Louisa Enright's Blog

Mainely Tipping Points

Posts Tagged ‘Jersey cows

Turkey Tracks: Rose Thomas and La Dolce Vita Farm

leave a comment »

Turkey Tracks:  July 19, 2014

Rose Thomas and La Dolce Vita Farm

 

Rose Thomas is an amazing baker and an amazing friend.

Rose bakes in a wood-fired oven (and in other ovens too) and her commercial kitchen is almost finished.

Her baking is…delicious…and her other cooking is…inspired.

Take a look at her Facebook page if you can, and you’ll see what I mean.

 

Rose has been to Italy many, many times over the years and worked in farm/resort kitchens there as well.  One place she goes is to the Tuscan kitchen and farm Spannocchia.

Her La Dolce Vita Farm is a really fun place to be, and I go over about once a week on Wednesdays to pick up milk and yogurt that arrives.  This week, though, I got there on Thursday, and Rose was baking for the Isleboro Island farmer’s market on Friday.

 

Here’s Rose on this big baking day–the oven is behind her and she’s already loaded about 15 loaves of this bread into the oven’s maw–with more to go.

100_4032

 

She uses Tartine bread–from the famous bakery in California–as her ultimate model for her loaves.  She will cut the tops of these loaves with a razor before she puts them in the oven.

100_4033

Here’s a pic of the inside of the oven, which is, unfortunately, blurry, but it gives you some idea:

100_4034

 

Earlier this spring, Rose knew that I was down to three hens with two of them not laying and that I’ve talked about getting Buckeye chickens for some years (they’re hard to find in Maine).  So, she surprised me with some Buckeye chicks that she is raising, and I’ve been visiting them when I go to the farm.

100_4036

The Buckeyes are the brown chicks, and the Cockoo Marans are the speckled ones.  The latter will lay a big chocolate brown egg, and the Buckeyes will lay a lighter colored brown.  Both of these breeds are big hens and are very cold tolerant of our Maine winter.

The chicks are almost big enough to be released to the freedom of the yard.  They have to be big enough to handle the other hens in the hen house.

And I can’t wait to bring some of both breeds home.  When I do, I’ll return two of my more…territorial…hens to her flock so they won’t beat the new chicks to death.

Rose is also raising four pigs.  They’ve doubled in size over the last week.

Here they are:

And, here’s a picture of the heavenly milk and yogurt I’m getting from MilkHouse–who drops off at Rose’s farm.  Can you see that the cream on the milk bottle reaches all the way to the bottom of the jug handle?  That’s Jersey cows for you…

IMG_0352

I am so spoiled up here in Maine…

And I know it.

 

 

 

Turkey Tracks: Making and Eating Jennifer McGruther’s Vanilla Mint Ice Cream

leave a comment »

Turkey Tracks:  June 21, 2014

Making and Eating Jennifer McGruther’s Vanilla Mint Ice Cream

 

I am making Jennifer McGruther’s Vanilla Mint Ice Cream today.

If you have not heard about McGruther’s new book THE NOURISHED KITCHEN–or discovered her outstanding web site http://www.nourished kitchen.com–you are in for a treat.

IMG_0255

This homemade ice cream recipe uses real mint leaves, a vanilla bean, real cream, egg yolks, and so forth.  Here’s the url to Jennifer’s web site and this recipe.

Vanilla Mint Ice Cream — Nourished Kitchen.

I can’t wait to try the finished ice cream.  My cream mixture is upstairs cooling its heels in the refrigerator right now.

I’m not at all sure I had enough mint–when chopped it didn’t make a full cup.  I have had mint from my Georgia grandmother’s garden for over 40 years now–and brought the mint from Virginia to Maine when we moved ten years ago.  I almost lost it this winter, but have discovered a few sprigs coming along.  Thank heavens as this mint is unlike most I’ve seen–it’s really strong and full of flavor.  It used to be my job when I was little to run out to the garden to get sprigs of this mint for the iced sweet tea at dinner time–the main meal served at noon when we were at my grandmother’s.  For today, I supplemented with a package of mint from the store, and it was very disappointing as I think its “oomph” was long gone.   I also think I needed TWO packages…

IMG_0298

The long black strand is a vanilla bean cut in half and ready to go into the warmed cream.  You know, somehow I’ve never actually used a vanilla bean.  The smell in the kitchen after it steeped in the warm cream was…awesome!

I get local honey by the half-gallon, and it’s used as the sweetener.  There is no danger of using laundered, fake honey if you find your local bee keepers.  A recent story I ran across said that about 75 percent of the honey in grocery stores is laundered honey.  (See earlier blog posts on this subject.)  If you are buying honey in a store, look for these claims on the label:  raw, UNHEATED, and a geographical area that is inside the USA.  Be especially cautious if the honey comes from South America.

IMG_0300

 

Here’s my cream–after heating, it’s ready for the infusing ingredients, and after steeping, it will be strained and cooled.  Isn’t it the loveliest color?  It comes from local Jersey cows.  Wait until I add my egg yolks, which are soy free and a rich, deep color.

IMG_0299

I’m also adding a heaping Tablespoon of arrowroot powder as it’s good for you and helps make the ice cream even smoother.  That’s a trick I learned from Sally Fallon Morell, the recipe developer in the classic book NOURISHING TRADITIONS–a genre from which Jennifer McGruther draws, most likely, her title and nutrient-dense whole foods inspiration.

Hmmm.  Should I top this ice cream with a tiny bit of chocolate sauce???

YES!  And it was delicious!

So, see, making home made ice cream is not hard–especially when you have such a beautiful recipe.  Best of all, YOU control the ingredients and will be giving your family a nutrient-dense food that is beyond delicious as a special treat!!!

THANKS, JENNIFER McGRUTHER!