Category Archive: Bookshelf

Book Review: The Kitchen Ecosystem

The Kitchen Ecosystem by Eugenia BoneWe have been inundated with winter weather here at 1840 Farm this week. Winter Storm Juno dropped over 30 inches of fresh snow on our farm. The blizzard force winds blew it around enough for us to clean up the same snowflake at least a dozen times. While we waited for the storm to finally come to an end, I had the pleasure of discovering a lovely new cookbook. I find that paging through a cookbook is a wonderful way to pass the time when the weather outside is frightful!

The Kitchen Ecosystem by Eugenia Bone was a fabulous read. The philosophy behind this book is simple: use the best seasonal ingredients, prepare for the seasons by preserving food when it is in season, and use every bit of the leftovers to make broths, sauces, and other delicious components for the next great dish. With over 400 beautifully illustrated recipes, this book is an amazing and inspiring resource for anyone who is trying to expand their seasonal, whole food based recipe collection.

I loved the style of this book. Rather than organizing the recipes by course or season, they are assembled by key ingredient. When I find myself deep in the heart of heirloom tomato season, I can simply turn to page 326 and find the entire collection of tomato based recipes that offer ways to enjoy them fresh, preserve them for later use, use the preserves to prepare meals, use the scraps, and a few other great ideas for using every last bit.  To liven up the collection, several cocktails are featured.Photo Jan 29, 11 21 29 AM

In all, there are 15 different suggestions for using tomatoes. As a gardener who looks forward to heirloom tomato season all year long, I can’t wait to try then all. There’s no need for me to wait at all as I can use our canned tomatoes from last year’s garden to make four great recipes in this cookbook. With our homegrown produce ready and waiting in the pantry, we can prepare any number of delicious, comforting dishes no matter the season. Using The Kitchen Ecosystem’s method of approaching seasonal eating, great food will never be out of season.

While I count the days until gardening season finally arrives, I’ll focus on what is in season and readily available at our local farmer’s markets and grocery stores. With ten recipes featuring oranges and 22 mushroom preparations, I will have plenty of delicious dishes to tide me over until spring!

You’ll find The Kitchen Ecosystem listed in our Amazon Affiliate shop along with a full collection of my favorite cookbooks. You can also learn more about the book and its author by visiting the publisher’s site.  If you’re on the hunt for a new great cookbook, you can read more of my cookbook reviews and recipes inspired by my favorite cookbooks.

The product reviewed in this post was sent to me free of charge by the Blogging for Books Program in order to allow me to evaluate its use here at 1840 Farm. The book that I reviewed was sent to me at no expense in order to allow me to evaluate it. The framework of our review process does not guarantee a positive review in exchange for the product provided. Our product reviews contain both facts about the product and my personal opinion of its performance while it was used at 1840 Farm.

Product reviews include my honest opinions about the product(s) reviewed. Products that do not meet our standards of daily use on our farm will not be reviewed. It is our goal to provide you with our personal experience using a product in a positive and informative manner so that you can determine its usefulness in your life. It is not our goal to negatively review a product that while not an ideal fit for our farm, might perform very well on yours.

For more information, please view our Disclosure Statement and Privacy Policy.

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Book Review: The Nourished Kitchen

The Nourished Kitchen by Jennifer McGrutherI first became aware of The Nourished Kitchen and its author Jennifer McGruther through their blog.  As a student in the Intermediate Herbal Course offered by The Herbal Academy of New England, I was searching for a few new recipes to try.  One of the first I discovered was a recipe for Golden Milk that included turmeric and ginger.  I couldn’t wait to give it a try, but somehow the recipe ended up in a deep pile of recipes I was hoping to get to.

I had almost forgotten about  the recipe when a beautiful cookbook and a bag of organic turmeric arrived on our front porch on the same day.  Suddenly, making golden milk rocketed right to the top of my  recipe to do list. I’m so glad that it did.  I have been enjoying Golden Milk with Turmeric, Ginger, and Ghee on chilly mornings and afternoons this fall.  With each sip, I am surprised by the amount of flavor that these humble ingredients create when used together.

While the recipe for golden milk does not appear in The Nourished Kitchen’s cookbook, there are over 160 detailed recipes.  The photos are stunning from the front cover all the way through to the glossary.  In addition to the innovative recipes and beautiful photographs, I was taken with Jennifer McGruther’s food philosophy.  She refers to it as the “traditional foods movement” and makes the case for reducing the amount of processed food in our diet while choosing whole foods in the form of pasture raised meats, dairy, grains, and fermented foods.

The Nourished Kitchen includes recipes for each season of the year and a variety of sources from the garden to the wild, pasture, orchard, and larder.  There are dozens of recipes that I can’t wait to try.  From the Eggs Poached in Fiery Tomato Sauce, to Pan Seared Halibut with Melted Cherry Tomatoes and Tarragon.  I have the recipe for Cucumber Salad with Dill and Kefir bookmarked for next summer when our heirloom cucumber harvest is at its peak.

The cookbook also includes extensive instructions for making sourdough breads using a homemade starter.  The chapter entitled “From the Wild” includes proteins prized by hunters along with greens and mushrooms sought after by foragers. Produce fresh from the orchard serves as the inspiration for a collection of pies, stewed fruits, custards, and ice creams.

The chapter on the larder could keep me busy all year long.  I can’t decide which of the fermented recipes to attempt first.  I’m taken with the recipes for pickles, sauerkraut, water kefir, and ginger beer.  I’m willing to bet that I won’t be able to go wrong with any of them.  Don’t worry, I’ll share my progress with you right here on our blog and on Facebook and Instagram!


The product reviewed in this post was sent to me free of charge by the Blogging for Books Program in order to allow me to evaluate its use here at 1840 Farm. The book that I reviewed was sent to me at no expense in order to allow me to evaluate it. The framework of our review process does not guarantee a positive review in exchange for the product provided. Our product reviews contain both facts about the product and my personal opinion of its performance while it was used at 1840 Farm.

Product reviews include my honest opinions about the product(s) reviewed. Products that do not meet our standards of daily use on our farm will not be reviewed. It is our goal to provide you with our personal experience using a product in a positive and informative manner so that you can determine its usefulness in your life. It is not our goal to negatively review a product that while not an ideal fit for our farm, might perform very well on yours.

For more information, please view our Disclosure Statement and Privacy Policy.

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Book Review – Shake: A New Perspective on Cocktails

Photo Aug 31, 6 35 22 PM

When I was offered the opportunity to review a beautiful new book about seasonal, handcrafted cocktails, I didn’t need to be asked twice.  Instead, I jumped at the chance to take a look at Shake:  A New Perspective on Cocktails by Eric Prum and Josh Williams.  I was already a fan of their Mason Shaker and couldn’t wait to read more about their inspiration to create a cocktail shaker with the Farmhouse Style that I love.  The promise of an entire book of cocktails created to celebrate each season of the year definitely caught my attention.

When the book arrived, I was not disappointed.  The photographs throughout the book are stunning.  They highlight the cocktails, the simple tools used to create them, and the seasonal ingredients that inspired them.  The photos inspired me to want to make every cocktail in the book.  Each one seemed to be more beautiful and interesting than the last.

It wasn’t just the photographs that appealed to me.  I loved the style of this book.  It was best summed up by this line which appears on the title page.  “Cocktails should be fun. Cocktails should be simple.  Cocktails should be social.”  I couldn’t agree more.  While a delicious cocktail is a wonderful way to celebrate the day, it’s certainly more enjoyable with a equal parts of fun, simplicity, and friends.

Photo Sep 12, 11 14 06 AM

I’m drawn to anything that highlights what is fresh and seasonal throughout the year.  That’s our goal here at 1840 Farm:  to enjoy what is at its seasonal best all year long.  I don’t think that I have ever had the pleasure to peruse a book about cocktails that did the same.  Sure, there are plenty of frozen drinks for the heat of the summer.  Yet I have never encountered a book that so clearly gave consideration to the four seasons when creating each cocktail.

In this book, you’ll find winter drinks featuring sage alongside a recipe for ‘Nog that I can’t wait to try once our New England winter roars in.  The fall cocktails highlight apples and spicy fall flavors.  Spring is represented with fresh berries, blooms, and herbs.  While summer might seem like the easiest season to pack full of standard cocktails we’ve seen a million times before, prepare to be amazed.  Instead, the summer cocktails in this book are innovative twists on old favorites and completely unique cocktails that would be the perfect way to spend a summer’s day right outside on our farmhouse porch.

I can’t wait to work my way through this book, taking it a season at a time.  As we celebrate the last weeks of summer and watch the leaves begin to turn and the temperatures begin to drop, I wanted to work at least one great summer cocktail into the season.  We love bourbon, so the recipe for The Rosemary Maple Bourbon Sour seemed like the perfect place to start.

So, on a Sunday afternoon, we gathered Shake, the Mason Shaker, our favorite bourbon, and a healthy dose of rosemary fresh from the garden.  We followed the simple steps to create this beautiful cocktail and toasted a great summer and growing season here on the farm.  The drink was delicious and perfect for the occasion.

I think that you’ll find that the cocktail recipes in this book will be a welcome companion to your celebration of each season of the year.  You don’t need to take my word for it.  You can catch a glimpse of their great content by following Mason Shaker on Facebook and Instagram.  They constantly infuse my newsfeed with beautiful photos, interesting articles, and fantastic cocktail recipes.

I couldn’t wait to share the recipe for the first cocktail that we enjoyed from this fantastic book.  There’s still plenty of daylight in our summer to enjoy one (or two) of these.  Cheers!

The Rosemary Maple Bourbon SourPhoto Aug 31, 4 11 01 PM
makes two drinks

3 shots bourbon (we used Buffalo Trace)
1 1/2 shots freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 shot dark amber maple syrup
1 large sprig of fresh rosemary
2 small sprigs of fresh rosemary for garnish
2 slices fresh lemon for garnish

Crush the large sprig of rosemary in your hand and add it to the Mason Shaker.

Add the bourbon, lemon juice, maple syrup and ice to above the level of the liquid and shake vigorously for 15 seconds.

Strain the mixture into rocks glasses containing large cubes of ice and garnish with remaining rosemary sprigs.


The product reviewed in this post was sent to me free of charge by the Blogging for Books Program in order to allow me to evaluate its use here at 1840 Farm. The book that I reviewed was sent to me at no expense in order to allow me to evaluate it. The framework of our review process does not guarantee a positive review in exchange for the product provided. Our product reviews contain both facts about the product and my personal opinion of its performance while it was used at 1840 Farm.

Product reviews include my honest opinions about the product(s) reviewed. Products that do not meet our standards of daily use on our farm will not be reviewed. It is our goal to provide you with our personal experience using a product in a positive and informative manner so that you can determine its usefulness in your life. It is not our goal to negatively review a product that while not an ideal fit for our farm, might perform very well on yours.

For more information, please view our Disclosure Statement and Privacy Policy.





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Rhubarb and Strawberry Brown Butter Crumble Cake

Strawberry and Rhubarb at 1840 FarmEarlier this week, the June issue of From Scratch Magazine was published.  The issue is filled with great seasonal content including three of my favorite strawberry recipes. In its pages, you’ll find my recipe for Strawberry Jam, Oat Scones with Fresh Strawberries, and Rhubarb and Strawberry Brown Butter Crumble Cake.  We have been enjoying the crumble cake all spring as our rhubarb is harvested fresh from the garden.  You’ll find the recipe for the crumble below so that you can bake it for your friends and family.

The other two recipes in my article are equally delicious.  I was inspired to add fresh strawberries to my family’s favorite scone recipe after reading Honey & Oats: Everyday Favorites Baked with Whole Grains and Natural Sweeteners by Jennifer Katzinger. The results were fantastic. In fact, these scones were such a hit that they have become our favorite scone recipe.  I can’t wait to try a few of the delicious looking recipes from this cookbook.June Giveaway at 1840 Farm

When making my family’s favorite Rhubarb and Strawberry Brown Butter Crumble, I used my favorite brand of cinnamon, Flavor of the Earth Ceylon Cinnamon.  Unlike most of the cinnamon I find in the grocery store, this cinnamon powder is freshly ground from 100% real cinnamon bark. Flavor the Earth Ceylon Cinnamon has an amazing flavor and is a great source of Manganese, Fiber, Calcium and Iron.

I don’t want you to simply take my word for it that this cookbook and cinnamon are fantastic.  Thanks to the book’s publisher, Sasquatch Books, you can win a copy of this beautiful cookbook and find inspiration to add whole grains and natural sweeteners to your family’s favorite recipes.  Flavor of the Earth has also generously added a one pound bag of their Ceylon Cinnamon Powder to our giveaway.  I wanted to join in the fun, so I added one of our 1840 Farm Vanilla Extract Kits.  The winner of this giveaway will be ready to bake something amazing using this prize package!

One lucky reader be randomly selected to win:

You can enter by leaving a comment on this post sharing what you love to make using cinnamon and by liking a trio of Facebook pages.  Don’t worry, if you already follow 1840 Farm on Facebook, you can simply confirm that status with a click of the button below and claim your entries.  The contest closes on Thursday, June 12, 2014.  Good luck to all who enter!

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Rhubarb and Strawberry Brown Butter Crumble CakeRhubarb Strawberry Brown Butter Crumble Cake at 1840 Farm
makes 6-8 servings

This cake is the perfect way to enjoy the amazing flavor of fresh rhubarb and strawberries all year long. Long after the season has ended, I can prepare delicious recipes that highlight the delicious flavor of rhubarb and strawberries.

Rhubarb freezes incredibly well, so I stock the freezer with plenty of rhubarb to last all winter long in our favorite baking recipes. Each year, I harvest ripe stalks of rhubarb before washing and slicing into ½ inch pieces. I place them in a single layer on a small sheet pan in the freezer and leave them to freeze overnight. Once they are frozen solid, I transfer them to a freezer bag for long term storage.

While rhubarb freezes well, I prefer to utilize our homemade strawberry jam rather than freeze the strawberries. By using jam, I can control the amount of liquid in the recipe and create a fruit filling that has a beautiful appearance and consistency. When combined with the rhubarb, brown butter, and oats, the results are delicious.

1 ½ cups (6 ounces) rhubarb, cut into ½ inch slices
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
2 Tablespoons (1 ounce) butter
¼ cup (48 grams) granulated sugar
¼ cup (48 grams) brown sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
¼ cup (2 ounces) strawberry jam
1 ½ cups (180 grams) All-purpose flour
1 cup (80 grams) old-fashioned oats
2/3 cup (120 grams) brown sugar
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
12 Tablespoons (6 ounces) butter, cut into small pieces
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Lightly butter an 8 inch springform pan.  Set aside.

Wash and trim the rhubarb stalks. Slice each stalk into ½ inch pieces and place them in a medium bowl. Add the cornstarch and toss gently to coat the rhubarb.

Make the brown butter. In a small skillet, melt the 2 Tablespoons of butter over medium heat. After the butter melts, you will notice that the milk solids will begin to separate.  Continue to cook, stirring occasionally to allow those solids to brown slightly.  You will notice a slight change in color and aroma.  Brown butter has a slightly nutty aroma which will signal that the solids have caramelized and that the brown butter has finished cooking. Remove the skillet from the heat.

Add the granulated sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, and strawberry jam to the warm skillet. Stir gently to fully combine the ingredients before adding them to the bowl with the rhubarb. Stir to coat the rhubarb with the brown butter mixture. Set aside.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Pulse to combine. With the machine running, add the butter gradually. Add the vanilla extract and process until the mixture comes together and forms large clumps.

Transfer two thirds of the crumble mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.  Press the mixture lightly to form a crust that completely covers the bottom the pan.  Stir the rhubarb strawberry mixture and pour over the crust, spreading to cover evenly.  Sprinkle the remaining crumble mixture evenly on top of the fruit filling.

Transfer the pan to the oven and bake the crumble in the preheated oven for 30 – 35 minutes until the topping has browned lightly and the fruit filling has thickened.  Remove from the oven to cool. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream.

June 2014 From Scratch MagazineThis recipe appeared in the June 2014 issue of From Scratch Magazine.

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Cast Iron Skillet Cinnamon Rolls with Bourbon Caramel Sauce

A few months ago, I was given the opportunity to review the new cookbook, Put An Egg On It by Lara Ferroni.  It was filled with fantastic recipes featuring one of my favorite foods:  eggs.  I loved it so much that I was thrilled to be presented with the chance to review a second cookbook from the Sasquatch Books catalog.  I was even more excited when I learned that it was a cookbook that focused on the use of one of my favorite tools in the kitchen:  a cast iron pan.

The Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook by Sharon Kramis and Julie Kramis Hearne contains over 90 recipes that all utilize a cast iron skillet.  These recipes represent the full range of dishes from breakfast fare to hearty dishes to serve at your family’s dinner table.  This beautiful book also includes helpful information to guide readers through the process of selecting a cast iron skillet, seasoning its surface, and caring for it properly.

The recipe featured on the cover caught my attention right away.  The pecan sticky buns looked amazing in the pan and on the plate.  I couldn’t wait to open the cover and read the recipe.  After I had read that recipe, I continued on through the entrees, vegetables and sides, and delectable looking desserts.

All of the recipes looked delicious, but I was drawn to the idea of making my family’s favorite cinnamon rolls in our own cast iron skillet before diving in and trying a new recipe.  I wondered if using my favorite pan would make any difference in the cinnamon rolls I was planning to serve for dinner.

After the first bite, my family proclaimed that these were the most delicious cinnamon rolls that I had ever made.  As dinner went on, so did their happy comments.  By the time the last bite had been enjoyed, they were all inquiring about when I would be making these Cast Iron Skillet Cinnamon Rolls with Bourbon Caramel Sauce again.

I promised that I would make this recipe again soon.  I want to share the recipe with you first so that you can make them yourself.  These cinnamon rolls are delicious and sure to delight your friends and family.

The giveaway that accompanies the recipe is also sure to make one lucky reader’s day!  When Sasquatch Books offered to send a copy of The Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook to one of our readers, I decided to invite a few of my favorite products to join in the fun.  I can’t wait to share them with you.

The Mind to Homestead added a handmade crocheted cast iron skillet handle cozy made from a pattern that they offer in their Etsy shopCoffee on the Porch contributed a generous three pounds of their delicious, small batch roasted coffeeGrandparentsPlus2 contributed a handmade, quilted mug rug perfect for resting your coffee cup on.   The winner will also receive an 1840 Farm fabric coiled 8 inch trivet from The 1840 Farm Mercantile Shop on Etsy that we made to coordinate with the skillet handle cozy.

I hope that you’ll enjoy making these cinnamon rolls and that you’ll take a moment to enter to win our fabulous prize package.  The giveaway is open to residents of the United States.  Entries will be accepted until midnight on Tuesday, January 28th.  One winner will be randomly selected using and notified via Email.  Good luck to all who enter!

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Cast Iron Skillet Cinnamon Rolls with Bourbon Caramel Sauce
serves 4-6

I like to use our WonderMill to mill our own organic, non-GMO flour for this recipe, but there’s no need to pass up making these rolls if you don’t have the ability to mill your own flour. You can substitute high quality whole wheat flour or All-purpose flour. 

I find that adding Grandma Eloise’s Dough Enhancer helps to create lighter dough and improve the overall texture of the rolls.  If you don’t have it on hand, you can simply omit it from the recipe.  The resulting recipe will still be absolutely delicious. You can learn more about the dough enhancer in my recipe for our Farmhouse Country Loaf.

¼ cup (2 ounces) warm water
1 Tablespoon (20 grams) molasses
1 package (2 ½ teaspoons) active dry yeast
¼ cup (2 ounces) warm milk
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups (240 grams) All-purpose flour
1 cup (120 grams) whole wheat flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons Grandma Eloise’s Dough Enhancer
4 Tablespoons (2 ounces) butter, cut into small cubes

Bourbon Caramel Sauce
½ cup (96 grams) brown sugar
4 Tablespoons (2 ounces) butter
1 Tablespoon honey
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
1 Tablespoon bourbon

4 Tablespoons (2 ounces) butter, softened
¼ cup (48 grams) granulated sugar
¼ cup (48 grams) brown sugar
2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon

If you are using a dough proofer, preheat the proofer following the manufacturer’s instructions as you prepare the dough.  If you don’t have a proofer, you can provide the dough with a warm, draft free location to rise.  Additional time may be necessary for the dough to rise sufficiently, but the cinnamon rolls will taste equally delicious.

In a large bowl, combine the warm water and molasses, stirring to dissolve the molasses.  Sprinkle the yeast over the mixture and set aside to bloom as you measure the dry ingredients, approximately five minutes.

Measure and combine the flour, dough enhancer, and salt in a bowl.  Use a whisk to mix the dry ingredients and evenly distribute the salt throughout the flour.

When the five minutes have elapsed, whisk the liquid ingredients and then add the warm milk, eggs, and vanilla.  Whisk until the eggs are incorporated and the mixture is smooth.

Add the dry ingredients in one addition to the yeast mixture.  Use a dough hook on a stand mixer or a wooden spoon, mix until a shaggy dough forms.  If you are using a stand mixer, continue to mix the dough on the lowest setting for 5 minutes or until a smooth, elastic dough forms before beginning to add the butter slowly.  Add the butter a piece at a time, allowing the mixer to work the dough between each addition.  Continue to mix until all of the butter is incorporated into the dough.

Transfer the dough to a large bowl that has been brushed with butter or oil.  Place the dough in the warm proofer or a draft free spot to rest and rise for approximately 60 minutes.  Remove the dough from the bowl and knead lightly before returning the dough to the bowl to rise for another 60 minutes or until doubled in size.

As the dough is rising for a second time, prepare the bourbon caramel sauce.  Add the brown sugar, butter, honey, maple syrup, and bourbon to an 8 inch or 10 inch cast iron skillet.  Place the skillet over medium high heat.  Bring the mixture to a boil without stirring.  Reduce the heat to medium and continue to simmer until the mixture thickens slightly, approximately five minutes.  Remove the skillet from the heat and allow the caramel to cool to room temperature.

In a small bowl, combine the sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon for the filling.  Ideally, the butter should be soft enough to spread across the dough easily without stretching the dough.  If it needs a bit of encouragement, a fork can be used to mash it onto a plate before rolling out the dough.

When the dough has risen sufficiently, transfer it to a floured surface.  Lightly flour the surface of the dough before using a rolling pin to roll it into a rectangle approximately 18 by 12 inches in size.

Using a pastry brush or your hands, brush away any excess flour from the surface of the dough.  Spread the softened butter evenly over the dough before sprinkling the cinnamon sugar mixture on top of the butter.  Begin rolling the dough from one long side of the rectangle to the other, forming a tight tube and brushing away excess flour as you roll.

Using a sharp knife, cut the rolled dough into rolls approximately 1 ½ inches in width.  Gently transfer the individual rolls to the cast iron skillet, placing each one cut side down on top of the bourbon caramel sauce.  Continue until all of the rolls are evenly spaced within the skillet.

Place the skillet in preheated bread proofer or a warm, draft free location to rise for another 30-60 minutes or until the rolls have expanded to fill the pan.  As the rolls rise, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Transfer the skillet to the preheated oven.  Bake the rolls for 20-30 minutes, until lightly browned and slightly firm.  Remove the skillet from the oven and allow to cool for at least five minutes.  Using oven mitts and a healthy dose of caution, carefully cover the skillet with a larger plate or pan and turn the skillet to release the cinnamon rolls.

Remove the cast iron skillet, scraping any caramel from the pan.  The bourbon caramel sauce will now be on the top surface of the rolls.  Serve the rolls while still warm and enjoy every last bite!

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1840 Farm and The Fresh Eggs Daily Blog Tour

When Lisa Steele from Fresh Eggs Daily asked me if I would like to participate in The Fresh Eggs Daily Blog Tour for her new book, Fresh Eggs Daily:  Raising Happy, Healthy Chickens… Naturally, I didn’t have to think twice.  Instead, I jumped at the chance to receive a copy of the book to review along with an autographed copy to give away to one of our lucky readers.

Lisa has been a trusted friend and mentor for well over a year.  I have been following the progress of her work on this book since it became a reality last year.  I have often joked with her that I was as excited as she was to finally see her book in person!

Last week, these beautiful books were waiting for me in our mailbox.  From the moment I saw the cover, I couldn’t wait to read it from start to finish.  As I read, I recognized the hallmark style that I have come to expect from Fresh Eggs Daily.  The whole book was warm in tone and presented the information in an encouraging manner.

The information was extensive, covering a range of topics from planning your first chicken coop, natural strategies for the daily maintenance of your flock and discouraging pests of all kinds.  Common chicken keeping challenges such as molting, coop cleaning, and potentially dangerous foods and plants are also covered in detail.

If you’re a Fresh Eggs Daily fan like I am, then you’re already familiar with their collection of posts containing tips and suggestions for raising and tending your flock naturally.  I am constantly learning new techniques from their blog and Facebook page and sharing their content on our own page.

Now Lisa’s natural chicken keeping knowledge has been assembled into a beautiful book. Fresh Eggs Daily:  Raising Happy, Healthy Chickens…Naturally will teach you how to implement effective and simple strategies like drying herbs fresh from your garden for use all year long.  Lisa offers common sense tips for helping prepare your flock for Mother Nature’s extremes and handling inevitable chicken keeping challenges.  She also includes several recipes for natural concoctions and several DIY projects including creating your own brooder.  This book covers such a wide variety of topics that it is sure to be your go to chicken keeping resource for years to come.

I wish that I had been able to add Fresh Eggs Daily:  Raising Happy, Healthy Chickens…Naturally to my bookshelf when I was beginning my journey as a chicken keeper.  Within the pages of this book, I would have found the information I needed to ensure that our first flock had the very best chance of thriving here on our farm.

Luckily, I can add it to my chicken keeper’s library now and so can you.  Whether you are in the beginning stages of planning to become a chicken keeper, tending to your first chicks, or have already earned your chicken keeping stripes, I know that you will enjoy reading this book as much as I did.

To make this giveaway even more exciting, I’m adding one of our 1840 Farm handmade fabric coiled egg baskets to the prize pack.  While all of our baskets are unique, this one is a true original.  It was designed in the color scheme of Fresh Eggs Daily:  Raising Happy, Healthy Chickens…Naturally and features fabrics in Wedgewood blue, chocolate brown, tan, and garnet red with butter yellow stitching.

If you already follow 1840 Farm and Fresh Eggs Daily on Facebook, then you have already earned a few entries.  Simply click on the buttons below to claim them.  While you’re at it, you can claim a few more entries and increase your odds of winning.

In fact, I’d love to hear where you are in your chicken keeping journey in a comment below and grant you another entry.  I ‘ll go first and share that we have been keeping chickens for three years.  Now it’s your turn to share:  tell me about your chicken keeping experience.  I can’t wait to read all about it!

After you have claimed all of your entries in our giveaway, visit the other stops on The Fresh Eggs Daily Blog Tour by clicking on the links below.  You can read other chicken keeper’s reviews and enter their giveaways to increase your chance of winning your own copy of Fresh Eggs Daily:  Raising Happy, Healthy Chickens…Naturally.


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Visit all the other stops along the Fresh Eggs Daily Blog Tour to read some more great reviews and to enter to win a copy!

Week One

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The Summer Solstice Cocktail

When I am trying to develop a new recipe, I happily take inspiration wherever I can find it.  In the case of this cocktail, I happened to find it in three places.  Lucky for you, I’ve combined them into one delicious, refreshing cocktail recipe just in time for your Fourth of July celebration.

The first inspiration was the arrival of summer last Friday.  Since then, we’ve seen temperatures well into the 90s with oppressive humidity.  Apparently, Mother Nature wants to drive the point home:  summer is here!

A recent trip to a local favorite, GiGi’s York Beach, provided additional inspiration.  On my last visit, I was treated to a delicious cocktail they call the “Shiso Good”. Good was an understatement.  The combination of vodka, house made shiso syrup, and fresh lemon was divine.  If you’re looking for a little inspiration, you can see more of the amazing food and drink from GiGi’s in our Local Food Photo Gallery

Not to be forgotten is a book that I am currently reading.  Bitters:  A Spirited History of a Classic Cure-All is a fascinating read for someone like me who can’t seem to get enough of the stranger than fiction history of the food on our dinner plates and drinks in our cocktail glasses.  I’m not alone in liking this book.  It was selected as a James Beard Foundation Book Award Winner and also won The IACP Cookbook Award.

So, picture me at the end of a hot and humid day, exhausted from the farm’s daily chores.  I was craving a refreshing, cold drink and thought of the crisp Shiso Good and the fresh ginger-lime simple syrup that I had made from a recipe in Bitters.  The possibilities seemed like a winner to me.

My husband is the resident mixologist here at 1840 Farm.  I get wild ideas about combinations and concoctions which he politely listens to and then goes about the creative business of transforming inspiration into a perfectly balanced libation.  Occasionally, he needs a second attempt to perfect one of our house made cocktails, but he mastered this one on the first try.

One sip and I knew that this would be my summer drink of choice.  Mr. 1840 Farm agreed.  This recipe was perfect and ready to share with the world.

I hope that you will enjoy what we aptly named The Summer Solstice all summer long.  If you’re find yourself still searching for your summer drink of choice, don’t despair.  We’ve got a few more recipes in development.  Yes, it will be a struggle to taste test them before sharing the recipes with you here, but I’ll soldier on.  It’s amazing the things that I’ll do in the name of researchl!

Ginger-Lime Syrup
adapted from Bitters by Brad Thomas Parsons

1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
2 ounces ginger root, peeled and sliced into coins
zest from 1/2 a lime

Place all ingredients in a small pot and stir to combine.  Place pot over low heat and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.  Simmer over low heat until the sugar has completely dissolved.

Remove the pot from the heat and allow the syrup to cool completely.  Pour the syrup through a fine mesh strainer to remove any solids.  The strained syrup can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one month.  I like to store mine in a clean, repurposed bottle with a pourer spout in the refrigerator.

Summer Solstice Cocktail
makes one generous serving (and one happy farmer)

We have made a non-alcoholic version of this drink for the farm kids who both gave it a thumbs up.  Simply substitute lemonade or carbonated water for the vodka depending on your preference.

2 ounces vodka
1/2 ounce lime juice
1 1/2 ounce ginger-lime syrup
4 ounces lemonade

Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with a handful of ice.  Shake until well mixed.  Strain into a glass with fresh ice and serve.  At 1840 Farm, we like to serve the Summer Solstice in a wide mouth mason jar.

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. In a few seconds, you’ll be 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!

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Finding A Place at the Table for Everyone

In April, I had the amazing opportunity to participate in the Food Bloggers Against Hunger Campaign.  The campaign was organized by The Giving Table and supported by Share Our Strength.  By sharing a recipe for a healthy, economical meal, I joined 250 other bloggers in helping to bring attention to the cause of ending hunger in America.

A few months have passed.  In that time, I had the opportunity to view the documentary A Place at the Table at our local Portsmouth Music Hall.  My husband and I took our daughter to the screening.  Together, we watched the story unfold on the screen.  When we left to return home to 1840 Farm, conversation about what we had just seen was easy to find.

Rosie in A PLACE AT THE TABLE, a Magnolia Pictures release. Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.

The movie and its message have stayed with me since that evening.  For me, that’s the true test of a film, especially a documentary.  While I found the entire film to be effective at delivering its intended message, one image and one statement have been my most powerful  memories.

The first was the profile of a young girl named Rosie.  She lives in poverty, struggling at school because of the lack of food available to her.  She doesn’t know when her next meal will be or what it will include.  Yet she maintains a positive outlook on life and keeps a smile on her face.  Somehow, she sees the promise of her future instead of the pain of her present.  Her outlook on life was inspiring.

The second was a line delivered by actor Jeff Bridges.  As he speaks about the hunger crisis in America, he mentions that he believes that the solution is tied to patriotism.  He goes on to say, “If another country was doing this to our kids, we’d be at war.  And it doesn’t have to be that way.”  I’ve thought of his words often in the last few months and I keep coming back to the same conclusion.  He’s right.

It doesn’t have to be that way, but we’re all going to have to do our part.  Whether we share our fresh garden produce with members of our local communities, support local farmers that do the same, or volunteer by working with charitable organizations, we all have to play a part in solving the problem.  The solution won’t be simple, but each step we take will help to ensure that a child like Rosie has the opportunity to realize the promise of her future.  I think that we can all agree that our country will be stronger if she can.

A Place at the Table was released on video today.  I would encourage you to see the film and share its message with your family. Together, we can make sure that all Americans can find a place at the table whether it’s to find a solution to this problem or share a meal with members of their local community.

Now I have the unique opportunity to share A Place at the Table with you.  Participant Media, the company who also brought us Food, Inc. has given me a copy of the companion book for the film and a collectible pin to give away to one lucky winner.

As you will learn after watching A Place at the Table, many Americans are trying to put food on the table for under $4 a day.  In this economy, many more of us are trying to stretch our food dollars further than ever before.  If you have a tip for maximizing your food dollars, you can earn an entry in the giveaway by sharing it as a comment.  I look forward to reading your ideas and hearing your thoughts on how we can all work together to find A Place at the Table for everyone in our country.

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Pear Clafouti

I adapted this recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks:  Barefoot in Paris by Ina Garten.  I have only made a few minor adjustments to the ingredients and it comes out perfectly every time.  Ripe, aromatic pears surrounded by eggy custard is always a welcome sight at our family table.

We enjoyed this delicious dessert last night and the leftovers will be fantastic when warmed slightly and topped with a small scoop of vanilla bean ice cream tonight.  Then we’ll be on to our Kentucky Derby Day Celebration and Bourbon Peach Pie with Streusel Topping.

Pear Clafouti

adapted from Barefoot in Paris by Ina Garten
serves 6 – 8

1 teaspoon butter, melted
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
3 large eggs
3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 Tablespoons brandy
8 ounces heavy cream
4 ounces half and half or whole milk
1/2 cup All-purpose flour
3 firm, ripe pears
powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Prepare an oven proof baking dish by coating the bottom with the melted butter.  Sprinkle 1 Tablespoon of granulated sugar over the melted butter.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, approximately 3-4 minutes.  Add the vanilla, sea salt, brandy, heavy cream, and half and half and whisk to blend.  Add the flour and mix until smooth.

Peel and core the ripe pears.  Slice the pears and arrange the slices in a single layer in the bottom of the prepared casserole dish.  Pour the batter over the sliced pears, distributing evenly.

Bake the clafouti in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until the custard is firm and golden brown.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before topping with sifted powdered sugar.  Serve warm.

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From Scratch Magazine

I’m proud to be a contributor to From Scratch Magazine. From Scratch is filled with beautifully illustrated articles covering a wide array of topics of interest to homesteaders and small farmers just like me.  I am honored to be included in such a fantastic group of contributors.

I shared my Great Grandmother’s recipe for Daffodil Cake in the February/March issue.  Within the pages of that issue, you will find articles from some of my favorite blogs and bloggers from Farmhouse 38, Fresh Eggs Daily, Keep Your Memories in Your Shoes, Lessons from the Homestead, Our Little Coop, A Suburban Farmer, and Sunshine Sisters Farms.  I enjoyed reading it from cover to cover and can’t wait to see what wonderful articles will appear in the next issue.

You can view my recipe for Daffodil Cake on page 62 of the February/March 2013 issue by clicking on the image below to open a PDF file.  You can also visit From Scratch Magazine and read the magazine from cover to cover in an interactive format on your computer, tablet, or smartphone.

To celebrate the launch of their fantastic publication, From Scratch Magazine is having a giveaway and 1840 Farm is thrilled to be included.  You can enter to win one of our handmade fabric coiled egg baskets as well as products from some of our favorite blogs and Etsy shops:  A Suburban Farmer, Garden Delights, Fresh Eggs Daily, and Green Circle Grove. I’m hoping that a member of The 1840 Farm Community will be selected as one of the winners.  Good luck to all who enter!

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Your Chickens Magazine comes to the US!

If you have been following 1840 Farm, then you are  well aware of how much I enjoy sharing my family’s experience with my readers.  A few weeks ago, I was given the amazing opportunity to share my story with Your Chickens Magazine from the United Kingdom.  Days later, I learned that 1840 Farm would be included in their inaugural issue distributed here in the United States.  To say that I was honored would be an immense understatement.

To add to the excitement, I am joined by a few of my favorite henkeepers in the issue of Your Chickens.  There are new friends there and some that I have known for years.  Somehow, seeing their chicken keeping story next to mine makes this whole experience even more rewarding.

The issue has just been released in the UK and will be available at Tractor Supply Stores in mid February.  I can hardly wait to pick up a copy and read the stories of the other American Henkeepers that will be profiled there.  In case you would like to learn more about Your Chickens, you can join them on Facebook, Twitter, and their website.

Here’s the text from their press release announcing the introductory US issue.  They are still accepting submissions from US chicken keepers to include in future issues.  Read the press release to learn how you can submit your story!

British chicken magazine goes on sale in the USA

Your Chickens, a glossy magazine from Britain, is about to go on sale in the USA. An estimated 500,000 people now keep chickens in their back gardens and yards in the UK, and the magazine has been well received since its launch two years ago.

The February issue will be available in Tractor Supply Company stores across the USA from mid February. It will include stories from henkeepers who follow this blog from all over the States, from Pennsylvania to Los Angeles and Michigan to Georgia. There will also be an introduction about henkpeeping USA-style and the National Poultry Show.

In addition, there is plenty of news and advice about henkeeping, as well as lots of features; there is even a popular club for children – Hattie Hen’s Kids Club – with puzzles, photos and activities.

Your Chickens is also available now on subscription at:

The February issue is also available in electronic format, with download options at:

The website is:  The magazine is also on Facebook at and on Twitter at

Content editor Simon McEwan says: “We are delighted to be a launching in the USA and would like to thank all those American henkeepers who have contacted us. We have had a fantastic response. We would be very pleased to hear from more of you, with about 200 words and a high-resolution photo of you with your chickens. Just email us at:”

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2013 Cookbook Collection Giveaway

I love books. and my favorite type of book is undoubtedly a cookbook.  There’s something so hopeful about opening a new cookbook.  By turning that first page, you are opening yourself up to the incredible possibility of discovering a recipe that might find its way onto your family’s table.  You might even find a recipe that will become a family tradition, living on for years to come.

See, I can get excited just writing about cookbooks.  Maybe that is why I was so happy to be asked to participate in the 2013 Cookbook Collection Giveaway with a group of my blogging friends.  We have been working together to assemble an incredible collection of our favorite cookbooks to give away on our blogs.  One lucky reader will start the New Year with a collection of nine new cookbooks valued at more than $200!  The blogs participating in the giveaway and their favorite cookbooks are:

The cookbook I am sharing is one of my favorites.  Local Flavors includes delicious recipes that celebrate local produce at its seasonal best.  As a person who proudly raises much of the food that graces our family table, I appreciate a cookbook that appreciates the beauty of simple, rustic food made from locally produced ingredients.

I hope that you will enter for a chance to win the cookbook collection.  There are 18 different ways for you to enter, including two from 1840 Farm.  Good luck to all who enter.  I have my fingers crossed that a member of The 1840 Farm Online Community will be the big winner!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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