Thursday, May 12, 2011

Honey-Thyme Ham Roast

Last week I cooked a ham roast for the first time, and was pleased with the result. Using a slow cooker, the meat becomes fall-off-the-bone tender - and it's easy to make because it cooks while I work on the farm. Here's my recipe - how would you fix a ham roast?

4 LBS. ham roast ("pork fresh ham")
1/3 c. honey
1/4 tsp. salt
2 pinches nutmeg
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/2 c. water
1 medium onion, sliced

Place ham roast in an air-tight plastic bag. Mix together honey, herbs, and spices and rub into the roast. Let marinate in the fridge overnight. In the morning, place roast in slow cooker, cover in sliced onion, and pour 1/2 c. water on top. Cook on low for about 6 hours. Enjoy!
I served this meal with mashed potatoes, biscuits, roasted sweet potatoes & carrots, and oatmeal raisin cookies. :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Harvesting broilers with new friends

Buxton Rainbow

We've nearly finished our first pasture raised broiler harvest. Saturday a great crew came out to Buxton to help us with 180 birds. Quite a stretch for Michael and I. On our homestead we raised 25 at a time! New friends came to learn, converse and share a great lunch afterwards. We even recruited "City Chicks" wizard, Pat Foreman. It's so exciting to have the privilege to harvest our birds at home. Not to mention having Daniel Salatin teach us efficiency and perfection in each step of preparing the birds for market! We're finishing up the harvest this week, by the end of the week we should have 400 pasture raised broilers to sell. Yesterday we had a local store owner from Warm Springs come by and pick some up for her store. The birds turned out big and beautiful! 

Last week Daphne and I prepared a garden bed from last years compost pile and planted parsnips for the first time. Michael loves slow cooking parsnips with chicken or putting them in soups. I purchased seed from Johnny's. If all goes right we will harvest them in the fall right on time for warm soup making days!

A lot of people have lived at Buxton Farm over the years. We hear endless stories of those who have come before us. Yesterday I snatched this photo of Carl, long time caretaker for Buxton Farm. While we spent the day harvesting and packing our chickens he lingered in the pond in his small boat. I was preparing dinner when he excitedly shared his catch of the day. I think it's a bass. Carl grew up down the road from us and started working at Buxton when he was 15 years old. We appreciate his humor, his stories, and his endless knowledge of rural living. 

To top it off out of nowhere (it seemed) this amazing double rainbow appeared a few days ago. It encased the entire property glowing with stunning frequency. The beauty we experience at Buxton is endless. Life is so good.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

An Early Spring Treat: Green Garlic

Green garlic is garlic that we purposely harvest young, for it's unique flavor. You can use the entire plant - the bulb just as you would mature garlic, and the green tips as you would chives or scallions. Whereas with mature garlic it normally needs to be roasted or sauteed in order to curb some of its sharpness, green garlic has a more delicate, mild flavor that many chefs hold in high regard. I've heard it's especially good raw in salad dressings and for garlic bread. Garlic in general is a wonderful anti-inflammatory as well as a tasty addition to your spring meals.

Have you used green garlic before? What is your favorite dish that includes garlic?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Spring Fever!!

My post will be short and sweet today because it's already so beautiful outside and I have the day off to take advantage of it! Maddie and I are going to spend the day planting our kitchen herb garden in the window boxes outside our kitchen windows! All we'll have to do is open the window and pick fresh basil, cilantro, garlic and other yummy herbs! We're also going to PICK STRAWBERRIES at a local farm! I can't believe they're here so soon! We can't wait to have fresh strawberries to make jam and pies with for the local farmers market we do on Friday nights! After all of this I hope to end the day on the porch with Polyface hot dogs and burgers on the grill, a fresh spinach and strawberry salad, fresh squeezed lemonade and a stack of gardening and cook books to browse through! Spring has sprung!!

   Fresh strawberries from our local farmers market!

      Fresh spinach from Polyface gardens!!                

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Discussions for The Dirty Life (Question #7 and 8)

We are discussing The Dirty Life by Kristin Kimball. Join us!

Question #7
Have your views on sustainable farming changed after reading about the trials and triumphs of Essex Farm?
Have your views on farm-fresh food versus supermarket food changed?

Question #8
Kirstin repeatedly finds that her prior assumptions about farming and farmers are false.
Do you think her stereotypes were the same as those of most Americans or just people who live in urban areas?

Further discussions:
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