What to do when your turnips and potatoes are ready at the same time...puree them together!
Equal parts red potatoes and turnips
Shredded Parmesean and Cheddar
Salt and Pepper
First, bring heavily salted water to a boil. Peel the skins off both the potatoes and turnips (also remove greens) and put them into the pot. Cook until fork tender, remove from heat and drain. Set aside to cool slightly before putting into the food processor.
Once no longer hot, place the vegetables into the processor and pulse to combine. While on a low setting add about 1/2 a tbsp of olive oil and stop when blended- you dont want to over process your puree. Then, again while on a low setting, add 1/2 to 3/4 a cup of heavy cream until it is nice and smooth.
If you are not planning on using the puree immediately, salt and pepper to taste and put away into the fridge (cheese to be added when you re-heat). If it's dinner time, pour/scrape the puree into a sauce pan and put on low heat to warm it up. Add the shredded cheeses and salt and pepper, stir until evenly incorporated.
After the puree has reached the deisred temperature it is ready to use. This puree can be eaten as a side, similar to creamed/mashed potatoes or used as a sauce. I made an alternative to mac n cheese last night, by using this sauce on pasta- delicious!
*Recipe is per drink
Slice the Cucumbers, Limes and chiffonade the basil.
Put in a rocks glass with the honey and muddle together to get out all the juices.
Add ice and seltzer, stir and enjoy!
You can always mix up this recipe by substituting the cucumber with watermelon, strawberries or what ever you'd like.
Guacamole From the Farm (minus the avacados of course!):
1 Medium Red Onion
3 Cloves Garlic
Juice of 1 Lime
* It all depends on how many people you're trying to feed!
Dice the avacados, tomatoes and onion; make a small dice of the jalapenos and remove your prefered amount of seeds depending on the heat you like. Put into a bowl.
"Press" or grate the garlic cloves, chop a small handful of cilantro and squeeze the juice out of the lime; add to bowl.
Mix thoroughly until it has reached the apropriate, thick consistancy. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Refrigerate for a few days- if it lasts that long!
I'm guessing here, but I'll bet the Olympics are a boon for crafters everywhere.
So far, we've had night after night of compelling sport watching, and my crafting is through the roof.
The Olympics, while really good, are still games that don't have to be followed too closely. The games are not, for example, a television series ike Downton Abbey. That is a show that can't be watched while crafting. It has to be followed second by second or you're lost. Miss a minute of this over-the-top melodrama and you have no idea if Mary is upset her intended has drowned with the Titanic and she has to marry her working class cousin or if she is really in love with him and happy about the prospect. This is an important fact you need to catch if you plan to follow the storyline.
Really, how can one be expected to knit and pay attention to stitches while all that is going on.
But the Olympics are different.
You can knit an entire row while the beach volleyball athletes are tugging at their tiny suits, making sure no wardrobe malfunctions will occur while spiking the ball at 90 miles an hour. A whole scarf could be made while the marathon is on. They are, after all, just running. Look up from your craft after five minutes and sure enough, they are still running. Nothing major has happened; they've just run another mile.
I am determined to finish a felted scarf during the games.
I started with this indigo-dyed alpaca yarn.
I will not set an Olympic speed knitting record, but I've come this far:
Once it's done, I'll throw it in the washer and it will instantly felt and become this:
Except mine will be blue, and it will have a different button. Oh yeah, and that's not me in the jean jacket. But other than those difference, it will be exactly like this.
A few rug hooking friends came by the farm today to do a little hooking.
Check out this rug in shades of black, grey and off white.
Here's the picture of what it will become when done.
I've never worked on a monochromatic rug before. I think it would be very difficult to get all those details in while working only with shades of the same color. And yet I have no doubt this rug will be stunning when finished.
As will this one:
I'm working on another rug as well, but haven't gotten very far.
At my current rug crafting rate, this will be done by the 2016 Olympic games.
But I will have a finished scarf to show for the 2012 Olympics. You'll see.
Yesterday, a new beekeeper was born.
Veteran beekeepers Fred, Michael and Mike are showing new beekeeper Joe the ins and outs of honey harveting. You'll note they make sure Joe is doing the heavy hauling while they are casually strolling out to the bee yard. Smart beekeepers. Make the new guy do the heavy stuff.
Fred smokes the hive while Joe prepares for frame inspection.
Then it's Joe's turn to smoke 'em while Michael pulls the frames out.
Lots of bees making lots of honey.
Once they've chosen the frams they want, the guys bring them into the storage barn for honey extraction. The farm is a proud new owner of an electric honey extractor -- which means no more long hours of hand cranking.
Give us a day or two to bottle up the day's harvest, and we will once again have farm-fresh, raw wildflower honey for sale.
And congrats to Joe. Now that you've learned a bit about bees, we see a hive in your future.
Despite the heat and really, really dry weather, August is proving to be a beautiful month at the farm.
The bees are out and about collecting pollen. This young lady is working the corn. Now technically, corn is wind pollinated and doesn't rely on bees for pollination, but that doesn't mean bees won't use the pollen. Bees are not hung up on technicalities.
The scarecrow is very good at keeping the birds out of the corn, but luckily he doesn't frighten the bees.
The onions this year are delicious. Strong and pungent.
The basil is ready to go and waiting for more heirloom tomatoes to ripen.
Our tomatoes are coming on slowly this year. I go out to the field each morning and threaten them to ripen up. There are CSA members waiting. There are canning jars waiting. But tomatoes are on their own time schedule and will ripen when they will ripen. My guess is they will all decide to ripen on the same day in the next week or two.
The eggplant is small, but delicious.
And the sunflowers are beginning to put on a show.
August and September are certainly harvest months. We're doing our best to enjoy each and every day because we know now that August is here, fall and it's buddy winter are not far behind.
Color. Lots and lots of bright color.
Recently, we held a natural dyeing class at the farm. I know what you're thinking. Dying naturally is the way everybody wants to go. But this is different. This is dyeing . . . with an e.
As in dyeing yarn. Making things more colorful. Not dying as in crying and sadness and the sending of flowers or trays of cold cuts. One little letter makes all the difference in the world!
We dye yarn two ways at the farm -- with Cushing dyes and with natural dyes. Both have their plus and minus sides, but I will admit a slight bias towards natural dyes.
You can acquire natural dyes from plant material you find growing around you. This mint came from our dyers garden.
We heated it, and heated it, and heated it some more. Then we let it sit overnight and let it release its color, which was the palest of greens.
Certain ground spices will also give you nice color. The pot on the right, below, is a turmeric dye made with common kitchen turmeric. It gave us a bold, bold yellow-orange color . . . with quite a pungent smell. We all wanted to run out and have curry for lunch!
The other dyes we used were Earthues Natural Dyes that I purchased in powdered form from Long Ridge Farm. These dyes were wonderful to work with and the colors they gave were outstanding.
Earthues dyes all come from nature, either bugs or berries, bark and roots. They are non-toxic and easy to work with. The purple, above, is Logwood Purple.
It spent a good part of the day vying for my favorite dye, but I hate to admit, in the end, it was overtaken by madder.
Madder gave us a rich, rich orange. It is the color of fall. The color of cooler weather. And pumpkins. And all that is right with the world. (o.k., slight exaggeration, but I really do love the color it gives off.)
Some of us got a little crazy and decided to use both turmeric and madder for the same skein.
I think the results are stunning.
Throughout the day, we watched pots boil.
We tried all the colors.
We spent what felt like hours rinsing, and rinsing and then rinsing again.
We gently squeezed out water under the watchful eye of a few chickens.
And then we took a break to pet an alpaca that was out for a walk.
And then, finally, after washing and dyeing and dripping and squeezing, we were done for the day.
Don't worry if you missed out on all the excitement. We'll have another natural dyeing class in the Spring.
The votes were coming in fast and furious.
We asked for names for Bella's baby, and names you gave us. You guys take the naming responsibility seriously. You researched the meaning of names. You wrote things in perfect Italian. You sold your choices with passion.
Alas, there can only be one winner (well, in this case, there will be two.) But we appreciate each and every person's efforts.
So, without further adieu, may we congratulate Connie B. for her contribution of CaraBella and Amy J. for suggesting di Michelangelo. We are combining the names and the new little one will be officially named as That'll Do Farm's CaraBella di Michelangelo. But, seeing as that is a big, big name, and she is just a little girl, around the barn, she will be known simply as Cara.
Thank you to everyone who contributed. We appreciate your interest and your naming skills. There were some duplicates, but as we said when announcing the contest, we gave credit to the first person to suggest the name.
Didn't win this time? Don't despair. There are several pregnant alpacas that are due this fall and we will have another contest. So keep thinking people, keep thinking!
Connie B. and Amy J., send me an e-mail at BrightonWool@aol.com to claim your prize.
We've had to cancel tonight's Sit-N-Hook at the farm. If you were planning on coming out, hold your horses.
Sit-N-Knit is still on for Saturday, July 28 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Rug hookers are most certainly welcome to hook with the knitters. We are an equal opportunity fiber addict group.
As always, there is never a charge to attend Sit-N-Knit, Sit-N-Spin or Sit-N-Hook days.
And for those interested, there is still room in our Sunday, July 29th class: Fiber Processing. Cost for this class is $50. You learn how to skirt an alpaca fleece, wash it and then finally, how to card it on a drum carder. This is a gret class for the hand spinner that wants to know what to do with all that fiber he or she has purchased!
Folks, we're stumped.
At our wit's end.
I think you get the picture.
gave birth to an outstanding female cria back on July 2nd. And we have yet to come up with a name for her baby. We are very bad farmers indeed.
So we're asking for your help. The cria is a dainty and girly-girl alpaca with deer-like qualities. Her fleece is butter soft and creamy to the touch. Much too pretty to go unnamed for so long!
All names for crias born at the farm this year need to start with the letter C. (It helps us keep track of the year the were born.)
So give it your best shot. Leave us a comment before the end of the day Sunday, July 29th. If we pick your name, you can pick one of two prizes:
Prize 1: A skein of deep, rich cocoa brown yarn from Bella's good alpaca buddy Maia. This is approximently 250 yards of Maia yarn, mixed with 15% Merino wool. The words warm, soft and drapey come to mind when touching this yarn.
Or, for the spinner, Prize 2 is a box of our Cinnamon Roll Roving. Six ounces of our soft-as-a-cloud alpaca roving mixed with 15 percent Merino wool. It is a dream to spin.
So leave your suggestion, along with your name and a way to contact you in the comment section below. We will announce the winner on Monday, July 30th. You can leave more than one suggestion. In the case of two people suggesting the same winning name, we will consider the first one listed in the comment section as the winner.
So put your naming hats on and enter to win. Bella's unnamed baby thanks you.
Hint: The mama alpaca's full name is Tuscan's Amber Wave Di Bella Vita. (You need a nap after saying all that!). And the daddy is El Nino's Accoyo Michelangelo. Two Italian names so we're really leaning towards an Italian sounding name for this young lady. Or a name that incorporates the parents name or names somehow.