Tag Archive: summer

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.


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

New Community Chickens Post: Independent’s Day

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

Independent’s Day (click to continue)

Click to continue

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2012/07/new-community-chickens-post-independents-day/

New Community Chickens Post: How to Keep Your Flock Cool This Summer

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

How to Keep Your Flock Cool This Summer (click to continue)

Click to continue

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2012/06/new-community-chickens-post-how-to-keep-your-flock-cool-this-summer/

Orange Genius

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

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

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

Roasted Heirloom Tomato Tart

Heirloom Tomatoes at 1840 FarmThere are certain foods that scream summer to me.  At the very top of the list is my beloved heirloom tomato.  I long ago confessed my deep-rooted love of tomatoes, especially the heirloom variety.  During the summer, heirloom tomatoes take center stage in the 1840 Farm kitchen.  Like a well-loved house guest, we eagerly anticipate their annual arrival and mourn their loss once we have eaten the last morsel.

We built a new hoophouse this spring in order to extend and expand our heirloom tomato harvest.  So far, it has been an astounding success.  We have harvested over 100 pounds of heirloom tomatoes this year with more than 90% of them coming from within the walls of the hoophouse.

While the nighttime temperatures have started to dip closer to frost than I would like to admit, the temperature in the hoophouse is warm and the tomato plants living inside appear to be in midseason form.  In fact, the temperature inside the hoophouse hit the century mark yesterday.  Here’s hoping that we’ll be harvesting ripe tomatoes for many weeks to come.

You might wonder what a family of six could possibly do with over 100 pounds of heirloom tomatoes.  I’ll let you in on our secret:  we eat every last bite.  We share the bounty with other tomato loving friends and preserve sauce and savory tomato jam for enjoying over the long winter in New England.

Mostly, we eat tomatoes.  Then we eat more tomatoes.  Then we invent ways to eat a few more tomatoes.  It’s not an easy job, but someone has to do it.

While we invent new recipes each summer, there are a few family favorites.  One of them is roasted heirloom tomato tart with ricotta and basil.  When asked what’s for dinner, answering with this recipe always makes for a happy family looking forward to sitting at the dinner table.

Gathering with my family to sit around the farmhouse table at the end of the day and share a meal is much dearer to me than heirloom tomatoes.  Finding a way to combine the two is a bonus.  The fact that we have put months of hard work into bringing those tomatoes to the table makes it seem a little sweeter.  Long live summer at 1840 Farm.

Roasted Heirloom Tomato Tart
serves 4 – 6 as a main course

This recipe was inspired by the Tomato-Ricotta Tart in Martha Stewart Living’s FOOD.  Over the years, we’ve made a few changes and this is the version we prefer.  I use scraps from the bottom of the pita chip bag for the crust, but good quality bread crumbs or panko would also be delicious.  If you don’t have a food scale handy for weighing the pita chips, use an appropriate amount to yield a generous two cups of crumbs.

                    

180 grams pita chips or breadcrumbs
2 ounces (4 Tablespoons) olive oil
12 ounces ricotta cheese
1 ounce grated parmesan cheese
2 large eggs
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 pound heirloom tomatoes
olive oil
sea salt
pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.  Prepare a 9 inch springform pan by wrapping the bottom in aluminum foil.  Set aside.

Place pita chips in the bowl of a food processor.  Process until chips have been transformed into fine crumbs.  Add olive oil and process until the mixture is evenly moist.  Empty crumb mixture into the prepared springform pan and press evenly to cover the bottom of the pan.

Rinse out the bowl and blade from the food processor.  Add ricotta cheese, eggs, and parmesan to the food processor and process until completely smooth.  Add basil and pulse until basil is evenly distributed throughout the ricotta mixture.

Carefully add the ricotta mixture to the springform pan.  Using a spatula, smooth the mixture over the crumb base to completely cover the pan.  Take care not to disturb the crust mixture any more than necessary.

Slice heirloom tomatoes and place on top of the ricotta, overlapping where needed to fully cover the top.  Brush the top of the tart with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Place springform pan on a baking sheet and place in the preheated oven.  Bake for 40 minutes or until the tomatoes are beginning to dry and the ricotta mixture has become firm and golden.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool ten minutes.  Carefully run a thin metal spatula or paring knife around the outside edge of the tart to loosen it from the pan.  Unmold the tart, cut into slices and serve warm.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2011/09/roasted-heirloom-tomato-tart/

Caramelized Banana Ice Cream

1840 Farm Caramelized Banana Ice CreamWasn’t the first day of summer last week?  I am quite sure that it was although Mother Nature seems to have forgotten.  In the last ten days, I’ve found myself digging through fall and winter clothes to outfit myself and my children with long sleeve shirts, jackets, sweaters, and the like.  I am not happy about this.

We live in New England where the growing season is only 90 days long.  We trudge through every winter and mud season, aka spring, holding the promise of summer close at hand.  We have to, it’s the only way to make it through.  Yet here we sit mere days from July with temperatures barely breaking the 60 degree mark.  I am not amused.

This should be the time of year when we end a day of working outside by swimming in the seasonal pool in the backyard.  Icy cocktails should be served.  The garden should need watering to cope with the abundant sunshine.  I should be able to eat ice cream without wearing a jacket.

I will have to press on in spite of the unseasonably cool weather.  I will persevere.  I will have multiple flavors of homemade ice cream in our freezer to accompany our Fourth of July Feast.  If the weather hasn’t warmed up by then, I may rescind Mother Nature’s invitation to dine with us.

On to the ice cream.  It is a perennial favorite here at 1840 Farm.  We all have our favorite flavors, but a few are popular with every member of our family.  Honey vanilla bean is a great base for ice cream sundaes and caramelized banana sends everyone running to the churning ice cream machine for a taste.

How do they know when to come running with a tasting spoon in hand?  Even if I haven’t divulged my plan to make caramelized banana ice cream, their sense of smell gives me away.  Preparing the bananas suddenly perfumes our whole farmhouse with the heavenly smell of warm honey and bananas.  In less than thirty minutes, the base is prepped and the hard work begins.  We need to allow the base to sit overnight in the refrigerator to completely cool and allow the flavors to develop.

I will admit to skipping this step in the past.  I cooled the base in an ice bath and processed it in my machine.  Doing so never yielded the rich, smooth texture that I can achieve if I allow the mix to chill overnight.  After I had tried it a few times I decided that the overnight chill would just have to be part of the process.  We would all just have to take a deep breath and wait.

I hope that you will enjoy this ice cream as much as we do.  I also hope that Mother Nature will remember that it is indeed summer.  A little warmth and sunshine would be much appreciated.  Until then, I’ll take a deep breath and wait.  At least I’ll have ice cream to make the wait a little more bearable.

Caramelized Banana Ice Cream

       
I prefer to use honey in this recipe instead of refined sugar.  If you prefer, brown sugar could be substituted for the honey.  Using brown sugar will result in a darker ice cream but the taste will still be delicious.

1 Tablespoon butter
4 Tablespoons (84 grams) honey
3 medium bananas sliced 1/2″ thick
8 ounces (1 cup) heavy cream
1 large egg yolk
1 pinch sea salt
16 ounces (2 cups) whole milk
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat.  Add honey and banana slices and saute until caramelized and soft, about 12 minutes.  Reduce heat to low and add cream, stirring to combine.  Remove from heat.

In small bowl, combine egg yolk and 2 Tablespoons of the warm cream mixture.  Whisk until smooth.  Add egg mixture to skillet over low heat.  Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.  Remove from heat.

Add warm mixture to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until smooth.  Add salt, whole milk, and vanilla.  Pulse until well combined.  Remove mixture to a covered container.  Refrigerate overnight.  Prepare ice cream maker for use.

Pour refrigerated mixture into freezer base and process as recommended by manufacturer.  Place ice cream in a freezer safe container and freeze until ready to serve.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2011/06/caramelized-banana-ice-cream/