Saturday, March 29, 2014

Snacks, Hydration & Greywater

I'm so very excited to have some of my greywater now going into my soil to water some newly planted grapes (muscat and wild native).  I also plan to plant bananas, a few passion fruit vines and more.

I'm very happy that I was able to do this as a workshop, providing an opportunity for folks to learn and share and build community.  Three of the 17 folks who came were my neighbors living within a few blocks of me!  I'm so grateful for the opportunity to get to know them.  And one of them will trade me his kale & lemons for eggs (love the chance to build the barter/underground economy)!

Folks worked so hard (my soil needs serious rehabing).  Here's what I fed them to keep them fueled:

granola, trail mix & fresh farmers market fruit (strawberries, grapes, tangerines, tangelos, apples from Smit, Schaners, Suzie's Farms

garlicky hummus with fresh veggies (carrots, sugar snap peas, cauliflower, romanesco, broccoli, green onions, radish from Sage Mt and Suzie's Farms)

fresh squeezed lemonade

and iced tea...

Orange Ginger Iced Tea
1 oz black tea (I used Darjeeling)
1/2 oz dried orange peel
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger

Bring a gallon of filtered or spring water to a boil.  Add tea, orange peel and ginger and steep for 5 minutes.  Strain the tea and allow to cool.  Serve over ice, sweeten as desired or mix with lemonade.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Citrus Jamaica Chia Fresca & Holistic Orchards

I've been taking a wonderful class through Wild Willow Farm & Education Center on holistic fruit tree care with an inspiring and extremely knowledgeable teacher.  I'm about to plant citrus, avocado and even bananas(!) and I already have a few citrus, loquats, pomegranate, peaches, and a mulberry so I can immediately (and gratefully) put what I'm learning to good use.

Last week, we spent some time at one of our classmate's beautiful and extensive mostly-citrus grove and, lucky us, she was kind and generous with her lemons.  I love to make all sorts of lemonades, so here's what I brought to class to share this week:

3/4 oz dried hibiscus (the edible kind)
1/4 oz dried orange peel
1 1/2 cups evaporated cane sugar (more or less to taste)
1 1/2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice (more or less to taste)
1/2 cup chia seeds (more or less to taste)

Bring 4 cups of filtered or spring water to a boil and add the hibiscus and orange peel.  Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved.  Strain the liquid into a gallon container and allow to cool.  Add the lemon juice and chia seeds and fill the rest of the container with water.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Cinnamon Apple Cake with Goat Cheese Frosting

This was a delicious breakfast and could totally be baked into muffins.  And instead of frosting, you can tart it up in several ways (bake it topped with a crumble, drizzle with caramel...) depending on how sweet you'd like it to be.

4 oz cup Spring Hill butter
1 1/4 cup rapadura sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup milk
2 cups apple - peeled, cored, chopped about 1/4"
1/2 cup walnut or pecans, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 inch round pan. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the milk, mixing just until incorporated. Stir in the apples and nuts.
Spread batter evenly in the pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool.

Cinnamon Goat Cheese Frosting
2 oz butter (from Spring Hill: the secret to a perfect frosting), room temp
4 oz chevre cheese, room temp
1/4 vanilla bean (or 3/4 tsp vanilla extract), fair trade of course
3 oz powdered sugar
a pinch of sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
and if you want to get real crazy, a couple scrapes of orange zest

Scrape vanilla seeds from the bean (save the pod for vanilla sugar or make your own extract). Whip all ingredients together until smooth.


Crumble Topping
6 tablespoons butter or nut oil (or a mix of the 2)
¾ cup rapadura sugar
2/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
½ cup rolled oats and/or chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans...)
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Mix together and crumble over the cake batter before baking.