Tag Archive: Easter

Easter Favorites from 1840 Farm

Photo Mar 25, 9 34 46 AM

Easter weekend is upon us and spring is beginning to show itself here on the farm.  We’ve seen glimpses of the season already this year, with a few glorious days marked by sunshine and temperatures in the 70s.  We’re grateful for the gift of beautiful weather from Mother Nature, but know full well that this is New England and there’s still plenty of time to wait for warmer weather to permanently arrive.
As Easter approaches, my mind drifts to spring planting, seed starting, and thinking about finally building that duck house we’ve been discussing for a few years.  While it’s impossible to know what this spring and summer have in store for our farm, I can guarantee that we’ll be enjoying our favorite seasonal recipes while we take in the very best of each season.

I hope that you’ll enjoy those seasonal recipes right along with us.  The recipes in this issue are perfect for adding to your Easter weekend plans or for welcoming spring to your family table.  You can begin by learning how we color beautiful jewel toned Easter eggs every year and move on to the recipe for French Toast Bread Pudding to serve for Easter breakfast or brunch.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Mushrooms and Spinach is a show stopping recipe, perfect for Easter dinner or a Saturday night. Spring Pasta with Green Peas and Prosciutto is so simple to make and gorgeous on the plate.  Both recipes will amaze your family and friends.  They’re beautiful and delicious.  As you’re enjoying the last bite, you’ll be making plans to make them the next time.

On the sweeter side, you can’t go wrong with my Great Grandma’s Daffodil Cake.  This cake combines the best of airy angel food cake and rich pound cake.  It’s the perfect way to celebrate your flock producing more eggs as the days grow longer each week.  For a quick and lovely bite, my Lemon Drop Cookies with Lemon Buttercream are tough to beat.  They’re delicious with a cup of tea or served after dinner when the bright taste of lemon will be a welcome treat.
Whatever you cook, bake, and enjoy this weekend, I hope that you have a lovely weekend through and through.  Happy Easter from all of us here at 1840 Farm!


Here’s a peek at a few of the recipes that we love to include in our Easter celebration. 

You can click on any of the photos to visit the original post so that you can print our recipes and add them to your celebration.


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Spring Pasta with Green Peas and Prosciutto

Spring Pasta with Peas and Prosciutto from 1840 Farm

There’s something naturally delicious about the pairing of ham with a bright green vegetable.  While I make several recipes in ourSpring Pasta Ingredients at 1840 Farm farmhouse kitchen that incorporate both ingredients, this combination of prosciutto and green peas is the current family favorite.  The flavors are delicious and the dish is gorgeous on the plate.

This recipe can be prepared quickly and simply.  The beautiful appearance and complex flavor of the finished dish will never give away just how easy it was to prepare.  By using store bought fresh pasta which only requires a few minutes in the boiling water to cook, the time required to get dinner on the table is reduced even further.

I love to use prosciutto in this dish, but you could easily substitute ham if you have it on hand.  Prosciutto is an Italian staple and we love its flavor.  It is cured with salt and air, making it safe to eat without any cooking at all.  I like to cook it to give each piece a bit of texture and to coax a bit of the flavor out into the sauce.  If you prefer, you can simply add the prosciutto to the peas right before tossing with the pasta. 

During the spring when fresh garden peas are in season, it is even more delicious when blanched fresh peas are used.  Between its beautiful color and bright flavor, I think that you’ll find that it’s the perfect way to celebrate Easter and the arrival of spring!


Spring Pasta with Green Peas and Prosciutto
Serves 4
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  1. 12 ounces fresh linguini pasta
  2. 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  3. 3 ounces sliced prosciutto, cut into 1” squares
  4. 2 shallots, diced finely
  5. 2 Tablespoons vermouth or other white wine
  6. 12 – 16 ounces frozen green peas
  7. 8 ounces bone broth or stock
  8. 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  9. ¼ cup heavy cream
  10. salt and pepper to taste
  11. Pecorino cheese, grated
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil while you are preparing the sauce. Remove the pasta from the refrigerator to allow it to warm up slightly.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the prosciutto to the pan, stirring to separate the pieces and prevent them from sticking to the pan. Cook for a minute before adding the diced shallots. Cook for 2-4 minutes until translucent, stirring occasionally. Add the vermouth to deglaze, scraping up any browned bits using a wooden spoon.
  3. Add the frozen peas to the pan, tossing or stirring to mix them with the prosciutto and shallot. Add the bone broth and bring to a simmer. Maintain the pan at a simmer until the peas are cooked but retain a bit of texture.
  4. Add the lemon juice and heavy cream to the pan, stirring to combine. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper as needed.
  5. Add the pasta to the boiling water, stirring to separate the individual noodles. Cook briefly, one or two minutes (or according to the package directions). Remove the cooked pasta from the boiling water and add to the prosciutto and pea mixture, tossing to fully incorporate and coat the pasta with the sauce.
  6. If you feel that the sauce needs a bit more liquid, add some of the pasta boiling water a ladle full at a time until it reaches your desired consistency. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt or pepper as needed. Serve hot with a sprinkling of grated cheese.
  1. If you don’t have fresh pasta on hand, you can substitute dried pasta. Simply cook your pasta according to its needs and the package directions.
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Jewel Toned Easter Eggs

EggsEvery holiday has its own unique food traditions. Easter has many. Creating brightly colored eggs would be near the top of the list.

For a few years, we were unable to participate in this tradition due to a food allergy to eggs. Those egg free Easter celebrations were every bit as joyous and memorable. We made new egg free traditions.

Shortly after we had accepted that egg coloring would not be a part of our Easter celebration, we learned that the egg allergy had cleared. Chicks were ordered, a coop was built, and we entered the world of chicken keeping.

The following February, we collected our first fresh egg. A few weeks later, we had enough of them to make a batch of colored eggs. It wasn’t Easter, but we had plenty to celebrate, so we gathered in the farmhouse kitchen to make a batch of colored eggs together. Since then, we’ve been known to color a batch of eggs for reasons other than celebrating Easter. Why not? There’s no reason to relegate all the egg coloring fun to one holiday a year.

When we returned to coloring eggs for our family table, we decided to put our own spin on it, creating our own method for adding intense color to the shells. We have been making our own egg dye for a few years now. It is an easy process that yields incredibly colorful, beautiful eggs.Eggs

Our hens are all brown egg layers. We find that beginning the egg coloring process with brown shelled eggs results in a more deeply colored egg. Pastel colors are more difficult to achieve without a white eggshell. That’s fine with me. I love the look of these rich, jewel toned eggs on our Easter table.

Before we get started adding beautiful color to the shells of our freshly gathered eggs, they need to be cooked. I have tried every method and none of them work as well for me as steaming by following the steaming method from Fresh Eggs Daily. It is my preferred way to prepare hard-cooked eggs. It has never failed to produce beautifully cooked eggs that are easily removed from their shells.

Once our eggs have been steamed using this method, I like to cool in the ice bath for approximately ten minutes. After ten minutes, remove the eggs from the icy water and allow them to air dry on a clean kitchen towel. Once the eggs have dried, they can be dyed immediately or refrigerated overnight until you are ready to decorate them.

Spring2015_Post_FoodGather a collection of small bowls or coffee cups to hold the colored solution. In each cup or bowl, mix four to six ounces of warm water with a Tablespoon of vinegar and enough liquid or paste food coloring to achieve the desired color. More food coloring will create a deeper, darker colored egg. Make sure that you are using a cup or bowl that can hold your colored liquid along with an egg. A container that is too small will overflow when you add your egg and leave you with a very colorful mess to clean up.

Gently transfer an egg to each of the cups and allow them to rest fully submerged in the colored liquid. We usually set a kitchen timer and check the eggs in ten minute increments. When the eggs are colored to your liking, remove them to a paper towel and allow them to dry completely. Colored, dry eggs can be stored in the refrigerator for three days or until you are ready to use them.


Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2015/04/jewel-toned-easter-eggs/

Great Grandma’s Daffodil Cake


Great Grandma's Daffodil Cake at 1840 FarmAngel food cake was one of the first recipes that I taught myself to bake.  I was around twelve years old when I first separated a dozen eggs and followed the recipe in one of my mother’s cookbooks.  I marveled at the egg whites as they were transformed into a light and airy meringue and baked into a delicious angel food cake.

That was decades ago.  Now I find myself with my own daughter who is twelve years old.  We love to spend time in the kitchen baking and cooking together.  I also find myself as a chicken keeper with a supply of fresh eggs to use in our baking recipes.

It’s the chicken keeper in me that shies away from making traditional angel food cake.  My reason is simple:  I can’t bear the thought of having a dozen egg yolks that are purposely cast aside from a recipe. I make an exception when it comes to meringue cookies.  It’s no great feat to find a way to use the three egg yolks left behind.  Twelve egg yolks left from an angel food cake are quite another thing.

Luckily, I don’’t have to.  Earlier this year, my Mom shared my Great grandmother’s handwritten recipe for daffodil cake with me.  Instead of twelve eggs, it called for only six.  My great grandparents were farmers and chicken keepers.  Apparently they didn’t want to cast aside twelve egg yolks either.

Instead, they baked Daffodil Cake.  As soon as I read the recipe, I understood why.  The technique was altogether simple and brilliant.  This cake would allow me to celebrate the best of both the egg white and egg yolk in one delicious cake.

My daughter and I gathered in our farmhouse kitchen this spring to make our first daffodil cake.  I watched the look on her face as she whipped the egg whites into a beautifully made meringue.  We worked together until the cake preparation was complete.  She slid the cake into the oven, set the timer and we wondered aloud how the finished cake would look and taste.

I am happy to report that we loved both the taste and appearance of the daffodil cake.  The color of the egg yolk mixture was a strikingly beautiful yellow.  The texture was light and airy and the flavor was everything I love about an angel food cake and more.

The egg yolks added a delicious richness to the cake without compromising the lightness of the meringue.  It wasn’t a fancy cake.  Instead, it was the cake of a farmer, the dessert of a chicken keeper.  This cake celebrated the beauty of fresh eggs.  Each bite reminded me that I was proud to be a chicken keeper and collect fresh eggs from our coop every day.

More than that, the whole experience created a memory that I will hold close for a lifetime.  Standing in our farmhouse kitchen with my daughter baking a cake from a recipe in her Great great grandmother‘s handwriting was a moment that connected the generations of my family past and present.  Having a delicious cake to share around our family table was merely a bonus.


Great Grandma's Daffodil Cake
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  1. 6 large eggs
  2. ¼ teaspoon salt
  3. ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  4. ¾ cup (144 grams) granulated sugar
  5. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  6. ½ cup (60 grams) all-purpose flour
  7. 2 Tablespoons warm water
  8. ½ cup (96 grams) granulated sugar
  9. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  10. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  11. ½ cup (60 grams) all-purpose flour
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Position the oven rack in the bottom third of the oven.
  2. Separate all six eggs, placing the egg whites in a large bowl that has been wiped clean with a paper towel moistened with white vinegar. Place the egg yolks in a medium bowl and set aside.
  3. Add the salt to the egg whites and beat at medium-high speed using a hand mixer or stand mixer until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat at high speed, adding the ¾ cup sugar a few Tablespoons at a time until the mixture forms stiff, glossy peaks. Set the meringue aside as you prepare the egg yolk mixture.
  4. Add the warm water to the egg yolks and mix on medium speed using a whisk or mixer. Add ½ cup sugar, vanilla extract, baking powder, and flour. Mix until the batter is completely smooth.
  5. Using a spatula, gently move a portion of the meringue away from the side of its mixing bowl.
  6. Add the vanilla and ½ cup flour to the space created by moving the meringue. This step prevents the weight of the flour from deflating the airy meringue. Using the spatula, gently fold the meringue until the flour and vanilla extract are fully incorporated and the mixture is smooth.
  7. Transfer two thirds of the meringue mixture to an ungreased angel food cake pan, spreading lightly if necessary to cover the bottom of the pan. Add the egg yolk mixture to the pan. There is no need to spread the yolk mixture or completely cover the meringue. Add the remaining meringue to the pan. Using a skewer or toothpick, lightly swirl the two batters by moving in a random pattern around the pan.
  8. Transfer the pan to the preheated oven and bake for 35-40 minutes. When fully baked, a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake should come out with crumbs attached. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the cake to cool.
  9. Once cool, run a sharp knife or small metal offset spatula around the outside of the pan to loosen the cake. Invert the cool cake onto a plate. Slice the cake into slices and serve plain or dressed with fresh berries and whipped cream.
  1. The light, airy texture of this cake depends on a properly beaten meringue. A mile high meringue is easily achievable with one easy step. Simply wipe your mixing bowl and beaters with a paper towel moistened with white vinegar before beating the egg whites. This will ensure that your bowl and beaters are free of any traces of fat. Fat residue jeopardizes your ability to whip the egg whites into a meringue with stiff, glossy peaks.
  2. To prevent batter from falling into the center tube as you are transferring the batter to the pan, place an overturned cupcake wrapper over the tube. Fill the pan, remove the wrapper, and bake as directed without letting any of the batter go to waste.
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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/2013/06/great-grandmas-daffodil-cake/

Meet Our Small Egg Basket

Small Egg Basket #0083 from 1840 Farm
You asked and I listened!  Over the last few months, several members of The 1840 Farm Online Community requested that I add a smaller egg basket to our 1840 Farm Mercantile Shop on Etsy.  I’m proud to share the first Small Egg Basket in our collection with you.

1840 Farm Small Egg Basket #0083The Small Egg Basket is perfectly sized for carrying 6-8 large eggs.  Its smaller size makes this our most affordable egg basket.  It features the same handmade construction as our larger baskets, just on a smaller scale.

I hope that you will love the spring colors that I’ll be using to make the first batch of small baskets.  I will be adding more in the coming days and sharing them on 1840 Farm’s Facebook page.

In case you were wondering, they make a perfect little Easter basket!

You’re always welcome at 1840 Farm.  Come join in the conversation  on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.


Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/01/meet-our-small-egg-basket/

Happy Easter from Herbert Menninger at 1840 Farm

It would be positively ordinary for me to take this opportunity to wish you a Happy Easter.  I’ve never been a fan of the ordinary.  Instead, I would like to uniquely wish you a happy holiday from our own Easter Bunny.

Happy Easter from Herbert Menninger

and his friends at 1840 Farm

Herbert Menninger exploring the perennial gardens at 1840 Farm

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2012/04/happy-easter-from-herbert-menninger-at-1840-farm/

New Community Chickens Post: A Naturally Beautiful Celebration

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

A Naturally Beautiful Celebration

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2012/04/new-community-chickens-post-a-naturally-beautiful-celebration/

Nesting Instinct

The Easter table at 1840 Farm will have a touch of whimsy this year:  at least for a few moments.  I know that my son’s white chocolate nest place card with candy coated eggs won’t stand a chance.  The eggs will be history in a matter of seconds.  Then the nest will fall prey to a six-year-old who loves both white chocolate and coconut.

I can almost picture his plate with only the small flag remaining where the nest used to be.  I won’t mind a bit.  I’ll be happy to have made something that brings beauty and deliciousness to our table in the same bite.

I shared the instructions for making these chocolate nests on CommunityChickens.com  for the publishers of Mother Earth News and Grit Magazine.  For a family that holds its flock of heritage breed hens in high regard, they seemed like the perfect way to celebrate the arrival of spring to our farm.  To learn how you can make these adorable and delicious place cards for your Easter table, read “Welcome to the Easter table at 1840 Farm.”

In a matter of weeks, the newest batch of day old baby chicks will make 1840 Farm their home.  For the first time ever, we’ll be adding a few fancy bantam hens to the mix.  After they arrive, there will be an unending supply of adorable baby chick photos and videos to share along with product giveaways and money-saving offers.  To make sure that you don’t miss out on any of the fun, follow 1840 Farm on Facebook to get the daily news from the coop.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2012/04/nesting-instinct/

Wordless Wednesday – April 27, 2011

Knit Easter Bunnies at 1840 Farm

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2011/04/wordless-wednesday-april-27-2011/

Eggs Aplenty

 Earlier this week I published a post on the Community Chickens blog about our impending Easter celebration here at 1840 Farm.  This Easter celebration will be a first.  This year’s festivities will include fresh eggs from our flock of chickens.

To be truthful, we don’t stand on tradition here when it comes to coloring eggs.  In fact, we made a dozen of them in the middle of February.  Why?  Why not?  I’m not sure who decided that eggs should only be boiled and colored for Easter, but I apparently didn’t get the memo.

We haven’t used a store-bought egg coloring kit in years.  It started with an unfortunate trip to the grocery store.  We paid for a kit and then returned home to find that it was mysteriously missing from our grocery bags.  Suddenly there were two children in our farmhouse kitchen ready to color eggs without anything to color them with.

Enter the Internet.  After a few frantic minutes of searching, I discovered that the store kit was unnecessary.  I forged ahead with making our own cups of colored liquid and crossed my fingers that it would work.  It did and we’ve never returned to the store-bought kit again.

Making your own egg dye is simple.  It requires very few components and absolutely no special equipment.  To read my step by step instructions, visit my post, A Very Colorful Celebration.  Don’t forget to read the comments left by the readers of Mother Earth News and Grit Magazine.  They have added a lot of great tips regarding cooking the eggs and coloring them for your Easter celebration.

The Easter weekend here will be filled with eggs.  We’ll have eggs of the boiled and colored variety, chocolate eggs filled with caramel, solid chocolate eggs, and decorative eggs on our dinner table.  And for good measure, we’ll make our annual favorite, a chocolate Easter Bunny driving a tractor.  That’s right, even our chocolate has a farming theme.

Somehow, I think that our chickens will be even happier than usual this weekend.  They’ll be content with the fact that we’re vegetarians and that this annual holiday revolves around eggs on our table instead of a roasted chicken.  Even if we weren’t vegetarians, we’d need to keep the chickens around.  We’ll probably want to color eggs again next month.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2011/04/eggs-aplenty/