and found them to be more than acceptable.  I set the mandoline to 1/4” and began to slice the freshly washed apple.

I topped one slice of apple with a few slices of smoked cheddar cheese.  After topping it with another apple slice, I set it aside and prepared a few more.  I set the grill pan over medium high heat and placed a small pat of butter inside.

As soon as the butter had melted and evenly coated the bottom of the pan, the apple cheddar sandwiches went in.  In a matter of minutes, the apple was proudly wearing those beautiful grill marks and my sandwich was done.  I removed them from the grill pan and allowed them to cool for a minute before slicing them in half.  It was time to taste this creation and see if I had hit or missed the mark.

The cheese was melted and gooey.  The apple was equal parts soft and crisp.  The sweetness of the apple played nicely off of the smokiness and sharpness of the cheddar.  I could only hope that the sweet potato would work as well.

I left the mandoline on the 1/4” setting and began to slice the peeled sweet potato.  I layered the slices with smoked Gruyère cheese and a sprinkling of dried thyme and black pepper before topping with another slice of sweet potato.  Then I followed the same process to cook the sandwich as I had with the apple cheddar variety.   It didn’t take long for me to see that the sweet potato was just as beautiful as the apple had been.

I called in my most candid taste testers and presented these two sandwiches for their review.  My children tried the sweet potato version first.  My daughter loved it.  My son told me that he liked the cheese, but the “bread” wasn’t his favorite.  The apple cheddar sandwich garnered a thumbs up from both of them.

I could tell by the look on their faces that these grilled cheese sandwiches had done exactly what I had hoped.  They had delivered the rich, homey comfort that a grilled cheese is known for despite their lack of bread.  They met all of my criteria for what a grilled cheese sandwich should be and more.

These were grilled cheese sandwiches for anyone and everyone:  gluten and carbohydrates be damned.  In the end, a grilled cheese sandwich wasn’t about the bread.  In fact, it wasn’t even about the cheese.  It was all about something much simpler and more pure than that.

The essence of the grilled cheese sandwich was about making food that brings comfort to someone you love.  To celebrate,  I sat down to share a grilled cheese sandwich with my daughter and enjoy watching a smile spread across her face.  I certainly didn’t need bread to do that.

Apple and Smoked Cheddar Grilled Cheese Sandwich

1 crisp apple of your preferred variety
smoked cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon butter

Using a mandoline or sharp knife, slice the freshly washed apple into 1/4 inch thick slices.  Top half of the apple slices with thinly sliced smoked cheddar cheese.  Use the remaining apple slices to top the cheese covered apples.

Warm a grill pan over medium high heat.  Once the pan is hot, add the butter and melt completely.  Add the prepared sandwich to the hot pan and reduce the heat to medium.  Grill for two minutes before turning one-quarter turn to create perpendicular grill marks.  After another two minutes, flip the sandwich and repeat the process on the other side.

Carefully lift a corner of the apple to confirm that the cheese has melted.  Allow extra time if necessary to melt the cheese.  Remove the sandwich from the pan and allow to cool for one minute.  Slice the grilled sandwich in half and serve warm.  Enjoy!

Sweet Potato and Smoked Gruyère Grilled Cheese

For this recipe, select a sweet potato that is more round than oblong.  Doing so will enable you to make a larger sandwich.  Alternately, you can slice the sweet potato lengthwise to produce the same result.

1 medium sweet potato, peeled
smoked Gruyère cheese, thinly sliced
dried thyme
freshly cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon butter

Using a mandoline or sharp knife, slice the freshly peeled sweet potato into 1/4 inch thick  slices.  Top half of the sweet potato slices with thinly sliced smoked Gruyère cheese and season with thyme and black pepper.  Use the remaining slices to top the cheese covered sweet potato slices.

Warm a grill pan over medium high heat.  Once the pan is hot, add the butter and melt completely.  Add the prepared sandwich to the hot pan and reduce the heat to medium.  Grill for two minutes before turning one-quarter turn to create perpendicular grill marks.  After another two minutes, flip the sandwich and repeat the process on the other side.

Carefully lift a corner of the sweet potato to confirm that the cheese has melted and the sweet potato is cooked.  Allow extra time if necessary to melt the cheese and finish cooking the sweet potato.  When fully cooked, remove the sandwich from the pan and allow to cool for one minute.  Slice the grilled sandwich in half and serve warm.  Enjoy!

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2012/04/grilled-cheese-for-everyone/

Red, Wine, and Blue All Over Grilled Cheese Sandwich

I have been making Caramelized Onion and Red Wine Jam for several years.  It makes a lovely accompaniment to a cheese course or topping for a gourmet grilled cheese sandwich.  It is also perfect for gift giving and one of my most requested recipes.

Once you have made the jam, you’ll start finding uses for it everywhere you look.  This is one of our favorite ways to enjoy the jam, paired with our favorite blue cheese and grilled to perfection.

 

 

Red, Wine, and Blue All Over Grilled Cheese Sandwich
makes two sandwiches

This sandwich is the perfect excuse to splurge on the highest quality blue cheese you can find.  I can’t help but hope that your local cheese shop offers Bayley Hazen Blue.  If not, feel free to substitute your favorite creamy blue cheese.

1 teaspoon butter
4 slices of your favorite sandwich bread
2 ounces Bayley Hazen Blue cheese
2 Tablespoons caramelized onion and red wine jam

Crumble half of the blue cheese and divide evenly among two slices of bread.  Top the cheese covered slices with equal amounts of the caramelized onion and red wine jam.  Crumble the remaining blue cheese and place on top of the onion jam.  Top each sandwich with one of the remaining slices of bread.

Warm a grill pan over medium high heat.  Once the pan is hot, add the butter and melt completely.  Add the prepared sandwich to the hot pan and reduce the heat to medium.  Grill for two minutes before turning one-quarter turn to create perpendicular grill marks.  After another two minutes, flip the sandwich and repeat the process on the other side.

Carefully lift a corner of the sandwich to confirm that the cheese has melted and the onion mixture is warm.  Allow extra time if necessary to melt the cheese and warm the onion jam.

Once the cheese and onions are ready, remove the sandwich from the pan and allow to cool for one minute.  Slice the grilled sandwich in half and serve warm.  Enjoy!


To make sure that you don’t miss any of our original content or favorite recipes, DIY projects, and homesteading advice from around the web, subscribe to The 1840 Farm Community Newsletter. Visit our subscription form to become the newest member of The 1840 Farm Community.

Our newsletter isn’t the only way to follow what’s happening here at 1840 Farm.
You’re always welcome at 1840 Farm
and at The 1840 Farm Mercantile Shop on Etsy.
You can also find 1840 Farm throughout the social media universe on
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Flickr, and Bloglovin‘.

We even created a new 1840 Farm Community Newsletter Pinterest board to catalog
our newsletter content so that you could easily pin your favorites to your own boards.

Come add your voice to our conversation!
We’ll hope to see you there!


Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2012/04/red-wine-and-blue-all-over/

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