Monday, October 26, 2009

Goat Camp

In my recent issue of Hobby Farms magazine, there was a very fun article about a place called Stony Knolls Farm in St. Albans, Maine. Every year they host two different weekend camps for people who want to learn all-things-goat. This includes everything from the very basics up to hoof maintenance and recipes for goat meat. Considering the fact that I want to be a goat farmer but know absolutely nothing about caring for them, I'm putting goat camp on my must-do list before we officially become country dwellers.
The above photos were from an apple orchard we visited recently. Carl, Gus and Louise loved watching them and were intrigued with the idea of feeding them from the gumball/goat food machine, but Gus got a little goat shy when the time came to hold out his hands with the food. Louise made my day when she said in her 2 1/2 year old voice, "I want to kiss a goat." That's my girl!

Monday, October 12, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like... WINTER?

Look what we woke up to this morning! Saturday morning we had a little dusting, but this morning, it looks like December! How can this be? It isn't even mid-October.
Here are the swiss chard leaves I was hoping to harvest soon for a lovely soup recipe I found. Wonder what frozen chard tastes like? I brought in one plant that had summered outside on Friday night, but still had a few more that needed to come in for the winter. I think they're probably frozen compost-bound now.
It is quite beautiful, despite the shock of snow in October. My favorite part of the snow is the light it makes, the bright white glow that shines in the windows. Very comforting, cozy and makes me feel like baking. Cookies this afternoon? If you're local, stop by today. By dinner time we should be smelling good!

And you? What's the weather like there?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Roasted Tomato Sauce

I found an amazing recipe recently in an old copy of Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion, before they stopped publishing it. I was enjoying a huge harvest of vegetables from the farmer's market and realized that there was no way we were going to eat our way through that pile of veggies before they would be ready for the compost pile.

The recipe is from the guys at Stonewall Kitchen, makers of fancy food in beautiful glass jars with lovely labels. It appealed to me because of the ease of the process. Got a pile of tomatoes and things? Get cookin'!
Roasted Tomato Sauce
Toss with past, serve with chicken or fish, or use with any recipe that calls for tomato sauce. Can be refrigerated for up to five days or frozen up to 10 months.
Makes about 10 cups of tomato sauce.
15 cloves of garlic
8 lbs of ripe tomatoes, any variety
10 medium onions, quartered
1 cup fresh herbs, chopped (rosemary, Italian flat parsley, basil, thume, oregano, and/or chives will all work)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
Fresh ground black pepper
3 to 4 Tbsp sugar, optional
1. Prehead oven to 450 degrees. Peel and chop 5 cloves of garlic. Leave the remaining cloves whole. In a large roasting pan, gently toss together the tomatoes, whole and chopped garlic, onions, herbs, oil, salt, and pepper.
2. Roast for 25 minutes. Gently stir. Roast for another 25 minutes. Stir again. Roast another 45 minutes or until tomatoes are softened and broken down into a sauce with a golden brown crust on top.
3. Remove from oven and taste for seasoning. If slightly bitter, add sugar and stir. Pour sauce into clean, sterile jars or freezer bags and refrigerate, can or freeze. If you prefer a smoother sauce, blend in a blender until smooth.
I didn't really measure or weigh the ingredients, just an approximation of the recipe. I even added a few red and yellow peppers. Wow... was it fun, easy and tasty! I put it in quart bags in the freezer, ready for something yummy this winter.