Happy Canada Day!

macerating fruit

macerating fruit

we’ll be celebrating with an almost all home-grown (our blueberries aren’t ready yet, these are store bought) & foraged berry sourdough pandowdy.  salmon berries, sweet & sour cherries, black raspberries, & strawberries from our little plot ‘o land. this time I macerated the fruit with a little sugar & cointreau.  yumm.

Duck Dinner

image

waiting for browning

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almost ready for the slow cook

everyone raves about duck. whole duck. we usually portion our birds, but I thought, “eh, what the heck”.  the beer braised muscovy recipe on this site (scroll down or ctrl + F once you’re there to find it) intrigued me … we have a “smoky” beer that we brewed (a little heavy handed on the carmelization of the malt, heh, heh) which worked out deliciously.  I got a little carried away with the dried fruit, so it was a bit overpoweringly sweet.

verdict: nummy.

but I’d still rather portion our birds.  look at all the goodies we get out of duck day vs. whole ducks that each result in a meal or two for a family.

LF Nettle Kraut

nettle kraut WIP via Gaia’s Gifts

shredded cabbage + chopped stinging nettle (gloves!) + salt + LF vessel = delicious

who knew?

and we’ve now got a fresh crop of stinging nettles off the plants I’d harvested in spring (again, who knew?), along with cabbages sitting awaiting harvest in the garden… another batch to make!

Pig… month?

we’ve been blessed by an embarrassment of riches this summer: free ducks, free Berkshire boars, all for the taking, we just have to do the work.  well, yup, lots of work.  last Saturday & this Saturday are “boar days”.  last week’s boy was over 700 lbs.  wow.  and we’re happy to share: a number of friends have participated & received meat, or have shared dinners with us.  why not?  what on earth are we going to do with (possibly) 2000 lbs of pig?

Food for Thought

muscovy moment

muscovy moment

it’s duck day again on Tuesday. so hard. we really enjoy having our ducks around (who wouldn’t? look at them!).

it’s a full day for two of us to go from duck “on the hoof” into the freezer, parcelled & packaged. we just did 12 (boys & girls) last Tuesday.  what did we get for that work?

  • 12 packages of breast meat, skin on
  • 3-4 packages of leg & thigh meat, skin on (the size of the legs will affect how many per package); sometimes that gets turned into sausage
  • “discard” skin off the neck, back & tail (gland removed): rendered down into beautiful golden duck fat (a little over 2 lbs from the 12 ducks last week)
  • one meal of duck gizzard goulash (using hearts & trimmed crops)
  • about 2 lbs of simple duck paté, using the livers and about 6 oz of duck fat (plus 6 oz butter)
  • stock (using the bones, whole skin-on wings, and peeled feet) – usually about 16 – 20 quarts altogether

pretty good feed for one solid day’s work (plus, of course, the season’s worth of feeding & raising the ducks!).  besides that, we give the cooked guts & heads, and leftovers from the stock & fat rendering to the pigs, which they adore (“more, please?”).

Nightshades

tomatillos & jaltomatos

tomatillos & jaltomatos

pretty purple through ‘n’ through

this year our purple tomatillos are actually ripening to purple! and our jaltomatos are spectacular: many are small marble sized, and delicious (well, K & I think so).  we’ve had enough that we’ve eaten tonnes fresh, and we’ve even dehydrated some as raisins for winter snacks.  don’t bother staking: like tomatillos, they prefer to sprawl, and do much better that way, but give ’em lots of room!  purple is K’s favourite colour, so getting to chow down on these babies right out of the garden as purple fruit is very exciting for her.

LF Preserve WIP

cooking

cooking down fruit

going to be preserves that I’ll lacto-ferment. contains purple tomatillos, jaltomatos, Italian prune plums, wild evergreen huckleberries, all of which are from our property, and a couple of clementines (which, of course, are not).  added some ground cardamom and freshly grated nutmeg & ginger.  once thickened, will add honey, reduce a bit more, then cool.  will follow GNOWFLGINS fermentation eCourse (here’s basically the recipe I’ll be following)