Ronnie rarely ever ate out at work unless it was required to remain social with the crew. I always made meals for him that were healthier than fast food. This is goat based broccoli potato soup. It was made with goat milk and goat butter: homegrown organic broccolini tops and a few organic fingerling potatoes from the garden. Items purchased: Organic flour for thickening.
Garden goulash is our most typical dish. We have it several times a week for lunch and dinner. Whatever is ripe gets lightly stir-fried with curry spices. Items purchased: organic curry seasoning, organic ginger powder, organic pepper, salt.
We eat salads in the spring. I forage for dandelion greens and flowers. The dandelion greens are very high in vitamin K and good for you. The flowers must be peeled free of their bitter green edges. I believe the consumption of pollen helps keep fall allergies at bay. Items purchased: Vinegar and organic oilve oil.
I have been making all of our loaves of bread for over a decade. Whitebread has a super high glycemic load that makes us too tired to work after eating it. Some commercial breads have ingredients in it I rather not consume. L-Cysteine is an amino acid used as a preservative in bread. It is made from cow horns, duck, and chicken feathers, but most of it is made from human hair collected from hair salons in China. My homemade loaves of bread are as simple as can be. Ingredients are organic flour, organic sugar, organic milk, organic butter, yeast, and salt.
I like to grow colorful foods! This is a venison roast with beets, purple potatoes, carrots and herbs. All homegrown and organic.
There is always an abundance of pork. I love the smell of food on the rotisserie in the fall while watching football in the evenings.
Homemade honey BBQ chicken on the rotisserie. Items purchased: None.
Short-ribs on the grill cooked over hedge. Hedge is often overlooked as a good wood for cooking. It has a very pleasant aroma and taste when used for lightly smoking.
This is a pork rollatini stuffed with rosemary, garlic, and mozzarella cheese slow smoked on applewood. Items purchased: Apple wood chips, butchers twine.
A pork roast in the oven with cracklings. Items purchased: None.
Sausage soup is a staple in the wintertime. It is made with German or Italian sausage heavy on the fennel, cabbage, potatoes, chicken broth, and diced tomatoes. It is served with homemade rye bread for dipping in the soup. Items purchased: Organic rye flour, organic white flour, organic sugar, and yeast for the bread.
This is venison sloppy Joe in the making served on organic homemade slider rolls. Items purchased: Organic olive oil, Worcestershire, organic flour, organic sugar, and yeast for the rolls.
Turkey pot-pie. Items purchased: Organic flour.
Chicken pot-pie. Items purchased: Organic flour.
This photo is of grinding pig fat down to render lard. All of our fried foods are deep fried in our homegrown lard. Lard is healthier than refined commercial oils when it has not been highly refined to be shelf-stable. It does not have a high smoke point so foods much be cooked a little lower and slower.
Rooster Fries. The mountain oyster of the poultry world. They are delicious! They must be slow fried at 225-250 degrees until golden brown. Cooking them too hot or too fast makes them have an odd texture. Items purchased: Organic coconut, organic flour and salt.
Chicken wings ready for the table.
I love homemade fried pork and venison ravioli. I served it with homemade marinara sauce. Items purchased: Organic semolina flour.
Someday I will have a real wood cooking stove in our home. Until then, I make do with the wood heat stove. We have been saving up for a new LaNordica America or Mamy stove. This is a massive pot of chili that I will portion out and block-freeze in leftover containers and then vacuum seal to have chili on hand throughout the winter season.
Fresh oyster mushrooms can be found in late summer and into the winter months in Kansas. Do not attempt to harvest and eat mushrooms until you are fully educated. A misidentification can lead to sudden death.
A massive hen-of-the-woods mushroom, also known as maitake. Just because many people harvest and consume wild mushrooms, it doesn't mean they are all safe for everyone. Ronnie gets violently ill when he eats this type of mushroom, even in small amounts. I do not react to it, but to keep Ronnie safe, I no longer harvest them.
A collection of wood ears and wild coral mushrooms being prepared for the dehydrator.
Morels are the most precious mushroom to find in the woods. When harvesting, please tap them roughly before cutting them from the soil. This drops spores and leaves the root system (mycelium) to grow more mushrooms next year.
Fall means rounding up odds and ends, drying herbs, wild mushrooms, and peppers for seasonings. I am also making a homemade Kaluaha from organic home-roasted coffee. A cocktail served hot or cold on a hard winter night is cozy by the fire with coffee liquor, fresh goat milk, and goat cream.
Wood ears make the dish! Hot and sour duck soup. I had a few tiny corns from some corn stalks that didn't get fertilized. I save them for these unique dishes. Items purchased: Organic corn starch for thickening.
Moo-Shu pork or duck is one of my favorite dishes to make at home. The richness of homegrown organic ingredients punts the dish over the fence into excellence. Cabbage, carrots, eggs, wild garlic, wood ear mushrooms, chives, and meat all come from the homestead. It does require a few more ingredients that I can't make at home. Ingredients purchased: Rice vinegar, mirin wine, hoisin sauce, organic tamari sauce, organic flour, and sesame oil for the mandarin pancakes. This meal is more involved than a Thanksgiving dinner when made from scratch off the homestead. It is just as good as leftovers.
We eat a lot of turkey, averaging around 18 to 20 a year.
This is a no nitrate turkey pastrami for sandwiches. It requires a 24-hour marinade. It is one of my favorite dinner sandwiches served on toasted rye bread. Ingredients purchased: Organic rye flour, organic white flour, yeast, swiss cheese, organic paprika, organic brown sugar, organic mustard powder, organic mustard seed, whole organic coriander, organic dijon mustard, salt.
Pork roast, sauerkraut, and potatoes are also a winter staple. I serve it with homemade rye bread for dipping. Items purchased: Organic flour, organic rye flour, organic sugar, yeast and salt.
Homemade tamales is a labor of love. Homemade organic masa is leaps and bounds better than the store-bought brands. Organic corn has a better flavor, and if you grow your own, the quality is higher because you can pick out the bad kernels that often get missed in commercial processing. Nixtamalizing corn is a long process, but worth the days it takes to make it. Different colored corn can bring some excitement and fun to the dish. I smoke pork picnic roasts heavy with Mexican spices to stuff the tamales with a generous amount of masa. I know they are not traditional. This is my Americanized version designed for feasting. Breakfast tamales can be made by adding sugar or maple syrup to the masa. Filling them with scrambled eggs and or sausage makes for a fulfilling Sunday brunch. Precooked, they can quickly be thawed and reheated in a steamer, without compromising texture for a fast full-on breakfast.
Goat meat can be a sensitive subject. It wasn't often that we had it. However, in the event of a buck that is bred despite his elders' disposition, needs to go. And not to another farm to cause damage or harm. I had a horrible time raising this one buck. This buck had a full set of ram style horns and would attack me every doe season even if I was moving him to put him in with the does. On one occasion, he pinned me against a barn wall, and I could not budge. He pummeled me with his front legs, kicking me in the face over and over until the dogs came and rescued me. Gracie bit off the end of his tail, pulling on it to get him off, but he would not let up until Elvis went for his neck, which distracted him long enough for me to open the door to escape with the dogs while the buck reared to plan another attack. He only got a scratch from Elvis. But I decided to give him a second chance with less human contact. Less than a week later, this troublesome buck was running around harassing the prized registered buck I first had brought home. To my astonishment, the crazed buck stuck his head under the rear-end of my registered buck, hooked his crooked horn around his testicles, picked him up off the ground, and flipped him upsidedown, leaving my prize buck screaming and writhing in pain. I knew I couldn't in good conscience sell this goat, and it was unsafe to keep around. I had enough. An evil goat makes a pretty good Ruben.
Leftover corned-goat makes a good morning hash.
This photo is of homemade organic canned hominy from Dakota black corn and beans. While running the canner, I worked on making an artisan bread. Hominy is very good for breakfast served hot with milk, cheese, and diced jalapeno pepper.
I don't tend to pickle too many eggs each year. I thought it would be fun to dye the eggs green in the pickle with food coloring on this occasion. Naturally, I stick with less is better, but this was just for fun. I also canned some potatoes with a hefty amount of dill to drain and later deep fry.
Dandelion jelly and syrup can brighten those heavy waffle and pancake dishes in the morning and turn them into something bright and refreshing. Dandelion flowers must be peeled of all greenery and gently steeped into the syrup and strained before adding pectin.
What homestead wouldn't have catfish from the creek on the menu?
This is a sausage, basil, goat cheese mozzarella pizza with roasted tomatoes. All ingredients except for the organic flour and olive oil come from the homestead. It's a fairly deep dish with a thin crust hiding all of the basil to keep it from getting scorched in the oven. We have plans to acquire a pizza oven in the next few years that is big enough for full-size loaves of bread and pizzas.
Wild morel mushrooms are amazing on pizza. Fresh garden sweet bell peppers adorn the top of this beauty.
Sausage and cheese pizza.
Organic homemade tater-tots are the bomb! Needing a tater-tot fix shortly after meeting Ronnie, I asked him to take me to Sonic. I used to work there and knew I liked their tots. I was really put off by the tasteless potato and the overworked grease in the frier. I went to the store and started reading the ingredients on frozen tater-tot bags to find they had multiple fillers and stabilizers that I knew were unhealthy and likely didn't taste right, so I started making them at home with our meat grinder. The ingredients are organic potatoes, flour, salt, and a little organic corn starch. These are so good that when I know I am going to fry up a big ol' batch in our homegrown lard, I like to tell Ronnie that tonight, "I am getting tater-tot faced."
I like to make country themed cookies at christmas. These are bacon sugar cookies.
...more christmas cookies. Cherry leather strips look like bacon under melted almond bark to look like egg white, topped off with yellow M&M's as egg yolks.