Locally Grown - Quality Farm Produce at Affordable Prices
[ Member listing ]
This past week at the
Bountiful Blessings Farm has been filled with preparation for Spring. We
finished the construction of our new high tunnel. All we have left to do is
hang the doors and backfill. It is exciting to see the progress as we
anticipate seeding and growing for this year’s produce season. The seeds have
all been ordered; the soil has been prepared; the seed room erected; flats
ready; many seeds have arrived; most everything is ready to go! The days are
getting longer and the work is multiplying. Once again, the folks at Bountiful
Blessings Farm Produce are ready to grow a wonderful crop and to serve our
local friends and neighbors with fresh veggies! In the meantime, here is a
wonderful recipe for Leek and Potato Soup:
Leek and Potato Soup
4 Tbsp. – unsalted butter
1lb - leeks, trimmed and finely sliced
1 ½ lb - potatoes, roughly chopped
1 ½ pt - vegetable stock
4 - Sprigs of fresh rosemary
1 ½ cups – Whole milk
2 Tbsp. - chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 Tbsp. – Heavy whipping cream
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
the butter in a large saucepan, add the leeks and sweat gently for 5 minutes,
stirring frequently. Add the potatoes, stock, rosemary and milk. Bring to the
boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer gently for 20–25 minutes until the
vegetables are tender. Remove from the heat. Cool for 10 minutes. Discard the
rosemary, then pour into a blender or food processor, and puree until smooth.
Return to a clean pan, and stir in the parsley and cream. Season to taste.
Reheat gently and serve.
Posted by Jeff
@ 07:15 AM CST
As I mentioned yesterday, we love soups, stews and chowders in the winter. Here is another one of our favorite recipes. This is one my grandpa enjoyed, so we named it after him. Today has been one of those days on the farm. We wanted to get our new high tunnel covered but the wind was too strong. I guess it will have to wait until next week.
Burton’s Beef Stew:
2 lbs lean
stew beef, cut into bite size chunks
1 ½ cups - flour
3 tablespoons cooking oil
2 cups boiling water
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoon pepper
1 large chopped onion (1 cup)
3 to 4 medium potatoes cut in 1
3 large carrots quartered
lengthwise and cut in 1 inch lengths
1 14-oz can tomatoes, bite size
1 14-oz can stew tomatoes
in flour. Heat oil in pot on medium heat then brown beef a few pieces at a
time, setting aside each piece when browned when finished return all to the
pot. Pour in boiling water and watch out for splatter. Add Worcestershire,
garlic powder, salt and pepper. Lower heat, cover, and simmer for 2 to 2 ½
hours or until the meat is tender. Add onion, potatoes, carrots, and tomatoes then
cook another 30 minutes until potatoes are tender. May be served hot but taste
best when refrigerated overnight and reheated.
Posted by Jeff
@ 05:27 PM CST
This time of the year is one of our favorite times for making soups, stews and chowders. This is one really stands out as a favorite! Enjoy! I usually double the recipe as we love to savor it for several days.
2 tablespoons butter
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 sprigs fresh thyme - leaves only
¼ lbs Salt Pork (sliced) - bacon can be used
¼ cup all-purpose flour
6 cups canned vegetable stock
2 cups heavy cream
2 Idaho potatoes, peeled and diced
6 ears sweet corn - fresh frozen can used if needed
Salt and freshly ground black
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
Heat the butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a soup
pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, salt pork and thyme and cook until
the vegetables are good and soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Dust the vegetables with
flour and stir to coat everything well. Pour in the vegetable stock and bring
to a boil. Add the cream and the potatoes; bring to a boil and boil hard for
about 7 minutes, until the potatoes break down (this will help to thicken the
soup and give it a good texture). Cut the corn kernels off the cob and add to
the soup. Season with salt and pepper and simmer until the corn is soft, about
10 to 12 minutes. Stir in the parsley and give it another little drink of olive
oil. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve.
Posted by Jeff
@ 08:19 PM CST
We had some carrots in storage and used this recipe. Tasty!!!
Makes 3 cups
1 lb carrots
2 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp Dijon
mustard or other grainy mustard
1/4 c olive oil
1 or 2 green onions, chopped
1 Tbsp chopped parsley
1 clove garlic, crushed
Salt and black pepper
1. Scrub and peel carrots. Cut into uniform
matchsticks or slices.
2. Blanch carrots in boiling water 3-4 minutes or
until barely tender. Drain.
3. In a jar with tight-fitting lid, combine lemon
juice, mustard, olive oil, onions, parsley and garlic. Shake vigorously.
4. Pour over warm carrots. Season with salt and
pepper to taste. Refrigerate 6-8 hours or overnight.
Posted by Jeff
@ 07:35 PM CST
If you are like many gardeners, you probably have a few butternut squash tucked away in your root cellar or other winter storage area. Here at the Bountiful Blessing Farm, we have an ample supply of Butternut squash set aside for ourselves this winter. This is one of my wife's favorite recipes.
Butternut Squash Soup
Makes 6 servings
6 Tbsp chopped onion
1/4 c butter
6 cups peeled and cubed butternut
3 cups chicken broth
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
8 ounces cream cheese, in pieces
1. Cook onions in butter in pot until tender. Add squash, broth, marjoram, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer,
partially covered, 20 minutes or until squash is tender.
2. Puree squash. Return to saucepan. Add cream cheese, and heat, stirring occasionally, until cheese is melted and soup is very hot. Add more broth or water if needed to achieve desired consistency. Do not allow to boil.
Posted by Jeff
@ 06:40 PM CST
Another cold and blustery day here in Illinois. However, it is supposed to warm up. Yesterday was very productive. Due to a snow day, my nephew, Andy came out and helped me most of the day. The day started with my daughter going into the ditch with her car and daddy attempting to rescue her. By the time I was able to get there, someone else pulled her out. That was so nice of them! When I got back to the farm, I started seeding tomatoes, onions and cauliflower. The season has officially begun! Andy worked on a few projects I had lined up for him and he did such a great job! I am blessed to have such a super family! There is still a lot more preparation work to be completed, but things are moving right along.
Today is the Grundy county auction. I'm not sure yet if I am going or not. My back is bothering me and I am not sure I can stand around in the cold for fear it would just agitate my back even more. My wife went to town for her normal Saturday morning coffee at her brother's house, so I will probably work in the seed room and get somewhat more organized. It was so wonderful to walk into the seed room this morning and smell the damp soil and feel the warmth when it is only 17 degrees outside. It won't be too long and seeds will start popping through the top layer of soil. How exciting is that? Another miracle! Bountiful Blessings is growing once again! Thank you God!
Posted by Jeff
@ 08:02 AM CST
Another running gear is painted. My buddy, Rick Wilkening and I got the running gear ready to go. So today we got it painted. It didn't take too long, but of course we had to wait for the paint to dry before we could put the wheels back on. While we were waiting, I got the tires changed and ready to go back on. So planning ahead, I think I am going to make soup for tomorrow. Thought I might share the recipe:
1 onion, chopped
¼ cup olive oil
cup green lentils
¼ cup red lentils
½ cup yellow split peas
½ cup green split peas
3 medium tomatoes (fresh or canned, peeled)
3 medium carrots
3 cloves garlic
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp oregano
A few grindings black pepper
4½ cups water (+ more as needed)
1 can tomato sauce (11 oz size)
3 Tbsp tomato paste
1. Add olive oil to a large saucepan.
2. Add the chopped onions and saute, stirring, 3 minutes.
3. Add the remaining ingredients & simmer 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally.
4. Taste & season as needed.
5. If soup needs thinning, add more water & bring to a boil.
Posted by Jeff
@ 07:49 PM CST
I have been wondering what happened to winter? It has been so warm here in Northern Illinois the last two weeks, I am not sure I ever remember it being this warm. It makes me a little nervous about what the later part of March will look like. I have heard when winter comes in like a lamb, many times it goes out like a lion. I hope not! I would like to be in the field by the last week of March or earlier getting the ground ready for those early plantings. Well, I guess it is in the Lord's hands. I trust that all will go well. I have about two more days of intense planning to finish and then I will be able to order the balance of my seed. My intent is to have the orders in on Monday. It is amazing how much seed is needed to plant 20 some acres of vegetables and sweet corn. I do a lot of research and look over the sales and demands from last year. I also look at trends and look over the requests we get for different varieties. Then I try to project what we will need for the season. We are expanding our heirloom coverage to meet the demand.
Last night a group of interested people met to discuss the Hinckley Farmer's Market for 2012. I am excited that there is so much enthusiasm. The market will open on June 23rd and run every Saturday through September from 9:00am to noon. If you are interested in participating as a vender, please follow the links on the Bountiful Blessings Farm Produce website or use the search engine on the home page of the Local Harvest website. Contact numbers and information about the market is listed. We are looking for farmers, crafters and the like from the local area to join us.
Progress is being made around the farm as we prepare for the spring. Our high tunnel house is just about ready and we are working on the hot bed and cold frame. I am anticipating lettuce, greens, beets and bunch onions early in June or possibly even in May. Our tomatoes should start coming on sometime in July. This will be much earlier than last year. There will be lots of veggies ready to supply our CSA subscribers. I cannot wait to see those first vegetables and enjoy them myself as well! What an exciting year this is going to be; another year of God's Bountiful Blessings!
Posted by Jeff
@ 08:18 PM CST
This morning my wife andI were thinking fo something to eat after church. The first thing Kim mentioned was that we have not enjoyed German Chocolate cake in a long time. So, guess what we are making? Yep, our favorite German Chocolate cake. I thought I would share our recipe on the blog. Hope you enjoy it!
German Chocolate Cake
1 package bakers sweet chocolate
½ cup of boiling water
1 cup of butter or margarine for cake and ½ cup for frosting
3 cups of sugar
4 egg yokes for cake and 3 for frosting
1 teaspoon vanilla for cake and 1 teaspoon for frosting
2 ½ cups of sifted flour
1 teaspoon of baking soda
½ teaspoon of salt
1 cup of butter milk
4 eggs white beaten
1 1/3 baker’s angel coconut flakes
1 cup of chopped pecans
1 cup of evaporated milk
Melt chocolate is boiling water. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add egg yokes 1 at a time beating well after each. Blend in vanilla and cooked chocolate. Shift flour with soda and salt. Add this to chocolate mixture with buttermilk beating well after each addition until smooth. Add beaten egg whites (fold into batter). Pour into (3) 9 inch pans lined with wax paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes then cool.
Frosting: Add the evaporated milk, sugar beaten egg yokes, butter and vanilla to sauce pan and cook and stir over medium heat until thickened. Watch it, stir continually, if you don’t it will get lumpy. Add 1 1/3 baker’s angel coconut flakes and 2 cup of chopped pecans. Cool till thick enough to spread. Spread on top of cake. Yummy!
Posted by Jeff
@ 08:47 AM CST
After weeks of preparation for the upcoming planting season,
I decided to take a day and relax. The weather here at Bountiful Blessings Farm
is cold around 25 degrees. Last night we got about an inch of white fluffy
snow. This morning it was blowing across the road and drifting in the driveway,
but nothing too serious.
My wife gave me the idea to get the old ice cream
maker out and make another batch of ice dream. We have been making ice cream
about every Saturday in January. I love ice cream, but generally only eat
vanilla. My wife thinks I am nuts not to try other flavors. Nonetheless, for me, vanilla
is still number one. Well I got the old machine out and mixed up the batch. The
key to making great ice cream is not using chunks of ice that are large. They
cause the ice cream to be gritty. However, using small ice cubes works very
well. Always use rock salt with the ice. So, the machine was going and when it
finished, we decided to make some mint chocolate chip this time. We added green
food coloring and the chips after the process was finished. YUMMY! It was very
good! I was impressed. Anyhow, for me, I still like the vanilla better! Well
its off to eat some more!
Posted by Jeff
@ 01:27 PM CST
Well it's that time of year at the farm where I look over last year's records and plan for the upcoming season. Actually, I have been planning for weeks, but I am finally mapping out the ground and preparing seed orders. I never realized there is so much work involved with a produce business! One cannot imagine the amount of planning that it takes to get everything in order. So, with my pile of catalogs, records and projections, I am making a master plan for this season's crop. I enjoy looking through the catalogs and seeing what is new, but it is just as exciting to see some of the heirloom varieties that look so inviting and interesting. I think of how it was back in the day and how much more work it took to grow a crop. Nonetheless, when a person bites into a Black Krim tomato or tries their first Moon and Stars watermelon, they get a sense of that old timey pleasure of eating something that folks enjoyed many, many years ago. I am also working on a hotbed and cold frame to extend the season; trying to provide locally grown vegetables earlier in the season. Many people are already asking me when they can get their first tomato! Well, it's still a bit early! Back to the seed order!
Posted by Jeff
@ 06:50 AM CST
Right-click, copy link and paste into your newsfeed reader