Thursday, October 02, 2014

Winter Cooking Classes - #1 Indian Cuisine

I am proud to introduce the first in our series of winter cooking classes. On Sunday, November 2, 2014 we happily introduce you to Michelle Peter-Jones and Addie Raghaven. Michelle and Addie are both passionate foodies and expert cooks. It also helps that they are both of Indian origin and both have studied Indian cuisine during long stays in exotic India! You will learn the art of Indian cooking from two true experts on the subject. You will also enjoy learning about India and it's amazing culture of flavour.

The classes will be held in the warm and cozy kitchen of our Strawbale Farm House. A gentle fire rolling in the wood stove will make you feel right at home. The kitchen not large, so class sizes are limited to 8 participants. We will also utilize the outdoor cob oven for much of the menu...the taste of wood-fired dishes are beyond compare.

The day begins at noon and will run until we are finished enjoying the days cooking. Fine refreshments are included, the food will be amazing and the things you learn will be with you always.

To register for the class RSVP to goldforestgrains@yahoo.ca 

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

GFG's Ultimate Peanut Butter Cookies

This is a family favourite on our farm. I like them crispy for dunking in my afternoon coffee. This instantly brings me back to when I was a kid on Nana and Papa's farm where the same ritual was played out 40 years ago. Cindy and the kids like them a little more chewy and with Chocolate Chips. So, take your pick how you like your peanut butter cookie. Either way, they're pretty darn good.

1/2 cup butter - room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup peanut butter - It has to be crunchy peanut butter or it's not a peanut butter cookie.
1-1/2 cup GFG Park or Red Fife flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

1 - Cream the butter and sugars
2 - Add egg, vanilla and peanut butter and beat well
3 - In a separate bowl mix the dry ingredients
3 - Add dry to wet and mix until incorporated

Drop suitable spoon fulls of dough onto a cookie sheet and make a criss cross pattern with a fork. Again, if you don't do this...it's not a peanut butter cookie.

In the meantime, you will have pre-heated your oven to 400 degrees. Once the oven is ready, bake your cookies. This is the tricky part. The cookies go from chewy to crispy really quick. So if you like chewy cookies they will cook in about 8 mins. Once they just start to turn colour around the edges. Leave them to colour fully for another 2 minutes or so and they will be crunchy when they cool, ready for coffee.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Rain, glorious rain!

With seeding about 1/2 complete I was getting nervous about the lack of rain in our area. It was dry...very dry. While that made the seeding operations steam along, it did nothing for my anxiety over whether we would get to harvest anything that we were busy seeding. 

With organic farming, the weather and timing are absolutely critical. A good, quick germination immediately after a light tillage means that the crops will get ahead of any possible weed infestation. It is all about competition for resources at ground level. Seed the wheat too early or when it is too dry and it sits in the ground waiting while all around it existing weed sprouts happily push to the sky soaking up the snow's valuable moisture. At times, it is a very complicated process for me. I am glued to the computer monitor watching the latest radar tracking timing the seeding process as precisely as I can. 

This year has been especially crucial as there simply has been no moisture to contend with at all. Luckily, we had a fairly good snow pack and our clay loam soils have retained a lot of moisture. The seeds that were sown earlier are now starting to show themselves. First up is Buckwheat!

This Buckwheat was seeded about a week ago. It is only intended as a plow-down so it was sown earlier than Buckwheat normally would. Buckwheat is a short-season crop, maturing in as little as 90 days under ideal conditions. Normally, I would till the fields from time to time getting rid of the weeds until early June and then seed the Buckwheat that would then be harvested in October. 

Finally, the rain came today! After days of rain all around us I was ready for a psychiatrist. Overnight last night, we had some moisture. Off and on all day today we've had good periods of rain. This will go a long way towards germinating the wheat and flax that have also been seeded.

Nothing stresses me more than a drought...