Posts Tagged ‘farmstay’

Farmhouse Frolic June 22 from noon to 5pm

June 10th, 2014 by Susan Odom

You are invited to Hillside Homestead

The Farmhouse Frolic

Sunday June 22, noon to 5pm

Free and Family Friendly!

 

 

Hillside Homestead is a historic farm stay, offering overnight lodging, dinners, classes and free events

Hillside Homestead is a historic farm stay, offering overnight lodging, dinners, classes and free events

 

The Farmhouse Frolic is a time for anyone to come and visit the farm. All are welcome and encouraged to come. Bring your family and friends to experience this early 20th century farm. This is a great opportunity to visit Hillside Homestead and have fun doing it! Visit www.hillsidehomestead.com or www.facebook.com/hillsidehomestead for more info!

Activities at the Farmhouse Frolic will include:

  • Historic cooking demos and tastings in the kitchen focusing on food in season, eggs and early vegetables.
  • Tour the farmhouse and the grounds
  • Waxing eggs for winter storage and a discussion on historic methods of preserving eggs. Learn about raising chickens on a small farm
  • See the farm animals: pigs, chickens, chicks and ducklings and perhaps the itinerant goose, Gypsy, will even appear!
  • Games for all ages
  • Or just enjoy some porch sitting with your friends and relax!

 

wood cook stove

My wonderful wood cook stove, a Round Oak Range.

 

Pigs pigs pigs at Hillside Homestead

Pigs pigs pigs at Hillside Homestead

Proprietress Susan Odom feeding the chickens in the yard

Proprietress Susan Odom feeding the chickens in the yard

 

A little nap after lunch

A little nap after lunch

 

 

Turnip Kraut

March 12th, 2014 by Susan Odom

Yes, you read that right, turnip kraut. That is my most recent historic food experiment.

Turnip Kraut - my first try at fermenting turnips.

Turnip Kraut – my first try at fermenting turnips.

I’ve made sauerkraut for years, the old way, nicely shredded cabbage layered with salt and allowed to naturally ferment in a crock. I had read and heard that it could be done with turnips and I always wanted to try that. And then like magic the turnip fairy came and brought me about 25 pounds of turnips. So when I found the turnips on the porch I knew what I had to do.

By the way Nic Welty runs a nice farm around here called 9 Bean Rows.  And some have said they have seen him drop off turnips on porches, although I’ve never seen that myself. I don’t have to see it, I believe in the turnip fairy!

Now-a-days ‘krauting’ is called lacto-fermentation or cultured vegetables. It is all essentially the same thing. It is a way of preserving vegetables. Pickles use vinegar. Jam uses jelly. Kraut uses fermentation.

So I followed the recipe at the top of this page, circa 1930. And then just today a great historic foodie friend, Pat Reber, sent me this recipe from Philadelphia in 1909…

Turnip Kraut.-—Peel and grate enough turnips in a crock to make a layer about 2 inches deep in the bottom of a 1-gallon jar. Sprinkle a teaspoonful of salt over it. Grate enough to make another 2-inch layer. then a teaspoonful of salt as before, and so on until jar is full. Cover with a plate that will fit down inside the jar. Put a weight on and tie a thick white cloth over top. A smooth clean rock is good for a weight. Some people use smoothing iron for such things, but that is not good for the kraut, nor the iron, either. It will take kraut 10 days or two weeks before ready for use. Should be kept in kitchen where it is warm. The Practical Farmer, Nov. 10, 1909

The two recipes are very similar. I opened up my crock of turnip kraut today…… well not quite. I tried to open it up but the wooden disc I put inside to keep the kraut down under the brine was swollen stuck! I paused for a moment and wondered what will I do? Then it dawns on me; I should ask the guys at Woodbine to help me. Woodbine is this amazing place in Suttons Bay where lumber is turned into furniture/art/apple butter paddles, machines are refurbished or reinvented, old boats are made new, flesh forks are straightened, unique metal parts are fabricated for making cider and many more wondrous and amazing miracles that I can barely understand. The machinery there astounds and there is this really nice cat named Oliver. I knew those guys could get that disc out of my crock. Those guys are great.

Jim, Gary and Fred, in intervals tried a few different approaches, which was all very entertaining. In the end a small saw was produced and the disc was removed without damaging the crock or the turnip kraut. Gary and I tasted some right away and were both quite pleased. It is nice to know that a girl like me can get a little help at place like Woodbine. It is all is so serendipitous. Jim, you know, is responsible for the beautiful built-ins in my house.

The dining room hutch that Jim built. Made of walnut.

The dining room hutch that Jim built. Made of walnut.

Anyway – back to opening the turnip kraut… once the kraut was opened and it was tasted I have to say I am very pleasantly surprised. I’m not a huge fan of the turnip, cooked with other root vegetables it is pretty good. But man oh man, this turnip kraut is just the thing. Crunchy, tangy, a bit peppery hot, strong flavored, not too sour – oh my gosh I’m sold. I like it better than sauerkraut.  It was not that hard to make and only took about 2 weeks to ferment.

Turnip Kraut in the crock

Turnip Kraut in the crock

I plan to serve it as a relish with meals, I think it will go well with pork and poultry and sandwiches with meat. It would also be very nice with some dry cured sausages, cheeses, quince paste and a few walnuts and I think some Riesling.

Turnip Kraut – I’m impressed.

 

Preserving Eggs with lard and beeswax – success, failure and promise

November 22nd, 2013 by Susan Odom

On April 4, 2013 we, Maggie and I, coated four dozen of our hen’s fresh eggs in lard and stored them in a crock of oats. On May 16, 2013 we coated 3 dozen eggs in beeswax and stored them in another crock of oats. I wrote this blog post when we stored the eggs. This was done to preserve them from spring to winter. Fresh eggs are plentiful in the spring and on shortage in the winter.

Well it is winter time, so we opened up the egg crocks to see what we had! We had mixed results. Some of the eggs coated in bees wax had spoiled and I was afraid they tainted the whole crock. But the eggs coated in lard were good. I was a little disappointed, but not dismayed.

After some reflection on the results I think I understand why the waxed eggs went bad. I often took guests down cellar to show them the salt cured meats, the stored eggs and other intriguing food surprises that are to be found in our cellar.

Eggs coated in bees wax stored big end down in a crock filled with oats. A common way to preserve eggs

Eggs coated in bees wax stored big end down in a crock filled with oats. A common way to preserve eggs

I would open up the waxed egg crock, dig through the oats and pull out an egg to show. I even did some experimental techniques with the wax application; that involved wrapping the egg in tissue paper before dipping it in the wax. But I never opened the larded egg crock. I think my digging around in the waxed crock disturbed the eggs and exposed them to more temperature variation. And I think I found that my experimental waxing methods did not work. The larded eggs were just dipped in melted lard and cooled, no tissue paper.

As a test we fried one of the larded eggs. It did not taste very good, but I did not expect it too. Eggs are stored for baking purposes and not fresh eating. But we wanted to try it and we can report no ill effects.

Next we tried baking a cake. Maggie picked out a new recipe for Cocoanut Loaf Cake (365 Cakes and Cookies, published in 1904), which is like a pound cake with only eggs to leaven it, no baking powder or the like. We were very excited while it was baking and the results were amazing!!! The cake was delicious and the eggs had done just what they should do in the cake, raise it a bit, make it rich and lend a beautiful yellow color. The cake was baked yesterday (Nov 21, 2013) and we both ate some and can report we are in good health.

Cocoanut loaf cake made with eggs preserved with lard. Eggs put in storage on 4/4/13 and cake was baked on 11/21/13

Cocoanut loaf cake made with eggs preserved with lard. Eggs put in storage on 4/4/13 and cake was baked on 11/21/13. Eggs more than 7 months in storage!

Now we have eggs to use for holiday baking!!! Good thing too because my chickens have not laid an egg since November 4!

Next year we will do the experiment again, another crock of larded eggs and another crock of waxed eggs. I will stick to the plain method of coating the eggs with the wax. I think both methods, waxed and larded, hold a lot of promise. Most important I will keep my hands out of the egg crocks during the storage period! Perhaps I should make a demo crock with fake eggs that I can share with guests!

Now of course this is not USDA approved so I can’t tell you to try it at home. But It does seem to hold some promise for me and Hillside Homestead!

So bring on the holidays; I’ve got eggs!

The Apple Bee – a free, living history event at Hillside Homestead

October 6th, 2013 by Susan Odom

This is your invitation to visit Hillside Homestead on Sunday October 27 from noon to 5pm for our annual fall event, “The Apple  Bee.” This is free and open to the public and very family friendly! The last public event we had in June was very popular! I hope to see many of you again later this month!

Making apple butter circa 1910

Making apple butter circa 1910

The center piece of the event is the apple butter boil! We will be making apple butter, following the traditional 19th century method. The recipe is really quite simple. Take apple cider and boil it down to half. Add in the prepared apples and boil it hard till the apples break apart. Then cook it down till it is thick and smooth and so that it spreads like butter. This is a real hands on experience. Come give it a try and you can even have a taste! Just for fun here are some of the numbers…

  • 30 gallon copper kettle for the boil
  • 8 foot long paddle for stirring
  • 15 gallons of fresh, sweet cider will sweeten it
  • 3 bushels of apples, peeled, cored and quartered
  • 9 hours of cooking
  • 6 gallons of apple butter, that is what I hope we make!

There will also be historic cooking demos happening in the farm house and samples to taste! You can take a tour of the farm house and the grounds. The pigs have grown quite large and the chicks you saw in June are nearly mature!

There will be some games to play or just sit back on the porch and enjoy the rolling hills and orchards. Lots of good old fashioned doings. Please come and join us, we would love to see you! Come visit Hillside Homestead and experience early 20th century life at the farmhouse!

 

Getting ready to make apple butter

Getting ready to make apple butter

Peeling apples, its a big job, but we can do it!

Peeling apples, its a big job, but we can do it!

The apples have just been added and now for the big boil!

The apples have just been added and now for the big boil!

 

 

 

To keep eggs… using beeswax and oats…without refrigeration…at Hillside Homestead

May 18th, 2013 by Susan Odom

Its egg season for sure! As they days get longer and longer egg production goes up and up. Here is my egg production for the last several months

  • February=47 eggs, from about 15 laying hens
  • March=160 eggs
  • April=236 from about 11 hens. 2 hens were killed by the hawks and one hen has gone broody. Broody means she wants to be a mama, so she is sitting on a clutch of 11 eggs. She does not lay new eggs while sitting on a clutch and that is ok. Because she is dong a good job of trying to increase the flock size. Sunday evening May 19 is the first chance for the eggs to hatch.
  • May=130 eggs by may 18

I’m getting more eggs than I need right now. But I remember how I ran out of eggs in December and January and February. So I’m ‘putting up’ eggs for the lean times. by following these instructions from “The New Buckeye Cook Book” published in 1904

Instructions on how to keep/preserve eggs to winter time. From "The New Buckeye Cook Book" published in 1904

Instructions on how to keep/preserve eggs to winter time. From “The New Buckeye Cook Book” published in 1904

To do this I dip the eggs in bees wax and then store them in layers of oats. The oats act as a medium for storage. They keep the eggs safe from breaking and bumping into each other. I put up 28 eggs this way so far. And about a month ago I put about 4 dozen eggs using lard instead of beeswax. I do prefer the beeswax method. I plan to do more waxed eggs for the next 4-6 weeks.

Take a peek at the waxed eggs below. The wax closes up the pores on the shell and helps them last longer.

These eggs have been dipped in beeswax to help preserve them to leaner times.

These eggs have been dipped in beeswax to help preserve them to leaner times of winter

After the eggs have completely cooled and hardened they are packed into crocks of oats  Put a layer of oats on the bottom then add the eggs. The eggs should go in big end down. Repeat till the crock is full and then cover with a heavy cloth and string. Keep the crock down in the cellar. 

Eggs coated in bees wax stored big end down in a crock filled with oats. A common way to preserve eggs

Eggs coated in bees wax stored big end down in a crock filled with oats. A common way to preserve eggs

These eggs will be great for cakes and cookies and the such. They don’t suit too well for scrambled for fried. I first learned this method when I worked at Firestone Farm at Greenfield Village, which is part of The Henry Ford. And it works!

Maybe this winter we will have enough eggs to eat pound cake all winter!

Basket of Eggs

The fruits of their labor, eggs for eating and baking!

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