Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Fiddleheading in Maine

Years ago Maine Man used to go out scouting riverbeds and stream banks in search of ostrich ferns and return with grain bags overflowing with fiddleheads ready for resale. Back then (15 or so years ago) I really never gave it much thought. I'd cook up a meal or two and the rest he'd sell. Since becoming a foodie, a couple years ago I have BEGGED him to bring me out. Then I mentioned to a friend I wanted to go and THANFULLY he called this weekend and took us out.......I was beyond excited!

Here he points out what NOT to pick, the red ferns. To the right of that are the real deal. Couldn't he be a hand model? ;) Or if you are a sicko nurses like MM & I all you think of when you see hands like that is....nice veins....I could so slip an 18 gauge in that.

These tasty little morsels are often found around these unique looking plants. MM calls them skunk cabbage.

These furry little ferns are another example of what NOT to pick.

We picked about 3 gallons. A few meals for us and a few to give away. I'd like to go out at least one more time before the seasons ends to gather some for pickling. I will post about it if I am successful. In past years I have froze some but I was not happy with how they held up. They seemed to get frostbite easily.
On an ending note: THANKS goes out to my country neighbor for bringing us out and sharing his secret stash. GREATLY APPRECIATED!
Both the kids and adults had a good time.
FYI - In the country in Maine if you live less than 6 miles from one another your considered neighbors ;)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Keeping It Simple - Crustless Quiche

I am all about throwing together a meal in a few minutes. It doesn't happen often but I recently came across a simple recipe that makes for a quick, delicious, nutritious meal that can be eaten at anytime of the day.

I have made in 3 times in the last couple weeks using different ingredients and everyone has liked except Country Boy. He is a little finicky compared to the rest of us. Have I ever mentioned that Flower Girl eats just about ANYTHING? Love That! In comparison to most kids CB isn't too bad. I guess I'll keep him ;)

So this is what you need:

1 1/2 Cup of chopped meat (cooked) and sauteed vegetables
4 eggs
1 1/2 cup of dairy (milk, half/half, and or heavy cream)
handful of shredded cheese
Salt, pepper, and an herb or two

For meat- I have used ham and sausage, bacon would be good too.
Vegetables...onions, peppers, shredded carrots, mushrooms...basically what ever you have around that needs to be used up.
Dairy- whatever is available. I usually combine 2 of the above. I am sure all cream would be very tasty but not without the price of 1,000 calories per serving so I mix to help preserve....for desert;)
Herbs- I have used garlic and basil but next time around I may use dill.

Preheat oven at 350 degrees, grease a pie plate or shallow round glass container with a slab of buttter. Spread meat and vegetables at the bottom of the pan, sprinkle with a handfull of cheese, mix eggs, dairy, and spices and pour atop. Cook for 30-35 minutes. Isn't that SIMPLE?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Out to Pasture

This past week Maine Man and I put up our first section of electric fencing.

It was much easier than I expected. MM put the poles in the ground. I applied 2 insulators on each pole and we walked from pole to pole applying the electric fence wire.

I also attached a couple strips of red fleece strips in between each section to help remind both the 2 legged and 4 legged kind that theses area are best to avoid.

Cocoa aka Sir Loin QUICKLY learned his boundaries.

One lick of the fencing is all it took. Then the dogs each took a shock. Let's just say everyone NOW knows what NOT to touch. Plans are to put up another paddock in the near future so we can rotate for grazing. I see another cow in the near future.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Greenhouse Update

April 12th we harvested our 1st bowl of lettuce. That's nearly 8 weeks ahead of our norm.
Maine Man has quite a few vegetables growing strong in the greenhouse. Mostly cold weather crops. He was feeling brave and planted his beloved tomatoes a week or so ago. He is been closely watching the weather forecast for nighttime low temperatures. A good many nights he has had to cover the tomatoes and a few nights we've had to run a propane heater.
By next year we will have a wood stove piped in.


Peppers he's yet to plant in the ground

We mixed some beet greens in our salad mix
Nothing like fresh greens sowed from seed just out your front door!

Garlic in the outside garden. Looking forward to July's harvest. Thankful I still have some from last season.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Jacking Worms

I am quite sure "jacking worms" is a Maine saying. I have been previously asked what it was so I googled it and didn't come up with one thing. Hmmm, maybe this post will clarify it ;)

Every Spring Maine Man and the kids go out on rainy nights
about 1/2 hour after dark armed with flash lights in search of night crawlers.

They are very fast! Flower Girl had a hard time getting them last year but this Spring she is the master worm gatherer.

Country Boy has had this skill mastered for a while now.

I however just take the pics in the dark & pouring rain. It was challenging to get clear photos without the above white haze.
Guess what they have for sale......Dozen Crawlers for $2.00 plus we have a endless supply for our fishing needs.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter from Our Family to Yours!

Does your Easter Bunny hide eggs in trees? Rascally Rabbit!
Quite the outfit Flower Girl
No dressing up here on Easter morning. They hit the ground running after a night's sleep in search for goodies scattered about the farm. FG did take the time to put on her new fishing hat.


Friday, April 2, 2010

When life gives you Lemons......Make Lemonade!

Squeeze em'
I always have lots of volunteers around

~We use equal parts lemon juice to sugar
~Bring approx 1 cup of water to a boil, add sugar, stir until it dissolves
~Fill a glass pitcher with ice, add water to taste

Next "blindfolded makeovers"

You just NEVER know what your kids will do when they visit Achorn Farm!