Summer Harvest

sunflowerI am back! It’s been an eventful month since I last posted on Gay Gourmet. Summer comes, and I find myself completely overwhelmed with everything happening on and off of the farm. We have big plans happening over the next few months! We will be expanding the agricultural acreage of Legend’s Creek Farm, fencing off another 5 acres for our goats. We are up to 21 beautiful goats, and counting, and by fencing off these acres, I will save myself valuable time by not having to keep the brush clear myself.

Our soaps have become a huge success. We were invited to the Providence Flea a few weeks ago, and we almost completely sold out of soap. I took a little hiatus due to the heat, but we will be back with our soaps the second weekend of August. We were also invited to William Sonoma in Garden City, RI and will be there on Saturday August 10th to sell our soaps and canned goods. Even more exciting, Amazon accepted us to their exclusive Brand Registry, and you can now buy our products from them.

We wanted to let everyone know that the Foster, RI Old Home Days is happening this weekend. You should take a ride out to Western, Rhode Island and see how beautiful our town is. Last year we won 3rd place in the pie baking contest with our Verry Berry Cherry Pie, and this year we are hoping to take 1st place!

We thought our gardens were going to suffer this year due to the overwhelmingly hot month of July we had. Everything started to look bad, but we were surprised to see how well everything is doing, and it is completely thriving!

carrot-harvest

I could eat carrots all day, picked fresh from the ground. We love to grow a variety of them, and kids who visit our farm just love the different colors! The above photo was snapped this morning, and that isn’t even an 8th of what we have left to harvest. We are also planning a second crop of carrots for the Fall. Root vegetables do wonderful in cooler temperatures, so we are expecting a ton of beets, onions, and carrots to be ready right around Thanksgiving.

squash-corn-harvest

Corn and squash have been on the grill almost every evening here at the farm. I have to say that my husband is a bit spoiled. He works very hard being an attorney, so he deserves nothing less than the best. I find that growing corn is very easy, and since it loves nitrogen, our goat compost gives them a real growth spurt. Squash grow like weeds, and I have yet to find a soil that it doesn’t thrive in.

tomato-harvestTomatoes are by far the toughest crop to grow. You need to keep them staked, and off the ground. If you don’t cut off the suckers that grow from the sides, then you end up with a total mess. We like to grow our tomatoes up. We use stakes in the ground, and a rope trellis that we tie the stalks to as the plant grows. This allows continued harvesting, well into the fall if the plants are able to survive insects and drought.

There has been an awful lot of calls lately for people looking to visit the farm and meet the animals. In the past we have not allowed it because our insurance company said we couldn’t, but we are in the process of shopping around for farm insurance which will allow us to be more inviting. We hope to share everything we have built and make some new wonderful friends.

It’s almost time for me to get back to cooking, and sharing some of our recipes! In the meantime, we hope you enjoy our stories, and the photos, and we really hope you will try our soaps that you can buy from our other website. Thank you everybody for your continued support, and don’t forget to like us on Facebook!

bobo-kids


Legend Creek Farm Store

legends-creek-soap

Most people don’t realize that before I became a farmer, I was in marketing/advertising. I grew so tired of sitting behind a desk all day, and even though it was fun running my own business, I wasn’t happy doing it full time. It’s been a 3 week ordeal for me to do a complete overhaul of our sister website: www.LegendsCreekFarm.com and I am proud to finally say that our shopping cart is open, and we have several different varieties of Luxury Goats Milk Soap available for sale all over the country.

Since we can’t legally sell the cheeses we make yet, we thought it was perfect to use the milk in the soap. For the past year it’s been trial and error to come up with the perfect recipe for our soaps. We are finally satisfied with a recipe, and are now offering our soaps for sale to the public.

Goats milk soap gives this wonderful, added creaminess to our bars that you won’t find in the stores. Each bar is aged for a minimum of 6 weeks to allow the perfect curing time. We offer all-natural for people who are sensitive to fragrance, and all our soaps are naturally dye-free.

We are very proud to have come up with special packaging for our soaps. With the opinions of our fans, family, and friends, we decided on this gorgeous jute wrap, sealed with wax. Our soaps last indefinitely, and the longer they age, the better they become. Curing soap with time brings out a harder bar, with better qualities.

Not all our soaps are made with Goats Milk, we offer a few that use spring water, and even one that’s made with green tea. All our scents are organic and natural essential oils, and some contain herbs.

We are excited at the idea of getting our YouTube channel going, and will soon be offering videos that will show you how to make your own soap at home. It’s a fun hobby for anyone looking to stay away from the harsh detergents found in most store bought soaps, and of course the soaps themselves make excellent gifts. You would be surprised at how easy it is to make! The hardest part is waiting for the curing process to be complete.

In the coming weeks we will be offering our exclusive line of canned goods. They will also be sold on our website, and with our soaps at the local farmers markets. All our canned goods are made in a licensed kitchen, with our secret recipes.

Please take a moment to visit our new store, and we look forward to your orders! Don’t forget to like us on FaceBook & follow us on Twitter for chances to win FREE soap, and to get discount codes for our website.


Grilled Pizza

grilled-pizza-whole

We absolutely love living in Rhode Island. While the state is small, it offers incredible variety. The part of the state we live in, western Rhode Island, is filled with winding rural roads, lovely old houses, and kind, generous neighbors. While Rhode Island’s great beaches often get a lot of attention, the wide open spaces and preserved land and scenery of western RI is (in our opinion) one of the most undervalued parts of this state.

One of the greatest things about living in such a small state is that, from here, it’s only a 25 minute ride into downtown Providence. In addition to being where I work while Aden toils away on the land, Providence has a ton to offer. Being home to RISD, Brown and Johnson & Whales, there’s great culture and inspiring food no matter where you turn.

grilled-pizza-dough

One thing Providence has become famous for is its grilled pizza. The city was recently ranked second by Travel + Leisure for best pizza cities in the country. The origins of the grilled pizza are somewhat disputed, as is the best place in the city to get some. Al Forno’s grilled pizza is famous, but Bob & Timmy’s was the grilled pizza I was raised on. Also, I can’t write about pizza without mentioning the new arrival, Providence Coal Fired Pizza, which has ruined more carb-free diets for me than I care to admit (and, full disclosure, my family owns it).

grilled-pizza-ingredients

Grilled pizza is incredible. The high heat of the grill, mixed with generous oil on the dough, leaves the pizza crust slightly charred, crispy, and with an almost fried-dough like flavor.

A few things are key when making a grilled pizza. First, you need to be prepared. Your dough can burn quickly if you aren’t paying attention. Second, you need a large grill. Lastly, you need to keep your ingredients simple. A few fresh, tasty ingredients will need to be placed on the pizza quickly so that everything can heat fast enough before the crust starts to burn underneath.

Above all, do not be intimidated by this. The dough recipe below will yield quite a few pizzas, so feel free to mess up a few times and just start over. Once you perfect the technique you’ll be making these for the rest of your life, it’s simply too irresistible not to!

grilled-pizza-slice

Recipe: Grilled Pizza

Ingredients

  • 2 C cold water
  • 6 C bread flour
  • 1 T active dry yeast
  • 1 T salt
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 T sugar
  • Chopped basil
  • Sale & Pepper to taste
  • Shredded mozzarella or fontina

Instructions

  1. You will want to get started on your dough early, either the night before or early in the morning at the latest. In a mixing bowl, add the yeast, salt, olive oil and sugar to the cool water until the yeast re-hydrates and dissolves.
  2. Turn the mixer on and gradually add the flour, two cups at a time. You may need slightly less than all six cups, but the goal is to incorporate as much of the flour as possible while still having a working dough. A dough without enough flour will be very difficult to handle on the grill, but you still want something stiff and only slightly wet. If it gets too tough, add more water, and let the dough rest for a few minutes before continuing to mix.
  3. Allow the dough to rise, covered in your refrigerator. Placing it in large plastic grocery bags that have been doubled up (if you have clean ones) is generally most convenient.
  4. Make the pizza sauce by chopping the garlic and sauteing it in olive oil until the garlic just begins to brown. Add the tomatoes, chopped basil, salt, pepper and sugar, stir, and allow it to sit, covered, over low heat, for as long as possible (if you’re in a rush you can cook it over high heat until the tomatoes start to break apart). We prefer a thick sauce, with chunks of diced tomato, but you can smooth it out if you’d like by mashing the tomatoes once they’re cooked.
  5. Take the dough out about an hour before lighting your grill.
  6. When lighting the grill, you want it to get as hot as possible, but with the coals almost entirely to one side, so that you will have enough room to cook the pizza over both direct and indirect heat.
  7. Get all of your toppings ready, together with the sauce, and place them near the grill. Also, bring a generous amount of olive oil with an oil brush, and it keep it nearby. You will need something to flip the pizza (we use tongs), as well as something to push the pizza on to when its done (we use one of our cutting boards). Make sure all of this is ready beforehand!
  8. Divide the dough (the dough recipe will yield about six pizzas) by pulling off a small amount about the size of your fist. As you get better at making the pizzas you can move up to larger sizes, but practice with small pizzas first, keeping in mind the size of your grill.
  9. Roll the dough out to a thin, uniform consistency, using plenty of flour. It doesn’t need to be round, and it should be thick enough for you to be able to quickly lift it without the dough tearing.
  10. You may find it helpful to keep the dough on a piece of parchment paper. Generous oil one side of the pizza dough.
  11. Place the oiled side of the dough down on the grill directly over the coals. If using parchment paper, you can slowly flip the dough onto the grill by using a cutting board and gradually sliding the dough forward. Then, once the pizza is completely on the grill, simply peel the parchment paper off the top of the dough.
  12. While the pizza is cooking, generously oil the top of the dough. It should cook quickly, in about a minute or so. You will see the entire crust start to bubble and will be able to lift it easily with your tongs. Move the dough around as needed to ensure that the entire area is cooked (though if your grill is large enough and the coals dispersed enough, you shouldn’t have to move it at all).
  13. Using your tongs, check to ensure that you can lift the whole pizza off the grates by running them along the dough’s edges. If it lifts, flip the dough onto the uncooked oiled side and allow it to cook for thirty seconds (if it doesn’t flip, you didn’t use enough oil). Once you’ve completed this flip, congratulations! the hardest part of making a grilled pizza is over.
  14. Do not revel in your cooking prowess for too long. Quickly move the crust off of direct heat and start adding your toppings. Your cheese will melt a lot faster by putting it down first. Add the sauce and anything else you may be using on top of that. Close the cover and allow it to cook over indirect heat for about 7 minutes. Using your tongs, rotate it frequently, so that every side of the crust gets to cook closest to the hot coals (but, again, not over them).
  15. Once everything is melted and bubbly, slide the pizza off the grill, slice it and enjoy!

Preparation time: 5 hour(s)

Cooking time: 9 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4


The Spring Buzz

Legends-Creek-Press-1Jon and I had a blast when we were visited by a reporter from the Valley Breeze. The animals were excited to have their pictures taken, and the emails and calls have not stopped coming in. We appreciate the opportunity to share our farm and blog with everyone and look forward to meeting some new friends!

Our incubators have been flipping chicken eggs for the last 2 months, and we will have our first hatch of Ameraucana chicks for sale this weekend. It’s the best time of year to hatch since the weather is perfect and you don’t need to worry about providing them with heat for months as they grow.

This last weekend we did some routine maintenance to our honey bee hive, and in another week or 2 it will be time to add on the second brood box! I am amazed at how fast the colony is growing and look forward to expanding to between 5 – 10 hives this time next year.

I wanted to take a chance to reach out to my readers. If you have any particular recipe that is your favorite, please share it with me. I would love the chance to experiment with it, and possibly prepare it for the blog. I have already received several recipes that I am extremely excited about that are on the list to be added.

Feel free to check out the full article written about us in the Valley Breeze. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and Twitter, and you might be one of the lucky winners of our secret recipe goats milk soap and lotion contest that is coming up. Stay tuned!

 


Strawberry Shortcake with Buttermilk Biscuits

strawberry-shortcake-buttermilk-biscuits

The weather has been getting warmer and we’ve been busy here preparing for summer. It is absolutely our favorite time of the year as pleasant, long days lead into slightly cooler nights, allowing us to work almost non-stop at building our garden and home.

It’s amazing to reflect on how far we’ve come in such a short time here. A year ago the space that our garden is in now was barely tilled, we were still waiting for our compost to develop, and we hadn’t had the time to start the majority of our plants from seed.

In contrast, already this spring we have finished building the bulk of our raised beds, we’ve planted a ton of fruit trees and berries, and all the goats have started giving birth and producing milk.

buttermilk-biscuit-dough

We’ve been planning for summer in a lot of different ways, one of which includes putting away those rich, decadent desserts we shared all winter in exchange for lighter, more season-appropriate delicacies.

There is perhaps nothing so timeless and delicious as fresh strawberries and cream. Ripe, flavorful strawberries will be coming into season soon, and the timing couldn’t be better. These lovely days in the northeast are perfect for long brunches, and nothing tops off a great brunch quite like this amazingly light, simple, yet incredible strawberry dessert.

buttermilk-biscuits

One of my favorite parts about this dish are the deliciously light buttermilk biscuits. These are great any time, and we bake them often as a stand alone recipe. Here, though, they’re the perfect vessel for enjoying the strawberries and cream. Slightly sweetened with honey, and soft enough to soak up the juices from the strawberries, they almost melt in your mouth while providing a sumptuous contrast to the sweet strawberries and cream and still maintaining an airy texture throughout the whole dish.

Of course the strawberries themselves need almost no modification, though cooking them down with a little sugar really highlights their ripe flavor. And, finally, the home made whipped cream provides a cool, light and rich pairing, bringing everything together wonderfully.

strawberries-sliced-thin

We really hope you enjoy these. They’re very easy to make beforehand and assemble just before serving. Of course you can enjoy them year round, and even with frozen strawberries, but there’s no real substitute to fresh, in-season strawberries.

strawberry-shortcake

Recipe: Strawberry Shortcake with Buttermilk Bisquits

Filling Ingredients

  • 1 lb. fresh strawberries
  • 1/2 C sugar

Biscuit Ingredients

  • 2 C all-purpose flour
  • 1 stick salted butter (cold)
  • 3/4 C buttermilk
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 T baking powder
  • 4 T honey

Whipped Cream Ingredients

  • 1 C heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 C confectioners sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat over to 400 F.
  2. Combine flour, salt, and baking powder in a food processor with a blade.
  3. Chop cold butter into squares, and add to flour mixture.
  4. Mix in the food processor until butter is combined with flour mixture and it balls together. Refrigerate mixture for 20 minutes.
  5. Whisk buttermilk and honey until combined. Set aside.
  6. Slice strawberries unto 1/4 inch slivers. combine with sugar, mix, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook down strawberry mixture until it thickens into a slightly runny syrup. Remove from heat.
  7. Remove biscuit dough from refrigerator and roll out into a rectangle. Fold it over onto itself, starting by bringing the left side over to the middle, then the right side over that as if you were folding a piece of paper to put into an envelope. Roll the dough out again, and repeat the folding 1 more time.
  8. Roll dough out to form a 1/2 inch rectangle. Use something cylindrical to cut circles in the dough. I like to use english muffin tins, but you could use a glass, or even a cookie cutter.
  9. Place dough rounds onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment, coat tops and sides with melted butter, and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  10. Using a kitchen mixer with the whisk attachment, mix heavy cream, confectioners sugar, and vanilla until whipped cream is formed. Chill until ready to use.
  11. When strawberries and biscuits are cooled, get creative, have fun, and enjoy this delicious, melt-in-your-mouth dessert.

Preparation time: 1 hour(s)

Cooking time: 15 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 6