Saturday, July 23, 2011

Roast Chicken: A Sunday Tradition

Here on our little urban farm we have a Sunday tradition; my husband roasts a chicken
and with it we roast whatever we can find in our garden. 
Here we used onions, green garlic, artichokes, carrot and stuffed him with bay leaves. 
It was husband is a very good cook...he masquerades during the day as a banker
 but nights and weekends he is a chef.

"Tradition is the illusion of permanence."
Woody Allen

I have been thinking about traditions lately and the importance of them.  What we do over and over
teaches our children what is important to us--everyday or special days. 
When we consistently do something, week after week, year after year,
 it has value and power and teaches us about things that are great than ourselves. 
Seasons, holidays, birthdays--gives us a glimmer of something that is rock-steady and
dependable in a world that is not any of these things.

This is why I love our tradition of roasting a chicken every Sunday,
we gather what is ready in the garden, we sit outside--when the weather permits
and enjoy the beauty of our farm and eat together as a family,
enjoying each others company.

We enjoy this tradition so much we are going to add to it  this fall. 
We are going to raise and process our own meat birds. 
for this city girl this is a big step but my husband the chef wants to do it. 
To enjoy chickens that we raised, controlling exactly what they eat and
processing them humanly at our own home. 
Do you know of any breeds--besides Cornish Cross--that you would recommend?

What traditions do you like to celebrate?

Have a restful weekend!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Green Love

I've been working on the kitchen all week, removing counter tops and cabinets
 from being fastened to the wall, then rearranging their positioning,
all while my husband is at work.  Now I have them in place,painting them white,
adding mouldings to the fronts and then new hardware.
I will post more on this later...
 but for now I am going to share with you my growing love for all things GREEN

Green and sustainable simple living

wall color
Don't be surprised if you see this wall combo in the breakfast nook!

more master bedroom inspiration

some panels like these...

Wanting to paint not only our shutters but the front door green too.
Love the handle and the mouldings

Vintage 1940's dress

green jacket and dress...perfect for fall

secret garden gate

Urban farming in style with these Wellies.

Have a fantastic weekend!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Peach and Apricot Jam Class

 Last month we had a fabulous jam making class with over 20 ladies joining us from all ages and all stages.
It was so popular it sold out in just a few weeks.  If you missed it don't worry we will be doing it again!

First thing in the morning the peaches and apricots were picked from our farm for the jam that day.

We had two tables of jam makers, one making peach jam using pectin and the other table
making apricot jam, the old fashioned way, with just fruit, lemon and sugar.

pitting the apricots

blanching the peaches to remove the skins

peeling peaches

fresh picked lemons from our trees make the best lemon juice for the jams.

mixing the fruit, sugar and lemon juice

start cooking over medium heat

cooking down a little more

time to skim off the foam

Perfectly cooked jam...doesn't the color look wonderful?

getting ready to place the jam in the sterilized jars

ladling the jam into the jars

cleaning up the rims

pressing the tops down and placing on the rings

our jam caddy ready to go into the water bath to seal the jars.

Waiting for our jam to seal

finished to perfection!

What a wonderful day for ladies of all ages to gather together to remember
the wonder and beauty of jam making.  One of the great home arts!

Thank you to my dear friend Karina of Capturing Delight Photography for these photos.

Joining my Farmgirls today!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Easy Tiramisu

This is the easiest dessert ever and on hot summer nights who wants to use their ovens!
I just keep these ingredients in my pantry-on the chance that I need to whip up an impromptu dessert.
The other great part of tiramisu is it's limited sugar.


6 egg yolks (use the freshest eggs available--this tastes so fabulous because I use my own eggs--
                   I cannot stress this enough)
1/4 cup of powder sugar
1/4 cup Meyers dark rum
2 cups espresso
16oz. mascarpone cheese
40 lady fingers
shaved bittersweet chocolate

Beat egg yolks and sugar with an electric mixer for 7 minutes, or until light yellow and thick. 
Add 1/8 of a cup rum, 1/4 cup espresso and the mascarpone cheese, beat on medium  until smooth.

In a separate bowl, combine the remaining rum and espresso.  Dip one side of the ladyfingers in the mix
and lay in the bottom of the dish and sides(I like to use a footed compote -I got this one at Target for $10
 -and it is Anchor Hocking which means made in the USA) pour the cream mixture over the top,
then put another layer of dipped ladyfingers over the top and then another layer of cream mixture.

Sometimes I will do a layer of fresh whipped cream over the top layer and then
shave the bittersweet chocolate over the top of that, but for today,
I just topped it with shaved chocolate. Place plastic wrap over the top and refrigerate
for at least 2 hours, if not overnight.  Enjoy!

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