Here at the farm, we like to stay active, get fresh air, and eat the freshest fruits and vegetables we can find. With that being said, what is the famous phrase? Work hard, play hard eat everything? It was probably about 9:00 at night, we had just settled in for some late night television and began our Friday tradition of speed flipping between Discovery channel and A&E. Amongst the crime solver stories and trips to Singapore, there it was. The biscuit commercial. The one where that strange, blue eyed, dough man wearing nothing but a scarf and a chef’s hat convinces you to buy his roll of ready to bake biscuits. You know the guy, his baked good are usually so good that you lose all sense of etiquette and stick your finger right into his stomach until he “hoo-hoo’s”? Well it’s time to show that little guy that YOU wear the pants in your kitchen. Scarf and hat optional. We call these our [almost] healthy buttermilk biscuits. The “almost” reminds us that there is significantly less butter in them than many recipes I’ve found and they also contain 3 tablespoons of Erdenheim Farm honey. A lot of biscuit recipes we’ve tested use the drop method. Similar to chocolate chip cookies, where you spoon the batter out onto a tray for baking. This recipe borrows a technique from puff pastry dough. And don’t worry, it’s the easy technique. After your dough is rolled out, you’ll fold the sheet like you fold a standard 8 x 11” paper for an envelope. It is also important that you work quickly and keep all the ingredients as cold as possible. In recipes like this, the butter acts as [...]
It’s the last few weeks for Erdenheim Farm’s micro greens. As the days get longer and sun shines brighter, our greenhouse gets much, much hotter. Because of this, our delicate micro greens and lettuces are only available during the cooler months. Today, we gave our greens a proper send off with some shaved spring vegetables, goat cheese, and crunchy spiced almonds. We had a few ramp leaves left over from our last foraging trip and tossed them in for good measure. While I don’t normally believe that recipes are the best way to navigate the construction of a salad, I think the almonds at least deserve a little guidance. Everything else is up to you and that’s the beauty of a salad. It’s one of the few dishes where you can eyeball every ingredient, throw caution to the wind and be a little unorthodox. Usually, with the resounding approval of those you are serving. Odds are, if you have ripe, fresh ingredients, salt and pepper, and a little olive oil and acid (vinegar or citrus), you’re going to have success. Here’s our favorite spiced almond recipe: 1/8 cup granulated sugar 2 tablespoons sea salt 1 pinch cayenne pepper 8 ounces sliced almonds ½ egg white Procedure: 1) Preheat oven to 350°F 2) Combine all ingredients in large mixing bowl and toss to combine. You want every almond coated evenly. 3) Pour almond mixture onto a sheet tray lined with parchment paper and spread evenly in one layer. 4) Place tray in preheated oven and set a timer for fifteen minutes. Every few minutes, stir the almonds on the tray to promote even toasting and browning. If they lay flat on one side during the [...]
It’s the end of April and that means it’s that strange time of year where everyone is ready to eat spring food but nothing is close to harvesting. After this year’s particularly long and harsh winter, our spring crops still have a month to go before we will have any yield for our farm stand. This is always a concerning time of year for restaurants, when guests show up for dinner in sundresses and short sleeves, tired of celery root and beets, yearning for the sweet taste of peas, young carrots, and fava beans. In most cases, what “spring crops” are available at this time in the store, come from warmer climates like California, Florida, and Mexico. Yikes! I won’t point the finger of morality at you, I’m guilty of impatience with seasonal vegetable locality. But it’s a new season, a new year, and we’re all trying to do better, right? Luckily, you don’t have to wait until June to start tasting the bright local flavors of spring. In our area, ramps are in full effect! Yesterday we harvested the first big, beautiful bulbs of the season from our ramp bed. Some people call ramps “wild leeks”, “spring onions”, or “wild garlic”. They are normally found along creeks or streams, sprouting out of the hillsides under hardwood trees such as birch, maple, poplar, hickory, and/or oak. They thrive in areas that receive ample sunshine and have rich, moist, well-drained soil. The more fallen leaves and organic debris, the better! In recent years, the demand for wild ramps has grown so much that fields of the leaves have been decimated to small patches. Ramps are bourgeoisie, trendy, so-hot-right-now. Because of this, if you’re lucky enough [...]
When spring is here, the temperature is just right, and the hours of daylight are finally in our favor, we can't get enough of Forbidden Drive. The name sounds spooky but the winding trails along the Wissahickon are anything but. Joggers, bikers, pedestrians, dog owners, and horseback riders have been finding respite from the busy life of the city in the shady sanctuary that stretches from Ridge Avenue to Northwestern Ave at Bell's Mill Road. Once while jogging on the trail, I spotted a Bald Eagle gliding across the tree canopy and have seen chipmunks and ducklings crossing the paths right in front of me. So many people enjoy this territory but don't know the story behind it. Today, Erdenheim Farm celebrated the beauty and tranquility that is Forbidden Drive by acknowledging the riders who made it possible almost 100 years ago. Every year, on the last Sunday of April, the community comes out to recognize the year that Forbidden Drive was closed to automobiles. In 1921, there was a proposed road change that would allow development and traffic on the stretch of trail we know and love today. After the plans were made public, 600 riders and their horses protested on the trail making it impossible to drive down and the action was dropped. Today’s celebration started with a horse show at Northwestern Stables, featuring carriages, and English and Western riders. Our very own Jenna Marie competed in the Western class and won second place with one of our own Morgans, Whisper. After the horse shows and a fancy hat competition, the parade started joined by four of our own Morgans with riders, and the Generals pulling the Erdenheim Carriage.
On a recent rainy day trip to our local grocer to replenish our yogurt stash, we were hit with a genius idea. You see, we eat so much yogurt, by the time we had returned to the store from our last trip where we bought all the FAGE they had, they were still sold out and waiting for a shipment. As the rain fell on our sad walk back to the car, we had no one to shake our fists at but ourselves. So the idea, let’s start making our own yogurt. And let’s do it today so we will have some for breakfast tomorrow because all we have left is one 6 oz. container and 6:30am is too early to have a food fight. Homemade yogurt is surprisingly easy and our version is incredibly simple and economical. All you need is a vessel for your finished product, milk, and a few spoonfuls of any plain yogurt in your fridge. After 20 minutes of work and one night of peaceful sleep, you can turn your one lone, last container of yogurt into an entire quart of homemade goodness! We went home and found a few Mason jars of various sizes, depending on your own organizational state of mind, you may do better finding ones of similar size just for continuity. We also had a jug of grass fed milk - regular, full fat milk. If you prefer non-fat dairy products, don’t worry. That works in this recipe too although it may end up a little thinner than the store bought variety you are used to. That’s because most non-fat yogurts contain thickeners. If you really miss that texture, drain your finished product in cheesecloth inside [...]