Garlic Scape Pesto

Garlic Scape Pesto with hakurei turnips and Nebuka Scalions

Garlic Scapes are one of my absolute favorite foods, yet available so fleetingly. They are the flower stalk from hardneck garlic, and must be harvested to allow the garlic heads to size up. But their delicious garlic x leek flavor is an absolute delight. The biggest scape regret is that their season lasts but about two weeks a year.

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Blueberry Basil Muffins

A plate of blueberry-basil muffins

Blueberry Basil Muffins

July in Indiana brings two of my all-time favorite flavors: Blueberries and Basil.  And they’re wonderful together.  Things have been really crazy lately, with hot, long days working in the field.  My body was crying out for a rest, with a long, hot, four days of Culver Lakefest on the horizon.  I didn’t really have the time, but I opted to listen to my body and spend some time in the kitchen this morning.  Haven’t spent any quality time in there since Hole in the Woodstock, anyway.  So, I came up with these Blueberry Basil Muffins to celebrate. Continue reading

Pasta with Grilled Lemon Asparagus

Tricolor rotini pasta, grilled lemon asparagus, roasted red pepper

Pasta with Grilled Lemon Asparagus

After a late start, the asparagus harvest this year has been great!  But after grilling, air frying, sauteing, and roasting, plus Cream of Asparagus Soup, it was time to celebrate asparagus with something a little unexpected.  How about pasta?  And let’s grill it for good measure!  And lemon sounds like it would brighten things up a bit!

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Baked Oatmeal

Baked Oatmeal

Baked Oatmeal for Breakfast means you can work ’till lunch! Yum!

I love the flavor of oatmeal.  But I loathe its texture.  And texture is an important thing!  So, when Xenia raved about the baked oatmeal at the dining hall, I was a bit reticent to try it.  But, when I did, I could see what all the fuss was about!

Filled with apples, dried fruit, and oaty goodness, baked oatmeal is tasty, satisfying, and a breakfast that will stick with you.  It’s great for breakfast before heading out to cut firewood on a chilly day.  Continue reading

Pecan Rolls

Pecan Rolls

Yummy, sticky, sweet, spicy… Pecan Rolls!

I wish I could make pecan rolls as good as Joann McCormack, “The Cinnamon Roll Lady.”  Alas, I must limit myself to those little sticky plops of ambrosia to summer, when I can get them at the Tuesday evening Culver Farmers’ Market.  Mine, though, are still pretty durn sticky-good.   My version is also easy and quick to make.  I can put it together in time for breakfast even on a busy Sunday with parade, chapel, or other commitments. Continue reading

Refrigerator Brioche Dough

Brioche Dough

Make and refrigerate (or freeze) a large quantity of brioche dough, and you can make a wide assortment of fresh goodies in little time

Things have been a bit really crazy lately, allowing not so much time to cook, let alone bake.  Yet the ducks kept laying eggs, even as the days get shorter and colder.  Normally they would have slowed nearly to a stop by now.  The result?  I’m running out of egg storage space!

So, on a stormy Sunday with no work duties(!) and a lot of studying to do, I decided to do something about it.  I made up about a 4 1/2 pound batch of refrigerator brioche dough!

Brioche is a (very) enriched bread dough, with lots of egg and butter, and sweetened with a bit of honey.  It’s often baked in a typical loaf shape, but can be substituted for challah, made into cinnamon rolls, or beignets filled with chocolate or jam (though that requires deep frying,  a mess I seldom want to deal with). Continue reading

2017 Week 43 – Week of 23 October

Chores at sunrise

I love doing morning chores this time of year. You get the peace of pre-dawn, plus a chance to see the world wake up at sunrise. This week provided a couple of stunning sunrises with crescent moons. I wish I could carry my good camera during chores, but the cell phone shot will have to do.

It’s been downright difficult getting back into the flow of menu planning this fall!  As a result, I’ve been eating too many dining hall meals, and my immune system hasn’t been appreciative.

However, this week represents a transition.  Term 1, which included teaching a new “solid” class, with new curriculum, has come to an end.  Term 2 will begin this Wednesday, with different challenges.  My class schedule is a little lighter, and the farmers’ market season has come to a close.  However, it’s time for the rifle team to get cranking, which means coaching every night.  And, for a couple of weeks, overlapping Lancer Band preparations for Veterans’ Day.  While winter sports seasons do tend to go on forever, I’m excited for this year’s rifle team.  We have a couple of very strong leaders returning, and a push towards national rankings for Junior Olympics from a couple of students (plus the success of our first Junior Olympian to compete at nationals last season for motivation).

All of this highlights both the difficulty and importance of getting back on the ball with menu planning.  So, let’s get this week’s menu going!


MonPumpkin BreadLeftover PizzaRoast Chicken

Multigrain Batard

Baked Potato

Green Beans
Fall Weekend Leave – lots of farm errands
TuesApplesRoast Chicken SandwichesChicken Tortellini Soup w/ Spinach

Fall Weekend Leave – hopefully greenhouse work, firewood cutting.

Make Applesauce Spice Cake

Finish Grades
WedApplesauce Spice Cake

Chicken Tortellini Soup w/ SpinachChicken Tortellini Soup w/ Spinach

Grades Due

Term 2 starts

special schedule

Lancer Band
ThurApplesauce Spice Cake


Baked Potato w/ fixin’s
Dining hallComments Due

Late Lessons

X late duty
FriApplesauce Spice Cake

Dining HallSpaghetti w/ Meat SaucePaper for HIST551 Due
SatBagels w/ pesto schmearWhite Bean Chicken Chile w/ Butternut Squash

Parmesan Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Rifle Range Setup

Snow in forecast
Start Sourdough for Philly Cheesesteaks
SunBagels w/ pesto schmearWhite Bean Chicken Chile w/ Butternut SquashPhilly Cheesesteak Sandwiches on Sourdough Baguettes

Rifle Team Open House – practice for season begins tomorrow.

Make Zucchini Bread

New from the farm: The garden is finishing a bit early this year, as we work on infrastructure things.  Brussels sprouts are coming in, and should appreciate cold weather late this week (we haven’t had a frost yet!).  Baby turnips, radishes, a few tomatoes and pepper are hanging in, and we’ll need to pull the basil before late week coldness kills it anyway.

Groceries: Kroger –  $67.27 (I stocked up on some things that were on great sales)

76 Tromboncini Squash

I love tromboncini (or the singular, “tromboncino,” or botanical, “Rampicante”) squash.  It fills an odd niche, later than most summer squash, yet earlier than most winter squash.  It’s storage life is halfway between, too.  It’s flavor is somewhere between a zucchini and a butternut.   So, I call it an autumn squash.

Tromboncini squash have a long, seedless neck, and dangle from their trellis like a trombone hanging on the wall.  Supposedly they can get to the size of a trombone as well, and thus they receive their name.  So, 76 tromboncini lead the big parade, and, on a pound of food per square foot measure, they’re one of the most efficient foods we can grow.

Alas, they’re unfamiliar to most people.  So we’re still working on getting people to try them (though most everyone who tries one comes back for more).  In the meantime, there are lots for us to use.  So, I needed to get creative.   Here are a few tromboncini uses: Continue reading

2017 Week 26 – Week of 4 September


Just a small portion of our trench, showing a new hydrant install, as well as the partially-repaired electric that was cut by the backhoe, and phone line still waiting for repair

So, my weekly gratitude photo is a bit different this week.  This time, I’ve never been so grateful that I decided NOT to do a project myself.

We’re having some serious infrastructure work done on the farm.  We’re running electrical to the barn (no more extension cord from the house to the air compressor or block heater on the tractor!  Lights in the winter!), the summer kitchen to be, and the greenhouse/X’s shop.  We’re also putting in a two inch irrigation mainline from the well out about 480 feet, which should allow much lower maintenance and higher efficiency irrigation of the veggie field.

I was a bit worried about all of the underground obstacles to work around, so we hired a local electrician friend.  Such a good call!  Besides the fact that they have a lot more equipment and experience, he brought a 5 person crew out to work, expecting it to take a day and a half.  Well, until they cut the pipe from the well with the backhoe.  Then the electrical with the backhoe.  Then couldn’t find the phone/internet (it wasn’t where the location service flagged it), until they decided to dig the electrical a bit deeper to make it easier to repair.  Oops, the phone was in the same trench, just a bit deeper than the electric.    Then they ran the trencher through the drain line from the geothermal system.  Then two drain lines from the septic…

This all makes them sound incompetent, but that’s really not the case.  Things at our place were just not done in a normal manner.  I almost certainly would have run into each and every one of the same problems they did.  But wouldn’t have insurance to cover it, nor the experience fixing it all, nor the time to deal with the setbacks.  Suffice it to say, we still have no internet, the well is only producing a fraction of the flow rate it should, the lane is all torn up, and they’re probably only about half way done.  Hiring it out, even though somewhat more expensive than what I expected it would cost to have done it myself, may just be the most cost effective of choices we could have made!

Meanwhile, we did an OK, job following the menu last week.  The Tromboncini Fajitas turned out to be an amazing inspiration – really, the best fajitas I’ve had.  So, we’re going to repeat significant chunks of the same menu this week.  It’s seasonal, an yummy, and, well, there’s a lot of stuff and only a little inspiration.


MonZucchini Bead
Dining HallDining HallBlueberry Festival Parade

Lancer Band
TuesZucchini Bead
Caprese SaladTromboncini Fajitas
No Farmers' Market
Lancer Band
Make something for mentees
WedZucchini Bead
Tromboncini FajitasLamb Burgers w/ Fresh Tomatoes & Onions from the garden
Roasted Tromboncini Squash
Green & Yellow Wax Beans
Mentor/Mentee Time
ThurZucchini Bead
Asian Pear
Dining HallSausage Spaghetti Pie (from freezer)Retreat, Late Lessons, & Late Duty
FriZucchini Bead
Asian Pear
Sausage Spaghetti Pie
Harvest Panic - piece while pickingHarvest
SatZucchini BeadMunching at the MarketPizza?Farmers’ Market
SunZucchini Bead
Dining HallMarket Leftover Stir FryGarrison Parade

New from the farm: The current produce list is over 25 items long!

Groceries: Park N. Shop – $2.82