Another cast iron answer for Mother’s Day

The mother of all cast iron breakfast successes! We've been spending a lot of time in the greenhouse this month preparing for our summer crop. There are a few vegetables we like to grow year round and swiss chard is one of them. Sweet, tender, and rainbow colored - just the vegetable to get us in the mood for sunny weather. This weekend we'll be making one of our favorite egg dishes in one of our favorite pans (our cast iron). Now I know we've waxed poetic about the cast iron in the past and rightfully so! We are serial dirty dish makers here on the farm and tiny farmhouse kitchens just aren't made for that kind of abuse day in and day out. Enter this one pan wonder, everyone including Mom will be thankful for this mess-less feast! It tastes great, uses EF ingredients and will have everyone convinced you TOTALLY used to whip this up every Sunday morning during your recent "year for creativity" in Provence when you rode your bike to le marché agricole down the street for fresh baguettes and eggs. Don't worry, oui won't tell anyone.   You may notice in this recipe that the amount of swiss chard seems high. Before it's cooked, its going to look to be about 7-8 cups worth but by the time it cooked down its almost 25% of it's original size. Because of this, we add the chard in stages, let the leaves wilt a little before we add anymore. Otherwise, this mess-less recipe becomes a battle for pan space and you may end up loosing some over the edge. Also important, gather your ingredients and prep them before you start the cooking process. It move [...]

By |May 8th, 2015|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Another cast iron answer for Mother’s Day

Hitting the Ground Running!

It’s that time of the year! We’ve packed away our favorite waffle knit long johns and opened the back doors to the sheep barn to let the new lambs out to bounce. We are in the last stage of lambing, which means we’ll soon be back to our normal biorhythms of a full nights sleep and a full night out to dinner without checking our lamb cameras on our cell phones at the table. Sorry, busser at the new La Colombe who was subject to a full explanation of our activities and many proud pictures and video of the springing woolies. I mean, can you blame us?   With such a change in tempo, activities inside of the greenhouse are ramping up (no pun intended – because as you know from our post last year, “ramps” are wild). We’ve been busy planning our new systems and seed selections and we can’t wait to hit the ground sowing!   This winter we made the decision to update our greenhouse systems and implement a new computer system that will allow us to better monitor our plants and allow for more organic methods of pest control. As people could find out more with our frequently asked questions, we made more solutions. Shade cloths, air circulators, and a new weather station.   This year we are exploring some new systems in the garden as well. Rob, our gardener, has found some interesting information about Hugelkultur raised beds that we are going to try this year. Our goal is to offer you the freshest, chemical free, heirloom variety fruits and vegetables and finding new ways, which are sometimes the “old ways” prove to be the best way!   Hugelkultur is a [...]

By |March 9th, 2015|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Hitting the Ground Running!

Roasted Apples and Pork Loin with Sweet Potato Puree and EF Onions

It's Friday night and after our long week here on the farm, we're taking a cue from yesterday's recipe and making a cast iron skillet dinner fit for king! Now that the mornings are cooler and the leaves are changing, everyone in our household is preparing for our favorite season –flannel season. And to look best in our stripes and plaids, we’re staying in this Friday and cooking up a healthy, fulfilling meal. We used a 2.5lb piece of local pork loin and tied it up with butcher's twine. Tying meat up helps it cook evenly. This size was enough for a party of four, but you can adjust accordingly to your needs. This particular cut was about 4 inches in diameter and 7 inches long. If your pork loin in smaller in diameter, subtract 5 minutes of time for every inch in difference. For example, if it is 3 inches wide, cook for 20 minutes. Our suggestion is to use a thermometer to check the internal temperature of the loin. When the temperature reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit, remove from the oven and let rest. As the meat is resting it will continue to cook. If you allow it to cook longer in the oven, it will become dry and tough by the time you are ready to serve it.   Ingredients: 2.5lb pork loin 2 Tablespoons grapeseed oil 3 large sweet potatoes (peeled and chopped into large chunks) 4 Erdenheim Farm Gala Apples (peeled and sliced into 1 inch wedges) 8 Erdenheim Farm Small Red Onions (cleaned and halved) 1 clove of garlic, whole slightly squashed 3/4 cup chicken stock 2 Tablespoons sour cream Dash of apple cider vinegar Salt & pepper to taste Fresh rosemary [...]

By |February 22nd, 2015|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Roasted Apples and Pork Loin with Sweet Potato Puree and EF Onions

A new house and 100 new chickens!

You spoke, we listened! This week we welcome 100 new chickens to the farm, with a brand new chicken coop built for their arrival. We thought we’d take this opportunity to highlight our new layers in this week’s blog post! If you’ve ever been curious about the life of a farm chicken, here’s your chance to get the inside scoop. Our hens spend most of the day socializing and getting exercise. They also enjoy scratching at the dirt and eating. They will happily munch on lettuce, insects, grain and fruit. It is a little known fact that they are capable of eating a wider variety of foods than some hogs! Luckily, we’re here to ensure they have a nutritious and balanced diet. At some point during the day, they will make their way to the shared nesting boxes to lay an egg. These are collected in the morning and again before nightfall. The eggs are immediately washed, crated and refrigerated. In the evening they settle in to roost. The lights are turned out in the coop so they can enjoy up to 8 hours of undisturbed darkness before starting another day on the farm. But don’t listen for any roosters crowing in the wee hours of the morning, our coops are hens only. Our newest chickens are just 17 weeks old, known as “poulets.” At this stage in their development, it is essential that we feed them a diet high in protein and minerals. This will lead to healthier egg production later in life. They will start laying at about 22 weeks and will continue to lay for about 2 to 3 years. With the addition of these young hens, our total chicken count will be [...]

By |February 20th, 2015|Uncategorized|Comments Off on A new house and 100 new chickens!

Lamb Jam 2015

They're here! Our first two lambs of the year were born this week, happy and healthy! Weighing in at an even eight pounds each, these strong lambs are starting our lambing season off right. Within the next month or so, the rest of the herd will deliver as well, so be on the lookout this spring! By April, the pasture will be full of small, springing, white Cheviots. What is it like working on a farm during lambing season? I imagine it's pretty close to working in a maternity ward during a full moon, the day before a big storm, in September. Except all of the patients are wearing white fur coats and demanding all-you-can-eat hay. But seriously, here's a look at a normal day in February, inside the Erdenheim Farm Sheep Barn. Early, every morning, we wake up to check on the progress any expecting mothers have made. By watching their movements, milk bag size, and manners, we can predict which mothers are going to be next. Throughout the day, periodic assessments are made and if one of the ewes gives the signal, we move her to her own deluxe birthing suite in the barn - equipped with a warm heat lamp and plenty of soft straw. After the lamb or lambs are delivered (we have twins and triplets quite frequently here are Erdenehim!), the mother cleans them off and gets to know her babies. We check the mother's milk supply to make sure she is ready for nursing. During pregnancy, ewes prepare for the birth of their young by producing milk. During this process, a wax like plug is created  inside the teats to block any bacteria or dirt from entering the milk supply. We give the [...]

By |February 5th, 2015|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Lamb Jam 2015

Apple Hand Pies

Happy Saturday Everyone! This afternoon we decided to make some apple hand pies with our orchard's Macintosh apples. We were inspired during a raucous freezer cleaning session where we came across a disk of leftover pie dough from last season (Sitting Pretty Peach Galette). If you don't have a squirreled away frozen crust in your freezer, here's our basic pie dough recipe:   Ingredients: Dough: 2 1/2 cups (315 g) flour 1 tablespoon (15 g) sugar 1 teaspoon (5 g) table salt 2 sticks (8 ounces, 225 grams) very cold, unsalted butter ¾ cup ice cold water (put ice cubes in it but don’t add them to the dough)   For the dough, combine flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Cut in cold butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in water, a tablespoon at a time, until mixture easily forms a ball. You may need a little more or less. Divide dough into two pieces, wrap each in plastic and refrigerate for an hour.   Now for the hand pies! Before we start, let's talk about these little pockets of gold. Hand pies are the perfect food for children and adults alike! They are incredibly cute, delicious, and the perfect size for snacking. Sometimes it just isn't convenient to sit down, have a big slice of pie on a plate, dirty a dish and a fork and listen to your kid brother tell you why he's renouncing all meat and becoming a gypsy. For those times - reach for a hand pie.   Ingredients: Pie Dough Recipe   Filling: 4 Macintosh Apples 1 tsp lemon juice 1/4 cup sugar 2 Tablespoon AP Flour pinch of salt 1 tsp cinnamon dash of allspice, nutmeg, [...]

By |September 27th, 2014|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Apple Hand Pies

Kristina’s Champagne Apple Walnut Cake

It’s Thursday and that means yet another delicious apple recipe from the Erdenheim Archives! It took a little convincing, but we’re ready to give away our secret recipe in honor of the delicious Gala apples we have growing here in our orchard. Today we baked up a special favorite, a recipe we created after many years of testing! And when we say many, we’re talking 10 years of test tasting and baking heartbreaks. The best part about it is that all you need, as far as equipment, are two mixing bowls and a cast iron pan. It’s rich, moist, full of flavor and perfect with an afternoon tea or coffee. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you, Kristina’s Champagne Walnut Apple Cake!   Ingredients: 5 Erdenheim Farm Gala Apples 2 teaspoons cinnamon 1/3 cup granulated sugar 1 cup ground walnuts 1/4 teaspoon of salt   2 cups AP flour 1 cup cake flour 1 tablespoon baking powder 1 teaspoon salt 1 cup oil (flavorless - vegetable, safflower, grapeseed, canola) 1 ½ cup granulated sugar ¼ cup Champagne (you can substitute sparking cider if you'd like) ½ vanilla bean (or ½ teaspoon vanilla extract) 4 Erdenheim Farm Eggs   2 tablespoons of soft butter for pan greasing   Directions:   1)      Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter a large cast iron pan and set aside. 2)      Peel, core, and dice apples into 1/2 inch chunks. 3)      In a medium mixing bowl, combine apple pieces, cinnamon, sugar, ground walnuts, and salt. 4)      In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, salt, and sugar. 5)      Pour oil, champagne, and vanilla into dry ingredients and stir until just combined using a spatula or wooden spoon. The batter [...]

By |September 25th, 2014|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Kristina’s Champagne Apple Walnut Cake

Heirloom Apple Sauce

It's another cool day here on the farm so in celebration of our own Heirloom Apple variety, we're making Heirloom Apple Sauce.   On our property we have four grand apple trees that have been around for over 200 years! The apples are blushed with red and green, and yield a delicious, full apple flavor. They are truly a special and rare treat. We used them today in some old-school apple sauce.   This recipe makes enough for tonight’s dinner, tomorrow's breakfast, and this winter's stash! We had enough left over to can and add to our winter preserves collection.   Yield: 5 1/2 pints   Ingredients:   20 (4.5 pounds) Erdenheim Heirloom "Farm Apples" cored, peeled, chopped 3 1/2 cups water 1/2 cup granulated sugar 2 tablespoons brown sugar 1/2 lemon 1 tsp cinnamon   1) Fill a medium size pot with 3 1/2 cups of water. 2) As you chop apples, add the chopped pieces to the water in the pot. This will help them to keep from getting oxidized and brown. 3) Bring apples and water to a boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for 40 minutes. 4) Remove pot from heat and add granulated sugar, brown sugar, lemon juice, and cinnamon. Stir until combined and let cool.

By |September 24th, 2014|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Heirloom Apple Sauce

Apple and White Cheddar Grilled Cheese

If you tackled yesterday’s Challah recipe, hats off to you and this recipe will taste even better because of your valiant efforts! If you haven’t had a chance to bake your own Apple and Raisin Challah, any soft white bread or brioche will do. But trust us, you’ll want to try this one in the future with the real thing. Today was the first official day that we left for work in our official Erdenheim Farm sweatshirts. The chill in the air brought us back to our childhoods, taking that brisk walk to the bus stop each morning. We spent the better part of the today's early activities on a trip down memory lane. But now we’ve returned, it’s lunchtime, and we brought a little something back for you! This warm slice of nostalgia gets a grown up boost with crisp, tart, Erdenheim Farm Apples and sharp white cheddar cheese. We used some leftover pancetta from breakfast as well. You can add ham, tomato jam, any greens or perhaps some caramelized onions? It’s up to you!   Ingredients: 2 thick slices of Apple and Raisin Challah 1/2 Erdenheim Farm apple, thiny sliced 2 oz (or maybe 3) of thinly sliced sharp white cheddar cheese Dijon mustard ¼ cup crumbled pancetta 2 tablespoons room temperature butter     1)      Butter the bottoms of one of the slices of challah. 2)      Flip the butter side down and spread a thin layer of Dijon mustard on the top. The top will be the inside of your sandwich. 3)      Place one layer of white cheddar over the Dijon, then a thin layer of apple slices. 4)      Top the apples with the crumbled pancetta and place another layer of white cheddar [...]

By |September 23rd, 2014|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Apple and White Cheddar Grilled Cheese

Apple and Raisin Challah Bread

We’re in FULL APPLE FRENZY here at the farm and we’re welcoming ourselves back to the blog with a classic Apple and Raisin Challah recipe that uses EF Apples, honey, and eggs. On that note, we should mention that all of the recipes we make here at the farm use our super large brown eggs. If you can’t get to us early on Saturday mornings to pick some up, any extra-large variety will do. But make sure they’re extra-large, not just large by commercial standards. Last week, over brunch with an old friend, we got to talking cooking for specific diets. We ran the gamut from gluten free, lacto-veg, all the way to Kosher. This got us to thinking, Challah time is right around the corner and what better to serve it with than some fresh apples from the orchard? We love breads, and especially enriched ones. Making a loaf of Challah is something different for us, as we usually enrich our breads with dairy (butter). After getting our hands on someone’s great aunt’s, cousin’s, sister's, mother-in-law’s recipe, we knew we had to try. In the end, our house smelled delicious and the product was just as we imagined. Tender, golden, and large. Really large. In fact we feel compelled to tell you that if you aren’t planning on making apple and white cheddar grilled cheeses (stay tuned for tomorrow’s entry) the next day, you could probably cut this recipe in half. Or, make two loaves and freeze one of them after it’s cooled. I, on the other hand, AM planning on making apple and white cheddar grilled cheeses tomorrow and I live with a hungry farmer and a pug. This loaf won’t last 24 hours [...]

By |September 22nd, 2014|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Apple and Raisin Challah Bread