Monday, May 13, 2013

Locavores May 13, 2013

What's in the box?
Rain rain everywhere but here.

Lettuce, braising greens Pak Choi and Komasu, Beets,  a wee bit of broccoli, Turnips, Mare des Bois Strawberries,  spinach -last of the season,  artichokes, peas, fresh garlic and parsley.  If you got a box, you also received squash & flowers. 

Why are there no eggs? 

Okay, there are no eggs because there are 4 hens who have disrupted the entire flock.  We've had to move them to the maternity ward.  Two hens have hatched their clutches, and 2 are still sitting. 

Okay, where's the missing hen?
Since all of the eggs are fertile, whenever a hen gets broody, Leo gives her a clutch, a separate box and moves them into the Chickery.  Where we tend to them separately.  However, when ever one hen gets broody, the whole rest of the flock acts silly.  Hens climb on top of hens.  Some stop laying.  Some lay on the ground instead of in their boxes. 

A couple of hens, climbed into boxes and proceeded to sit on nothing.  Now that's just plain unreasonable, and they got kicked out of the hen house.

Dixie Chick with the band
Some hens take their jobs very seriously.  Folded Comb here for example, if Leo or I don't lift her off the nest everyday, she goes  into a trance state and neither drinks nor eats.  Her mother was the same way.  Cuckoo Marans are known to be a broody type chicken.  I like that, because each spring, new chicks are hatched to replace the older hens.  Last year, Dixie Chick only hatched roosters.  So one of the older roosters (not George), but another was replaced with Stewart (Stewie).  Stewart is very excited to have his own flock, and after a few weeks with the traveling hens, we'll put him with the main flock and let George retire with the traveling hen troupe.

On the farm
The cukes, zukes and some early squash went in last week.  So I felt safe sending out the end of last season's squash.  Since this was harvested in October, you should eat it soon.  Anyone who saves seeds for me from their squash (remember what color it is) will get something special in their box.  It's hot and I don't think that the spinach or lettuce will continue much longer. 

The onion trial, finally flowering to make seeds.
Over Mother's Day weekend, we frantically kept watering, trying to keep up.  With each day in the 90's and the hot wind a blowing, as soon as one row got watered, it was ready the next day to be watered again.  Leo spent way too much time in the sun, and by Sunday evening was feeling pretty poorly.  So take his reminder, to take it easy out there as it starts to turn into a bake oven!

Beet Cake
  • 4 medium beets, trimmed, peeled, and cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • Salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup safflower oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Vegetable oil cooking spray
  1. Cover beets with 2 inches water in a pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until very tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp paring knife, about 30 minutes. Drain. Puree beets in a food processor until smooth.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Whisk in eggs, water, oil, vanilla, and 1 1/4 cups beet puree (reserve remaining puree for another use).
  3. Coat a 9-inch round cake pan (3 inches deep) with cooking spray. Line bottom with parchment, and coat with spray. Pour batter into pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Turn out cake from pan, and discard parchment. Let cool completely, right side up.
  4. Transfer cake, cut side down, to a platter. Pour chocolate glaze over the top, and let set, about 30 minutes.

    Now this recipe is from Martha Stewart who says you can't taste the beets.  I can taste the beets and I like it still.  Serve it with plenty of Vanilla Ice Cream...
This is what I made for me for Mother's Day.  Along with beet greens and pickled beets, spaghetti with meatballs and spinach in a basil lemon sauce.  Yes, I had everything I liked.  I hope all you did too.

Have a great week.

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