Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Strawberry Meringue Pie

So strawberry season is upon us.

I was craving the cloud-like glory which is meringue.

And thought why do lemons get to have all of the fun?

They shouldn't!

So I bring you Strawberry Meringue Pie. It's a curd-like base in that it's fruit, sugar, and egg yolks but minus the butter in this instance with my favorite topping (even more favorite than crumb!) meringue.

Strawberry Meringue Pie

2 pound Fresh Strawberries
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
4 egg yolks separated and the 4 whites for the meringue
1 pie shell
Squeeze of lemon optional

For the Meringue
4 egg whites
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar added slowly

How To:

Slice strawberries into quarters and throw them in a pot. Cook until they start to break down and get juicy.

Add in sugar and stir until dissolved. Add cornstarch and stir until there are no lumps or trace of the cornstarch.

When you add the eggs you can do 1 of 2 things. Either let the strawberry mixture cool a little before adding them and stir continuously (seriously non-stop or you'll have scrambled eggs in your strawberry filling which is vomit worthy) or remove a cup of the mixture into a separate bowl. Add the eggs and stir until it's completely integrated and then add back to the pot with the rest of the strawberries.

Once that's together you can start on your meringue.

Add eggs, cream of tartar and vanilla extract to the bowl. With an electric mixer beat until the eggs are white and fluffy...at least a minute.

Then slowly add the sugar. Beat until it's completely smooth and there is no grit from the sugar.

Add the strawberry mixture to a pie shell and top with the meringue. Cook at 350 until the meringue is golden brown.


Sunday, March 24, 2019

Flower Field Days - 3 Hands On Classes

Check Out The Classes: HERE

In the past few years we have had quite a few people either come to work for us, express interest in eventually working for us, or reaching out with a number of questions after having taken an online class or reading a book.

They definitely have a solid start as the online classes out there are incredibly well done. However there are two problems with online: 1. it's very easy to learn from the comfort of your couch in a climate controlled room and 2. it doesn't help with local sources of where to get the best stuff at the best price.

So I created a 3 class series where you can come to 1, or 2, or all 3 if you'd like and get your hands dirty (or if it's raining maybe a little muddy) and dive in to where to source things locally....like plugs, potting soil, design supplies, etc.

So the first two classes: Seeding and Transplanting and Harvesting, Mixed Bouquets and Sales Outlets are outdoor, rain or shine days. The third class option will be held inside in the comfort of air conditioning and in a bug free environment.

And now for a few details about each class:

Seeding and Transplanting: My mom will be joining us in the morning to talk all things greenhouse. She has over 30 years of commercial greenhouse production and has managed beyond 30,000 square feet of greenhouse space once upon a time. It's her domain and if you have a greenhouse question I feel pretty confident saying she has the answer. We rent greenhouse space off the farm so we will not be inside an actual greenhouse. We'll bring trays, soil, and other supplies to the farm to work with. In the afternoon we'll into field transplanting where we'll look at Black landscape fabric vs. black plastic, burn some holes, and put down black landscape fabric.

Harvesting, Mixed Bouquets, and Sales Outlets: In the morning we'll pick all of the flowers we need for our afternoon mixed bouquets. We'll go over what to pick, what not to pick, how to properly bunch and tie bunches. In the afternoon we'll break up into groups and make some mixed bouquets followed by a Q and A about sales outlets.

Hand Tied Bouquet and Centerpiece (This class is for anyone who loves flowers! No professional aspirations needed): In the morning we'll go over a few different types of bouquets and tools used to make them. Each guest will then make a hand tied bouquet to take home. In the afternoon we'll repeat just with centerpieces. You'll get to take home your centerpiece and vase as well.

These classes are meant to be fun and for people who are interested in flowers in general, gardening, or working toward professional cut flower production. This is NOT for experienced flower folks unless you're strictly a grower and want to dabble in design...then sure! join us for the design class. On the other side of that if you're a florist and are interested in growing flowers then come on down to 1 or both of the first two classes.

Come to class ready to take notes and make new friends. Super excited to meet you! 

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

The Land of Enchantment

My birthday happens to fall at the beginning of busy and the end of sleeping in on Saturdays as the farming season gears up. Before March 17th there's been some seeding but not a ton since we don't do any indoor growing. The work is still enough to where "to do" lists actually get done.


Basically it is the last possible chance I had for a little get away.

Two years I ago I road tripped through New Mexico on my way from Phoenix, Arizona to Austin, Texas and I felt like I needed more time there.

Their licence plate slogan is the "land of enchantment" which I think is right on.

It's striking and vast.

It's where a beautiful blend of Native, Hispanic, and Anglo ways merge to create culture, culture, culture!

Strangely enough I think the highlight of my trip was stumbling a upon a flea market in Albuquerque and getting fruita picada (chopped fruit with chamoy, taji, lime and valentina hot sauce) and totally shocking the girl making it by speaking to her in Spanish.  Why was that the highlight...well it was real. Real people doing what they do on a Sunday...gathering at the market to shop, catch up, and listen to music.

Fruita Picada

I'm not into tourist type experiences and avoiding "tourist type experiences" in Santa Fe takes quite a bit of research and talking to people (like the guy working in Trader Joe's who I cornered until he divulged the best place to get real tacos).

Speaking of NEW Mexican food (it's not Mexican food...different thing! and people in New Mexico will correct you!) I seized the opportunity to eat New Mexican Hatch Chiles at pretty much every meal.

Since my trip two years ago we have been growing Chiles (but we never call them "Hatch Chiles" as we are not in Hatch, NM) and they are loved be military folks who have been stationed in NM, anyone who has visited NM and occasionally I can persuade my fellow, less traveled New Jersian to try them.  But seriously you should try them because they are so damn good. There's a reason why they're the pride of an entire state!

And yes, I went to Meow Wolf. It's the world's most popular art exhibit.  The line to get in was literally INSANE. And why was it insane...well it was spring break in Texas. Fun fact for you...every single person in Texas (and I mean every single one...no man left behind!) goes to New Mexico for spring break. Who knew? It took almost 2 hours to make it in. Meow Wolf is wild and should be experienced. It's art re-imagined. Everything is meant to be touched. What could be further from a classic art exhibit experience?

I also stopped at a Pistachio Farm which was fascinating. The MOST fascinating thing about the pistachio tree, to me at least, is that it doesn't reach full production until 20-25 years! Holy cow!!!! But you'll start getting some nuts at around 8 years. And these trees may be slow starters but can live up to 300 years. How incredible is that. McGinn's Pistachio farm was beautiful and had a super eye catching giant pistachio you could see from a distance. And even though they are literally in the middle of no where! They still had a constant crowd. Admirable!

From pistachio's I trekked to White Sands which was definitely really neat!  It was a weird day in that when I visited it was heavy on again off again rain storms so my trip was brief but still definitely worth stopping!

Taos....I was so ready to channel the spirit of the late great Georgia O'keefe. Sadly though everything I wanted to see was "closed" but opened Monday....but I did stop to make friends with these horses.

In addition to the flea market, the other highlight of the trip is that I did all of the things I desperately want to do regularly at home but have a hard time doing with only a 24 hour day. I worked out 4 days and went hiking the rest.  I ate breakfast.  I watched an entire movie. I slept until 7 AM. I got completely caught up on all wedding quotes and emails.


To me vacation is the prime time to work out, catch up and nourish myself.

Most importantly, post trip I feel recharged. I feel inspired.

And my final take away from the trip....

Sometimes (many times) it takes a trip to anywhere, in this case the "land of enchantment" to make home feel enchanting.

I'm ready for you Farm Season 2019!

mailboxes along the Turquoise Trail between Santa Fe and Albuquerque

I wanted those green cowgirl boots so badly!!!

Albuquerque, NM

Glitter Trash Can From Meow Wolf...I'm making a sparkle trash can for the farm!!!

Meow Wolf mural