One of the things we try to do here on our farm is to raise our own meat, and that means plenty of whole natural chickens to feast on. The chicken is pasture-raised, and it's so moist and flavorful that it really doesn't need much added to it. But sometimes I can't resist jazzing it up a bit, so this is what I do: Rub 1/4t garlic salt and 1/4t old bay underneath the skin, then smear 1/4 cup mayonnaise all over the bird. Bake in a greased pan at 300 degrees for about an hour. The mayo keeps it plenty moist, and the smell of it baking will make your mouth water. Serve it with some green beans from the garden and real mashed potatoes, and your taste buds won't know what hit them!
The other day when I was snowed in yet again, I decided to sort through the stack of books beside my bed. I came across an article about the health benefits of oatmeal, and how it is considered to have anti-depressive properties. That got me thinking about my mom's oatmeal rolls--moist and chewy inside with just a hint of crispiness in the crust. They suddenly seemed like the perfect antidote to my gloomy mood. I dug out the recipe and got to work. I took some shortcuts, like making a loaf instead of rolls, and only adding flour until the dough felt firm (about four cups plus a couple tablespoons). And I used a bundt pan because it was the first pan I grabbed. But here's the real recipe:
1 cup oats 3 tbls soft butter 2 cup boiling water 2 pkg yeast dissolved in 1/3 cup warm water & 1 tsp sugar 1 tbls sugar 2/3 cup brown sugar 1 1/2 tsp salt 5 cup flour
Pour boiling water over oats and butter. Stir and cool. Add sugars, salt, and proofed yeast. Knead in flour. Rise 1 hour, punch down. Preheat oven 350 degrees. Form rolls and put in greased 9"x 13" pan. Rise 20 min., bake 20 min.
Here's a grilled-cheese sandwich I made a few days later using the remainder of the bread. I just made a sandwich using some cheese slices, buttered the bread generously, and grilled it. It then became pure ooey-gooey goodness. I felt great eating it, even though I can't prove it was the oatmeal that did it. But I mean really, how could this treat not brighten your mood?
I love eating from the garden and preparing foods that we've raised here on our property. Most days when we sit down to eat, at least one of the items on our plates is homegrown or raised. Sometimes it's only one homegrown ingredient that's been used in a dish, but even so, it makes me feel better about what I'm serving my family. And it usually improves the taste of the food! On this page you'll find a collection of dishes that we eat often. Most recipes are simple, and all of them are delicious. So go ahead, scroll on down, and pretend you're flipping through the pages of a well-worn cookbook! Enjoy.