On December 21, the egg count was 5 dozen exactly.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
On December 21, the egg count was 5 dozen exactly.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
Socrates, according to Xenephon, holds that the art of household management is one of (if not the) highest arts, and that farming is central to its activity. Since the nineteenth century, however, Xenephon's Socrates has been largely occluded from consideration on grounds that his characterization was taken to be too simple-minded or philistine to represent the founder of Western political philosophy. Put differently, perhaps it is his subject matter - home economics and farming - that causes philosophers to ignore him. Perhaps not. In any case, in Xenephon's Oeconomicus Socrates' central claim is that "not even the altogether blessed can abstain from farming. For the pursuit of farming seems to be at the same time some soft pleasure, an increase of the household, and a training of the bodies so that they can do whatever befits a free man." Socrates goes on:
"First, the earth bears, to those who work it, what human beings live on, and it bears in addition what they take pleasure in experiencing..."
"It exercises those who work with their own hands and adds to their strength, and it produces a kind of manliness even in those who are merely concerned with farming, causing them to rise early in the morning and compelling them to move about vigorously. For in the country as in town, the most important actions have always their proper season..."
"Further, the earth stimulates in some degree the farmers to armed protection of the country by nourishing her crops in the open for the strongest to take...."
"Furthermore, the earth, being a goddess, teaches justice to those who are able to learn, for she gives the most goods in return to those who serve her best..."
"At the same time farming educates in helping others. For in fighting one's enemies, as well as in working the earth, it is necessary to have the assistance of other human beings. The one who is going to farm well, then, must provide himself with eager workers who are willing to obey him...The farmer must often exhort his workers no less than the general his soldiers; and good hopes are no less necessary to slaves than to the free, but rather more so, that they may be willing to remain."
"Whoever said that farming is the mother and nurse of all the other arts spoke finely indeed. For when farming goes well, all the other arts also flourish, but when the earth is compelled to lie barren, other other arts almost cease to exist, at sea as well as on the earth."
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Brining your turkey before cooking is the best way to ensure that the meat is juicy and flavorful. The salt in the brine solution breaks down some of the muscle protein in the meat (making it more tender) and also allows the meat to absorb whatever flavoring you add to the solution.
2 cups salt
2 cups sugar
2 gallons of water (orange juice or apple cider can be substituted for some water)
Optional ingredients for flavor:
3 bay leaves
1/2 cup of your favorite dried herbs and spices (sage, oregano, thyme, basil, cloves, cinnamon, etc.)
1 tablespoon cracked black peppercorns
lemon or orange slices
crushed garlic cloves
First: In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, combine 1 gallon of water, salt, sugar and optional flavor ingredients. Stir until sugar and salt have dissolved, but do not boil. Remove pot from heat and let cool for 15 minutes.
Next: Spread a layer of ice into the bottom of a cooler that is a little larger than the turkey. Set the brining bag inside cooler of ice and place turkey, breast side down, inside bag. Pour cooled brine over turkey, plus an additional 1 gallon of water or juice. To further cool brine, add 2 scoops of ice into brine bag. Seal bag, making sure to let out as much air as possible. Add additional ice to cooler so that your turkey stays at 40 degrees Fahrenheit while brining. Brine for one hour per pound of turkey. Do not over brine, or turkey will be salty.
Last: Remove turkey from brine, scooping some of the herbs and spices from brine solution and spreading onto the skin of the turkey for extra flavor. Brush turkey with vegetable oil or melted butter and cook as desired until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. Discard brine and clean area exposed to raw poultry.
Cooking your heritage turkey:
Besides the fact that these heritage turkeys have been raised the old fashioned way--with plenty of grass and sunshine--they need to be cooked differently than their modern, factory-farmed counterparts. Heritage turkeys are much leaner and smaller than sedentary commercial birds. Fast cooking at high temperatures is a better method than slow roasting. Heritage turkeys should be roasted at 425-450 degrees F until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature in the thigh! Butter (plus flavorings like rosemary, sage, maple, etc) can be added under the breast skin to add flavor and moisture during roasting. Loosen the skin around the breast with your fingers and insert butter between the meat and the skin as well as on the inside of the bird's cavity.
Remember your giblets inside!
- 2 cups white wine
- 2 cups water
- Giblets (look inside body cavity of turkey)
- Bay leaf
Simmer everything in a small saucepan for 15 minutes. Discard bay leaf. Giblets can be discarded if they aren't your type of thing or they can be finely chopped and added to the broth. Giblets can also be used to make gravy.
Finally, take a picture of your bird on the table - and maybe even with the family! - and send it to us and we'll put it on the blog. If you include cooking/eating notes, we'll post those as well!
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
These hens were raised on our farm from day one with integrity and care, on an all-natural, custom-mixed diet free of antibiotics or hormones. Living entirely on pasture, rotated every few days to a fresh paddock, the eggs from these hens are naturally healthy and delicious, with deep orange yolks that stand up tall in the pan and a smooth, rich taste you'll remember.Why are these eggs so good?
* Truly free range
* All-natural diet
* No antibiotics
* No hormones
* Local: Joelton, TN
Egg deliveries are on Tuesdays and Thursdays to the Nashville Metro area. Individual dozens are $4 each, or $35 for ten dozen. Commercial accounts welcome.
Monday, November 16, 2009
A poetic break, courtesy of Briget as well:
in the family of things.
- Mary Oliver