need any help?

the farmer got upset with his oldest son who is driving the grain cart for not helping combine drivers clean their headers out…  he was just telling him the other night how it is his job as a cart driver to get out and help them…

so yesterday, my sixteen year old, trying to be as helpful as possible, tore across the field to be of assistance to a combine driver who was stopped…

and we haven’t stopped laughing/crying ever since…

because this particular combine driver’s header was not plugged… that was not the reason for the combine sitting motionless… ‘nature had called’ and my son got there just in time to witness it…

I remember when I first married the farmer and asked him, a few years into farming, what happened if he needed to ‘use the facilities’…  if he would have to jump in his truck and go knock on a door of the closest farm house and hope they didn’t mind him destroying their bathroom…

I did not grow up even peeing outside…  in fact I was just running in a race last weekend and needed to pee the entire 2 hours but with no outhouse in sight I nearly wet myself finishing the race to get to a bathroom… so the idea of doing the other thing outside seemed barbaric and outlandish to me…

apparently sometimes it can’t be helped…

and, much to the farmer and myself’s enjoyment, our oldest son got to experience one of these times…  just trying to be helpful…  when no one needed him to help…

I had to quickly get that story out of the way before I discussed food… but it for sure is the highlight of harvest for the farmer and I… we are pretty sure nothing will top the amount of enjoyment and laughter we have had over this awkward moment…

continuing with the farmer’s Grandma Swan recipes, and seeings how when you make pie crusts it is in batches of four, I had enough crust for two more pies…

I generally have had to go to the farmers Grandma’s old yard to get some of her rhubarb but I actually planted my own rhubarb this year…  so the raspberries and rhubarb are from my own garden… my daughter and I were pretty pleased with ourselves…

I tend to overfill pies so I have learnt to place them on parchment lined baking sheets

Grandma Swan's Sour Cream Rhubarb Pie

Ingredients:
1 cup white sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 cup sour cream
4 cups rhubarb, cut into small chunks
1 cup frozen raspberries

1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup soft butter, cut into chunks

1 unbaked pastry shell

Directions:
in a large bowl, combine the sugar, flour and sour cream
add the rhubarb and raspberries and combine
pour into an unbaked pie shell
in another bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar and butter until crumbly
sprinkle over the pie
bake at 425 for 15 minutes
lower heat to 350 and bake for 30 minutes or until fork tender

this was an odd day that the smoke from all the forest fires in BC was not actually blocking out the sun so my daughter and I enjoyed some deck time in the sun while husking corn… I always call it shucking corn… the farmer told me I was wrong… but I just did a little google search and found out we both are correct… take that…

the nice thing about the old recipes I find is they are simple… generally have a very short list of ingredients…

Grandma Swan's Scalloped Corn

  • Servings: one casserole
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz. can cream style corn (I used fresh corn on the cob cut off)
  • 1/3 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup cracker crumbs (I used Panko bread crumbs)
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 3/4 cup diced cheddar cheese
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup milk

Directions:

  • combine all ingredients
  • pour into greased 1 1/2 quart casserole dish
  • bake at 350 degrees for about 50 minutes until top is lightly browned and center is set

this was one of those days that I didn’t get started on cooking until after lunch and it was a full on panic and scramble to get everything done… I could not have done it without my ten year old daughter being a huge help…

also the laughter that kept welling up inside me also assisted in getting me through the stressful afternoon of cooking and dishes…

thinking of my son taking the tractor over to the stalled combine only to find someone attempting to have some privacy… I’m giggling as I write this

Grandma Swan's Mandarin Orange Lettuce Salad

Ingredients:

Salad:

  • 1 head romaine lettuce
  • 1 can (bag now) mandarin oranges, drained
  • chow mein noodles
  • 1/2 sunflower seeds (optional)
  • green onions
  • 1/2 cup cashews, chopped

Dressing:

  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard

Directions:

  • for the dressing, blend in a Vitamix or shake very well in a Mason Jar
  • there actually were no directions for this salad…  I guess you just make the salad!

this dish is a harvest classic and one of the farmer’s favourites…  I made it into casseroles and covered them to cook them… generally I would have just made the beef/soup mixture up and poured it over the egg noodles but I found this way was a bit easier for packing up…

Grandma Swan's Beef Stroganoff

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb round steak or stew meat, sliced thinly
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup minced yellow onion
  • 1 pkg white button mushrooms, cut up into chunks
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pkg egg noodles

Directions:

  • for the meat, dredge in flour/salt/pepper mixture
  • place in heated butter in a frying pan with lid and brown
  • set to the side and cook onion and mushrooms
  • in a large bowl, combine the steak, onions, mushrooms, soup and sour cream
  • place in a 9×13 dish in an oven at 325 covered in foil to keep warm
  • boil egg noodles and serve over the egg noodles

 just remember, it is always good to help out… even if it ends up not being helpful… and your family laughs at you for the remainder of harvest

mom is worried

every harvest seems to bring with it a different challenge… this year it is having enough men to get the crop off… my oldest son is working full time for the first time this year… he is 16 and for sure big enough, but I am worried every day now… the farmer remarked to me that I never used to get up worried about packing lunches and making sure water bottles were filled until this year when my beloved son is now heading out every morning…  he might be correct… I told him 12-14 hour days are too much for 16 year olds… yet another thing we disagree on…

just last night he almost ran over my other son with the tractor… Ethan was taking Brandon some chapstick and Brandon was dumping a grain cart into a semi and just about ran Ethan over… after we realized everyone was ok, Ethan and I had a good giggle that it would have been a terrible way to go…  getting run over by your brother while taking him chapstick…  Ethan could think of better ways to exit…

but Brandon was happy to get some ‘real’ work this year…  he said to me, ‘I finally feel like a real person’…  I guess he was sick of moving vehicles and helping me out…  now his younger brother gets that role…

my two kids that help me out realize that it is not the most glamorous work out there… you slave away cooking all day only to get covered in lentil dust and feel like it is an ‘inconvenience’ for anyone to even stop to get their supper! I tell them this is why I take pictures and blog about it…  makes it fun for me even if the supper might not get ate for 4 hours after delivering it or dumped upside down…  at least I’m having fun doing it!

for this first salad I overcooked the quinoa a bit, which made it mushier than I had hoped, but with the addition of the fresh cucumbers my daughter got from the garden it ended up being ok…  I didn’t add the goat cheese or avocado to the farmers salads but did to my own!

southwest quinoa salad

Ingredients:

For the Salad:

  • 4 cups cooked and cooled quinoa (1 1/2 cups dry with 3 cups water and 1 tsp kosher salt)
  • 2 cups halved grape tomatoes
  • 2 medium or 1 large cucumber, diced
  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds removed, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup goat cheese (optional)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 ripe avocado, pitted, peeled and diced (add right before serving)
  • kosher salt, as needed

For the Dressing:

  • zest of 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (roughly 2 limes)
  • 3/4 tsp cumin
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 3 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 red onion

Directions:

  • cook the quinoa up ahead and make sure it is not overdone and cooled
  • add remaining ingredients
  • for the dressing, combine everything with a Vitamix (I like extra dressing so I double the recipe – mostly because I generally add more to the salad than the recipe calls for)
  • store in the fridge until ready to serve
  • add avocado right before serving

I also made this salad this week….  good ol’ Cobb Salad…  the Instant Pot makes the hard boiled egg portion of the meal so quick and easy… perfect eggs every time!

3 minutes for a soft yolk and 4 minutes for a firmer yolk

bacon…  this is the easiest way that I have found to cook it up… 425 degree oven…

then you place it on paper towel to soak up all the grease and chop it up!

for the chicken portion of the salad, I cooked up one of the remaining chickens I have from a neighbouring farmer here…  in the last year and a half of being a vegetarian, the only meat that I long for is chicken skin… technically not meat right?  it’s skin… I don’t long for it raw… cooked chicken skin to be precise…

for both these salads I used my Vitamix for the dressing…. I love it because you don’t have to worry about getting a shockingly large piece of garlic in you salad and I find it makes the dressing nice and creamy…

blue cheese is supposed to go on this salad, and it went on mine, but I hesitate to send any sort of cheese other than feta or cheddar out to the farmers….

cobb salad

Ingredients:

For the Salad:

  • romaine lettuce, chopped
  • chicken, cooked and chopped
  • bacon, chopped
  • hard boiled eggs, quartered
  • cherry tomatoes, halved
  • avocados, sliced
  • blue cheese, crumbled
  • chives, chopped (or green onions)

For the Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper

Directions:

  • for the chicken, I roast a whole chicken and cut it into pieces
  • for the bacon, I place bacon on parchment paper or foil on a baking sheet and cook at 425 degrees until done – then place on paper towel
  • for the eggs, I use the Instant Pot – place eggs on a trivet in the Instant Pot and set to manual for 3-4 minutes… use the quick release and pour cold water over to stop the cooking
  • arrange the salad (I like to put the lettuce on the bottom, then the dressing, then the rest of the ingredients)
  • for the dressing, I place all the ingredients in the Vitamix and blend

it is hard to know portion wise how much food to send out – as we have a wide range of ages working out there and for some it might be enough food to survive for a week while for others, like my son, it apparently isn’t enough to get him to 10 pm in the evening… at least when I hear him eating cereal when he gets home I think that it wasn’t enough food…

I was going to post a new meat sauce recipe for lasagne but it was such a failure that I have to go back to the drawing board…  more to come on this…  needless to say I was mad…

side note: whenever I am forced (yes the farmer forces me) to cook with red meat or ground beef, the smell of it kind of makes me sick to my stomach and I think I would way rather pop a B12 pill any day than eat the meat…  just saying – it is an option!

here are the lasagnes after so much anger towards my meat sauce… Prego tomato sauce and fresh basil in ricotta saved the day!

dessert time… and this one was a hit for my 10 year old daughter… she helped me make them and loved the recipe…

I had never roasted bananas like this before for a recipe so it was fun to see how they would turn out…  everything about this recipe is light and fluffy and delicious…

I don’t often do this but with this recipe I sifted the flour with the baking soda, baking powder and salt to get the batter nice and soft…  then folding in the egg whites added more light texture to the cupcakes…

this is the part she loved… piping the frosting… eating the frosting…  laying down with a belly ache and a large glass of water after consuming too much frosting…

roasted banana cupcakes

Ingredients:

For the Cupcakes:

  • 3-4 ripe bananas (I use 4)
  • 2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature, separated
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

For the Frosting:

  • 2 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

  • for the roasted bananas, bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes… place the bananas whole on a parchment paper covered baking sheet… they will get black… peel and let cool
  • return oven to 350 degrees
  • for the dry ingredients, sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl
  • in an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar
  • add the egg yolks one at a time
  • add the dry ingredients and sour cream in stages
  • place in a bowl and clean our electric mixer bowl
  • whisk the three egg whites until soft peaks form
  • fold into the batter
  • scoop into greased paper liners in muffin tins
  • bake for 30 minutes and let cool completely
  • for the frosting, beat all ingredients until smooth, scraping bowl down as needed
  • pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes

hanging up the apron

no one cares anymore…  these farmers?  nope… could care less about food… you know what they do care about?  me not getting in their way as they are driving out of a field…

I get it… I see the way they toss the supper bags around like they are heaving sandbags preparing for a flood and I think – I’d be over my meal-in-the-field’ fun too

harvest began August 17 and ‘ended’ on September 20… actual harvesting days ended up being 24… very good year time wise…

yet, even on a good year, they are all done with suppers…

they try to smile and say thank you… but I can see it in their eyes…  the love is gone and they have moved on…

no pausing for pictures or light-hearted joking while we stand around as I hand them their supper bags…  instead I get covered in dust trying to grab a few photos for my grandpa and the farmer’s grandma to enjoy…

so you know what I do?  I stop caring…  take that…

I compare it to how you serve wine at a party… you buy a few nice bottles and then a box… you give your guests one glass of the $17 wine you splurged on and then any refills are boxed wine… they don’t even notice…

earlier in harvest they received fruit salad with a lovely homemade dressing on it…  late in harvest, just fruit… no dressing… deal with it…

dessert you ask?  packaged brownie mix from Costco…  I didn’t even dust icing sugar on it like I normally would have…

it does have similarities to what my love life was like, before I met the farmer of course… all butterflies and excitement for the first few days… I’d be making mixed tapes or cd’s with my favourite songs, writing in my journal at length and orchestrate many attempts to ‘show up’ at the location my ‘prey’ would be at in order to be around them…

then I would start to notice how they laughed, or what they laughed at, or how they chewed their food, or their body odour, or their appearance in general…  and the ‘sparkle’ would be gone…

then it becomes a game of putting as little effort into the relationship as possible in order to get the other person to break up with you so you aren’t the bad person…

this is also known as marriage… only difference is we have this rule you can’t break up…

this is where I find myself at the end of every harvest… breakup zone

I see the farmer’s swinging their supper bags around like they are Little Red Riding Hood on their way to Grandma’s House and I think….  ‘oh I see you shaking my pie into pudding…  I’ll show you’

so I buy the cheapest food possible at Costco…  and spend a few minutes throwing it together… can’t hurt me if I was trying to break up with you as well!

turns out, it works!  after they had this meal the farmer has told me every night since that they don’t need supper!

now… if I had spent a lot of time on that last supper, how devastated would I have been to hear that news… I would have doubted my cooking ability and my self-worth would have been in the crapper…  but no, I guarded my heart and basically broke up with the farmer before he could break up with me…

so, to all the cooks out their slaving away for the farmers…  don’t you dare end on a high note…  no one will appreciate it…  their thoughts have moved on to football, hockey and hunting… they would eat anything at this stage of the game…

save your fancy cooking for Thanksgiving… you have relatives to impress…

pesto potato salad, teddy bear chili and blueberry polenta scones

the farmer’s alarm clock goes off at 3:40 am… then 3:45… then again at 3:47…  he gets out of bed, gets dressed and brushes his teeth using the flashlight from his phone so he doesn’t wake me up…  I consider that I should tell him that I am totally awake due to his three alarm system…

but this is his routine so I let him continue on with the exact same thing every morning… he will go upstairs and make a coffee and pack his lunch with more often than not the leftovers of the meal to the field the night before…

he wanders back downstairs to kiss me goodbye and wish me a good day…

and then I generally get the best sleep of the whole night… for some reason, that 4 am-7am sleep feels like an extra nights sleep… generally filled with crazy dreams and waking up every half hour but getting to fall back asleep again…  nothing better…

I tried one time last spring to get up when he did and I accomplished so much by 8 am that I had no work left to do for the day…  not making that mistake again this seeding… I only have a certain amount of work to do in a day and I don’t need the 3 extra hours in the morning to complete it…

this morning I got the kids breakfast and lunches done and began meal prep…  potatoes boiled and crockpot chili made…

I call this ‘Teddy Bear chili’ because the beef I am using for it is from my friend’s daughter’s 4H cow named Teddy Bear… I feel like my kids need to know that they are eating Teddy Bear when they eat chili… circle of life etc…

teddy bear chili

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 green bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cans (15 oz) pinto or kidney beans
  • optional toppings: sour cream, grated cheese, avocado, sourdough bread

Directions:

  • heat oil in a pan and saute the carrots and onion for around 5 minutes
  • add salt and green peppers
  • place this mixture into your crock pot
  • add meat to pan, drain off fat and then add seasoning to meat
  • add the meat to the crockpot
  • add the remaining ingredients to the crockpot and cook on low for 4-6 hours (or keep on warm)

after the meal prep and then an hour of bookwork I paid my first visit out to the seeders…  this is a common sight this time of year… the seed trucks and fuel truck…

the farmer picked me up and I comment on things like ‘I think that seeder is very pretty’… I ask him every year the same questions I think…  I can’t remember…

these screens in his tractor are very interesting… it boggles my mind the technology that is involved in putting a crop in…

but more things than not boggle my mind so who knows… maybe it’s not that amazing…

today the wind here was gusting from 50-70 km an hour…  you couldn’t even tell in here but I barely made it back to my vehicle…

if I was the farmer I’d race Gerald – who is driving the other tractor – but he doesn’t seem to play that game…

power poles… this is why I’m the cook and not operating machinery! (well it’s on a short list of 8 reasons I’m the cook)

so I head home to run on my treadmill as opposed to the tornado outside and then finish up the meal… these blueberry polenta scones were about the easiest desserts I’ve ever made… simple and I enjoyed eating one with an afternoon coffee…

ok two… I ate two…

blueberry polenta scones

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries

Directions:

  • preheat oven to 425 degrees
  • line baking sheet with parchment paper
  • mix the flour, cornmeal, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a mixing bowl
  • add the milk, oil and vanilla and combine
  • fold in the berries
  • pour out on well floured counter
  • pat into a rectangle – it will be a sticky mixture
  • cut into 8 wedges
  • with a spatula, scoop and place on the baking sheet
  • brush the tops with almond milk and sprinkle with brown sugar
  • bake until golden on bottom – 12 to 15 minutes

I made the arugula pesto in my Vitamix because I do not own a food processor (perhaps this Mother’s Day I’ll strike it rich and get one!!! fingers crossed…)

my kids loved this potato salad and I have my fingers crossed that a few of the farmers enjoyed it… we’ll see when I get the dishes tomorrow!

it does look green and scary so I’m not holding my breath… we have one farmer who has told my husband he loves salads so I get very excited to think of him eating it!

pesto potato salad

Ingredients:

Salad:

  • 2 lbs red potatoes, cut into 1” pieces
  • kosher salt
  • 1 cup Arugula Cashew Pesto
  • ground black pepper

Pesto:

  • 1 cup cashews
  • 2 cups tightly packed arugula
  • 1 1/4 cups grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest

Directions:

  • boil potatoes in water with salt until they are just tender – but not mushy
  • drain and cool
  • to make pesto, place ingredients in a food processor (I had to use my Vitamix) and pulse until slightly chunky
  • add pesto to potatoes until you have as much on the potatoes as you like
  • store the rest of the pesto in the fridge
  • sprinkle salad with black pepper and serve

the farmer’s shift on the seeder ends around 3 pm and he begins the running around making sure things are going smoothly…  he generally has time to stop in and pick suppers up to deliver them…

and I head to my son’s hockey practice for the evening…  it seems to be either baseball or hockey but evenings are generally filled…

 living in an area where you see others working so hard this time of year is exciting and inspiring… and you know days are filled with ups and downs… I’ve come to see that farming is one good thing mixed with about four difficult things…

but if it’s in your blood it’s in your blood…

and when I take his picture every year in the tractor I feel like it’s similar to a 16 year old boy with their new truck…  boys like to play in the dirt… and this farmer is no exception…

seeding meal #1

I listen to a lot of podcasts…  it used to be audiobooks and then I’d tell people I read the book…  but now I’ve moved on to podcasts…  and let me tell you, it is taking an afternoon in the kitchen to a whole new level…

at times it is a level of missed ingredients, forgetting something is in the oven or too much knowledge going into my head and not enough retention…

but it does make it so I get all excited to get my house chores done, go get the mail and do some banking, hit up the store to pick up a few items, go for the run my calendar tells me I have to go for that day and finish up some yard work… all the while I am thinking that I am going to reward myself with hours in the kitchen listening to podcasts…  while I cook for farmers…

and I think to myself… dream job…  seriously, I have never been more happy…

there is a range of podcasts that I like to listen to… and sometimes it takes around 15 minutes for me to decide on which one to go for…

krista tippett, timothy keller, the longest shortest time, bill simmons, nomad, serial, rob bell…  I held back the urge to listen to ‘game of thrones the podcast’…

the only issue is when I go to take pictures of the food I’m half concentrating on cooking, it pauses my podcasts… and I’m not going to lie…  it has forced me to take fewer photos of food… possibly is forcing me to learn how to use a camera… just so the podcasts go uninterrupted…

beef pot roast with peppercorn gravy

  • Servings: 10 +2 dogs
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 4 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
  • 2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 1 head garlic, broken up
  • 4 dried bay leaves
  • 2 tsp rosemary
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 500 mL dry red wine
  • 250 mL beef broth
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 4 lb boneless beef chuck roast (trimmed and tied snuggly with kitchen string)
  • kosher salt
  • lemon pepper
  • rosemary

– 1 pkg bacon, cooked

Directions:

  • in a medium pot, add the first ingredients and bring to boil
  • reduce heat and simmer while getting roast ready
  • in a dutch oven, heat olive oil
  • pat dry the roast and then season with salt, pepper and rosemary
  • sear on all sides
  • pour the vegetable and wine mixture over the roast
  • place in oven at 300 degrees for 3 1/2 hours
  • lift out roast and put on cutting board
  • cover with foil
  • strain liquid and pour the remaining liquid into a medium pot
  • add 1/4 cup butter and 1/4 all purpose flour
  • whisk until the gravy thickens
  • add seasoning as needed to gravy
  • serve with potatoes and a slice of bacon!


garlic roasted white potatoes

Ingredients:

  • around 4 lbs medium white potatoes, cut into wedges
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 head garlic, minced

Directions:

  • preheat oven to 450 degrees
  • in a large bowl, add cut potatoes
  • add the rest of the ingredients
  • let sit for a bit and then place potatoes on a parchment lined baking sheet
  • bake for 25-30 minutes until done and slightly crispy

whole wheat biscuits

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Robin Hood ‘Tastes Like White’ flour (or whole wheat pastry flour)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted cold butter, cubed
  • 1 cup cold buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup melted butter (for brushing)

Directions:

  • preheat oven to 450 degrees
  • in a bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt
  • add butter and with a pastry blender cut the butter in until the mixture resembles coarse oatmeal
  • pour in buttermilk and gently pull together with a spatula
  • dump out onto floured counter top and gently roll out till it is 3/4 inch thick
  • dip a 2.5 inch biscuit cutter in flour and cut out the biscuits
  • do not twist, as this prevents the biscuits from rising evenly, but just press down
  • place on a parchment lined baking sheet and brush with butter
  • bake for 10 minutes
  • best served warm

Brandon, my 14 year old who lost all brain function about 3 months ago, actually suggested the sour cream on the side to go along with the roast, potatoes and burnt bacon… (but I learnt a lot of life lessons from the podcast I was engrossed in while the bacon was burning…  so in the end I think a good thing)…  I was proud of him… prouder than I have been in ages…  months actually… I almost included him in the picture that was interrupting my podcast…

first meal during seeding…  I thought I’d include bacon twice…  just in case nothing else tasted good…

mixed greens with orange balsamic vinaigrette

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp fresh orange juice
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 clove of garlic, smashed (removed before serving)
  • mixed greens
  • bacon (cooked and cut up)
  • cashews (roasted and unsalted)
  • mandarin orange slices (canned… drained)

Directions:

  • in a salad shaker, combine ingredients except for the garlic and shake until well mixed
  • add the garlic and store in refrigerator for a few hours
  • make individuals salads
  • take out garlic, shake dressing again and pour over the salads

lemon bundt cake

  • Servings: 1 bundt cake
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Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 tbsp grated lemon zest (around 3 lemons)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (around 2-3 lemons)
  • 6 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups all  purpose flour
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Directions:

  • preheat oven to 325 degrees
  • using Crisco or butter, butter a bundt pan and flour it
  • place in the fridge to cool
  • in a mixer, combine sugar and butter until well mixed
  • add eggs, one at a time
  • add lemon zest and lemon juice
  • combine flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder in a bowl and add to mixer
  • add yogurt to mixer
  • pour into the bundt pan
  • bake for 1 hour 20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean
  • cool on a wire rack, in the pan, for one hour
  • turn cake out and cool for another hour
  • mix powdered sugar and lemon juice and drizzle over room temperature cake

this is what happens to a cake when you put it in the oven and then forget you did and go for a run… and then are rushed for time so you put the glaze on before it is cool…

the farmer told me it was shockingly moist and good… so apparently you cannot wreck this cake…

I spent the weekend in Calgary with a little girl that is dear to my heart…  she is a miniature Brene Brown or Oprah… everything that comes out of her mouth is a ‘life lesson’ or ‘a-ha’ moment…  and I feel close to her as I listen to podcast after podcast and wonder when I am going to be able to handle my kids coming home from school and not screaming at them to put their lunch kits in the proper spot…

meal to the field #1

 the first meal to the field is always a little ‘hairy’…  not sure when to cook things, when to pack them up…  when to cry because I’m overwhelmed…

the first meal plan was:

  • Hot Corned Beef Sandwiches
  • Tammy’s Buns
  • Garlic Roasted Potatoes
  • Fresh Corn Casserole
  • Macaroni Salad
  • Saskatoon Berry Crumble Cake

the other wrinkle thrown into my plans was a 2 hour wait in a doctor’s office to get my knee looked at… during this time I left my children (child labourers) to tend to the cooking and packing…  

I had made this Saskatoon Berry Crumble Cake earlier on in the morning… I made it in a square baking pan and realized as it was flowing over the sides and making a mess of the oven that a 9×13 is a better idea…  I like to learn by mistake – every time – only way I learn anything

Saskatoon Berry Crumble Cake

Ingredients

For the Cake:

– 2 cups all purpose flour

– 1 1/2 tsp baking powder

– 1 tsp baking soda

– 1/2 tsp kosher salt

– 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

– 1 cup white sugar

– zest of 1 large lemon

– 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

– 2 large eggs, at room temperature

– 1 tsp vanilla extract

– 1 cup plain Greek yogurt

– 2 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)

For the Streusel Topping:

– 1/2 cup all purpose flour

– 1/2 cup brown sugar

– 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

– 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cubed

Directions

– preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease an 9×13 pan

– whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon

– cream the sugar, lemon zest and butter

– add eggs and beat until smooth

– add vanilla and Greek yogurt and mix until combined

– add dry ingredients and mix until just combined

– fold in blueberries with a spatula

– for the streusel topping, combine ingredients and work it until the mixture resembles oatmeal

– pour the cake in the pan and top with the streusel

– bake until golden and toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean

(approx. 40 min)

this Macaroni Salad is delish…  I remember being in Oahu and my farmer went out to pick up a cheap supper so we didn’t break the bank on a meal out with our kid’s whom neither of us enjoy a meal out with anyways…  so we were left watching ‘River Monsters’ and he came back with ribs, rice and macaroni salad…  this is when I discovered that Hawaiians loved macaroni salad as much as people that like to eat at Kentucky Fried Chicken…

Macaroni Salad

Ingredients

– 4 cups dry elbow macaroni

– 3 roasted red peppers, chopped

– 1/2 cup (200 mL can) black olives, chopped

– 1/2 cup dill pickles, chopped

– 6 green onions, sliced (1/2 cup)

– 1/2 cup radishes, sliced

– 1/2 cup mayonnaise

– 1 tbsp red wine vinegar

– 3 tsp sugar

– 1/2 tsp kosher salt

– freshly ground black pepper

– 1/4 cup milk

– small splash of pickle juice

Directions

– cook macaroni in lightly salted water, drain and set aside

– to roast the red peppers, put whole peppers on a sheet pan in the oven at 500 degrees for 30 minutes

– cover with tin foil and let sit for 30 minutes

– cut the top off and remove charred skin and seeds

– mix mayo, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper

– add enough milk to make it pourable

– splash in the pickle juice for extra flavour

– mix macaroni and dressing

– stir in olives, roasted red peppers, pickles, green onions and radishes

– chill for at least 2 hours before serving

the potatoes are curtesy of my garden… and the boys made them for me while I was at the knee appointment…  they even blanched them first, then paper towel dried them off and then coated them in the olive oil and spices and then lade them out on the pan individually… I informed them later that it was awesome they did that but didn’t need to go to that much work!

Garlic Roasted Potatoes

Ingredients

– 5 pounds red potatoes (sliced into wedges and enough for 2 sheet pans)

– 1/2 cup olive oil

– 2 tsp kosher salt

– 1 tsp ground pepper

– 2 tbsp minced garlic (around 6 cloves)

– 2 tbsp minced fresh parsley (or 1tbsp dried parsley)

Directions

– boil salted water and put half of the wedges in for 3 minutes or until water is back to a boil to blanch them

– remove with a strainer and put immediately into a ice water or cold water bath (I put mine into the sink filled with cold water)

– repeat with the other half of potatoes

– dry potatoes wedges on a tea towel

– toss the potatoes with the olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic

– transfer onto a sheet pan with parchment paper lining it

– roast in oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes until brown and crisp

– flip once while roasting

– remove from oven and add parsley

we also went to the garden for some corn on the cob and made it into Garden Corn Casserole…  it is one of my favourite ways to take corn to the field…

Garden Corn Casserole

Ingredients

– 12 ears of corn (still in the husk – 10 cups after cut off)

– 1 1/3 cups heavy cream (half & half works)

– 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

– 2 tsp kosher salt

– ground pepper

Directions

– remove corn from husks

– in a large deep bowl, slice off the kernels of corn

– with the dull side of the knife, press and scrape out the creamy milk of the rest of the cob

– add butter, heavy cream, salt and pepper

– put into a 9×13 baking dish

– bake at 350 degree oven for 30-45 minutes

 lastly…  the Hot Corned Beef Sandwiches… I bought the corned beef at Prairie Meats in Saskatoon, SK…  and it was excellent…  this is my oldest boy’s hand in the picture… my other boy is taking the picture with his phone… they learn from their mom pretty quickly that everyone likes to see every move you make documented on Instagram…   they had to make and wrap in tin foil all 20 sandwiches…  for boy’s that spent most of August playing Clash of Clans this is quite the undertaking… but they pulled it off!

Hot Corned Beef Sandwiches

Ingredients

– Tammy’s Buns (see following recipe)

– Corned Beef (I bought seasoned at Prairie Meats)

– 1 pound Provolone cheese

– 1/2 cup mayonnaise

– 6 tbsp grated onion

– 1 tbsp poppy seeds

– 2 tbsp spicy mustard

– 1/4 tsp worcestershire sauce

Directions

– cook corned beef at 325 degree oven with beef broth and apple cider vinegar in the pan for 3 hours

– slice the corned beef thinly

– slice buns

– mix mayo and other ingredients

– spread the dressing on both the top and bottom of bun

– place meat and cheese slices in

– wrap each sandwich in foil and either put in fridge to heat up later or bake right away

– 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes

Tammy's Buns

Ingredients

– 3 cups warm water

– 1/2 cup sugar

– 6 tbsp (90 mL) crisco oil

– 1 tsp salt

– 2 tbsp Fermipan instant rise yeast

– 2 eggs, room temperature, beaten

– 8 3/4 cups all purpose flour

Directions

– in a Bosch dough mixer (or any mixer with a dough hook) add all ingredients except for flour and mix

– add half of the flour, mix and then the other half and mix

– beat for 7 minutes

– let rise in a warm place, covered with a tea towel and punch down 3 times every 15 minutes

– form buns and allow them to rise for 45 minutes covered

– bake at 350 for 17 minutes