Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Tis' the season...Butter Tarts!

I am a huge Butter Tart fan! Butter Tarts have always been a family favorite and my Nana was awesome at making them every Christmas. Christmas for me would not be the same without those syrupy, sweet treats. As I got older, that became my present from her. For as long as she could bake I received a tin of butter tarts each year. That is a very fond memory for me.

I don't think that I have her recipe anywhere...I have flipped through the family's All-Star recipe book that my Mom put together for us. But, this recipe comes close and is really easy to prepare.

I used our Soft White Wheat for the pastry. It is still an Entire-Grain flour, but you wouldn't know it. The pastry is light, tender and flaky....but, it is SO flavourful; beyond anything available at any store.

So, here is the recipe for you that I use from food.com.

http://www.food.com/recipe/award-winning-butter-tarts-14756

For the pastry I don't use a recipe. Here is my description of what I do.

1) A certain amount of Soft White Wheat flour...perhaps 4-5 cups.
2) A pinch of salt
3) A certain amount of lard. I'd say around a cup
4) Ice cold water

I use our Kitchen Aid with the whisk beater. I add the salt to the flour and stir. Then I add the cold lard that I've cut into small pieces.
I start the mixer on medium and let it blend in the lard until it is starting to break down into smaller pieces. The ideal goal with be to have "pea" size pieces of lard in the flour
I then turn the mixer to low and slowly start adding the cold water. I add very little at a time and I let it mix well. Add enough water so that the mix finally comes together into a dough consistency. It will take awhile. Ball up the dough and keep in the fridge until you need it.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Memories of Fall '13

Fall is past. Winter is most definitely here. And I am not prepared. This was such a hectic fall once again and my winter preparations were left to the last minute. With our farming properties spread out so much we are able to mitigate any damage from any one particular storm that usually occurs somewhere around us. The downside to this situation is the amount of time it takes to move equipment and get parts for repairs. We seriously need to consolidate our land holdings. The other thing that really hampered our harvest was breakdowns. There were two periods when the main combine, our Allis Chalmers L2 was down for days at a time with major repairs necessary. The end result though was that we did indeed finish our harvest. It was tough though. Many difficult days.

My daughter showed me this picture though the other day. I didn't know that she and her friend had taken some photos out in the Spelt field. They were beautiful! It made me realize that even though I had had a difficult Fall, she had enjoyed it. It brought me back to my days as a farm kid in the Fall and it made me smile.