Archive for July, 2010

Sara’s Visit

My friend Sara came to visit us locovores at the end of June and we had a blast! She fit right in and is definitely a natural locovore. Anna was in Iceland, so we really appreciated Sara’s help.

Here we are enjoying the first carrots of the season.


Sara is a fabulous cook! We made this salmon chard Quiche. This is quite possibly the best Quiche I have ever had!

The perfect guest: she even likes weeding!

She helped pick gooseberries too!

Dad took Sara to see the bees...

...and they had a successful visit with the bees - high-five!

We took a break from our locovoring duties to hike Kamiak Butte which has beautiful views of the surrounding area.

We also went to see the Senders! The Senders is Dad's other band (not the family band).

Come back soon, Sara!  The rest of you who have a chance to visit us are more than welcome! See how much fun you will have?


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Sweet Cherry Pie

Made with bing cherries and a little honey!

As promised, I made a sweet cherry pie and I must say it was a hit! I took inspiration from the recipes here and here and made a locovore version. Please note that shortening, tapioca, vinegar, and salt are all on our list of exceptions. I have made several pie crusts over the past 2 months with both our hard red wheat and our soft white wheat (and different combinations using both wheats) and nothing works well. The crust is hard to work with and tears easily, so I just press it into the pan and then use cookie cutters to make a decorative top. It tastes great, which is the most important thing!


  • 4-5 cups dark sweet cherries, pitted (I used bing cherries)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup tapioca

Double Pie Crust:

  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • 2 – 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chilled solid vegetable shortening, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

Prepare filling:
Mix honey, tapioca, and cherries and let stand for about an hour or until the tapioca is softened.

Prepare crust:
Whisk milk and vinegar in a small bowl. Combine flour and salt in medium bowl, then add the shortening and rub in with fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in milk mixture and knead in bowl briefly to form a ball. Divide dough into 2 pieces, 1 slightly larger than the other and flatten each piece into disk. Wrap disks separately in plastic and refrigerate until filling is ready.

Then: Preheat oven to 400°F. Roll out larger dough disk on lightly floured work surface as best as possible and press it into glass pie pan. Roll out second disk on lightly floured work surface and use cookie cutters to make fun shapes. Put cherry filling into bottom crust and place the dough shapes on top. Cover crust edges with foil and bake about 50 minutes. Place pie on rack to cool before devouring =).

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The garden is full of beauty and food!

We’re approaching mid July and our garden is entering its phase of intense production. That means we’re canning, freezing and dehydrating to keep up with the bounty. Here are some pics you might enjoy.

Fava beans are highly nutritious, great fresh in soups, but these are destined to dry on the vine for winter use.

This is an Italian variety of zucchini, Costata Romanesco.  You can see it looks a bit different from the usual. We’re getting ready to try it in the kitchen for the first time!

The beautiful Savoy cabbage is a joy to behold and so easy to grow.

Eggplant in bloom!!

Yellow Finn potato blossoms. That means new potatoes are ready for the table! These have been planted in buckets with dirt. Gardeners tell me that the bucket will fill with big spuds and lots of them.

The potato patch. Some are planted directly in the soil and hilled up with dirt. Those on the left were placed in trenches and covered with straw only. I’m experimenting with several growing methods to see which yields best and produces the nicest potatoes.

What’s with the clothespin? It’s there to keep it dark inside. Want a peek?

Wow! Darkness keeps the cauliflower snowy white.

Sweet corn and safflower are lookin’ good. I think a gopher is pulling the soybeans underground. See the partial row in the front? That used to be full and there are no tracks on the surface. This happened to some potatoes last year in about the same spot.

Squash are in bloom, too, and some little ones starting out. This is a heritage variety brought out west over 100 yrs. ago from Tennessee to  Whitman County. A friend from Elberton has given me some seeds.

We’ve been enjoying carrots for several weeks now. Raised beds allow for early spring planting since the ground doesn’t need any preparation. It’s so easy! We have to keep ours in a cage, tho, because of deer. They love carrots…

Beets and parsnips.

We’re in our second planting of several crops such as lettuces, spinach and pak choy.

Natives:  Rocky Mountain Penstemon and Fireweed

My favorite rosebush.

It’s good to be home a lot. To spend time loving and caring for one’s surroundings provides a direct link to the feeling of days well spent, life well lived. It is calming and cultivates one’s connection to the earth and all that lives. We need to nurture our earth and live in ways that make it possible.

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This recipe is an adaptation of a recipe here. According to Baking Bites, a babycake is “not a muffin or a cupcake, nor is it simply a miniature version of a large cake. It’s a babycake.” So there you have it. I changed the recipe to be locavore-friendly but I’m sure the original is great too. For the fruit I used a chopped up peach and huckleberries, which was a great combination. You could do this with just about any fruit or berries you want.

1 1/2 C all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 C honey
1/4 C butter, melted
1 C ricotta
1/2 C cream (original called for milk)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 C frozen berries or fruit

Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. In another bowl stir together melted butter, ricotta, milk, eggs, vanilla and honey until smooth. Pour into dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Fold in the fruit or berries. Bake the batter in paper-lined muffin tins for 20 to 25 minutes at 350 degrees.

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Loco Beverage News

Breaking news on the homebrewing front… We finally bottled Lion’s Tooth, our dandelion wine.

Just-bottled Lion's Tooth.

We tasted it and it is very strong, high alcohol content, but sweet and tastes great! I can’t wait to drink it but we need to wait a few months… D:

We also broke our our most recent beer a few days ago. Slap Yo Pappy Rotten Orange was brewed with coriander and orange peel and is similar to Hoegaarden. We opened a bottle after 10 days but it will probably be even better in another week or two.

Another winner!

The Vagabond is gone now but it was quite popular, especially among big brothers.

First pouring of Vagabond, gingered black ale.

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Danger from above!

These chicks are huddling under cover for a good reason.

Red Tailed Hawks have nested near here for a long time. Our grassy slope provides great hunting, and now they are cruising low over the chicken pen. Chickens maintain awesome survival instincts when it comes to sensing overhead danger. They will dart for cover before I can  see or hear the presence of a hawk. I’ve ordered heavy duty netting to cover the pen, but it hasn’t arrived yet.

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Locabulary Alert:

Slack.a.vore (-vores, -voring, -vored) 1. A locavore who relaxes in broad daylight while others are hard at work.  2. Being nonproductive and enjoying it as shown in the photo below.

This person is an example of  slackavore behavior.

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