Sunday, March 26, 2017

Spring Color: Tulips and Daffodils

looking inside the low tunnel

I grew some tulips and daffodils under low tunnels this spring at the farm. 

I signed up to do a Winter farmers market and knew that the veggies I had planted would only last so long (until mid January). After that I made dried flower wreaths followed by pussy willows and then on to tulips and daffodils.

Until very recently (as in this month) I was never much a fan of daffodils. But the pink and doubles varieties have changed my mind completely.

daffodil + succulent arrangement

daffodils in the hallway window

flowers in a pig

flowers and pig tails

bed side parrot tulips

green parrot tulips and succulents

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Yellow Cake + Peaches + Salted Honey Buttercream and Lavender Sprinkles Birthday Cake

Yes, this is a belated birthday cake post but I wanted to share with you this year's cake for my big three O.

I was inspired by a few things for this one: 
1. the incredible salted honey pies my friend Val makes at her bakery (constellation collective in collingswood, nj)
2. the equally as incredible honey lavendar ice cream my friend Jake makes (windy brow farm in newton, nj)
3. how much I love peaches

So with all of that I came up with a yellow cake that had peaches between the layers covered with salted honey buttercream and lavender used as sprinkles! 

I think I will use the honey buttercream will all of the my cakes now because it's a winner! 

For this I used peaches from our orchard that froze but I think fresh peaches will be even better. 

Yellow Cake + Peaches + Salted Honey Buttercream 
with Lavender Sprinkles 

Yellow cake recipe from Food & Wine

Honey Buttercream Recipe: 
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tbsp milk
3-4 tbsp light honey
1 stick of softened butter
1/8-1/4 tsp salt

Peaches peeled and sliced and strained for at least one hour so your cake doesn't get soggy. 

Dried Lavender removed from stems and sprinkled on top! 

Monday, February 20, 2017

Farming starts with the Kitchen

santa fe, nm
On my trip to the colorful state of New Mexico this January I ate at Cafe Pasquals where I had (by far!) the best meal of my entire Arizona, New Mexico, Texas roadtrip adventure.  There I learned that San Pasqual is the patron Saint of the kitchen.

cilantro rice, enchilada, egg, beans, cheese & green chile at Cafe Pasqual

I have a very strict rule in life which is if something comes back into my life twice I look into it...which explains why I now have a PawPaw orchard on the farm.   

Well San Pasqual came back into my life for a second time when the sweet souls of the Constellation Collective allowed me to sell tulips in their delightful cafe/bakery/place of deliciousness. 

There he was. 

San Pasqual was sitting in a frame on the display case that held delicious things like "beet butternut pie," "salted honey pie" and "bacon & brussel fritatta."

constellation collective collingswood, nj

Between customers I did a little research on the guardian of the kitchen.  While cloistered with the Franciscan Friars, Pasqual was assigned to cook for his fellow brothers.  After being less than enthusiastic about his assigned station in the kitchen, cooking became spiritual, a place of peace and deeply gratifying.  

This is something I think many of us can relate to you. I will speak for myself when I say I get such a flying high feeling in my heart after I've made something that others (and just me too) thoroughly enjoy. 

It's the same feeling I get when my table is set up at the farmers market (or farmstand) and it's that moment just before the customers arrive when I take a look at the table and take in the spread. 

When I'm ordering seeds the kitchen is always in the back of my mind. What can we make with this or that? What goodness can be created with real ingredients?  I think a large part of farming (especially if you retail) is thinking about the end result....helping you feel/find that San Pasqual-ian joy.  

And it is truly joyful to hear your kitchen stories each week. This Friday, February 24th is National CSA Day.  At the start of this week I thought it would be fitting to mention San Pasqual since really the desire to belong to a CSA or visit a farmstand/farmers market and become a part of a farm family starts with your desire to spend time in the room of: breakfast in Pj's, afterschool snacks and late night snacks, dance parties, fancy cocktails and crafty beer, cookbooks and secret family recipes....the kitchen, the heart of the home.