Waste or mistakes never happen in a farm kitchen.....only future animal or plant food.

October 25, 2012

Orange Whip

Sweet and simple.

Orange Whip (recipe fits a "personal sized" blender)
  • 2-3 oz frozen concentrated orange juice (pulp free)
  • fresh milk, skimmed or whole (this is a good recipe for hold up queen's milk)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • ice cubes (optional, but help the whipped cream effect)
  • 2 TBS cane sugar (optional, recommended if using vanilla)
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar (extra potassium and makes it fluffy)
  • dash of vanilla (optional, make it a really small dash if not using sugar)

I few months back, I got myself a "personal blender" to fit my 60's era blender....you know the kind that's compatible with mason jars. ;)  I didn't want it, but pricing wise, it was almost the same as the replacement parts I needed.  I admit, it's handy and I like the spill resistant personal drinking lid....fits on a regular mouth mason jar just fine.  Great for sipping.

Anyway, this is one of those blended drinks that need to be finished shortly after making, so small batches are good.  (OJ will turn the milk into cheese if left to sit too long, not nearly as appealing. IMO.)  Leave extra room at the top for the whipping, a few inches at least.  The minuscule amount of cream on my current batch of milk is whipped and firm when prepared this way and makes it taste very rich indeed.

See Ya In The Gumbo
Gluten Free Wednesday
Scratch Cookin' Tuesday
Hearth and Soul Hop
Fat Tuesday

October 18, 2012

Hot Apple Cider II

This is last season's version: Hot Spiced Apple Cider 
 (I left out the coconut oil and sugar/cream of tartar this time....just didn't need it to taste "right" this time.)

This season the cider source is a little different and so are the flavors.
Here's this year's version:

Hot Apple Cider II
Apple Cider, about 1.5-2 quarts
OJ frozen concentrate, about .25-.5 cups
Mulling spice, handful
Sea Salt, pinch or 2
Gelatin, 8 TBS
Homemade Vanilla, short dribble

Add all the ingredients in order, leaving the vanilla until the very end. Make sure you sprinkle the gelatin slowly over the surface while the cider is still cool.  It may take a few passes for it to absorb the liquid.  Stir gently, declumping if necessary, and then add a medium low heat. Heat for an hour or so or until the whole house smells of sweet and spices, then the vanilla and it's ready to strain and serve.

Leftovers can be reheated or left chilled for a wonderful dessert (add some heavy cream to the mix before chilling or add whipped to the top) or a packable, light meal Spiced Apple "Custard" or Jello.

See Ya In The Gumbo

October 11, 2012

Drought Recovery

Before and after...2 strands of 12.5 gauge electric make all the difference.
Close up of already grazed paddock
This past summer was the worst drought I have ever experienced.  Everything was crisp come August with no end in sight.  The yet to be grazed grass was simply taller and brown vs. short and crunchy.  Learning from my experiences from a previous (yet mild in comparison) drought, we secured an extra load of hay and pulled the animals off pasture.

We also felled small diameter trees for supplementation, winter's heat and to open up too crowded canopies.  Crooked trees aren't pretty, are useless for lumber, and are more likely to land on my fence in a wind storm. They burn just fine and are just as tasty as straight ones to the goats and cows.

Thank you Lord for the rain!  We've been able to slowly bring sections back into the grazing plan.

The pictures above are from today...2 weeks after the animals were pulled off from this particular section.  You can see the difference in length in the 2 sections....and the density.  I was shocked actually.  I have been checking this paddock's progress almost daily...but from the side.  I have never seen such a weak stand....on my land.  The grass has grown back to 6-7 inches, but it's so thin.  I was reminded that a pasture walk is essential for good grass management and that means actually walking IN the pasture, not just looking at it.

Bottom land soil
This is a picture of a different section.  This is the difference in upland soil vs bottom land soil and previous grass management. This is todays food on the left and yesterday's food on the right.  The already grazed section is still significantly denser than the other paddock.  We have been subdividing and RESTING this paddock for a few years now.  Each year we are able to graze  more "cow days" off of it than previous seasons.  The other paddock is newly created in comparison and used to more of a continuous grazing pattern.  This paddock is a little over 2 acres and used to do about 3 days at a time, 2 to 3 times per year.  We just got 2 weeks off of it after 2 previous rotations this season, drought included.  If the weather cooperates, I might get one more...or early grazing come next year.

By the way, the bottom land paddock USED to look like the upland paddock close up years ago, but not as much grass and a lot more weeds. I didn't plant anything, just changed it's management.

Barn Hop 
Simple Lives Thursday