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.Continue reading
Some folks have complained I haven’t posted anything new lately. That’s just sour
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
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!
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
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
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
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!
|Mon||Pumpkin Bread||Leftover Pizza||Roast Chicken|
|Fall Weekend Leave – lots of farm errands|
|Tues||Apples||Roast Chicken Sandwiches||Chicken Tortellini Soup w/ Spinach|
|Fall Weekend Leave – hopefully greenhouse work, firewood cutting.
Make Applesauce Spice Cake
|Wed||Applesauce Spice Cake|
|Chicken Tortellini Soup w/ Spinach||Chicken Tortellini Soup w/ Spinach|
Term 2 starts
|Thur||Applesauce Spice Cake|
Baked Potato w/ fixin’s
|Dining hall||Comments Due
X late duty
|Fri||Applesauce Spice Cake|
|Dining Hall||Spaghetti w/ Meat Sauce||Paper for HIST551 Due|
|Sat||Bagels w/ pesto schmear||White Bean Chicken Chile w/ Butternut Squash|
Parmesan Roasted Brussels Sprouts
|Rifle Range Setup
Snow in forecast
Start Sourdough for Philly Cheesesteaks
|Sun||Bagels w/ pesto schmear||White Bean Chicken Chile w/ Butternut Squash||Philly 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)
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
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.
|Dining Hall||Dining Hall||Blueberry Festival Parade
|Caprese Salad||Tromboncini Fajitas|
|No Farmers' Market
Make something for mentees
|Tromboncini Fajitas||Lamb Burgers w/ Fresh Tomatoes & Onions from the garden|
Roasted Tromboncini Squash
Green & Yellow Wax Beans
|Dining Hall||Sausage Spaghetti Pie (from freezer)||Retreat, Late Lessons, & Late Duty
|Sausage Spaghetti Pie||Harvest Panic - piece while picking||Harvest|
|Sat||Zucchini Bead||Munching at the Market||Pizza?||Farmers’ Market|
|Sun||Zucchini Bead||Dining Hall||Market Leftover Stir Fry||Garrison Parade|
New from the farm: The current produce list is over 25 items long!
Groceries: Park N. Shop – $2.82