Category Archive: Nut Free

Re-pickling to Perfection

Repickling at 1840 FarmHave you ever re-pickled?  I’m happy to say that I have.  A few weeks ago, I found myself at the bottom of as amazing jar of McClure’s Sweet & Spicy Pickles.  As I stared at the remaining brine, I wondered:  could I add fresh vegetables to the brine and create a refrigerator pickle?

Each summer, I make several batches of refrigerator dill pickles using heirloom cucumbers from our garden.  I use the brine a few times, making delicious batches of fresh, crispy pickles.  By the time the brine has been used a few times, I need to start a new batch of brine.  The cucumbers release enough liquid as they sit in the brine to eventually dilute the brine to a point that it is not strong enough to be used.

Knowing that a cucumber dilutes the brine as it pickles, I decided to create a different type of pickle for my first re-pickling experiment.  I used fresh green and yellow beans and beautiful carrots from our local farmer’s market. I quick blanched the vegetables to preserve their color, adding them warm to the cold jar of brine.  I hoped that the warmth of the vegetables would speed up the pickling process and help each piece of vegetable to take on more of the brine’s flavor.

Within hours, I tasted the first carrot and was amazed at the flavor.  It tasted as though I had spent hours creating a delicious brine and preparing the vegetables.  Knowing that I had instead spent a few minutes made each bite taste even more delicious.

Here’s how I achieved re-pickling perfection.  First, I selected a brine that has an intense flavor.  I also chose vegetables with a lower moisture content than cucumbers, knowing that they would release less water into the brine and allow me to continue re-pickling through several batches. Since then, I have attempted to re-pickle using a more moderately flavored brine with cucumbers and found the results to be disappointing.  Select a strong brine and the low moisture vegetables for the most flavorful pickles.Pickled Beans and Carrots at 1840 Farm

To prepare the beans and carrots, bring a large pot of water to a roiling boil over high heat.  Once the water is boiling, add a generous Tablespoon or two of salt.  Wash the beans and snap to remove the ends.  Trim any beans that are too long to fit into the pickle jar.  Peel the carrots before cutting them into long spears.

Add the carrots to the boiling pot of salted water.  Once the water has come back to a boil, blanch the carrots very briefly, 1-2 minutes.  Remove the carrots from the boiling water while they are still crisp and shock them by placing them in the cold jar of pickle brine.  Repeat this process with the beans.

Shocking the blanched vegetables in the cold brine will stop the cooking process, set their bright color, and help the vegetables to develop a delicious flavor.  At this point, the jar of vegetables and brine can be stored in the refrigerator until ready to use.  These pickles must be refrigerated.  They are not intended for long-term pantry storage.

I can’t wait to try this re-pickling method with other fresh vegetables.  I have my sights set on a batch of dilled cauliflower florets.  I hope that you’ll give re-pickling a try especially if you’ve been hesitant to attempt making your own pickles!

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Grilled Romaine Salad

Grilled Romaine Salad at 1840 FarmSo many of you wanted to know more about the grilled Romaine salad I was preparing for dinner last week. I love this dish for its simplicity and amazing flavor. Add in that I can make it from start to finish in less than ten minutes and that it is beautiful on the plate and it’s really no wonder that I make it so often!

Grilled Romaine Salad
Photo Jul 27, 7 50 25 AM

Romaine lettuce heart (one per person)
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

salad dressing

Prepare the grill.  Slice the Romaine lengthwise in half and drizzle a little olive oil over the top before seasoning with salt and pepper. This is a great time to use a premium olive oil.  My favorites are the selections from the Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club.  Place the Romaine cut side down on the grill. A spot around the edge or not directly over the flame is best.

Grill for 4-6 minutes.  The surface of the Romaine will char a bit as the core softens. Remove the grilled Romaine from the grill, drizzle with dressing and serve. It’s really delicious and makes such a beautiful side dish. For me, the unique flavor and texture are a really nice change of pace.

In the winter, I often make this salad under the broiler. I use the same process, just place the lettuce cut side up on a foil lined baking sheet under the broiler for a few minutes.

To make sure that you don’t miss any of our original content or favorite recipes, DIY projects, and homesteading advice, 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
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We even created a new 1840 Farm Community Newsletter Pinterest board to catalog
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Strawberry Syrup

Ripe Strawberry at 1840 FarmThe flavor of a ripe strawberry. is always welcome at our farmhouse table.  During strawberry season, we enjoy our strawberries eaten freshly picked from the berry patch, added to a few of our favorite baking recipes, and preserve many more as jam to last us through the long New England winter.  On a blustery snowy day, that burst of strawberry flavor is a delicious reminder that we’re one day closer to the next strawberry season.

Several years ago, I decided to try making a strawberry syrup that could be used to flavor cocktails, nonalcoholic drinks, and baked goods.  It was so delicious that we’ve been making it ever since. It’s not overly sweet, with just the right hint of tartness and a lovely earthy sweetness courtesy of the homemade vanilla extract.  It adds that wonderful ripe strawberry flavor to any dish it is paired with.  It’s also divine when drizzled over Great Grandma’s Daffodil Cake or vanilla bean ice cream.   I even use it to make my Chocolate Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting.

This is such a simple recipe to prepare and keep at the ready.  It can be stored for several weeks in the refrigerator.  It can also be prepared for long term storage in a water bath canner.  I process this syrup in half pint jars with 1/4 inch headspace for 10 minutes.  While it can be stored for a year when properly canned, our jars never last that long.

Added to lemonade, it can transform an ordinary beverage into something extraordinary.  If you prefer your beverage to be carbonated, I have added soda water to lemonade concentrate and a healthy dose of this syrup to make a delicious bubbly strawberry lemonade that is always a hit with our friends and family.

I can’t wait to hear how you put this delicious syrup to use!

Strawberry Simple Syrup

1 pound strawberries, washed and stems removed
2 cups (384 grams) granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

Slice or roughly chop the strawberries before adding them to a medium pot with the remaining ingredients.  Using a large wooden spoon or potato masher, crush the berries slightly.  Set them aside for 20 to 30 minutes in order to allow the berries to begin releasing their juice.

Place the pot over low heat and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.  Simmer over low heat until the sugar has completely dissolved, approximately 5 minutes.  Remove the pot from the heat and allow the syrup to cool to room temperature.  Add the vanilla extract and stir to combine.  At this point, you can choose to strain the mixture or leave the remaining pieces of strawberry in the syrup.  If you strain the syrup, the berries can be added to a recipe or served as a topping over yogurt, ice cream, or a slice of cake.

The syrup can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one month.  I like to store a batch of strained syrup in a clean, repurposed bottle with a pourer spout in the refrigerator for adding to lemonade or using as a base for cocktails.  Syrup with berries can be stored in the refrigerator in a mason jar or other glass container with a lid or canned as mentioned above.

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

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You’re always welcome at 1840 Farm
and at The 1840 Farm Mercantile Shop on Etsy.
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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.

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Oat Scones with Fresh Strawberries

SconeIngredieStrawberry Oat Scone at 1840 FarmntsWMWhen fresh strawberries are in season, we take full advantage and work them into a variety of baking recipes and canned goods.  These Oat Scones studded with chunks of juicy, fresh strawberries find their way to our breakfast table every year.  They’re delicious and a reminder of why we love strawberry season so much.  While the scones are always best if eaten the day they are baked, I find that any leftovers are great when used as a base for a strawberry shortcake dessert that evening.  Enjoy!


Oat Scones with Fresh Strawberries
makes 8 sconesStrawberry Oat Scone at 1840 Farm

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 delicious. In fact, these scones were such a hit that they have become our favorite scone recipe.

I like to grate the butter for recipes that require butter to be cut into the flour. Using tiny grated bits of butter makes mixing the dough a breeze. It also yields an incredibly tender scone as much less mixing is needed.

2 cups (160 grams) old fashioned oats
1 cup (80 grams) oat flour
½ cup (60 grams) whole wheat flour
¼ cup (30 grams) All-purpose flour
¼ cup (48 grams) brown sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
8 Tablespoons (4 ounces) butter, grated
¼ cup (2 ounces) heavy cream
1 large egg
1 cup chopped strawberries
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat liner.

Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add the grated butter and gently toss with your hands to fully coat the butter and evenly distribute it throughout the dry ingredients.

In a small bowl, combine the cream and egg and whisk to combine. Add the cream and egg to the bowl with the flour and stir gently to moisten the dry ingredients. Reserve the small bowl as the remnants from the cream and egg mixture can be used to brush the scones before they are transferred to the oven. Add the chopped strawberries to the batter and fold gently to combine.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Gently pat the dough into a circle approximately 8 inches in diameter. Cut the dough into eight wedges. Transfer each wedge to the prepared baking sheet. Using a pastry brush, gently brush each scone with the remaining cream and egg mixture. Sprinkle a bit of the granulated sugar on top of each scone.

Transfer the baking sheet to the preheated oven. Bake the scones 18 to 20 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through the baking time. When fully baked, the scones will be lightly browned and firm to the touch.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven to a wire rack to cool. Scones are most delicious served the day they are made, so serve them immediately and enjoy every last bite!

To make sure that you don’t miss any of our original content or favorite recipes, DIY projects, and homesteading advice, 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
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Lemon Drop Cookies with Lemon Buttercream

LemonCookieWMSpring couldn’t arrive soon enough for me this year. It was a brutal winter with snow piled so high that it was difficult to believe that spring would ever arrive to our snowy landscape. While I wait for winter to release us from its firm grasp, I find myself dreaming of the garden and the fresh meals that it will provide for our family table. That first harvest of crisp radishes and greens seems both close at hand and miles away.

The garden won’t produce anything for us to enjoy at our family table for a few more weeks. We’re still waiting for our last frost date to pass on the 29th of June. As I wait for the danger of frost to pass, I find myself craving something fresh and bright.

Enter the lemon, which is synonymous with spring in my book. First, there’s the striking beauty of the lemon’s yellow color. Then there’s the lovely punch of fresh flavor that a lemon brings to a recipe when its tart nature is perfectly matched with just the right balance of sweetness to highlight its distinct flavor. It’s no wonder that I turn to the lemon to help me bridge the gap between the end of winter and beginning of our gardening year.

This recipe is one of my favorites each spring. The bright, tart lemon flavor and earthy vanilla are delicious when combined with just enough sugar. The end result is sweet enough without ever masking the lemon’s lovely acidity. The fluffy lemon buttercream ups the ante and adds even more lemon flavor with a creamy texture that provides a lovely counterpart to the crisp cookie.

To be fair, we don’t consider this as a spring only favorite. We enjoy them year round and they never disappoint. I hope that your family and friends will enjoy them as much as ours do!


Lemon Drop Cookies with Lemon ButtercreamLemonButtercream
makes 2 dozen 3” cookies

You don’t need specialty equipment to make these beautiful cookies, but a few simple tools will help to make the job easier. While you can use a simple box grater to zest the lemon, a microplane grater/zester makes quick work of the zest. A set of inexpensive rolling pin rings will ensure that all of the dough is rolled to an even thickness. The resulting cookies will bake more evenly and have a beautiful appearance.

I reach for my WonderMix Kitchen Mixer when making this recipe in our farmhouse kitchen.  With two sets of whisk/whip attachments, I can easily cream the butter and sugar for the cookie and blend the buttercream into a perfectly smooth, satiny texture.  You can learn more about The WonderMix and get my recipe for Multigrain Brioche by reading my review.

Lemon Drop Cookies

1 cup sugar
Zest of one large lemon
8 ounces (2 sticks) butter, softened
2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, strained to remove seeds and pulp
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
3 cups All-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt

Lemon Buttercream

4 ounces (1 stick) butter, softened
3 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, strained to remove seeds and pulp
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar

ZestRubbedSugarWash and dry a large lemon. Using a fine grater or microplane, remove the zest from the lemon, taking care to remove only the yellow zest. Leave the white pith intact as it can be incredibly bitter. Place the granulated sugar and lemon zest in a small bowl. Mix the sugar and zest together by rubbing the grains between your fingers. Mixing the sugar and zest in this manner will infuse the sugar with the essential oil from the lemon peel.

Using a mixer or food processor, cream the butter and sugar mixture until it combines completely and makes a smooth paste.  Add the lemon juice and vanilla extract.  Mix to combine.  Add the egg and egg yolk and mix until completely smooth.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add these dry ingredients to the batter and mix briefly to fully incorporate.  Take care not to over mix as this will develop the gluten in the flour, resulting in dough that is chewy and tough instead of light and delicate.

Remove the dough to a sheet of parchment paper or freezer paper.  Cover with a second sheet of paper.  Using a rolling pin and rolling pin rings (if you have them); roll the dough in to a rectangle approximately 1/4 inch thick.  Refrigerate the dough at least 2 hours or until firm enough to cut cleanly using a cookie cutter or sharp paring knife.

When the dough has been properly chilled and you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line two baking sheets with nonstick Silpat liners or parchment paper.  Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator and cut into your desired shape.  Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheets approximately 2 inches apart.

Bake the cookies in the preheated oven for 14 to 16 minutes, rotating at the midpoint of the baking time, taking care not to overbake. TheWonderMix Kitchen Mixer cookies should be firm to the touch, but not overly brown. Remove the trays from the oven and place them on wire racks to cool completely.

To make the buttercream, combine the softened butter, lemon juice, and vanilla extract using a mixer or food processor.  Slowly add the powdered sugar and blend until the buttercream is completely smooth.

Buttercream can be piped or spread on the cookies as soon as they are completely cool. Two cookies can be held together with a layer of buttercream to make a delicious lemon drop sandwich cookie. Cookies and buttercream can be stored in separate, airtight containers at room temperature for several days.

Note:  This dough works very well when stored in the freezer.  Simply prepare the dough as directed above, chilling the rolled dough in the freezer instead of refrigerator.  Once the dough has frozen solid, it can be moved to a freezer bag for long-term storage.  When you are ready to bake the cookies, remove the frozen dough from the freezer and allow it to warm slightly as the oven preheats.  Cut the dough into your preferred shape before transferring them to the warm oven. Frozen cookies will require an additional 3-5 minutes in the oven, but taste identical to those made from freshly made refrigerated dough.

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!


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Cast Iron Skillet Pork and Potato Hash

Cast Iron Skillet Pork and Potato HashWhen we sit down at our farmhouse table to enjoy a meal featuring Beer and Brown Sugar Braised Pork, I can count on someone to ask if there will be enough pork to make Cast Iron Skillet Pork and Potato Hash for dinner the following evening. I have come to expect that question, so I always buy a cut of pork that is large enough to ensure that there will be plenty of pork to make this hash.

Leftovers often get a bad rap, but this preparation can change that with the first bite. This hash is a star main dish in its own right. It is delicious, comforting, and full of flavor. Leftovers never had it so good.

This is one of those recipes that welcomes interpretation and substitution. You can add other vegetables to the mix or substitute another cut of meat you have on hand. No matter the ingredients, the results are always delicious.






Cast Iron Skillet Pork and Potato Hash

This recipe makes use of one of my favorite pans: a cast iron skillet. I like to use my Lodge 12 inch cast iron skillet when preparing this hash. If your skillet is smaller, you can reduce the proportions to fit your pan. I love to use the reserved cooking liquid from the Beer and Brown Sugar Braised Pork Roast, but an equal amount of bone broth or a good quality stock can be used.

1 Tablespoon butter
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 ½ pounds potatoes, washed and cut into ½ inch cubes
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
12 ounces reserved cooking liquid from Beer and Brown Sugar Braised Pork or bone broth
8 ounces shredded pork
2 ounces heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste
2 ounces smoked cheddar, grated

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Position an oven rack in the middle of the oven.

Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add the butter to the hot pan and swirl to coat the bottom surface. Add the onion and cook until almost translucent, about five minutes. Add the garlic and cook one minute before adding the potatoes to the pan, stirring to combine.

Add the thyme and reserved cooking liquid or bone broth to the pan. Bring the liquid to a simmer. Cover the pan and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 10 minutes undisturbed.

Remove the cover and stir the mixture. The potatoes should have begun to soften and absorbed some of the liquid. Add the pork and heavy cream to the pan and stir to combine. Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste. Press the mixture firmly into the pan and top with the grated cheddar. Transfer the skillet to the warm oven.

Cook the hash for ten minutes. Check the potatoes for doneness before turning on the broiler. Broil for two minutes to brown the top surface of the hash. Remove from the oven and serve hot.  We like to serve this hash with a side of Classic Sauerkraut.



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Classic Sauerkraut

Classic Sauerkraut at 1840 FarmI enjoy the tangy flavor of sauerkraut paired with many dishes and also served on its own. For years, we have been purchasing a local kraut. Each time we served it at our family table, I wondered if we could make a homemade version.

The process of fermentation seemed a bit daunting. The recipes all made the technique seem so simple that I doubted it would be so easy. A few weeks ago, I finally decided to take the plunge and try it for myself.

As I searched for a foolproof recipe and advice to ensure success, I discovered Kraut Source’s blog and innovative lid system. They were kind enough to lead me through the process of making our first batch of kraut step by step. They shared their recipe for classic sauerkraut which I adapted further to include only three ingredients: green cabbage, sea salt, and filtered water.

After a week’s time on the kitchen counter, the humble shredded cabbage my daughter and I had packed so tightly into the Mason jar had been transformed into a delicious, tangy sauerkraut. I was equally amazed at how simple it had been to make and how amazingly flavorful it was. It was so delicious that weKrautSource made a second batch, doubling the recipe to ensure that we never run out of this delicious, homemade classic sauerkraut.

With gardening season fast approaching, we’ll be planting a few heirloom cabbage varieties so that we can make our own kraut using cabbage fresh from our organic garden. We hope that you’ll join in and try your hand at fermenting a batch of sauerkraut using the classic recipe adapted from Kraut Source below.

Visit Kraut Source’s blog, Facebook page, and Instagram feed to learn more about the art of creating cultured and fermented foods in your kitchen. They fill my newsfeed with a steady stream of delicious recipes and helpful tips. I know that you’ll enjoy following them as much as I do!

Classic Sauerkraut
adapted from Kraut Source’s Classic Sauerkraut Recipe

Shredded Cabbage for Sauerkraut

Lacto-fermentation takes advantage of the beneficial bacteria (including Lactobacillus) that are naturally present on the surface of fruits and vegetables including the cabbage called for in this recipe. When held at room temperature and submerged in brine, these healthy bacteria convert the natural sugars in the cabbage into lactic acid. The lactic acid will naturally preserve the kraut and inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria.

Much like canning, fermentation requires clean tools and surfaces to safeguard against potentially unsafe bacteria. Simply washing all the tools and equipment and your hands with soap and hot water before beginning the recipe is sufficient. This will ensure that you have begun the process with the clean environment necessary for successful and safe fermentation.

1 1/2 pounds (675 g) green cabbage
1 Tablespoon (15 ml) sea salt
brine as needed (1 teaspoon sea salt dissolved in 1 cup cold, filtered water)

Quart-size Mason jar
Kraut Source Unit or Mason Jar Lid

Rinse the head of cabbage in cold water. Quarter the cabbage, removing the core before finely shredding each quarter. Place shredded cabbage in a large bowl. Add the sea salt, tossing to evenly distribute. Allow the cabbage and salt to rest for 10 minutes.

Massage the sea salt vigorously into the cabbage for about 5 to 10 minutes. Working the sea salt with the shredded cabbage will help to draw liquid out of the cabbage and begin the process of breaking down the fibrous nature of the cabbage.

Packing SauerkrautIf you have time, allow the massaged cabbage to rest in the bowl as the salt will draw out liquid. If you do not have time to wait, simply pack the cabbage into a quart-size, wide mouth Mason jar. Use a pounder or wooden spoon to really press down and pack the cabbage in . The top of the cabbage should be even to the shoulder of the jar. If there isn’t enough liquid to cover the cabbage by one inch, add enough brine to cover.

Secure your Kraut Source unit or lid on the jar. Take care not to tighten the lid too tightly. As the cabbage ferments, carbon dioxide will be released. If the carbon dioxide is not allowed to safely escape the jar, it can cause the jar to break or the lid to be forced off of the jar.

The innovative Kraut Source unit contains a spring and a press to hold the cabbage underneath the surface of the liquid while allowing the carbon dioxide to escape. If you are using a standard lid, a piece of the cabbage’s core or a small weight can be used to keep the sliced cabbage below the liquid .

The lid can be removed every few days and replaced to adequately vent the excess carbon dioxide. During fermentation, the cabbage must be completely submerged in the liquid to prevent spoilage. Additional brine can be added as needed to completely cover the submerged cabbage.

Allow the kraut to ferment at room temperature for 5-7 days or several weeks to develop the desired flavor. After 5 days, begin tasting the kraut every few days to determine if the flavor is to your liking. When the taste is agreeable, transfer the kraut to the refrigerator. Any weight or cabbage core used to keep the kraut submerged can be removed at this point.

We find ourselves enjoying this homemade sauerkraut on top of nearly every sandwich or alongside most main courses.  We love to enjoy a side of it with our Beer and Brown Sugar Braised Pork Roast and Cast Iron Skillet Pork and Potato Hash.


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Beer and Brown Sugar Braised Pork Roast

Beer and Brown Sugar Braised Pork RoastIf you happened to stop by our farmhouse on a Sunday afternoon, you might find that a Beer and Brown Sugar Braised Pork Roast was in the oven. This recipe is a staple for our family. It is simple to prepare, delicious to eat, and provides our family with enough shredded pork to be featured in multiple meals throughout the week, making the work of menu planning that much easier.

As the pork is cooking in the oven, it infuses the entire farmhouse with the delightful aroma of caramelized brown sugar. By the time we are ready to sit down to dinner late Sunday afternoon, we’re all clamoring for a bite. It’s rather like Thanksgiving Day when the aroma of roasting turkey has tempted you all day long with the promise of the meal ahead. While this pork is easier to prepare than our Thanksgiving turkey, it is no less satisfying to serve at our family table.

This year, we’ll be enjoying this roast as the centerpiece of our Easter feast, served with homemade sauerkraut, herbed new potatoes, and berry pie for dessert. It will be a delicious meal and sure to be followed later in the week by a dinner of Cast Iron Skillet Pork and Potato Hash. Now you can enjoy these three recipes with your friends and family. They’re sure to love them as much as we do!


Beer and Brown Sugar Braised Pork Roast

I like to use local pasture raised pork in this recipe which is readily available in Beer and Brown Sugar Braised Pork Roast Ingredientsour community. We have prepared this recipe using several cuts of pork. Each of them turned out beautifully.

Because the pork is braised at a low temperature with liquid in a covered pot, the resulting pork is tender and moist no matter the cut. Unlike most preparations, this pork is nearly impossible to overcook. The low temperature and ample liquid both play in its favor.

Pork shoulder (also referred to as pork butt or Boston butt), pork roast, pork loin, and pork belly are all good choices. A pork shoulder or pork roast are my favorite. I find that they have the ideal ratio of meat to fat and yield delicious results.

4 to 5 pound boneless pork shoulder or roast
¼ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 Tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon olive oil
12 ounces beer

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Position an oven rack in the lower third of the oven. In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Rub this mixture on all sides of the pork.

Heat a large Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid over medium high heat. When the pan is hot, add the butter and olive oil, swirling to coat the bottom of the pan

Add the pork to the pan and sear each side for approximately two minutes. The sugar will caramelize and add a beautiful brown color to the pork.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the beer to the pan, deglazing and scraping up any browned bits of sugar from the bottom of the pan. Bring the beer to a simmer before covering the pan and placing it in the warm oven.

Allow the pork to cook for two hours undisturbed. The overall cooking time will vary depending upon the size and type of the cut, but I find that 2 ½ hours is the average time needed to deliver perfectly cooked pork to our table.

After the two hours have elapsed, I begin checking the roast every half hour for doneness. The pork is finished when it will easily pull apart and reaches an internal temperature of around 160 degrees. At that point, I remove the pan from the oven and allow the pork to rest in the covered pan for at least an hour.

After the hour has elapsed, I shred the meat. I strain the cooking liquid, reserving it. I return the shredded pork to the pan and moisten it with a bit of the cooking liquid, holding it in the covered pan. It can be rewarmed over low heat if necessary before serving.

I use the reserved cooking liquid to make Cast Iron Skillet Pork and Potato Hash.   The braising liquid has a wonderful depth of flavor and can also be thickened into a pan gravy and served along with the pork or over mashed potatoes.  We like to serve this dish with a side of our homemade Classic Sauerkraut.


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The WonderMix Kitchen Mixer GIVEAWAY and My Multigrain Brioche Bread Recipe

WonderMix Kitchen MixerWhen I was offered the opportunity to try out the new WonderMix Kitchen Mixer in our farmhouse kitchen, I was thrilled. I have been using the company’s WonderMill Electric Grain Mill for several years now.  No matter how many times I use it, I am always astounded at how simple it is to use and how quickly it transforms the organic wheat berries I purchase through my local food co-op into beautiful, freshly milled flour. I couldn’t wait to see their new WonderMix stand mixer and put it through its paces in our farmhouse kitchen.

When the WonderMix arrived, I was taken with its unique design. I loved its square base and covered mixing bowl, knowing that dry ingredients would remain inside the bowl when mixing rather than ending up on the countertop.   After carefully measuring my ingredients with my food scale for a recipe, it can be so frustrating to watch as dry ingredients are flung from a mixer’s bowl and deposited all over the countertop.

The mixing bowl is large, with a capacity of 5.5 quarts or 22 cups. I don’t have a single recipe in my arsenal that requires that much capacity, but I’m glad to know that I can easily mix a double batch of bread dough with room to spare. Not only does this mixer have a high-capacity mixing bowl, it has the motor strength to handle heavy doughs and mixtures. The WonderMix has an impressive 900 watt motor. To put that in perspective, my current stand mixer has a 325 watt motor. The WonderMix has the capacity and the power to handle even the most grueling tasks in my kitchen and yours. With its innovative dough hook and dough divider attachment combination, I knew right away that this was a bread baker’s dream machine.

The WonderMix offers two different sets of whisk type attachments available for the WonderMix. A whisk is often the ideal tool for a recipe, but whisking egg whites into a fluffy meringue is quite a different task than mixing a batch of buttercream or cookie dough. I often find with my other stand mixer that the dough paddle doesn’t adequately beat a batch of buttercream or cookie dough into the smooth, silky texture I desire while the whisk isn’t strong enough to handle the thicker mixture. Having two different pairs of whisk attachments means that I’ll always have one that is well suited for the task at hand.

The WonderMix boasts a wide assortment of other attachments and accessories. They offer a full function blender, slicer/shredder, and meat grinder attachments. If you are interested in working with grain, both a grain flaker and grain mill attachment are also available. This sturdy, powerful unit can do the work of a multitude of appliances. Its rectangular footprint also makes it much easier for me to easily store it in our kitchen.

The helpful owner’s manual that accompanied my WonderMix was filled with helpful instructions for using the machine along with more than 40 recipes. I turned immediately to the section of bread recipes and learned that this mixer promised to fully develop the gluten in a batch of bread dough in five minutes. I couldn’t wait to put that promise to the test.

I make several types of bread for our family. My favorite bread to bake and to eat is brioche. I enjoy brioche’s texture and rich flavor. IMultigrain Brioche loaves at 1840 Farm love to toast a slice of homemade brioche, knowing that the enriched dough will yield the lovely browned surface that I enjoy so much. My family enjoys it just as much as I do, so I make a batch of two loaves every week or so.

The prospect of making a traditional brioche can be daunting for the baker and taxing for the baker’s mixer. Traditional brioche is baked from dough enriched by fresh eggs and butter. Each addition must be perfectly timed before advancing to the next step. If these steps are rushed, the dough will break apart, forming several small clumps that will resist coming back together into one congruous ball of dough. Yet care must be taken not to over mix the dough as too much mixing can ruin the airy texture that makes brioche so wonderful.

Once the eggs have been successfully integrated into the dough, butter must be added in much the same way. It is added a bit at a time, allowing the butter to fully blend with the dough. This process can take thirty minutes or more. All of this kneading puts a heavy toll on a mixer. As the dough is kneaded, the mixer must be monitored to ensure that it does not overheat or, worse yet, burn out completely. Kneading this dough for such a long time is a herculean task for a typical residential kitchen mixer.

Over the years, I have worked to develop my own brioche recipe. It delivers the same delicious flavor and airy texture without requiring so much precision from the bread baker.

In the past few months, I attempted to adapt my recipe to incorporate some of our freshly milled whole wheat flour into the recipe. I didn’t have much luck. The loaves lacked the airy texture I love. No matter how I adjusted the recipe, the resulting loaves were too dense. It seemed that no matter how long I worked the dough using my mixer, I fell short of creating that lovely smooth characteristic that my Farmhouse Brioche always delivers.

I did finally determine that I could use my stand mixer to work the dough for several minutes and then knead the dough by hand for between 5 to 10 minutes in order to create a dough that was smooth and elastic enough to pass the windowpane test.

I had almost given up any hope of creating a multigrain brioche recipe that could be worked entirely by a mixer. Then the WonderMix arrived and I returned to the farmhouse kitchen, hopeful that this powerful machine would have the muscle I needed to fully develop the gluten and create a loaf that was exactly what I was looking for.

As the dough came together, I set my kitchen timer for five minutes. The WonderMix worked the dough without straining. When the timer sounded, I turned off the mixer and removed the dough. It was smooth and elastic, easily passing the windowpane test. The WonderMix had delivered on its promise to fully develop the gluten in five minutes.

I have made several batches of bread since then. Each batch has been just as beautiful and delicious. From now on, I will be using the WonderMix to make this multigrain brioche and all of our other homemade breads.

Now you can use this recipe to make your own loaves of multigrain brioche. You can also enter to win your very own WonderMix! One winner will be randomly selected on April 21, 2015. All subscribers to The 1840 Farm Community Newsletter and In Season Magazine will be automatically entered to win. You can earn additional entries through the widget below and increase your odds of winning this amazing mixer. Good luck to all who enter!

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1840 Farm Multigrain Brioche
Makes two loaves

12 ounces (1 ¾ cup) warm water
21 grams (1 Tablespoon) honey
4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 Tablespoon salt
1 Tablespoon Dough Enhancer (optional)
600 grams (5 cups) All-purpose flour
240 grams (2 cups) whole wheat flour
3 large eggs, room temperature
4 ounces (1 stick) butter, grated

If you are using a dough proofer, preheat the proofer following the manufacturer’s instructions as you prepare the dough.   Whisk the warm water and honey in the bowl of a large stand mixer. Sprinkle the yeast over the top of the liquid. Allow the yeast to rest as you prepare the remaining ingredients.

In a medium bowl, combine the salt, dough enhancer (if using), and flour. Grate the butter and set aside. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs until smooth.

Add the eggs to the bowl with the warm water and honey. Whisk until combined. Mount the bowl on the mixer’s base and attach the dough hook and dough divider. Add the dry ingredients all in one addition before turning the mixer’s motor on low speed.

Mix for a few minutes, until the dough begins to take shape. The dough will appear to be slightly dry. With the motor running, begin adding the grated butter a bit at a time, allowing the butter to be incorporated into the dough before adding more. Continue this process until all of the butter has been added.

Stop the mixer and asses the dough. It should be shiny and moist, but not excessively sticky. The ball of dough should be smooth and elastic. If it is too sticky, simply start the mixer and gradually add up to ½ cup of All-purpose flour to the dough. Take care not to add too much flour as it will yield a finished loaf that is too dry. Increase the speed of the mixer slightly and work the dough until it passes the windowpane test, approximately five to ten minutes.

If you are unfamiliar with the windowpane test, the technique is quite simple but incredibly helpful when making a loaf of bread.  This windowpane test will help you to determine if your dough has been kneaded sufficiently to yield a wonderful finished loaf.  By using this technique, you will be certain that your homemade bread dough will produce a beautiful loaf of bread.

Conducting the windowpane test is simple.  After you have kneaded the dough to the point when you think that it has been worked sufficiently, take a small ball of dough and stretch it between your fingers until it is thin and translucent, allowing light to pass through it (much like a window).  If the dough stretches without breaking, it has been kneaded long enough to develop the gluten and is ready to prepare for its rise.  If the dough breaks, continue kneading until it passes the test.

Once your dough passes the windowpane test, transfer the dough to a large buttered bowl to rise in a dough proofer or a warm, draft free location.  Allow the dough to rise until it has nearly doubled in size. Using my dough proofer set at 82 degrees, this takes approximately 45 to 60 minutes.

Once the dough has nearly doubled in size, divide it into two equal sections. Form each section into a loaf and place in a buttered or oiled loaf pan. Be sure to oil the top rim of the loaf pan as this dough has a tendency to rise well above the top of the pan. Oiling the top rim of the pan will make releasing the baked loaf from the pan much easier.

Transfer the two loaves back to the proofing chamber or warm, draft free location for rising. Allow the loaves to rise until they have reached a height of more than one inch above the top edge of the loaf pans.  Using my dough proofer, this takes about one 60 – 90 minutes.

As the dough nears the end of its rise, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  If you have a pizza stone, this is a great time to put it to use.  I like to use stones when baking bread in order to deliver even heat to the bottom of the loaf as it bakes.  I find that my loaves bake more evenly when I have the stones in the oven during preheating and baking.

Once the loaves have risen sufficiently and the oven has reached the proper temperature, transfer the loaves to the oven.  Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, turning near the halfway mark to ensure even browning.  When the loaves are fully baked, they will be golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.  Remove the baked loaves from their pans to a wire rack. Allow them to cool completely before slicing or storing.

 Don’t miss my post about the best way to store fresh bread to learn how you should be storing your fresh loaf of bread.  You can also learn more about My Favorite Bread Baking Tools and Ingredients and share your own with me.


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Valentine’s Day Favorites at 1840 Farm

Valentine’s Day usually comes and goes in a flash.  This year, it falls on a Saturday during a three-day weekend here at 1840 Farm.  That seems like the perfect excuse to dust off all of our favorite Valentine’s Day recipes and enjoy each and every one of them before the holiday has passed us by.  For my Valentine, only chocolate will do.  Now I just have to decide which of our favorite recipes to bake!

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Warm Chickpea Salad

Photo Dec 16, 1 13 49 PMPhoto Dec 16, 1 13 27 PMDuring the busy holiday season, I find myself looking for recipes that are simple to prepare for our family table.  I find that this time of year is all about finding time to spend together and creating holiday memories that will last a lifetime.

While I may be short on time during the last month of the year, I still want to serve something full of comfort, flavor, and nourishment to my family. Creating a dish using pantry and refrigerator staples makes that a much simpler task.  It also allows me to spend more time with my family whether we’re gathered at the dinner table or finding ways to celebrate the season together.

When Mezzetta invited me to share a recipe using their products with the members of The 1840 Farm Community, I was thrilled.  We love their products and keep a supply of them in our pantry all year long.  I love to add them to recipes or serve them as part of our afternoon cheese course.

Warm Chickpea Salad is just that type of dish. It is delicious, full of flavor, and simple to prepare. It can be served as a main course with pita bread or chips and a green salad or as a side dish paired perfectly with grilled meats or a burger.  This warm salad is also perfect for entertaining and serving with appetizers or a cheese course.  When entertaining, I prepare a double batch and serve the remaining kalamata olives and Giardiniera to accompany the other nibbles we’ve prepared for our guests.

These ingredients work so well together that you can adjust the quantities to suit your taste or make use of what you happen to have on hand. I love the combination of the earthy chickpeas and hummus with the briny kalamata olives, smoky sweet roasted bell peppers, and the brightness of the crunchy cauliflower, carrots, and celery from the Giardiniera. Together, they combine to make a delicious dish that my family is happy to see during the holiday season and beyond!

Mezzetta Favorites Holiday Gift Basket

If you’d like to try Mezzetta products, then you’ll want to be sure to enter Mezzetta’s Daily Holiday Gift Basket Giveaway is going on now. They’re generously giving away a fabulous prize package each day during the month of December. To enter, visit Mezzetta and share one of your favorite holiday memories. Each day a winner will be selected at random. Prizes will be shipped within 2 weeks.

Mezzetta Favorites Holiday Gift Basket  includes:

  • 100% Italian Estate Grown Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Golden Greek Peperoncini
  • Garlic Stuffed Olives
  • Castelvetrano Olives
  • Pitted Greek Kalamata Olives
  • Roasted Marinated Red & Yellow Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Cocktail Onions
  • 1 Apron (from House Party contents)
  • 1 Metal Olive Spoon (from House Party contents)
  • 1 Tote Bag (from House Party contents)
  • 1 Ceramic Bowl

Warm Chickpea SaladWarm Chickpea Salad with Hummus at 1840 Farm

This recipe can be made using canned chickpeas or dried chickpeas that have been fully cooked. When using dried chickpeas, I like to cook them in the oven. Bring a large pot of water to boil in an oven safe pot with a lid. Boil the water on the stove top for five minutes before covering and transferring to a preheated 350 degree Fahrenheit oven. Allow the chickpeas to cook until tender. The length of cooking time will vary slightly due to oven temperature and the age of the dried beans. I check the chickpeas after 60, 90, and 120 minutes, removing them from the oven when they are nearly tender. I allow the covered pot to sit on the stove top and cool to room temperature before using in any recipe that calls for chickpeas.

1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced (or ½ teaspoon dried)
2 cups chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 Mezzetta Roasted Bell Pepper halves, diced
12 Mezzetta Pitted Greek Kalamata Olives, halved
2 Tablespoons hummus
¼ cup Mezzetta Italian Mix Giardiniera, cut into bite sized pieces
salt and pepper to taste
balsamic glaze to garnish
warm pita bread

Warm a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, swirling to coat the bottom surface of the pan. Add the garlic and rosemary and cook until fragrant, approximately one minute. Add the chickpeas and cook for until warm, stirring to prevent sticking, approximately 4 minutes. Add the bell peppers, olives, and hummus, stirring to warm the hummus and coat all of the ingredients.

Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the Giardiniera and season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with a bit of balsamic glaze and serve with toasted triangles of pita bread.

Mezzetta is offering a downloadable $.50 off coupon on any Mezzetta products. The coupon is located here and is available from December 1st through December 31st.



This recipe was sponsored by Mezzetta.  We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to share one of our favorite brands with our readers.  1840 Farm abides by word of mouth marketing standards. We believe in honesty of relationship, opinion and identity.  Compensation received from sponsors will not influence the topics or posts made on this blog.  Sponsored posts will be clearly labeled as such. Product reviews will include our honest opinions about the product(s) reviewed.  Products that do not meet our standards of daily use on our farm will not be reviewed. Samples of the products that I review are sent to me at no expense in order to allow me to use the product and evaluate its performance.  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.

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Pie Crust Tips

PieCrustIf you’ve been following this blog for very long, you know how much I love pie.  I was fortunate to grow up with a Grandmother who loved to bake pie.  She loved to serve me and the other members of our family one of her pies.  Now I find myself making homemade pies for my family and our friends.

I don’t have my Grandmother’s recipe.  In fact, I doubt that she had a recipe that was written down on paper.  She cooked and baked by feel, adding a bit of this or a bit of that.  She had been honing her skills for decades, recipes were no longer necessary by the time I was sitting in the kitchen watching her work her magic.

Pie was one of the first dishes that I taught myself to make.  I wanted so badly to master that flaky, delicious crust that my Grandmother had seemed to make so effortlessly.  I tried in vain, turning out pies that had tough, chewy dough where I had hoped that the light, flaky crust would be.

With each pie, my skills improved.  Along the way, I picked up a few tricks that have helped me to make flaky, light pie crusts without fail.  It seemed only fair for me to share a few of those tips with you.  I hope that you’ll find them helpful and that you’ll be enjoying a delicious homemade pie with your family this holiday season.

Pie Crust Tip 01


Pie Crust Tip 02


Pie Crust Tip 03


Pie Crust Tip 04

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