We have a bit of a theme here lately in the kitchen. Flour. Lots of flour concoctions being made; crackers, tortillas, scones, cupcakes, cookies, yeast rolls. Wait! Did I just say yeast rolls? Perfectly baked, buttery, melt-in-your-mouth, a bit of heaven yeast rolls. Yep. The kind where I have to contain myself from eating more than one…I mean more than two. Who am I kidding, I always have to eat two.
Give yourself a few hours of rising and let the goodness begin.
1/2 C. sugar
2 Tsp. salt
2 1/2 TBS of active dry yeast
2 C. warm water
1/2 C. softened butter
6 C. flour (appx)
Oil for bowl
In a large bowl combine sugar, salt, yeast and 2 C. of flour, and 1 cup of warm water. Let mixture sit for 5 minutes to proof. Meanwhile, heat the other cup of water along with butter (butter does not need to melt all of the way). After mix has proofed – combine the 2nd C. of water and butter, along with the egg to the proofed mix. Add in flour a cup at a time until dough is easy enough to knead. Turn dough onto a floury surface and knead for 5-10 minutes. Return dough to an oiled bowl, cover and let rise for 1.5 hours. After rising, punch dough down and cut into 25-30 pieces, shape into balls, and place in a pan to rise again. Bake at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Melt 2 TBS of additional butter to brush onto tops of baked rolls. Serve immediately or don’t – they freeze perfectly and reheat quite nicely!
Ok, I lied. Maybe dark chocolate mousse or a decadent cheesecake might surpass a homemade tortilla, but the versatility of a tortilla is second to none.
We turn heads with these homemade tortillas. People are in awe of a homemade tortilla. Yes, do I secretly want you to believe that I worked endless hours kneading and rolling out flat doughy discs? I mean if we are impressing people, than I should at least play with it a little and make it seem as if only the best of chefs could master such a talent. Nah…
It’s actually ridiculously easy to make tortillas at home. You just need a little rolling pin muscle. And since I have discovered how easy they truly are to make, and the unbelievable freshness of a homemade tortilla, well let’s just say that I have become a tortilla snob. It is true. And now you can too!
3 C. Flour
1/3 C. olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. salt (more or less)
1 tsp. baking powder
1 C. warm water
Mix ingredients in bowl, knead until dough is smooth. Divide the dough into 8-10 balls. On a floured surface, roll out balls into flat, thin discs (appx 1/4-1/2 inch thick). Fry in a greased skillet for 1-2 minutes per side (less when the skillet becomes very hot).
This is an exciting time of year to be a gardener. It is when all of the planning, early mornings, late nights, and physical labor from winter and spring surface with full garden beds of ripening cantaloupe, watermelon, okra, green beans, hot peppers, tomatoes and more zucchinis than you can count. It is a glorious time of year (minus the swarms of mosquitos that this region is host to).
Our first growing season on the farm has gone surprisingly well. We have been able to grow a wider variety of foods this season and supply 7 families with organic vegetables. Not to mention our eating habits have become much more healthy. The gratification of seeing a tiny seed turn into something delicious on your plate is amazing.
Some of the most nutrient rich vegetables like Kale and Spinach can also be some of the most unfamiliar when it comes to preparing and cooking often scaring folks away from purchasing and/or growing these amazing greens.
Most greens such as Kale, Spinach, Swiss Chard, and Mustard Greens can be prepared in many different ways (sauteing, boiling, eating raw in salads, and even baking). We love to cook in our house and there are several “foodie” blogs that help in our efforts to preparing meals with these various greens. Here are a few of our favorites!
For the past few weeks we have barely had time to stop. Everyday we have a new “to do” list that is daunting and exhilarating. Josh and I both secretly love our lists, seeing checks by all of the items accomplished for the day. My Type A personality is rubbing off on him. School is just about out for the summer which means more time to dig, plant, weed, harvest, repair, etc., etc. Josh’s mother flew in from Colorado this week and has been a tremendous help during this time of planting. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of the help. There are not enough hours in the day and it only reaffirms my constant thought that time just goes by way too fast.
What’s New: Fence, Lots of greens growing in the hoop house, 20 + tomato plants transplanted in the garden rows and in the hoop, 100 + leeks transplanted into the ground, 25 + cabbages transplanted, cantaloupe, herb beds growing, mustard greens, potatoes, and red, yellow, white onions in the ground. Unfortunately the bunnies got a hold of all of our broccoli transplants before the fence was completed; we will need to re-sow. The chicks do not look like chicks any longer and literally change in appearance overnight. All-in-all, things are looking good for our first season and a VERY late, cool, wet spring.
When the snow melts you have to start and thankfully the weather has finally allowed for some good work time outdoors.
The farm is coming alive as spring arrives and the list of “to do” is continual. We have four raised beds of greens planted in the hoop house with the sowing being in 3 week increments: Tat Soi, Arugula, Kale, Swiss Chard, Loose Leaf Black Seeded Simpson, Loose Leaf Red Salad Bowl, Bibb Lettuce, Lincoln Sweet Peas, and radishes.
The greens are coming along nicely and should produce a decent salad by the first of June for our members. We have started to harden off other vegetables (brussel sprouts and leeks) that were started in the green house, always a good sign of warmer weather. Once we can be sure that overnight temperatures are going to be consistently warmer we can transplant 45+ tomato plants!
In the evening after school, Handy J has been building a layered fence around the pasture garden to prevent the herd(s) of deer that meander through the area. He also finished the chicken coop just in time for the arrival of our 10 Rhode Island Red chicks which arrived on Monday afternoon. So far all 10 are still peeping, eating, drinking, and pooping. The signs of life are all around us and the adventure continues!