Thursday, April 29, 2010

Food for Thought: Do You Need Farmers for a Farmers Market?
Fair Use Applies

This article appeared in the Wall Street Journal yesterday and it brings up a great point - do you have to be the person who grow the veggies to sell them at a farmer's market?

Most people, I'd suspect, would assume that the person standing behind the table of tomatoes and peppers was the person, or at least part of the family, that grew those items. However, with the explosion of farmer's markets around the country, there is also a growing market for people who buy food wholesale, (from the same people that Krogers and Meijers purchase from) and then resell it at markets. So, is this a deceptive practice? What about all of that fresh bread and canned jams and jellies on the table...were they purchased as well?

This is really a situation of "buyer beware." But think of this in more positive light; this is a way for you as a buyer to get to know the person who is growing your food. Talk to them. You can usually find out with just a simple question of, "Did you grow this," to find out the answer. And if you are talking to the grower, what a great opportunity to find out then what farming methods they use (organic or not). Most farmers are more than willing to talk about their farms and their produce. They are proud of the work that they have put in to bring these items to the market for you.

Each farmer's market is different. Here is our area, there are markets where you MUST be the person producing what is one your table, and others where you don't have to be, you just can't label the items as "home grown". Also, here in Indiana, if you produce jellies, breads, cookies, or other homemade items, they must be sold by the person who made them. However, it doesn't hurt to ask.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

What to do with all these eggs.

We have over 100 laying hens on our farm. Although we sell most of the eggs, it is not unusual for me to have a couple dozen extra each week. Many times, I will freeze the eggs (break the eggs into a container and scramble. You can freeze them in a larger container, or in ice cube trays. I believe 2 egg-cubes equals about 1 large egg.) This is great for in the winter when they aren't laying as much.

Anyway, I'm always on the look out for recipes that use lots of eggs. This is one of my husband's favorites. It's a take off of a Rachel Ray recipe:


12 eggs, slightly beaten
1 lb cooked spaghetti
6 oz your favorite cheese (we actually like a mixture of mozeralla and asiago)
6 strips of bacon
2 c your favorite veggies (mushrooms, peppers, onions, etc.)

Grease a 9x13 pan. Preheat oven to 350 deg.
Cook the bacon. Finely chop and set aside. Drain most of the grease from the pan.
(Use a big enough pan to fit a lb. of cooked spaghetti) Put veggies in pan and cook until soften. Add spaghetti and eggs. You don't really want to completely cook the eggs, so just stir constantly for about 3 minutes.

Dump mixture into 9x13 pan. Add bacon crumbles and cheese on top. Bake for 15-20 until golden brown.

I would say this make 6 servings, but my husband would say it only makes 2.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

What Did You Say?

I've noticed in my Esty store, I get a lot of people clicking on the bag I call "Purple Cow." Now, purple cow is a phrase to mean something unusual or unique.

I was thinking about added other such words to my descriptions, just to make them a little more interesting, and came upon this list in my google search:

1. "My favourite is the French l'esprit d'escalier, or spirit of the staircase. This is used to describe the precise moment a person comes up with a clever retort to an embarrassing insult. It is usually after leaving the party, and walking down the stairs that the quip comes to mind." Lee, Wellington, New Zealand

2. "In Chinese if you tell a man they dai Lu maozi, meaning 'he wears the green hat', it means that his wife is sleeping with someone else." Zac Teehan, Fredericton

3. "It's weird that English doesn't have words for vorgestern (the day before yesterday) and 'ubermorgen' (the day after tomorrow)." Anke, Germany

4. "I think my favourite word, and not for its literal meaning, is the Spanish puente meaning bridge. Unlike ourselves, they cleverly place their bank holidays on a Tuesday so that Monday will, on most occasions, be treated as a bridge day (an extra day of holiday) ensuring a four day weekend. Ah, the Mediterranean lifestyle..." Gary Walker, Barcelona

5. "My favourite is faire du leche-vitrines which literally means 'to lick the windows' and translates as window-shopping. Phil, in France

6. "I have a soft spot for the German luftkissenfahrzeug. The literal translation being 'air cushion vehicle', but to you and I it is the simple 'hovercraft'." Jude , Birmingham, UK

7. "In Cyprus, the instrument used to remove staples from paper is termed a petalouda, literally translated into 'butterfly'. Go figure." Jasmine, Nicosia, Cyprus

8. "In Japanese, amakudari, literally descent from heaven, describes the phenomenon of being employed by a firm in an industry one has previously, as a government bureaucrat, been involved in regulating." Jack L. Yohay, Nabari, Mie-ken, Japan

9. "My favourite is the Spanish for handcuffs...esposas...mi esposa means 'my wife'. So 'mi esposa, mis esposas' means 'my wife, my handcuffs'." Ben, Bristol, UK

10. "In Arabic an electrical plug adapter that allows more than one plug to be plugged into the same socket is known as a harami, literally a thief." Brian, Jeddah

11. "There are a few more interesting German words such as handschuhschneeballwerfer, which means somebody, who wears gloves to throw snow balls. It is used in general for all cowards." Bernie, Duesseldorf

12. "In Romania pune-ti pofta-n cui (literally - hang your craving in a nail on the wall) means to forget about getting something." Gabriel, Bucharest, Romania

13. "In Japan we call a balding man's comb over a bar code." Kevin, Tokyo

14. "The Fuegians (from Tierra del Fuego) have a succinct word - mamihlapinatapai and it means 'two people looking at each other each hoping the other will do what both desire but neither is willing to do'." Zephyrus, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

15. "So far as I'm aware, no other language has anything equivalent to the Icelandic setja upp gestaspjot, a verbal phrase denoting the action taken by a cat when cleaning itself, with its body curled tightly in a circle and one back leg sticking directly up in the air. Literally it means 'put up a guest-spear' and when a cat was seen doing this it was supposed to indicate that visitors would be turning up." Nicholas Jones, Cambridge, England

16. "I'm a student of the Ubykh language, which has a word - qaamch'ip'q'i - that means 'a filigree metal ornament on the handle of a whip'. It's also an idiomatic term for someone whose good or kind outward appearance is deceptive." Rohan Fenwick, Brisbane, Australia

17. "My favourite used to regularly appear on Austrian traffic reports - geisterfahrer or 'ghost driver' - one travelling the wrong way up an autobahn." Eric Pritchard, Clevedon, UK

18. "In Venezuela we have culebra, literally snake, but meaning a long, morbid, sentimental soap opera. 'My wife is watching the snake,' means that she is watching the soap opera." Ivan, Caracas, Venezuela

19. "From Flemish: iets door de vingers kijken, literally it means looking at something through the fingers, allowing something illegal or incorrect to happen by conscious inaction." Wouter Vandersypen, Washington DC

20. "As a native German one of my all-time favourites is the word gemutlich - impossible to translate directly." Jessica, Nottingham, UK

I'll have to see if I can incorporate any of these. I especially like faire du leche-vitrines, or windowshopping!

Friday, March 5, 2010

I woke up this morning to a great article on yahoo...

Seven Foods to Avoid Right Now

And the article was written with March in mind. What it basically encourages the reader to do it think about what food could be grown right now, and what fresh vegetables and fruit are offered in the grocery stores. Since the south's growing season is just starting, and here in the north, it is still a distant thought, most of what is in the stores is coming from South America or over seas.

Why is that bad? The biggest problem is that these foods have very little flavor by the time they reach our grocery shelves. And, although the article didn't mention this, with reduced flavor naturally come reduced nutrition.

So what is a cook to do? Plan ahead. At the end of summer, when foods are at their peek and there is an abundance, you need to think about storing these foods for winter. I can a lot of foods: beans, corn, tomatoes, tomato sauce, peaches, pears, etc. I also freeze many fruits, especially blueberries. In fact, I just opened a jar of peaches and, no kidding, it tasted like summer. Far better than even canned peaches in the store.

And the bonus is, that I know what chemicals/ingredients were used, if any, on all of this produce. Which is a lot more than I can say for the produce in the grocery store.

Monday, February 15, 2010


Seed Catalogs are something that I never knew existed BF (before the farm). I remember reading a gardening forum, for I knew now that I lived on a farm I needed a garden, about how people were already receiving their seed catalogs. Did I mention it was early January? Being the novice I was, I couldn't understand why in the world anyone would want to think about planting a garden in January, here in Indiana (zone 5).

So, I took the plunge and did what the forum readers suggested, go to these various web pages and sign up for a free catalog. What the heck, free is always good, right?

In the following years I was on every plant and seed catalog mailing list and was receiving catalogs as early as mid-December. And now, I understand the wonder and excitement of receiving such catalogs. I'm sitting here now with no less that 30 different catalogs to review. It is mid-February, and it is actually a little late for me to be placing my orders, as many people will start their seed indoor by now. I am by no means an accomplished gardener, so I don't have the same pressure!

My general goal is this: (remember, I'm zone 5)
Start tomatoes seed indoors by March 15th (to be planted in garden by May 15, our avg. last frost date.)
Start broccoli and cabbage seeds indoors by April 15th.

In the garden:
By mid April, start lettuce, spinach, onions, potatoes, carrots, parsnips, and peas, as soon as the garden can be worked.

By end of May, have rest of garden planted, including, zucchini, pie pumpkins, butternut squash, and all the seeds started indoors.

My garden is fairly small and manageable, and each year I have grand ideas for it's expansion. Last year, I received some ever bearing strawberry plants. I was not able to create a bed for them, but I did plant them in pots and even now, mid-February, there are green leaves poking through the snow. I am hopeful that they will transplant well and I might get a fairly decent harvest even this year.

If you've never had the pleasure of receiving seed catalogs, you are missing out on a wonderful way to warm and brighten these long days of winter. Consider visiting some of my favorite companies below and sign up - after all, it is free and you only have to sign up for a couple....the rest will come!

Johnny's Seeds:
Seed Savers:
Gardens alive!
Vessey Seeds:
Indiana Berry:
Henry Fields:
Michigan Bulb:

Happy Planting!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Whole Wheat Pizzas

One of my goals this year is to replace some of our favorite meals with a healthier alternative - lower calories, higher fiber, remove or reduce white flour and white sugar.

My first task was to make Monday night pizza night something I could look forward to and enjoy. I have an abundance of wheat berries that a friend has given me and my sister graciously ground for me in her electric grinder. It has been stored in the freezer for a couple of months now, and I figured it was time to get it out and start using it.

I found this recipe for a "no rise" whole wheat pizza dough:

1 c warm water
2 c whole wheat flour
1/4 wheat germ (extra fiber...I like that!)
1 T honey
1 t salt
2 1/4 t yeast (or, one packet)
3 t wheat gutten (this was not in the original recipe, but I add this to the dough)

Since I need this to be easy, I dump this all into the bread machine and set it to the dough setting. Now, the recipe said it was a no rise dough, however, since I am using the bread machine, I do let it rise for about 20 minutes and it is easier, more elastic to work with.

Once the dough in done, I divide it into four individual pizzas. This recipe will make (2) 12" thin crust pizzas or one deep dish pizza, but since everyone in our house likes different things on their pizza, we opt for personal pizzas.

Here you can see that each pizza is pretty loaded (except for Grace, who only likes cheese) AND...each pizza is only 500 calories! Not fact, they are actually very good.

Friday, January 15, 2010

UPDATE: I opened a jar of the coleslaw yesterday and it was fantastic! It was still crunchy and had a taste similar to bread and butter pickles (only with cabbage, of course.)

I think I'll try some on my hamburger tonight.....