Category Archive: Bookshelf

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.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/06/rhubarb-and-strawberry-brown-butter-crumble-cake/

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 Random.org 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.

Dough
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

Filling
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!


This post was featured in The 1840 Farm Community 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/2014/01/cast-iron-skillet-cinnamon-rolls-with-bourbon-caramel-sauce/

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

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/10/1840-farm-and-the-fresh-eggs-daily-blog-tour/

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.http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3719/9065963801_04570a669f_z.jpg

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!


Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/06/the-summer-solstice-cocktail/

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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Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/06/a-place-at-the-table/

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.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/05/pear-clafouti/

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!

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/02/from-scratch-magazine/

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: http://www.subscriptionsave.co.uk/Leisure-Magazines/Your-Chickens/WBYC

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

http://subscriber.pagesuite-professional.co.uk/subscribe.aspx?source=4&eid=d656eeb5-3e4c-4383-849c-1f14e198f32b

The website is: www.yourchickens.co.uk.  The magazine is also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/yourchickens and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/yourchickens

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: yourchickens@archant.co.uk.”

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/01/your-chickens-magazine-comes-to-the-us/

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

 

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/01/2013-cookbook-collection-giveaway/

Brandied Apple Pie with Cinnamon Sugar Topping

I love to make homemade pies from scratch.  It’s a family tradition that started with my paternal grandmother.  She was a gifted pie baker and enjoyed making pies in her tiny kitchen.  More importantly, she wanted to share those pies with the people she loved.

I was lucky enough to be one of those people.  I always knew that there would be homemade pies waiting for me when we visited.  She would proudly announce that there “might be a little pie” moments after we walked through her front door.  A little pie meant that there would be at least three pies waiting for us that she had baked earlier that day.

Ironically, I found myself making three pies earlier this week. One was for my husband and children.  The second was for my parents.  The third was for dear friends who we count as family.

I don’t say that lightly:  they have become an important part of our family.  Making them a homemade pie seemed like the perfect way to ensure that they knew just how much we love them.  If we deem you as pie worthy, believe me, you’re family.

While I might make a chocolate cake or a batch of cookies for a casual friend of acquaintance, pie is reserved for those near and dear to my heart.  It’s not because I feel that pie making is a chore.  It’s quite the contrary.  I love making pie for someone I love just as much as my Grandmother did.  Making the pie for someone I love is as much a part of my mental ingredient list as anything else in the actual recipe.

I involve my two children in my pie making sessions. They gather to help me make the crust and the filling.  I allow them to flute the edge of each pie, literally leaving their mark on the dough and making it their own.

I can only hope that they will continue the family tradition of making a homemade pie for someone they love when they are grown.  If I’m lucky, they might even make one when I come to visit.  Maybe they’ll greet me by mentioning that there “might be a little pie”.

Brandied Apple Pie with Cinnamon Sugar Topping
makes one 9 inch pie

The cinnamon sugar topping for this pie was adapted from a pie recipe in Ruth Reichl’s Comfort Me With Apples.  It develops a lovely, crunchy texture as the pie cools after baking.

To save time, I usually mix my pie crust in my food processor.  This recipe can be made in a bowl using a dough blender or a large fork.   Either way, the result will be a flaky, buttery crust that pairs deliciously with the apple filling.

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
4 ounces butter, cubed
4-6 Tablespoons ice water

1 pound apples, peeled, cored, and cut into thick slices
1 cup (192 grams) granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons tapioca
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 Tablespoon brandy

4 Tablespoons butter
6 Tablespoons granulated sugar
6 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

To make the crust, place flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse the dry ingredients to combine.  Add the cubed butter and pulse until the butter has begun to incorporate into the flour and resembles small grains of rice.

With the motor running, add ice water one Tablespoon at a time until the dough forms a ball.  Take care not to over process the dough.  Over processing will help to develop the gluten in the flour and lead to a crust that is less flaky.  Remove the crust from the processor, shape into a flat disk, and place on a sheet of waxed paper or plastic wrap.  Refrigerate while the filling is prepared.

To prepare the apple filling, combine the apple slices, sugar, tapioca, cinnamon, lemon juice and brandy in a large bowl.  Mix gently to combine.  Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil to catch any pie filling that may bubble over during baking.  Set aside.

To make the topping, melt the butter over low heat in a small saucepan.  Add the sugar, flour, and cinnamon and stir until fully incorporated.  Remove from the heat and continue to stir until the mixture is completely smooth.  Set aside to cool.

Remove the chilled pie dough from the refrigerator.  Roll the crust into a smooth disk large enough to line the pie plate.  Rolling will be much easier if done on a well-floured surface or between two sheets of freezer paper or waxed paper.

Place the bottom crust in the pie plate, taking care not to stretch the dough.  By gently lifting the edges of the crust, the dough will naturally come to rest on the bottom of the pie plate without stretching.  Continue this technique around the perimeter of the pie plate.

Stir the prepared filling before gently placing it on top of the crust in the pie plate.  Evenly distribute the topping mixture over the apple filling using a spatula.  Alternately, the topping can be crumbled evenly over the surface of the pie using your fingers.

Place the pie on top of the prepared baking sheet and transfer to the preheated oven.  Bake for 10 minutes before reducing the temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Continue to bake for 45 minutes or until the top crust is a beautiful, light golden brown.  Rotating the pie midway through the baking time will help to ensure that your pie is evenly browned.

Remove the pie from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool.  Serve warm or at room temperature.  Top with vanilla ice cream if desired.

To download a printable copy of this recipe, click the link below to open the PDF file.
Brandied Apple Pie with Cinnamon Sugar Topping

 

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Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2012/09/brandied-apple-pie-with-cinnamon-sugar-topping/

1840 Farm Seed Exchange

The 1840 Farm Seed Exchange has been extended!
Sign up before midnight on Monday, March 26, 2012!

For the last two weeks, I’ve been deep in the midst of a great read.  A truly fascinating tale of the men who shaped our nation and their overpowering love of agriculture.  There’s no need for a spoiler alert warning here:  I won’t be divulging the best bits from the text.  I’ll let you discover the wonder that is this read for yourself.

I will tell you that reading this book got me thinking.  I had known that the men of the Constitutional Convention put quill to parchment and drafted a plan for our fledgling nation.  What I hadn’t realized was that they were writing the future of our nation in the soil at the same time.

These men who would become President believed that our agrarian tendencies were our greatest asset.  George Washington spent his evenings as the leader of the Continental Army planning his beloved tree grove at Mount VernonThomas Jefferson spent every waking moment planning and surveying not only his gardens at Monticello, but the natural landscape of the most respected gardens in the world with James Madison often at his side.  Benjamin Franklin, though he would never become President, smuggled seeds out of Europe in correspondence to his wife and son back in the colonies for fear that the British government might attempt to limit the seeds available to colonists.

These men gathered together to discuss the course that our nation would take and found themselves talking about planting crops instead.  They shared seeds with each other and hoped that together they could learn how to be more capable gardeners, more successful farmers.  Farming was their passion, their chosen profession.  In fact, on a visit to Monticello last year, the tour guide proudly told my daughter that Thomas Jefferson, on the occasion of the first census of this country proudly listed his occupation as “farmer”.  It’s worth noting that he was serving as the Secretary of State at the time.

More than two centuries have passed since then.  I find myself living on a farm that dates back to within fifteen years of the death of Jefferson.  When we moved here, it had been abandoned for several years.  No one had been tending to its gardens.  No one had been growing anything on its grounds.  It was a lonely and desolate place.

Six years later, we are cultivating not only a garden that feeds our family, but a lifestyle that brings us closer together every day.  1840 Farm has literally come back to life.  Last October, when three goats were born within the walls of our beloved barn, we knew that we had proudly proclaimed to all who were listening that we were farmers as well.  We had fed our souls and breathed life back into the farm that we call home.

Reading Andrea Wulf’s Founding Gardeners made me look at our farm differently.  In fact, I started to look at farming differently.  It made me want to run outside and plant our gardens, tend to the soil, and feel the sun on my face.  Glancing at the calendar, I was reminded that planting season has yet to arrive.  The ground is frozen solid and snow is blanketing the gardens and grounds.  Planting would have to wait.

But why couldn’t we emulate the best of our founding fathers and spend time planning our gardens, sharing our gardening knowledge, and dreaming of the sunny days to come?  If you ask me, an old-fashioned seed exchange is in order.  For the cost of a stamp, we can all look forward to receiving a packet of seeds from another gardener who is also counting the minutes until spring finally arrives.

Heirloom Tomatoes at 1840 FarmOn the first day of spring, Tuesday, March 20, 2012Tuesday, March 27, 2012, I will send an Email to each participant with the name and address of the person their seed packet should be mailed to.  If you would like to receive more than one seed packet (and send more than one packet) simply fill out the form as many times as you would like to participate.  The seeds you share can be saved from your garden or purchased from a store.  Gardeners and farmers of all ages and skill levels are welcome (end encouraged) to participate.

Encourage your friends and family to join in.  The more people we have sharing seeds, the more interesting this seed exchange will be!  To make things a little more interesting, I’ll be awarding one lucky participant an extra prize:  a collection of heirloom seeds for planting in their garden.  The collection will include some of the beloved varieties grown here at 1840 Farm.

Good luck to all of you who participate.  I’ll announce the winner of the 1840 Farm Seed Collection on March 20 March 27!

 

The spring 1840 Farm Seed Exchange has closed for 2012.  If you are interested in participating in the 2013 Seed Exchange, leave a comment below and I will contact you next spring when the details are available.

The spring 1840 Farm Seed Exchange has closed for 2012.  If you are interested in participating in the 2013 Seed Exchange, leave a comment below and I will contact you next spring when the details are available.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2012/03/1840-farm-seed-exchange/

Mocha Bread

I think that by now it may be painfully obvious that I love to cook and bake.  What may not be so obvious is my extreme tendency to try and make something less than ordinary into something extraordinary.  My complete inability to leave well enough alone.  It’s true.  Sometimes I just can’t bear to leave a recipe the way it was written.

I’ve never mentioned my inclination to alter any and every thing that finds itself in less than perpetual motion on our farm.  I also have grown to enjoy the challenge of finding a use for what we have on hand.  I find myself wondering if there is something I could do with the chaff left over from roasting coffee beans before I come to the conclusion that sending them to the compost pile is good enough.

Every week, I happily haul twice as much recycling to the curb as I do garbage.  We recycle all that our town will accept, we compost, and we feed healthy food scraps to our chickens and goats.  In fact, we’re left with only coffee grounds and eggshells in the compost bin now that we can feed orange peels and banana peels to our dairy goats as a morning treat.

I’ve turned old closet doors inside the farmhouse into re-purposed desks.  I’ve taken a reciprocating saw to a kitchen cabinet in order to reassemble it and relocate it within our farmhouse kitchen.  I might as well admit that this habit also spills over into my cooking and baking.

One day as I was making a batch of our whole wheat bread for the following morning’s breakfast, I decided to tinker.  I find it difficult not to.  I adjust seasonings, I change ingredients in the hope that I might improve on an already great recipe.  Sometimes I succeed.  Sometimes my family looks at me inquisitively and then poses the inevitable question.  “Why didn’t you just make it the same way you did last time?”

As I was mixing up the batch of bread dough, I wondered if substituting brewed coffee for a portion of the water the recipe called for would give this bread a little more depth of flavor.  I happened to have a little brewed coffee languishing in the morning’s pot, so I had nothing to lose by giving it a try.  My latest recipe experiment was underway.

My family never questions why I chose to play mad scientist with this recipe.  They’re too busy enjoying it.   While the original wheat bread was good, this new version is great.  It is a family favorite toasted with butter and fresh strawberry jam.  My success with this recipe doesn’t do much to stifle my desire to tweak recipes.  In fact, it makes me wonder.  What recipe could I experiment with today?

Mocha Bread
makes enough dough for two generous loaves

I adapted this recipe from the Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread loaf in Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois.  If you haven’t tried making bread using their method, do yourself a favor and give it a try.  You’ll be glad that you did and your family will soon be enjoying fresh bread every day!

     
    

16 ounces (2 cups) brewed coffee, room temperature
10 ounces warm water
2 Tablespoons (18 grams) granulated yeast
1 Tablespoon sea salt
5 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons honey
6 1/2 cups (780 grams) King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour

Place all ingredients in a container with a lid (not airtight) that will hold at least 5 quarts.  Mix using a wooden spoon or spatula until well incorporated.  Cover and set aside to rise for 2 to 3 hours.  The dough will rise and then collapse to create a flattened top.

At this point, the dough may be used immediately or refrigerated until ready to use.  Unrefrigerated dough will rise quickly but can prove to be very sticky and difficult to work with.  Refrigerated dough is much easier to handle but requires additional rising time in order to come up to room temperature.

When you are ready to form a loaf, prepare a loaf pan by lightly greasing with your preferred method.  I like to use a silicone pan placed inside a standard loaf pan.  The silicone prevents the loaf from sticking and yields a loaf that has a softer crust.  The standard metal loaf pan makes the silicone liner sturdy enough to move easily without causing the dough to fall.

Remove half of the dough from the container with damp hands.  Shape the dough into a ball by stretching and turning the dough while pulling the edges to the bottom of the ball.  Elongate the round dough into a loaf shape and place it in the prepared loaf pan.

Dip a serrated knife in water and use it to score the top of the loaf several times to allow for more even rising.  Allow the loaf to rise until it reaches the top of the pan.  Unrefrigerated dough can achieve this in about an hour’s time.  Refrigerated dough may require a rise of several hours depending on the temperature of your kitchen.

When the dough has risen sufficiently, place it on a rack in the middle of your oven.  If you have a baking stone or pizza stone, this is a great time to put it to good use.  Using a stone will ensure even heat and yield a more consistent loaf.

Set the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake the loaf for 40 minutes.  Remove the loaf from the pan and return it to the oven for 5-10 minutes.  You can test the loaf for doneness by tapping it on the bottom.  If it makes a hollow sound, the loaf is fully baked.

Remove the baked loaf from the oven and place it on a clean kitchen towel.  Wrap the loaf in the towel and allow it to cool completely.  Cooling the loaf in this manner allows the escaping steam to produce a softer crust.  If you prefer a firmer crust, simply allow the loaf to cool unwrapped on a wire rack.

Once the loaf is cool, store it in a paper bag at room temperature for up to four days.  The remaining dough can be kept in the refrigerator for up to one week.  In our house, it never lasts that long!


This recipe is part of The Bread Baker’s Series, a collaborative series of posts from Kitchen Kneads and 1840Farm. It’s easy to make sure that you don’t miss a single post in The Bread Baker’s Series. Subscribe to The 1840 Farm Community Newsletter or join The 1840 Farm Community on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. Be sure to subscribe to Kitchen Kneads Email updates and follow them on Facebook and Pinterest.

By following Kitchen Kneads and 1840 Farm, you’ll be the first to see each post in our collaborative Bread Baker’s Series. If you have a great bread baking tip or recipe to share, we invite you to leave a comment and add your voice to the conversation!

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2012/01/mocha-bread/

The Bucolic Plague

I’ve just finished reading The Bucolic Plague by Josh-Kilmer Purcell.  I was sorry to turn the last page.  I enjoyed it too much.  I found myself laughing out loud on multiple occasions.  I may need a moment to mourn the loss of a great read.  I find myself lonely without the company of Josh’s acerbic wit.

What will I do now?   There are no more anecdotes about how hard it can be to live with another human being 24 hours a day.  No more funny Martha moments.   There are no more stories that I can so closely relate to involving the insanity of living in a house that was built before your great-great-grandfather was born.

I have no intention of ruining any of the fun for you should you choose to read it yourself.  That would be rude.  Instead, I’ll encourage you to pick up a copy, have a laugh, and think of me when you read about how cold they kept the Beekman mansion during their first winter there.

In my opinion, this book delivered exactly what I hoped it would:  a witty read that kept me wanting more, laughing out loud while I read along.  No, it didn’t help me to determine the meaning of life.  I was truly sorry to reach the last page.  Having read it probably won’t make me a better wife or mother.  Or will it?  Maybe it will in the sense that I enjoyed it so much that I will be in a better mood.  Now if I could just figure out a way to clear the two feet of snow off of my garden.  Oh well, Josh lives in New York.  At least I have company.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2011/02/the-bucolic-plague/

French Fridays-Gougeres

Welcome to French Fridays with Dorie at 1840 Farm.  I’m not usually a person who looks to join this kind of thing.  Really, I’m not.  However, this group involves cooking, reading, eating French food, and blogging.  I felt that an exception had to be made.

And then there’s the fact that Dorie Greenspan is involved.  I don’t own dozens of her cookbooks.  I know her more as a friend of a friend.  Well, that may be an enormous stretch.  Julia Child was definitely her friend.  I’m one of the millions of people who watched Julia on television and wished that she was my friend.  True, it is a marked difference, but at least I know that.

As a child, my experience with Julia was strictly her.  She was on television, usually alone, teaching me to love the experience even if the end result didn’t turn out exactly as I had expected.  She taught me that it was okay to mold a failed omelette back into shape and hold my head high.  As an adult, Julia was on camera with other great chefs and bakers.  Julia was in print with cookbook authors.

Enter Dorie into my life.  Where Julia was, Dorie was sure to follow.  I didn’t just purchase Baking with Julia, I put it on display in my farmhouse kitchen the way some people display fine art.  To me, it was.  I read Dorie’s carefully written recipes as if they were chapters from a great novel.  I chose the recipes I wanted to try and followed her as my guide.  I began to realize that although Julia was gone, Dorie was here.

 

I also knew that my daughter would love cooking the recipes along with me.  It somehow seemed right that if I learned by watching Julia, my daughter could learn by reading Dorie’s cookbook.  So, today we set out to make the first recipe from the series French Fridays with Dorie.

Gougeres.  A food so delicious that it deserves to be its own complete sentence.  If you don’t agree, then may I recommend that you run to your local bookstore or public library and put a copy of Around My French Table into your hands immediately.  Go ahead, make them and tell me that you still disagree.

The recipe was easy to follow.  If I had left my daughter in the kitchen too long, I might have come back in to find them ready to go in the oven.   They infused the whole kitchen with a wonderful aroma and the resulting gougeres were absolutely delicious.  Dorie mentions that they can be frozen and baked directly from a frozen state.  I’m busy dreaming up ways to make more room in the freezer.  They’re that good.  This winter, they will pair beautifully with soups and vegetable dishes.  I won’t lie, they’ll also pair beautifully with that glass of red wine that always seems to be poured a little early on Sunday afternoon while dinner is in the works.

Tonight, the gougeres were served with fresh herb baked eggs and a spinach salad dressed with balsamic vinaigrette.  We poured a delicious 2007  A to Z Pinot Noir.  The combination was other worldly.  Tonight’s dinner would be enough to cement Dorie’s place in our cookbook collection.  If I hadn’t already been a fan, I would have easily become one of the card-carrying variety.

At the end of our meal, my daughter had a look of pure happiness on her face.  She was proud of her work.  She was happy that we all enjoyed the gougeres so much.  She proclaimed that, “We should have this for dinner more often!”  I couldn’t have hoped for more.   A great meal, a happy child, and the thought that some day, years from now, I will walk into her kitchen.  I’ll smell gougeres baking and that same look of pure happiness and pride will appear on my face.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2010/10/french-fridays-gougeres/