Grow Your Grain and Bake Them Too

Fresh baking and berries from the farm

“Know your food, know your farmers and know your kitchen.” It’s a quote from Joel Salatin that has been floating around social media for a while now. I do agree with it but what about know your baker? You probably should; especially when your baker is a farmer too! How handy is that?! Grown your grain and bake them too… or something like that.

Commercial bread is cheap and loaded with unpronounceable ingredients that really have no business being eaten. Their main goal is to keep the bread from going bad. I have a chef friend that bought a loaf of name brand commercial bread set it on his counter and forgot about it. Months later it was still soft, and without mold. Good food goes bad. It shouldn’t be allowed to but it should be capable. Needless to say the bread was never eaten. As a chef he was more than capable of baking his own bread but there was really was no time for him to do so. Hence the commercial bread purchase.

Bread is a staple convenience food. It’s a quick breakfast toast, a fast sandwich for lunch and how else are you going to sop up that gravy on your supper plate? Of the many ways bread can be enjoyed it’s really not that convenient when you have to make it yourself. At the least you need to set aside a few hours for mixing, rising, second rise, bench resting, forming, proofing and baking. By the time you’re done you’re hungry, you eat your whole loaf of bread and have to start over. Some of us love to do the work, some don’t and some don’t have time.

This staple food is really not that convenient when you have to make it yourself. The same could be said for eggs, chicken, bacon, beef, vegetables and so on. They are staples but could be quite cumbersome if you had to produce it all yourself. That’s why you should search out a farmer. They do the heavy lifting, feeding, chasing, collecting and so on, then you do the cooking and eating.

Knowing your farmer is the first step really. If you can talk to your farmer, you can learn about your food, where it comes from, how it’s grown and in some cases how to prepare it. That’s important! Did you know some people honestly believe chocolate milk comes from brown cows?! (For those in question, it doesn’t. Milk from any cow is white until it’s mixed with chocolate or cocoa to make chocolate milk.)

Knowing your farmer also means that you are buying local which directly helps the farmer’s family and the community because your hard earned dollars are staying in your community, strengthening your local economy. That’s something to feel good about. Way to help out your neighbor!

The more you know about your food the more mindful choices you will make… in theory. That doesn’t mean there is never a package of golden Oreos hidden at our house. But it’s a step closer to healthy eating.

“It’s a dinglehopper. Humans use these little babies… to straighten their hair out. See? Just a little twirl here and a yank there and voila. You’ve got an aesthetically pleasing configuration of hair that humans go nuts over.” –The Little Mermaid, Scuttle’s explanation of a fork.

If that is how well you know your kitchen you should probably attend one of my classes. (Join the email list below for class updates) I can help. Knowing the basics around your kitchen will save you money, it can save your health and be a great way to make family memories; even if it’s a “that time the fire alarm went off” kind of memory.

I get it you’re busy. We are all busy. Kitchen time can be limited, but good food made from real food can be quickly prepared easier than you think. For those foods that are a staple at almost every meal and you don’t have time to make yourself, know your baker!

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Whole Grain Baking Recipes and Tips for Seasonal Cooking.

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Life on the Farm

 

Ever wonder what it’s like to live on a small farm? Raising animals, growing your own food, baking with homegrown grains, selling at a farmers market, all while raising a family? Here’s the how you can find out and the best part is you don’t have to get your boots dirty.

Join us on our farm journey! You will laugh as we learn things like electric fences can knock you out or what happens when the cows get out and so much more!

You do not want to miss out on the special recipes, stories and extras that come in my farm email!

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Rudy- Beef or Bull?

“Hey! Check your phone!” It was Mike calling me at work.

“Wait…What?! Is that Wheez..Lu..Mar.. no Lucy’s?!” I couldn’t get my words out but through my stammering Mike was able to translate.

“Yes! Lucy had a calf not too long ago. She’s still cleaning it off.”

“Well shoot. I didn’t think she was due for a couple months yet.”

Once again surprised by a calf. Lucy is great for calving, knock-on-wood, she hasn’t needed help with any so far. Each one she gets up and eating right away. She’s a good cow.

No wonder she looked so crabby this morning!

When I got home I headed right for the barn rather than the house. The cows were spread about the corral. Lucy was standing next to the feeder outside. I didn’t see a calf anywhere. It’s not unusual for our calves to get out at least twice within their first week. But not usually within the first few hours and when Lucy’s calves are out she’s call’n. I walk up to the fence next to her and looked around. It was then that the hay in the feeder moved. The little guy was balled up in there and she had him covered to keep him warm.

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Challah to the Best French Toast Recipe

Challah! (pronounced “ha-la”) Get it? Challah to the Best… yeah ok, still lame, but the bread is good!

This braided butter and egg bread makes the best French toast.

I like to make my challah a few days prior to the day I plan to serve French toast. I love bread fresh from the oven, this one is no exception unless it’s for French toast. All toast really, I like those breads a day or two old.

Traditionally this bread is braided and left as a free-form loaf, meaning it’s not baked in a bread pan but rather just on a baking stone or sheet pan. The last time I made this I braided it as usual but then I put the braid in bread pans. The result was a lovely high rising braided loaf that made some pretty impressive French toast.

The challah recipe is below. Here’s what I do for French toast:

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Corned Beef and Roasted Cabbage

It’s that time of year where our meals start looking boringly familiar; meat, and cellar vegetables, you know potatoes, carrots, squash, cabbage and some rice…or tacos. This is usually when I try to mix things up a bit and start slathering the vegetables in bacon fat and olive oil and roasting them. It’s a nice change. Who doesn’t love anything cooked in bacon fat?!

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