Bread Baking

I have been trying to teach myself how to bake bread for a few years now.  I’m sorry to say that even after TWO YEARS, I am not very good at it.

The only fool-proof bread recipe I have found is this one for Farmhouse White Bread from Farmgirl Fare.

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See?  Beautiful, right?  But … it’s white bread.  And we just don’t do white bread.

So, I am still trying and trying to learn how to make good wheat bread.  The best recipe I have found so far is this one for Honey Oatmeal Bread from Tasty Kitchen.  It really is delicious, but …


… why, oh why won’t it rise???  Like I said, still delicious though.

I guess practice makes perfect.  Try, try, again!


Delicious Caprese Pizza

We absolutely LIVED off this pizza last summer!  SO delicious … and with my recipe, SO easy!


I buy the pre-made, whole wheat pizza crust at the store … the kind that come two in a package.  Brush olive oil over the crust and sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese.  Top with LOTS of local heirloom tomatoes, fresh, torn basil leaves, fresh mozzarella (I used a combination of fresh and packaged mozz. here, as I didn’t have quite enough of the fresh), and seasonings (garlic, salt, pepper, etc.)

Bake until cheese is melted.

Experiment with this using different heirloom tomatoes for TOTALLY different tastes.  I used Amana Orange here, which I just canNOT get enough of.  It was also delicious with Mortgage Lifters and Cherokee Purples.

Trial and Error in the Werner High Tunnels

It never fails.  No matter how much we read, study, talk to other farmers, attend workshops … when we finally get into a new venture, I ALWAYS feel like we have no idea what we are doing.  Thankfully, luck is usually on our side, and we tend to muddle through at least semi-successfully.

We planted our first crop in the high tunnel.  96 tomato plants.  The forecast for the next two weeks was clear and warm.  We thought we were golden.

And then it snowed.

And the temperature dropped to 20 degrees.

And we panicked.

But somehow, those hardly little suckers survived!

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Of course it didn’t hurt that my industrious husband and father-in-law spent and entire day rigging up row covers with jugs of warm water underneath.

There is always SOME experiment going on at our place.

Tapping Trees

For years now, Gage has wanted to try tapping trees in late winter.  This year, just to experiment, he tapped a handful of trees – one walnut and a few sycamores, just to see.

Amazingly, the walnut tree produced gallons and gallons of sap!  Little known-fact … it takes gallons and gallons of sap to make a tiny bit of syrup.2013-03-09_07-49-41_332Okay, so it made a little more than that, but this is all we have left!  About 4 gallons of sap = about a half-pint of syrup.  But man is it GOOD!  I’m sure we will be tapping all the walnuts we can find next winter!