Monday, July 11, 2011

July is Hotter than Hannah

Hotter than Hannah
I walked into Annutto’s the other day and the woman next to me exclaimed, “Wow, it’s hotter than Hannah.” Who is Hannah? How hot is she? I continued my produce shopping with an image of scantily clad, busty Hannah – kind of the Hustler version of Elly May on the Beverly Hillbillies. Hard to banish the image from your brain while you are buying local melons.

Duck Soup

Do you recall the duck disaster last year when 100 ready-to-slaughter ducks escaped through the fence and swam down the stream.  We can only imagine they made it all the way to the Susquehanna River. Never found a single feather. The ducks are on the other side of the road – a good distance from the stream. Ducks are happiest in water so we have a swimming pool for them. They make a mess of the water and it has to be changed daily. We are slaughtering ducks every Thursday along with the chickens. Here is my favorite duck recipe using the raspberries that are ripening faster than we can pick them.

Whole Roasted Duck with Raspberry Port Sauce
1 five lb whole duck
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup melted butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
Rub salt, pepper, and paprika into the skin of the duck. Place in a roasting pan.
Roast duck in preheated oven for 1 hour. Spoon 1/4 cup melted butter over bird, and continue cooking for 45 more minutes. Spoon remaining 1/4 cup melted butter over duck, and cook for 15 more minutes, or until golden brown.

Raspberry Port Sauce
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 shallot, minced
1/4 cup ruby port
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons seedless raspberry preserves
1 tablespoon raspberry vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup raspberries

Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a medium saucepan. Add the shallot and cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the port and white wine and cook over moderate heat until the sauce is reduced to 2 tablespoons, about 7 minutes. Add the raspberry preserves, vinegar and mustard and whisk over low heat until smooth. Add the raspberries and cook, whisking gently to break up the berries. Whisk in the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and season with salt and pepper; keep the sauce warm.

Be A Local Hero - Invest in Kortright Creek Creamery

Be a local hero. Invest in Kortright Creek Creamery, and help local dairy farmers succeed. Why are we building a creamery on our farm? We have been milking goats for 15 years. In addition to the sale of raw goat milk on the farm, we have been bottling organic goat milk, making organic yogurt in three seasonal flavors and soft cheese for 8 years. The Big Creamery with which we were working is no longer available. The nearest creamery that can accommodate small producers is over 3 hours away.

We were faced with two options: sell our goat dairy herd and close down the dairy or build a creamery on our farm. Eight years of working at the Big Creamery gave us the expertise on how to bottle milk and produce yogurt and cheese. We learned what to do right and most importantly what not to do. We visited many small creameries to see the operations and inspect the equipment. And most importantly, we asked each dairy producer, “If you could build your creamery over again, what would you do differently?” In collaboration with Farm Catskills, a non-profit agricultural organization, we secured a Rural Business Enterprise Grant from the USDA for the purchase of the equipment for the Creamery. We now have everything we need to bottle milk, make yogurt and cheese and other dairy products. Everything, except the building. The creamery will function as a community creamery for local dairy farmers who want to experiment with creating value-added dairy products and need a facility and a support team to help them add value to their milk so they can survive and succeed. The Farm Catskills USDA grant includes funds for training in production, marketing and distribution.

Invest and enjoy the rewards:
$5-$24: a kid goat named after you. You receive a birth certificate and photo.
$25-$49: selection of organic goat milk yogurts (5 6oz cups for $25 or 10 for $49)
$50-$99: selection of organic goat milk and goat milk yogurts
$100: dinner for two at Fable = farm+table or 5 Sunday brunches (excludes, tax, beer and wine and service)
$250: The Farm GetAway - one night stay at Stone & Thistle Farm’s bed & breakfast and dinner for two at Fable= farm+table (excludes tax, beer and wine and service)
$500: The Farm Adventure - Farmer for a Day (see flyer) for up to four persons. One night stay at Stone & Thistle Farm’s bed & breakfast and $150 of meats, cheese, goat milk products or farm products from the farm’s store.
$1,000 +: One day private workshop: your choice of cheese making or yogurt making in the new creamery or sheep herding with expert sheep dog trainer or butchering workshop with rabbits or poultry, plus a farm luncheon plus a one night stay at Stone & Thistle Farm’s bed & breakfast.

Can’t invest cash but have time to help build or materials to donate? Let's barter!
See for more details on how to invest.

It’s Rabbit Time
The pasture raised rabbits are ready to slaughter so we are serving braised rabbit smothered in raspberry onion sauce on Saturday July 16th at Fable. I love the taste of rabbit.  Yup I am still trying to use up the raspberries!
Amuse:  blue cheese and basil honey toasts 
Blue Cheese is from Caulkins Creamery, the basil from my herb garden and the honey from Mark Vamos

Starter: smoky bacon and garlic soup
Bacon and garlic from our farm

Main: braised rabbit smothered with raspberry onion sauce
roasted spiked red beets
Rabbit, onions and raspberries from our farm and beets from Lucky Dog Farm

After:  greens with berry vinaigrette dressing
Greens from Lucky Dog Farm

Dessert:  raspberry pavlova
Raspberries and eggs for meringue from our farm

Hope to see you soon.