Monday, October 8, 2012

Farmy Fresh Tips.

Today marked the beginning of another healthy week-  a nice wholesome breakfast, three miles running, two miles of bicycling and the remainder of the afternoon spent prepping my bathroom for painting tomorrow morning.  I've been as busy as a little bee, but I love the sense of accomplishment that comes along with the controlled chaos that is my life right now.

How does this tie into food you ask?  I have no idea.  I think it was my breakfast this morning.  As I sat in the kitchen, watching the goofy squirrels in the backyard cackle at each other, I found myself contemplating dairy and poultry.  Milk, cream, cheese, butter and eggs.  I eat poached eggs as often as I can, especially before a hard fitness session (in my mind, they help fuel my awesome stamina) and I think they make a lovely, quick meal any time of day.  I recently discovered some of the most amazing eggs--  pastured heirloom chicken eggs rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, with deeply flavorful yolks and crazy colored shells.  My favorite are actually a pale, luminescent green color while the hubbs loves the red shelled variety.  Both taste ridiculously better than your average small, white, dull caged chicken eggs.  The quality of these eggs has me re-thinking building a coop in our backyard, something I'm definitely going to look into.  If I was allowed to own a cow (I heart milk!), I would.  I'm not sure how my neighbors would react, but hey- aren't they making mini cows now?  That may be an option.... *wink*

Here are few more fun (and random) dairy & poultry delights that I picked up from 10,001 Hints & Tips for the Home:

Eggs are an excellent source of protein and vitamins.  They are an extremely versatile food and can be boiled, fried, poached, or used to thicken, emulsify, coat, bind, or glaze.  Eggs are sensitive to temperature changes and should be warmed to room temperature before use.

*Keep them sorted*  Use a food coloring pen to mark a cross on hard-cooked eggs.  The cross will distinguish them from uncooked eggs if stored together.

*Test freshness*  Dissolve 2 tablespoons of salt in 2 cups of water. Place the eggs in the water.  If the egg sinks, it is fresh; if it floats, it is stale.

*Store smartly*  Store eggs in a carton in the refrigerator to prevent them from losing moisture and absorbing odors through their shells from strongly flavored foods nearby.  Always store eggs with the pointed end down, to center the yolk and keep the eggs fresh.


There are several types of cream, each of which has different properties, depending on the butterfat content.  The butterfat content also determines the cream's richness, flavor, and whipping characteristics.  The more fat a cream contains, the less likely it is to curdle.

*Freeze for ease*  Open-freeze heavy cream in an ice cube tray, then put the cubes into freezer bags, and store in the freezer.  The cubes can be added directly to hot soups, sauces, or casseroles.

*Pick one*  Choose heavy cream for when you need softly whipped cream for folding, or for piping.  Light cream will not hold the air as well and will lose it's fluffiness.  Mix a few tablespoons of plain yogurt or whipped cottage cheese into whipped heavy cream to lighten creamy desserts or cake fillings.  Use creme fraiche as a substitute for light or sour cream in hot sauces, since it can be heated to boiling without curdling. 

*Make your own*  To make sour cream, add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice to 2/3 cup light cream.  Stir, and let stand until thickened. 


Cheese is a a high-protein food and has many culinary uses.  It can be used to add flavor to fillings and sauces, and forms the basis of some desserts.  Most cheese us eaten uncooked in salads and sandwiches, or as part of a buffet.  All cheese is best served at room temperature.

*Soft storage*  Freeze cheese only if it contains more than 45 percent fat, since cheese with a lower fat content will separate.  Wrap pieces of soft cheese such as brie in blanched, fresh grape leaves that have been rinsed.  This will keep the cheese fresh for 3-4 days if stored in the refrigerator.

*Preserve*  Store cubes of feta cheese in a jar.  Add sprigs of herbs, garlic cloves, or chilies for flavor.  Fill the jar with good-quality olive oil and refrigerate.  Use the oil for salad dressing.

*Keep it moist*  To keep hard cheeses such as mature cheddar or Parmesan moist during storage, wrap in a clean piece of muslin, or cotton cloth that has been dampened with beer.  Place in an airtight container, and store in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks.


Butter a natural product that is made from cream.  It can be salted or unsalted and is a valuable fat for use in baking, since it adds body and richness.  Butter can be used for light sauteeing or, if mixed with herbs or other ingredients, as a flavoring.

*The lone ranger*  Always wrap butter well or store it in a closed container, since it easily picks up tastes from strongly flavored foods.  Keep unsalted butter in the freezer for up to six months.  Freeze salted butter for only three months, since changes in flavor can occur at very low temperatures.  To store butter for several weeks, heat it gently until frothing but not browned.  Strain through cheesecloth to remove salt and moisture, then refrigerate. 

*Fancy is fun*  Make flavored butter by stirring chopped fresh herbs or garlic into softened butter.  Use a fork to work the herbs in thoroughly.  Serve with grilled meats or fish.  To make shaped butter pats, roll out the butter on a sheet of waxed paper.  Use a small cookie cutter to cut out shapes.  Store in a container in the refrigerator.


Simple yet helpful information.

Now to continue plotting my wee farm...

Much love,



No comments:

Post a Comment