Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas From The Farm!!

Well, it's that time of year again and how quickly it all comes and goes! Christmas on the farm has always been special.  We all come together to eat and drink with family and friends, sharing the bounty from our harvest and buying in other great foods from local producers. For kids, well it's a spectacular time, especially if your lucky enough to actually SEE Santa outside with his big sack and know for sure his sleigh and reindeer are parked behind the big hedge in the field!!!  We've had a lot of fun during past Christmas's!!
  Ben and I have been rushing around - not buying gifts or dealing with mass shoppers -we don't buy into the retail aspect of the holidays, instead keep busy like elves ourselves grading storage crops, delivering produce and attending markets!  It's been a busy, busy season!  We get two Saturdays off, but the Thursday markets continue!  Christmas eve will be a celebration packed with 'Prawn Wontons' and  'Duck Poutine', a menu sure to please!  Ducks cannot be mass produced like Chicken and Turkeys, all packed into large barns fed medicated feed and hormones, as they will DIE!  That is why you do not notice as much duck meat at the regular grocery stores but a plentiful amount of chicken and turkeys. They need fresh water and sun! Duck meat is dark and succulent and I am going to slow roast mine with a Rosemary Thyme Butter under the skin and it's cavity filled with orange slices! I'm then going to offer up fresh roasted duck meat a top deep fried French Fries and top with Monforte's Cheese Curds and homemade Mushroom Gravy loaded with Garlic! I'll spoil the animals Christmas morning with some cooked grain and mashed no. 2 potatoes and a hefty amount juice carrots for Lady Bug, the most gentle horse on the planet! No word of complaint when I put a Santa hat on her head for this photo!
"Merry Christmas Smashy!" (Love Bug. XXOO).
 And most especially, a personal holiday greeting goes out to our daughter, 'Smashy':  We miss you and Christmas just won't ever be the same without you around!  Please come home one year soon!  Understand that your next visit to the farm will be met with only smiles, laughs and encouragement like always. You are one of a kind. We wish you an awesome Christmas and a Happy New Year! Don't work too hard...;) Ok, OK, enough mushy crap: stay tuned, as Paul is coming over for Christmas, along with other fun friends and family members, so I'm going to get them to pose with your holiday sign too!!!  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all! 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

All about our Holiday Food!

The farm is awash in a nice snow cover, but luckily we have missed the massive snow squalls other county's have received.  This means my perogie crew had no trouble driving in from all the back roads and neighboring towns.  We hit the kitchen both Monday and Tuesday of this week and have created enough holiday food now for the markets!  A quick photo blog before I discuss NEW PREPARED FOODS being made! Time is flying and we are busy, busy, busy and I cannot believe the year is almost at an end!!
 Above Mary and Ben rolling the dough and cutting the circles for the Perogies.....
Above Anne making the Potato Cheddar Perogies....
Above Boiling the Perogies....
Above Cooling the Perogies.....
My favorite machine, Mr. Hobart nicely put away after all it's service making dough and mashing potatoes....I love the Ukrainian Cloths the women have it wear when not in use!  This machine is respected - once you've made dough and mashed potatoes by hands for years, this becomes a welcome friend in the kitchen!!
Ok, ok, before I have to disappear into the barn to grade today for tomorrow's market a quick introduction to some New Foods!!  I've had my vegan friend sample and give me critical feed back, so my tweaks have been made and production is set to begin! 
Vegan Perogies
Yes, it has been done and they are GOOD! We use Unbleached Organic White Flour, Organic Sunflower Oil, Sea Salt, Apple Sauce (grandma suggested I try this in lieu of eggs...interesting..), Yellow Fleshed Potatoes, lots of Onions rendered down Sweet! We are still working on a great topper, as regular perogies are awesome with bacon, butter & sour cream, so we are working on a flavourful vegan topping! The apple sauce gives a nice aroma that mingles well with the sweet onions and potatoes.  Excellent lightly pan fried with olive oil.
Vegan Cabbage Rolls
Now these are awesome!!  Yes Beef and Pork are our traditional, but I can't believe the excellent flavours and how healthy these guys are!!  I use our own Organic Cabbage, Tomato Sauce as per usual.  The filling is Long Grain Brown Rice, rendered down Onions until they are Sweet in Organic Sunflower Oil, our own Green Peppers & Sweet Red Peppers (I froze at the hall this past summer ;), Ground Flax Seed, lots of Garlic & Sea Salt & Pepper.....They are fully roasted and just need to be heated until piping hot!  They are filling and delicious! I don't miss the meat - and that is rare! My vegan friend had never had a cabbage roll before and she loved them!  Look for these item in abundance when I have more time after the holidays during January and February!