Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Hoofs, Claws and Paws

Tales from Boulderwood Farm and in this case, Ice Glen Road!! 

Jim and I get really angry when people run over turtles on our road.  It's a country road, not a super highway and believe it or not there are a lot of Morons (sorry for the strong sentiment) that drive 50 mph down our street and squish these beautiful creatures.  We take great pleasure rescuing these painted (and even snapping) turtles when we see one on the road.  We drove this beauty all the way to the swamp to insure his/her survival!!  Viva la turtle!!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Ms Murky Mondays

Whirlwind Life
It's already Monday night and I feel like I need a vacation. I have been working hard and miraculously manage to get everything checked off my "to-do" list. Of the many things I do, real estate sales is one of them and as of late, my little farmlette listing has been getting lots of actions with a deal in the works.  YIPPEE!!

My interior decorating projects are coming along as well.  It's always gratifying to see the results of months of work. Here's a peak at a partially finished room - a few more orders and deliveries and it will be complete!!

And today I had a fun excursion to White Flower Farm with Dottie Weber, a great interior decorating client and we did some damage purchasing some perennials for Dottie's "exterior" design. I manage to be a full service operation!!  Here's our loot:
But have no fear, I have not lost my heirloom meals way....while typing this blog post I have eggplant and tomatoes roasting in the oven to compose into eggplant parmesan as a side to leftover grilled hangar steak!! YUM. Until tomorrow......

Friday, August 27, 2010

Carole's Concoctions

Boy have I been concocting!!  The summer bounty brings out all my culinary creativity!!  But, rather than go there right now,  I wanted to spend some more time sharing the preparation, recipes and photos of the Berkshire Grown/Country Living event that was hosted at my home last Sunday, August 22nd.
The mini cooper stuffed to capacity with flowers, tomatoes
and goodies I collected around the county for the event.
What a delightful ride I had down to Salisbury CT where I picked up the short ribs from Whippoorwill Farm, my next stop was Great Barrington to pick up the generously donated Berkshire Blue Cheese for the dip and the cheese course - what a treat to see the facility where the award-winning cheese is made!!

Next, I had to get into high gear to make the caramelized onions, boil our beautiful blue bantam eggs for the deviled eggs (No salmonella fear here!!).
On Saturday morning, I had a beautiful drive down to Wild and Cultivated Farm and met the lovely Anna Mack in Egremont to pick up fresh cut flowers that Donna, Dale and I made up into great arrangements - an old mason jar with yellow and chocolate sunflowers finished with flowering basil - perfection in its simplicity!! Then onto Farm Girl Farm, Guido's, Taft Farm and even, yes the Price Chopper!!

The event was magical.  It was conceived as an outdoor farm to table feast but as fate would have it we had a wild, windy and wet storm that forced us to move the event inside.  We created a dreamy, safe place to drink, dine and exchange great conversation with sensational gusts of wind swirling through the room to remind all of the storm from which we were all safely protected!
And if the food, people and environment were not enough, the icing on the evening's cake was the emotionally moving performance of  Emily Mure, a beautiful and talented singer-song writer who filled the room with her melodic voice and melancholy tunes that had half the room dabbing tears from their eyes.
Emil Mure
Oh and did I promise you recipes??....OK...here's the chicken recipe that is show-stopping delicious from, believe it or not, my Dad's side of the family:

Cousin Ruthie’s Divine Chicken Breasts served with heirloom tomato napoleans
Most of the time my Dad’s side of the family gets the culinary shaft but as I was trying to find an alternative chicken recipe that I could pull off for 30+ people, I remembered this recipe.  We had it at a big family dinner and my Mom and I got the recipe and have served it with great success for many large parties.
2 cups sour cream
1/4 cup lemon juice
4 tsp worcestershire sauce
4 tsp celery salt
2 tsp paprika
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
6 hole boneless, skinless chicken breast (halved)
1 3/4 cups bread crumbs
1 cup butter, melted
Combine in a large bowl, add breast to sour cream mixture, cover bowl and marinate in refrigerator overnight.  
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Roll breast in bread crumbs, arrange in single layer in a shallow baking dish.  Spoon half of butter over breast.  Bake for 45 minute, then add rest of butter and bake for another 15 minutes until golden.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Farm Girl Farm Thursdays

Firstly a great big THANK YOU to Farm Girl Farm and Equinox Farm for the GORGEOUS tomatoes for the Berkshire Grown fundraiser!!!!  They were as delicious as they were gorgeous!!

August 24, 2010

Hi all—

A few notes from the field on your veggie shares.  

Regarding the watermelons:  we grew 12 varieties of watermelon this season and had a little extra space to do it in.  So clear some space on your counter because here they come!  Right now the yellow ones are ripening, soon we’ll start we’ll start harvesting the pink ones.  Somewhere in between are the orange ones (!).  There were a few distributed today—the very round melons with a yellow-orange flesh.  So delicious!  We are spending lots of time in the watermelon patch thumping and analyzing the melons for ripeness—so the ones we select to bring to  the table should be, in our professional opinions, ripe.  But if  we are wrong, and you get one that is less than at its peak, do not despair because this is only the beginning of the watermelon tidal wave.  

On the cucumbers—we have a variety in the field called Super Zagross. It is an heirloom variety known for its non-bitter taste.  The caveat is that this cucumber is ugly as sin.  The skin is cracked and rather tough.  But peel it and the smoothest, mildest cucumber is inside. This cuke is great for sandwiches, soups, you name it.  So don’t be afraid .  We have begun referring to these cukes as the “green uglies.”

We’re sorely missing the eggplant which is usually starting to ramp up its presence at this point in the season.  Our eggplant plants are not so happy—too little water at just the wrong moment and alas, not many blossoms and not much fruit!  Things are looking slightly better than last week, so maybe in a few more weeks we’ll have enough to bring to the table.  It’s a funny contrast to last year, when the eggplant cavalierly stepped in and took the place of the tomatoes as nightshade superstar.  Well, we’re always learning.

Events for your calendars:
The 7th Annual Stanton Brothers’ Pig Roast will take place at North Plain Farm in Great Barrington, starting at 4 pm (bar) and 5 pm (food).  The roast will feature all local meat and veggies and is a great community event.  Ticketes are $35 and kids under 16 pay their age.  Call (413) 429-6598 or email northplainfarm@gmail.com for more details.  It’s a totally locally grown event and I never miss it.

And don’t forget to keep Monday September 20th open for Berkshire Grown’s 12h Annual Beautiful Bountiful Berkshires Harvest Supper at Eastover Resort in Lenox (6:30 to 8:30 pm).  We’ll be selling tickets at the pick-up table, ask us for details or call Berkshire Grown at 528-004 or see  www.berkshiregrown.org for more details.  This is always a stunning aesthetic event —sights, tastes, smells, etcetera—a ballroom-wide tasting menu from chefs who work with local producers.

Enjoy the veggies this week.

--Laura Meister, Farm Girl Farm Farmer

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

We are LIVE! Wednesdays at Heirloom Meals with Margaret Braun

Spend an hour listening to Heirloom Meals Radio host Carole Murko interview New York City’s Decorative Diva of High Pastry art, Margaret Braun. Margaret shares her cherished memories of growing up in Levittown, NY in a family that loved food, art and music. And see how it is no surprise that Margaret orchestrates cake decorating to a high art. There is a palpable warmth, enthusiasm and spirituality that exudes out of Margaret. Her story is real and inspirational. Thank you Margaret!!

Carole Murko 20100825 1300.mp3
When in doubt, polka dots!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Hoofs, Claws and Paws

Animal Tales from Boulderwood Farm
The love affair of Burt and Uni, guinea fowl and border collie, BFF!!
They go everywhere together, nose to butt.  An unlikely pair for sure! Who do you think is fiercer?  Burt or Uni.  Clue - one of them had Jim's friend hopping all over the driveway and chased him into the house....

Monday, August 23, 2010

Ms Murky Mondays

The Berkshire Grown/Country Living Event was M-A-G-I-C-A-L!!

Here's a short video summarizing the evening by one of the guests!!  Thank you Glen Ellen!!

I am exhausted and about to hop on the train to NYC - more to come - PROMISE!!

Love you ALL!!!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Carole's Concoctions

Berkshire Grown/Country Living Fundraising Dinner Menu:

Boulderwood Farm Bantam Deviled Eggs
Berkshire Blue Cheese Dip with Indian Line Carrots
Cold Taft Farm Corn Soup with Adobo
Grilled Leahey Farm Lamb Sausage
Peachy Keen Martinis with local Peach nectar + Berkshire Mountain Distillers Ice Glen Vodka
Barrington Brewery Beer
Homemade "Limonata"
Saratoga Springs Sparkling Water
Berkshire Mountain Bakery Pizza Crust  topped with 
Farm Girl Farm Caramelized Onions, Monterey Chevre, 
Equinox Farm Arugula, and Balsamic Vinegar
Cousin Ruthie’s Divine Chicken Breasts
Farm Girl Farm Heirloom Tomato Napoleon and Pesto
Whipporwill Farm Maple Syrup Braised Short Ribs
Indian Line Farm Leeks Vinaigrette
Shaved Indian Line Farm Fennel Salad with Truffle Oil
Trio of Local Cheese
Warm Taft Farm Corn Custard made with Boulderwood Farm Eggs and topped with Highlawn Farm Whipped Cream and Taft Farm Berries
Coffee and Tea

We'll post recipes and photos on Monday.  Until then we'll be busy as beavers. Ciao!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Farmer Thursdays

News from the farms....
I had a banner broccoli harvest and made a gigunda batch of cream of broccoli soup for the freezer in anticipation of the cooler days to come.

In keeping with the theme, I thought it best to continue to share the notes and musing from the local CSA farmers.  Again, Elizabeth Keen from Indian Line Farms pulls it together in rare and exquisite form for her members. Here's her weekly summary:
News From Indian Line Farm
We keep on planting, weeding and harvesting here.  Last week we planted another lettuce planting which will be salad in your mouths the first week of September.  We also planted the second to last round of direct seeded items:  arugula, mustard mixes, spinach, white and red turnips, and broccoli rabe to name a few.  We also harvested all the storage onions which are now curing on the upper level of the barn.  Every day is harvest day now.  And our job just got a little heavier with the outdoor tomatoes blushing before our eyes.  On Monday alone we harvested over 500 lbs. of tomatoes and we have to harvest them three times per week.  Time for making tomato everything! 

The farm is looking especially great after last week as we had several visitors.  On Sunday night we let a foursome of Appalachian through hikers tent here.  They were interested in a work for food exchange that we do on occasion.  The worked intently on weeding our smallest greenhouse in its entirety, helping out in our perennial gardens and lastly, clipping the stems off all the over 6000 bulbs of dry garlic.  It was a hot day and they worked really hard.  They kept me busy directing and with some additional food preparation.  They eat so much!!!  They said as I took them to the trail head the following day that their day off here was their best day off on the trail so far.  We felt lucky to have them. 

They next day we had a group from GreenAgers working here.  GreenAgers was launched from The Center For Peace Through Culture in 2007 as one way to address global and local environmental issues.  Taken from their website:  
GreenAgers mobilizes and empowers young people to come together and work cooperatively to design and carry out environmental projects in their own their local communities.  Through this program, young people can not only make a real difference, they can also learn independence, creativity, leadership, responsibility and self-respect. As they develop their own interests and abilities, they are also promoting community and global health, and ultimately contributing to global peace.  Community involvement is a strong emphasis of GreenAgers, as the intellectual, spiritual, creative, and physical energies of young people focus on projects that will make a difference to the local communities and to the environment.  
The first local GreenAgers group has an office in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, headed by Will Conklin. The Great Barrington GreenAgers' plans include setting up a community garden, hosting a monthly Sustainability Discussion Group on how individuals can integrate sustainability practices into their everyday lives, working together with other organizations and schools on new or existing projects, and creating a program of educational environmental presentations conceived, researched and written by students and delivered in classrooms and community spaces. They also plan to have a lot of fun! 
The Great Barrington GreenAgers is a pilot program, laying the groundwork for GreenAgers groups around the country and around the globe.
Working with them was a pleasure.  They finished harvesting the end of our first carrot planting, they pulled all our storage onions from the field and put them in the upstairs of the barn and they helped out with some weeding too.  Big thanks to Will Conklin for organizing our work day and introducing us to this fantastic organization.  
And if that weren't enough we had many folks come to weed and clean garlic on Wednesday.  We are thrilled!
A couple  reminder notes:
    1.  Please bring your own bags to pick up.  We no longer have any recycled plastic bags.
    2.  Food leftover from Friday pick up will all be put away by 10:00 am Saturday morning. 
    3.  We will be weeding Wednesday August 18th from 8-12.  We look forward to your company.
    4.  We will have numerous boxes of tomatoes for processing this week.  The boxes are $15 for 15 lbs.          of tomatoes.

For the farm crew,


Vegetables for Week of August 16th

       Sweet Peppers
       Eggplant--limited supply
       New Potatoes, from Thompson Finch Farm--Ancram, NY

Summer Squash and Zucchini
Tomatoes--up to at least 2 lbs.
Rainbow Salad Mix
Green beans--limited supply
Cherry Tomatoes
Fruit Share
White Peaches from Maynard Farm

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

We are LIVE! Wednesdays at Heirloom Meals Radio with Lawrence Davis-Hollander

What is the most anticipated fruit of the summer season? The TOMATO!!
And yes it is a fruit not a vegetable. Today, host, Carole Murko chats with Lawrence Davis-Hollander, author of TOMATO, A Fresh-from-the-Vine Cookbook. Lawrence’s interest in the tomato and, in particular, heirloom tomatoes started at an early age and evolved into his founding the Eastern Native Seed Conservancy - an organization that was dedicated to preserving and eating heirloom varieties. How we wish Heirloom Meals existed when Lawrence’s organization thrived - the synergies and the dinner parties would have been amazing!! WIth that said, Lawrence captures the essence of his work at the seed conservancy and his passion for heirloom tomatoes in his book. It is informative, inspirational, useful and beautiful! Be certain that the Cream of Tomato Soup and the Candied-Tomato Tart with Five-Spiced Hazelnut Crust will be prepared and shared in a future blog post!! Go out and find those heirloom tomatoes, get Lawrence’s book and enjoy eating tomatoes to your heart’s content!!

(Please forgive the quality of the audio - the station has had technical challenges and this was recorded from the live stream from my computer. I don’t know how to edit out the end of the last show - so enjoy the music and wait for my show to start!! The joys of community radio!!)

Carole Murko 10081803.MP3

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Hoofs, Claws and Paws

Animal Tales from Boulderwood Farm.
Buddy, our bantam rooster gives me the "side-eye" glare as if saying, "whatcha lookin' at?"
He's quite tame for a rooster.  He does, however, suffer from the Napolean syndrome as he plays tough guy with our big white rooster, Whitey. Not sure why Whitey allows Buddy to bully him.  I guess I'll never know!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Ms Murky Mondays

This week I am all about preparations for the Berkshire Grown fundraiser honoring Sarah Gray Miller of Country Living Magazine. I have my lists, my schedule and I am in motion.

I have contacted the farms and purveyors with my orders, rented tables and chairs, sewed my table runners and have begun the preparations.  It's a frenzy of activity around here!!

Yesterday I made peach nectar and lemon simple syrup for the cocktails.
Peach Nectar for our Peachy Keen Martini’s
I wanted to serve a “special” cocktail for this event.  With the gorgeous and delicious local peaches that are currently in season, I decided to concoct some peach nectar to be mixed with Berkshire Mountain Distillers Ice Glen Vodka. What better to way to celebrate local everything!!
10 Ripe Peaches from Maynard Farm
3 cups water
Boil a large pot of water and put the peaches in the water for about 5 minutes until the skin is ready to peel off. Remove the peaches into a cold water bath to stop the cooking process. The skin should easily peel off the peach.  Slice and remove pit.  In batches, put 2 cups of sliced peaches and 1 cup of water in a blender until smooth.  Strain and store in refrigerator until the PARTY!!
Simple Lemon Syrup
I am addicted to limonata.  But I just bought a Sodastream carbonator and thought, why not make limonata for vodka and limonatas or just limonata.  Here’s my recipe:
4 cups organic cane sugar
4 cups water
Zest of a couple of lemons
3 cups fresh lemon juice
Simple syrup is simple - it’s one part sugar to one part water. Cook sugar, water and lemon zest over medium-high heat until sugar is dissolved and water boils. Remove and  let cool.  Add lemon juice and store in refrigerator until the PARTY!!  I tried about 1/2 cup  of syrup with the liter bottle that comes with the Sodastream and it seemed to do the trick - YUM!!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Carole's Concoctions

You guessed it....I am sharing my Stuffed Zucchini Concoction from last night.

4-5 medium-large zucchini
2-3 Tbsp Olive oil
3 leeks
4 ears corn
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 cup of cherry tomatoes, cut into halves
1 cup quinoa (I used Ancient Harvest Red Quinoa)
1/4 cup or so grated parmesan
A few sprigs of basil, minced
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
For the "stuffing"
Cook corn and remove from cob. Prepare Quinoa according to the package instructions.  Saute over medium heat chopped leaks in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil until soft, add corn and tomatoes, chopped garlic until golden, add quinoa, basil, salt and pepper.

Scored Zucchini Flesh
Clean zucchini, cut in half crosswise then lengthwise.  With the point of your knife, score the flesh into cubes and then scoop out and add to your stuffing mixture, continue to saute for a couple of minutes, then remove from heat and set aside.

Place zucchini shells in a baking dish with a little water, cover with tin foil and put in center of the oven for 10 minutes to "cook" the shells a little.  Remove from oven, and carefully add stuffing to each zucchini shell, pressing stuffing in with the back of a spoon.  Once stuffed, liberally sprinkle the top with cheese and return to oven for 15 minutes until cheese is melted and golden.
Serve with a side salad and Enjoy!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Farmer "Carole" Thursdays

Thoughts on my own crops and Indian Line Farm....

Well...for whatever reason Farm Girl Farm's newsletter is not readily available to share and because today is the day dedicated to farming I thought I'd speak of my garden's bounty and introduce you to Indian Line Farm - the first CSA in the country.  Elizabeth Keen runs quite an efficient and beautiful farm. Every time I pick up my share I am just in AWE!!

Out of my patch of dirt this week I harvested potatoes, onions and will be picking some broccoli for dinner tonight.  This time of year is so fulfilling and healthy. I have become a veritable vegetarian.  Tonight I plan on concocting stuffed zucchini with quinoa, fresh corn, cherry tomatoes, leeks and basil. Served up with a side salad of delicate Indian Line Farm greens and we are in veggie HEAVEN!!

And now:   News From Indian Line Farm 
c/o Elizabeth Keen
What a great summer we have been having!  Warm sunny weather making it great for afternoon/early evening swims.  No need for the rain gear like last year when they never dried out between rain storms.  But wow has it been hot!  We always start out the mornings with rain pants just to keep the dew off our pants, but this year we can't get them off soon enough before it feels like we are sitting in a sauna.  And the sweat by midday is dripping down our backs with such vigor that we have decided Indian Line Farm should open a gym.  We can supply all the ingredients to good health:  cardiovascular workout; strengthening by regularly carrying 40 # bins and buckets; and stretching, bending and reaching for flexibility.  Honestly, today the heat got me down.  We need a big rain.  Everything is really dry.  I can't really irrigate everything that really needs it.  I noticed the leaves on the corn on route 23 curling to maintain moisture.  The HousatonicRiver is low enough that is some places we had to get out and push our canoe on Sunday. 

Heat makes me think of zucchini.  We have a lot right now as we are still harvesting from our 1st planing which is still going strong and our second planting is gorgeous and putting out green beauties.  On Friday alone, we harvested 308# of squash and zucchini.  In response I had an all zucchini dinner:  savory zucchini pancakes topped with sour cream and fresh tomatoes and for dessert a double chocolate zucchini cake.  Marvelous!  I was going to make a raw zucchini salad, but decided against it.  I have included several zucchini recipes for you too, to enjoy this week.  And watch out if you park too long in the lot, you might find an extra zucchini in your front seat!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

We are LIVE! Wednesdays at Heirloom Meals Radio

What do cow tales and food memories have in common? Well, actually quite a bit!! Host Carole Murko interviews Christine Lindemer, curator and editor of True Cow Tales, a book of authentic, heart-warming recollections written by the farmer’s themselves. Christine has helped save some of these stories from becoming extinct, much in the same way that Heirloom Meals is doing for recipes. Christine grew up on a Minnesota dairy farm within a few blocks of her Swedish and German grandmothers. In preparing for the interview she was reminded of her grandmother’s “swedish coffee” - an interesting concoction to be sure!! And now Christine and her husband have their own “connoisseur” apple farm where they also raise belted galloways. Christine’s story is what we aim to capture on Heirloom Meals Radio - one where the unexpected happens - where memories of food and family are dusted off or unleashed - and the keen appreciation of those memories is recognized.

Carole Murko 20100811 1300.mp3

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Hoofs, Claws and Paws

The Bathing Beauties of Boulderwood.....who knew cows love to wade?? Julia, Delilah and Mr. Johnson (who I guess is a bathing beast) ignore the fence and just step right in the "pool."
The Beauties From Afar

As I got closer, they turned...
...and jumped out of the "pool" as if I were the pond warden....
"RUN....she caught us in the act!!"

I love our animals.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Ms. Murky Mondays

We've got lots cooking but not in the kitchen....
I am in full gear on the preparations for the Country Living Magazine / Berkshire Grown event at my house on August 22nd!!  And I know the devil is in the details.

Menu planning is in full swing. I spent Sunday afternoon making my lists!! We are expecting 30+ guests to share in an authentic farm to table dinner. We'll tell all about the menu and the cooking prep as we get closer to the event.  Right now - it's all about the table setting....

I was agonizing over finding just the right "tablewear" and just when I was in deep despair I remembered that I have a treasure trove of fabrics in my closet ... and lucky me - do I have the PERFECT fabric for a table runner.  Goes to show you that the instincts to buy cool/unique fabric for some future project really do pay off.  The sales receipt was still attached - I bought the fabric in 2002.
We are busy as beavers working on the "deets." You are going to wish you were a guest!!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Carole's Concoctions

Eggplant Parm....is my FAVORITE food!! I'll share 2 ways of preparing it - the way my Mom (and Nana) do (did) it and a gluten-free version so Jim can enjoy it!!

Peel the eggplant and slice thinly crosswise.  Prepare a place where you can bread all the slices as follows:
Lightly coat an eggplant slice with breadcrumbs. (You can use store-bought or simply make your own by toasting some Italian bread and then placing in a blender, add salt, pepper, parsley, parmesan cheese etc.) Then dip the eggplant slice in an egg and milk mixture (I use 2 eggs and enough milk to thin it, but without being too watery).  I then bread both sides of the slice and place on a cookie sheet.  Continue until you have all your slices coated.
Tip: You may need to refresh your egg and milk mixture as some of the bread crumbs will fall off into the mixture which makes it too thick - you can add more milk or start fresh - it's up to you!!  I also have to clean my fingers after 4-5 as they get coated with egg and breadcrumbs.)

Here's another choice - you can oven bake them or pan fry them. I do both depending on my mood, the heat and how much time I have!!  To pan fry, add enough oil (you can use canola or olive oil depending on your preference.  Canola cooks at a higher heat so the eggplant will get crispier, faster - but again - it's a choice in technique, time and taste!!) Place slices in heated oil and cook until golden brown on both sides, remove and place on another pan lined with paper towels.  Continue until complete.  If baking, heat oven to 425 degrees.  Coat baking sheet with oil.  Place baking sheet in oven for a few minutes to heat oil, then take sheet out and add eggplant in single layer.  Bake for 5 minutes until golden and flip the eggplant and bake for another 5 minutes.

Once complete, you'll need sauce.  Tomato sauce is available pre-seasoned in jars or make your own.  In the middle of summer nothing beats using your own tomatoes - chopped with some fresh basil, salt and pepper and a pinch of sugar to cut the acidity and even a splash of red wine.

Spread some sauce on the bottom of a baking dish. Place one layer of eggplant, add some sauce sprinkle with grated parmesan or pecorino romano (again a taste preference), sprinkle with mozzarella and repeat until done.  Bake in 375 degree oven until bubbling and cheese has melted.  Take out of oven and let set for a few minutes before serving.  Enjoy with a side salad!!


Take the slices of eggplant and brush both side with olive oil and place in a single layer on a baking pan.
Bake in 425 degree oven about 10 minutes each side until lightly browned.
Spread some sauce on the bottom of a baking dish. Place one layer of eggplant, add some sauce sprinkle with grated parmesan or pecorino romano (again a taste preference), sprinkle with mozzarella and repeat until done - sprinkle the top with some gluten-free breadcrumbs or cornmeal.  Bake in 375 degree oven until bubbling and cheese has melted.  Take out of oven and let set for a few minutes before serving.
Enjoy with a side salad!!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Farm Girl Farm Thursdays

Hello Farm Girl Farmers--

Season 6 of Farm Girl Farm, just like any good serial, has definitely been its own season—some new characters, some new locations, but very much rooted in the seasons that came before.  In the vein of “last year at this time,” there are many differences—most notably, we’re on our way to what looks like a very healthy crop of ripe tomatoes, where last year of course we were grieving over the lost crop.  This year, the  river is hanging low in its lair, last year, it jumped the banks more than once—at one point flooding the fields so badly that as we harvested vegetables knee deep in water, they actually floated away at one point.  All in all, I’m glad to be living out this season rather than last!

There are similarities, of course—each season right about now, even last season with the absent tomatoes, we look around and there is so much to do, so many veggies to take care of, the battle of priorities is always center stage. We have 3 hours for field work this afternoon—do we keep spraying the tomatoes?  Pull the garlic?  Weed the onions?  Mulch the eggplant pathway? Plant the next succession of lettuce? Fix that really leaky spot in the irrigation?  It is overwhelming but this season, more than any other I can remember, I’m just so grateful to be in this situation, glad to have so much food to take care of, happy to be scared that the tsunami of tomatoes is about to monopolize all of our harvesting time, and acutely aware that in a few way too short months, this will all be over and the cycle will begin again.  I much prefer the problem of too many veggies needing our attention than few or none.

I’m also grateful for all of you, participants in this journey of nature—you are such an important part of the cycle.  Some of you have been around the seasons with Farm Girl Farm for several years running, some of you are just embarking with us this year.  But without you to love and appreciate and prepare and consume the veggies that we care for, there’d be no point in doing what we do.

Go team!

.Enjoy the veggies this week.

--Laura Meister, Farm Girl Farm Farmer

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

We are LIVE! Wednesdays at Heirloom Meals Radio

Let's face it - "heirloom meals" could not have been created if it weren't for heirloom seeds. And today, host Carole Murko interviews Alida Cantor who works at the Chef's Collaborative as the Project Coordinator for the 2010 RAFT heirloom vegetable Grow-Out. Renewing America's Food Traditions is the life "raft" of local, sustainable and historically significant varieties of fruits and vegetables. Alida's work in getting the seeds out to farmers and then the produce into chefs kitchens is a certain way to sustain and renew interest in these heirloom varieties. Top on Carole's list is to find one of those "long pie pumpkins" that Alida mentioned. So listen up - Alida's passion for food, farming and sustainability is contagious - if we all catch her bug our food system might stand a chance!!

Carole Murko 20100804 1300.mp3

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Hoofs, Claws and Paws

"I'm sure Mom will never notice that I love to get cool in her astilbe."

Monday, August 2, 2010

Ms Murky Mondays

Musings about life, happenings and such.
How did August sneak up on us? Wasn't it just days ago that there were buds on the trees and seedlings in the ground? Is it true that I have harvested my garlic and it now hangs drying in my kitchen?
And, am I dreaming that all of my amazing friends, family and fans successfully sponsored my project on kickstarter so I can build a proper website? Am I really planning an event for Berkshire Grown that will honor Sarah Gray Miller of Country Living Magazine at my house on August 22nd? Was Farmer Val ever really here at Boulderwood? She's gone, and seemingly without a trace.
Time marches on for sure.  The beauty of life is that there is always something that reminds me of friends and family - be it a scent, a meal and in this case, a plant.  So this post is dedicated to the memory of Mike Halko - master garderner, tomato grower and dear family friend. Until this year, the only place I had ever seen a "cigarette" plant was when Mike delivered it to our house each summer and then took it back to his greenhouse each winter.  I found this at Ward's this June and it's been flourishing in my old sap bucket all summer.  Truly the only cigarette anyone should ever have!! Thank you Mike!!