Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Cooking biscuits in a wood-fired cook stove

Last night about one hour before my guests arrived for dinner I made up a batch of biscuits in the wood cook-stove.  It was my first time baking inside the stove.  Maine Man was rather leery of my last minute preparations.  I believe his exact words were, “I can just stop by the store and pick up some Grand biscuits.”    Sounded like a challenge to me…so I looked through Woodstove Cookery handbook and didn’t find what I was looking for.  Then I googled “baking biscuits in a wood cook-stove” once again I found zip.  I decided to just find a basic recipe and alter as I needed.  The worst case scenario we’d be eating strawberry shortcakes without the biscuits…..I’m a risk taker!

If you’re cooking with a regular stove I would cook these at 450 degrees for approx 10 minutes give or take.

I decided to make the dough in my food processor and it worked perfectly.

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

Pulse together in processor for a few seconds.

  • Add 2 tablespoons of cold butter (I cut it up into smaller chunks)
  • Add 2 tablespoons of shortening (separated into smaller pieces as well)

Pulse together until mixture is a crumbly texture

  • Add 1 cup of buttermilk (I did not have any buttermilk on hand so I used 1 cup milk w/ 1 T. of vinegar and let it sit for 5 minutes)

Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add milk.  Pulse until mixed well, dough will be sticky.  Toss onto floured counter and fold over 6 times.  Flatten out into a 1″ deep circle. You can use a can or a glass to cut dough into biscuits.  Grease the sheet and cook in the cook-stove (it was between 200-275 degrees) until golden brown.  In this case it took approximately 30 minutes.  The shortcakes were a big hit.  Glad I didn’t cave under pressure. I will definitely cook these up again!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Welcome To The Zoo

We are down to 5 Muscovies Last Christmas one of my buddies bought me a sign titled as above.  We all had a great  laugh because at any given time this place is pretty crazy. I have quite a sense of adventure, like to try new things, sometimes lack in  boundaries, and ultimately love to have a good time.

This is Piggy Iggy, so named after the post I did last June.  Flower Girl caught him at the fair this past fall.  He has lived in the barn since his arrival and is the cleanest pig we have  ever owned!  We’ve all become a little attached which will make it difficult when we have to part with him.  Maine Man processed our last pig this past fall.  Unfortunately, I did not take many pictures of it. He made a smoker out of and old stove and all.  Next time around I will be sure to record his adventure.

Ultimately it is the animals that keep life most interesting here on the farm.  Yesterday afternoon as I sat around the kitchen table with a couple of friends we shared some of our animal tales.  At one point I nearly had tears of laughter running down my cheeks.  One story lead to another, you know how that goes.

It started with the time Biker Stacy came to the house late one evening to come upon Maine Man wearing just his skivvies and a pair of rubber gloves while spraying the dogs down for fleas.  The kids and I were inside and we could knew what he was doing and wearing.  Then suddenly we heard him casually talking to someone.  We were in stitches!  We went on to tell of the day when I was just getting to know BS.  She had to call me at work because an old lady stopped by because she thought her pig was loose.  I had to walk BS through going into the house then to our bedroom to wake MM.  He was sleeping because he had worked the night shift.  I can’t even replicate the tale from there but she went out to tell of the rescue event of the 700 lb pig.  (It wasn’t that big but I think at the time it seemed it)  Within minutes we were talking about another loose pig story.  This was a pig that was with her babies and MM was planning to process her.  When I left for work that morning I asked MM to be sure and do it far away from the babies.  He grabbed his 44, a knife, and a bucket of grain.  Opened up the pen, with the plan that she’d head out behind the barn.  She had a different plan in mind.  She went straight for the road.  Within minutes he and all his supplies were in BS’s back yard.  The neighbor we hardly knew at the time.  Believe me I got a call at work that day.  I believe it started something like “the things I do for you……”

Here is an unnamed Boer goat we are housing for my farmer friend.  She is wild as ever.  This weekend I plan to trim here hooves.  I’m sure that will be interesting.
Dolly, my favorite Alpine goat.  I’m hoping she is breed.Roscoe, a sweet little Nubian buck we borrowed.  I’m hoping he did his job.  I will definitely give him an A+ for effort.

One of my girls, we have about a dozen RI Red hens.

Bob Jr., not sure if you remember my previous post on Bob.  Bob Jr. is not quite as bad but he is not the friendliest bird in the flock.  The only reason he is still around is solely for his reproductive purposes.
CB’s incubator is up an running
I saved the best for last…..our newest addition, MM’s “baby”.  We also have a couple of bunnies running around the barnyard that I’ve yet to photograph.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012