Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Feast Preparations

Yesterday, Daddy did some grocery shopping and I ordered the Pepper Jack Cheese from September Farm for the Spinach Madeline. Today's work may include making cranberry sauce (done this morning), roasting pumpkins and butternut squash, cracking pecans. Tomorrow is a day out for the family, so more shopping errands. Friday is tidy up, once-over-lightly, before Nana arrives on Saturday. Sunday is worship and fellowship, so the preparations will resume on Monday.

Farmstead Fresh Holiday

I was working on the menu for our Thanksgiving Feast and realized that we are really having a made-from-scratch, grown by us or friends dinner! Not everything we are having has been raised on Providence Farm, but a goodly portion is. And some things come to us from other special farming friends. Over the next few days, I will try to post photos and recipes as we prepare for the monumental Providence Farm Thanksgiving Feast. In the meantime, you can drool over the menu and get ideas for your own Feast. And, of course, all these dishes are from scratch...some recipes from dear and old holiday traditions for our family. No premade, processed gobbledy gook here!
Fresh Turkey from Full Quiver Farm (thank you, Scott & Alison Wilson)
Cornbread Dressing with Andouille (thank you, Margaret Doskey)
Sweet Potato~Apple Casserole (thank you, Julie Heverin)
Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce (thank you, Susan Post)
Spinach Madeline (thank you, Amber Prigge)
Creamed Silver Queen Corn (thanks Nana)
Butternut Bisque (thank you Sara Hemmeke)
Pumpkin Pie
Pecan Pie
Rolls & Biscuits
and of course, iced tea
That is the plan so far. It is, naturally, subject to last minute insertions, alterations or substitutions. But that is the least we'll do...Providentially.
So, what did WE grow? Sweet potatoes, pumpkin and pecans. Organic, Naturally. Good, Providentially. And the other farms with ingredients we can be thankful for?
Full Quiver Farm, September Farm, Adams Acres.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Heirloom Recipes

As I was making cornbread last week with fresh corn and Aunt Barbara's recipe, I planned to take a picture of it to post with the recipe. Alas, we ate it too quickly. But, I will share the recipe nonetheless, as soup season is upon us and what goes better with soup than fresh cornbread? (Well, maybe a boule or biscuits fresh from the oven...a later post to be sure!) Anyway, that got me thinking about heirloom recipes. You know, the ones that are passed down from generation to generation. Or, maybe the ones coveted because they are not shared (like Aunt Zelma's Coconut Cake). The ones that when you make them, you are transported to another time and place by just the scent (like Memal's Black Walnut Cookies). Family treasures that last longer than the people. If you have one of those, share it here in the comments!

Aunt Barbara's Cornbread (with my notes in parenthesis)

1 cup self-rising cornmeal (white, preferably Patrick Henry or Dixie Lily)
1/2 cup oil (I use olive oil)
2 eggs (fresh from Providence Farm, of course!)
8 oz. sour cream (Breakstone's is the only one I've found that is really all natural)
1 small can creamed corn (or freshly creamed off of a few cobs)

Mix well with a wooden spoon. Pour into a well-seasoned, hot, cast iron skillet. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 20-25 minutes, or until golden...not brown. Serve immediately with hot soup that has simmered on the woodstove while the winds have whipped the leaves off the trees. If your family is the size of mine, you'll need to double it.

Please share your treasured recipes. Don't let future generations wonder just how Aunt So-and-So did that fabulous thing you do so well. Don't let your famed dish be missed more than you. Let the recipes live beyond you, and you will be remembered in the making and the feasting.
It is bound to be good, Providentially!

Saturday, August 15, 2009


It's what's for dinner. Providence Farm beef shares are currently available, freshly arrived today!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Mama's Back in the Kitchen

My midwife said "one week, no cooking or cleaning." Daddy was on leave for three weeks. Church friends sent meals. What was I to do? Emily tearfully said "Mommy, it's so hard when you can't cook!" Well, time's up! Mama's back in the kitchen! Here is what three weeks without cooking does...

1 lb. Penne pasta (the small variety), cooked al dente
1 stick of butter (divided into halves)
3 cloves fresh garlic, minced (freshly harvested from our garden!)
sea salt, to taste
freshly ground pepper
grated parmesan cheese (oh, about half a cup and then more to garnish)
lemon juice (TBS or so...maybe a whole lemon)
2 lbs. grilled shrimp (sprinkled with Old Bay and lemon juice)
2 lbs. sweet Italian sausage, grilled
1-1.5 cups milk (heavy with cream)

Half the butter goes into the drained pasta to keep it from sticking. The other half goes into a saucepan with the lemon juice, garlic, sea salt, pepper, milk, cheese, and just enough flour to bring it together into a creamy consistency (1-2 TBS). Whisk and simmer until ready to serve. Pour over pasta & shrimp...toss to coat. Serve sausage on the side.

I also grilled our veggies....drizzle olive oil and sprinkle sea salt over asparagus tips and sliced zucchini...grill until hot & tender. Only complaint was that there ought to have been more.

Now, what am I going to do tonight?

Chocolate Rendition

In the comments section of the last post, I asked our dear friend, NanaB, for her chocolate ice cream recipe. We shared this one pleasant evening after PapaB, Daddy and the children took turns at the hand crank. I thought you might want to have it, too...albeit with minor adjustments. All the lovelies say "thank you," NanaB! Tell PapaB that the wildebeasts crossing the Serengeti may look like cows, but the cows must have definitely NOT come home. ;-) We do love you!

2 packages chocolate pudding (I used dark chocolate fudge, instant, 3.9 oz each)
2 cups sugar (sorry NanaB, I cut the sugar a bit...and actually think I used 1.5 cups)
pinch of salt
1 TBS vanilla (ain't nothin' like the real thing, baby!)
milk (honestly, I used whole milk and just poured until it looked like enough...but, NanaB says to use 3 small containers of half and half and then enough milk to hit the fill line.)

I mix the dry ingredients first and then add the milk...and I actually forgot the vanilla yesterday. Blame it on the "after baby fog." It freezes remarkably quickly compared to other recipes...must be the pudding. It is also very yummy served chock full of almonds. And I am entirely surprised that a table full of little people passed it up yesterday for gummy lightning bugs (since the real ones are few and far between maybe?). (One young man was heard to say that we can have ice cream anytime!) That's ok with me, though. More for Daddy and Mama. ;-)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Summertime treat

So, what does one do with an abundance of milk? Make ice cream! When it comes to ice cream, we are purists. Actually, I'd say my husband is an expert at it (eating it, I mean). So, our latest adventure with cream involves two fine cherries and dark chocolate. Mmmmm... Inspired by our youthful indulgences, when we'd each have a pint of Ben & Jerry's (he...chocolate chip cookie garcia), we introduced our children to a culinary delight without all the additives and yucky stuff. So, here it is....

2 qts plus 1 cup cream (the real deal)
2 cups organic evaporated cane juice
1/2 tsp salt
2 TBS flour
a dash of pure almond extract
2 lbs bing cherries, pitted
about 8 oz. dark chocolate, broken into pieces

Mix all but the chocolate and follow your ice cream freezer directions for freezing. About 5 minutes before completion, add the chocolate. If you do it too soon, it will be too hard to eat. Be careful...when you open that canister, it will be too hard to resist.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Mama's Delight

What a sweet thing...sisters working together. The macaroons they made were sweet, too! These little mamas-in-training know their way around a kitchen. They are overtaking Mama's domain! Actually, not...they are learning to share it. And pretty soon, (not soon enough in their minds), they will have another little sister with whom to share. This is "fruitful vine in the very heart of your home" training. One day, some fine, Godly young men will be thankful. I am thankful now.

Berry Sweet...

Ok, I just have to brag on my friend. This is the very delicious cake that my very dear friend made for the lovely baby shower that some other very dear friends blessed me with last week. Those flowers and cherries are fondant made from marshmallows. Inside all that prettiness is the tastiest lemon cake with raspberry filling that I have ever enjoyed. She made this recipe for a very special wedding last autumn. ;-) If I say please, maybe she will let me have the recipe. If you say please, maybe I will share it. Maybe.

Garden Fresh Supper

This is what was for supper at Providence Farm last night...
Tomatoes, cucumbers and blackberries (albeit not many...very sweet!), but sadly the carrots were not from our garden.
and certified organic Carola Potatoes freshly dug when Daddy got home from the office. (ok, so the corned beef isn't from the garden either...nor the cabbage that you don't see...maybe next time) The potatoes were cut, not peeled and place into boiling water for just a few minutes to make them tender, but not mushy. Toss with butter, oregano, garlic and sea salt. Simple. Simply good...Providentially!

My grandmother taught me to cook cabbage to bring out the most delightful taste. Cut the head into pieces about one inch square and place into a bowl or sink of cold water. Put about 1-2 TBS of bacon drippings in a large pot. Transfer the cabbage to the pot, dripping wet. Cook over high-medium high heat quickly until cabbage wilts, stirring frequently to prevent scorching. You may add a tad more water if you feel nervous about that. But just a tad, we're not boiling...we're steaming. Add sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Cover to retain steam until ready to serve. Mmmmm....

Monday, July 6, 2009

the Purist's Confession

One thing you must know about me from the get-go...I am notorious for altering recipes and not writing down what I did. I do not always pay attention to how much I have used. Why do we need to measure everything? I don't. There are some things that just go better with a pinch of this, a dash of that or a mess of the other. So, please forgive my kitchen isn't always precise, but I mean precisely what I say!

That being said, I do also like to find more edifying versions of things which have been blindly used in the past. Like, Cream of Anything Soup. With my apologies to Mr. Campbell, soup isn't always good food. So, here is what I have found works for me. Cream. Fresh, skimmed off the top before Sam gets to the milk jar. So, for every recipe that calls for Cream of Whatever Soup, I use real cream with whatever makes up the flavor that is poorly imitated by partially hydrogenated ick, soy protein, msg, etc. You know, the bad stuff. Our highly processed past has been left behind for the things that they were made to imitate, albeit poorly so. So, you will find here no low-fat recipes or artificial anything. I am a purist in that sense. I use cream, butter, sea salt and pure vanilla (among other things...and generously). And when something is available fresh, all the better.

Now, on to the debut...

Tuna Noodle Casserole for Barbara

1 lb organic pasta, cooked according to directions (I used rotini this time with great success)

5 small cans albacore tuna (you do the math, this is what we had)

2 large spoons of no-soy mayo (bring out the Hellmanns and bring out the best!)...about 1.25 cups

1 vidalia onion, diced

2 handfuls of white cheddar, shredded (read: 1.5-2 cups)

Cream (about 1 cup mixed with about 1.5 TBS flour and a TBS or so of chicken base...this time...stirred together over medium heat until slightly thickened, but not to the consistency of what gets dumped from a can)

Mix all these just until incorporated, with salt & pepper to taste. Pour into a casserole dish and top with one sleeve of crushed crackers (Townhouse for matter what is in them...I know, hypocrisy) mixed with half a stick of melted butter. Bake at 350 degrees (F) for about 15 minutes, or until bubbly on the sides.

Serve to a friend who needs comfort...guests when Daddy isn't home ('cause he doesn't like tuna)...or just because your daughter has a hankering for it. Or Mama does. But, you must have a glass of iced tea.