Monday, October 14, 2013

Harvest Monday 10/14/13

Here are some of my harvests from the week that got pictured for Harvest Monday at Daphne's Dandelions! I haven't been in on it lately because of the busyness of Cross Country with the kids, but I thought I had to get my sweet potato harvest in!
The rest of the beets were picked.

All Purple and Beauregard Sweet potoates

Muskue de Provence, beautiful isn't it! That is the best looking one so far!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Harvest Monday 9/23/13

13 Jars of home made raw milk yogurt!

Another Musque de Provence squash, butternut squash, tomatoes, plenty of serrano peppers!

Chinese Red noodle beans are doing well. Many of them are filling up with seed right now so I can save them so the production is slowing now.

I like my short little butternut, it is cute. It was a surprise that was hiding behind a bush. There is a bit of chard in there, serranos, Lungo Bianco squash, and a few slightly turning tomatoes.

Red Russian Kale
My second graders got to race (cross country) this week at the beautiful Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. They did a 3k and both did well for their longest race so far. 16:38 and 18:02. Proud of them in case you couldn't tell ;)

Monday, September 16, 2013

Harvest Monday 9/16/13

It has been quite busy since school has started. My twins are running Cross Country and practicing three nights a week and long race days on Saturdays! It is lots of fun, but it is busy, busy! And I am so proud of them too!  They keep improving their mile each week. This week they each ran a mile and a 1/4,  one at 10 min 30 sec and the other at 11 min and 4 sec. They are in second grade so I think this is pretty impressive!
Needless to say, I have not been out to the garden as much...
But it is still going strong.

Happy Harvesting and Happy back to school!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Fresh Ground Homemade Bread

I have been making homemade 100% whole wheat bread since December when I got a bread machine for Christmas. In January I got a Vitamix and began grinding my own grains for my bread. It has been a challenge making fresh ground bread in the machine and I have been trying tips and tricks every since. This is made only partly using the machine. Even the "whole wheat" setting does not seem to knead the dough enough to get a nice smooth loaf with a nice rise. Finally I am getting beautiful bread that is super soft and rising very nicely without adding stuff like dough enhancers, lecithin's, or vital gluten. Only simple, whole grain ingredients. So, now that I have something successful I thought I would share. I have taken tips and have mixed and matched recipes here and there and will share those resources at the bottom.

I start out with Organic Bronze Chief Hard Red wheat and Organic rolled oats.

I also grind raw almonds for the recipe, along with the oats. I grind the flour by itself.

I sift the flour so it isn't packed. It really does make a difference. I do not throw anything out of it, if I have big pieces left I put them back in the grinder with the next couple of cups of grains.

Next I begin proofing the Active Dry Yeast, I use Red star. I have made a habit of temping the water because it really does make a difference. Anything above 110 and the yeast may die and reduce the rise. At least that seems to be my experience with this yeast.

I let it grow for about 5-10 minutes.
 In the meantime I  make sure to have some butter softened or melted slightly on the stove. (From Grassfed cows) And make my next two cups of water and make sure to get the temp to 110.

I add all the ingredients to my breadmaker, I add the salt very last while it is mixing. My machine has two paddles and makes a regular size loaf, so it may hold more than the machines with only one paddle. If you have a bread mixing machine, great! But this is working for me for now. Maybe someday I will have one of those fancy Bosch dough machines! I allow the machine to mix and knead 3 or more times, I just keep resetting it. This recipe makes 2 loaves so the machine will not hold the rising dough.

I oil up the table with some coconut oil for kneading. I use oil instead of flour. I do not add any more flour once the dough is to the right consistency.

See all the tears in the dough, we need to knead those out and make it smooth.

I cut the dough in half to make working it easier...

And I put the other half in the machine and turn it on again while I knead the other then I switch them.

Then I knead it into one big ball, and oil it and put it in a very large bowl to rise for 2 hours. I put it in the oven that is off, no light or anything, I want it to have lots of time to rise so the gluten can get stronger.

After about 2 hours I poke the dough and it looks about like this.

I cut it in half and try to get 2 even pieces.

See the dough appears to be torn again and I need to knead it out nice and smooth once again. So once again I knead one half while the machine kneads the other half and I switch. Once smooth I shape them up and put them in the pans.

Nice and smooth and oiled with Coconut oil. I never have an easy time getting my loaves out of the pan, so I use parchment paper and it comes right out so easy. I cook at 350 for about 35 minutes.

The finished product.

1/4 cup water 110 degrees
2-3 TBS raw honey
1TBS Active dry yeast


2 cups water 110 degrees
4TBS Butter
1TBS lemon juice
1 farm fresh egg
1/2 C ground almonds
1/3 C ground rolled oats
6 C fresh ground hard red wheat
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
coconut oil for kneading and greasing pans

Proof your yeast 5-10 minutes.
Add water, butter, lemon juice, egg, almonds, oats and flour and begin machine then add salt.
Allow machine to knead the dough for about  30 minutes ( I put my machine on the dough setting and reset it to mix/knead 3 times, I do not let it rise in the machine.)
Oil your kneading surface.
Then I pull it out and knead it for a few minutes before I split it and put half in machine to knead and I knead the other half for about 15 minutes and switch. Then I knead them back together and allow them to rise for up to 2 hours in a large bowl.

Pull the bowl out, the dough should have risen to the top. I split it again and allow the machine to knead for 15 minutes while I knead the other half then switch for another 15 minutes. I wish I could tell you this was easy, but hey, it is a workout! I like to knead on the table because it is lower and I can use my body more and it doesn't hut my shoulders and neck as much.

Once the dough is nice and smooth, no more tears, shape it and put them into greased loaf pans, don't forget to oil the dough or the towel will stick to it and you'll have to start all over again. If I don't use the parchment paper, I make sure to sprinkle some light flour in the pan like you do for a cake to help it release. I allow the bread to rise covered until it is about an inch above the pan, about 30 minutes. Then I bake at 350 for about 35 minutes. I let it rest in the pan a few minutes before I take them out.

I used a book called No More Bricks where I learned lots of tips and tricks.
I also used several of these recipes before I came up with what works for me:
And others.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Harvest Monday 9/9/13

Zucchini Boats and Meatballs! Yummy! We eat a lot of meatballs, they are my kids favorite for meat. The boats have the middle cut out and diced and sauteed up with some onion and garlic and put back in the boats topped with tomato slices, feta, cheddar cheese and paprika. Super yummy!

The first 2 butternut squash, there are about 5 more out there. More critters are getting ahold of my tomatoes. I think they feel they have hit the jackpot!

Rainbow of carrots, the purple ones on the left are cosmic purple, the one on the right and pictured above is Purple sun.

We have had alot of caterpillars in the carrots, we have put a few in the bug house and let them hatch in there and let them go. This is one of them. The kids really enjoy them.
I am getting close to the the end of my potatoes for the season.  There is only one small patch left to dig through. We will miss these yummy treasures until next year!
This is my second Pennsylvania Dutch Long Neck pumpkin and the largest! It came it at 12.2 lbs! There are a few more out there, some may make it before frost, some may not. They only have a little more than a month to ripen up.
This was a good harvest day! Lots of tomatoes, Great White, Brandywine, Japanese Black Trifile, Rutgers. Lots of Serrano peppers and some lipstick, chocolate, and Marconi peppers. A good bunch of Chinese Red Noodle beans.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Harvest Monday 9/2/13

Happy Labor Day! It's also Harvest Monday at Daphne's Dandelions
We wanted french fries so I scrounged around the garden for some more potatoes. In searching for some in the sweet potato bed, since there was a volunteer there, guess what I found? Um, duh! Sweet Potatoes! ;)  No, I didn't dig any yet, but it is nice to know they are doing well! I CAN'T wait!

Another nice harvest of beans, peppers and flowers!

Yippee! Squash! Pennsylvania Dutch longneck pumpkin, suggested by Dave! And a Musque de Provence. The vines were totally dead so I hope they were ready. My first red cabbage and another green. More beans, peppers, raspberries, tomato and beets!

Found this wild thing in the yard. Have you seen one before? This is the first time I have. It is a giant furry looking no ant. It is a Red Velvet Ant but not really an ant but a wasp! Yep! And poisonous! Glad I don't see many or any of these! I was going to release it at the nature preserve but my kids let it out and it freaked me out so he didn't make it. I wasn't taking a chance on him or her!

The beans are slowing way down :(  But the peppers are still doing well. We had some on kabobs for dinner! Mmmm! Oh and can you see it? Look really really close! Closer! That small red thing in the center? Only the second cranberry I have gotten. The critters got the rest. And I lost the first one! My 3 year old may have eaten it. I guess I better work on better protection next year. I though since they were kinda sour the critters wouldn't eat them, but no, I was way wrong!

And what are we doing for Labor Day? We will be planting a peach tree! Yay! I hope we are not in over our heads! But we got some fresh peaches at the farmers market the other day and we just couldn't help ourselves! They were just so darn good! Never had a store peach that good, EVER! NEVER! It's like candy around here!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Harvest Monday 8/26/13

It's Harvest Monday at Daphne's Dandelions. 
The beans are coming in strong this week. I picked 6lb 7oz. Peppers are doing pretty good too.