Supafly Summer Berry Pie

SO.  Last night.  Another epic visit with the Farmer’s younger bro (not to be confused with the Farmer’s youngest bro, he’s the oldest of three) and his wife, one of my wicked cool sisters from another mister.  Topics of conversation?  Anything and everything.

The Farmer took out a monster farm fresh ham that was WAAAAYYYY too big for us to completely devour ourselves so I decided to call them and see if they’d like to partake in the smoked pig delightfulness.  They accepted with pleasure and we feasted on new potatoes, garden fresh zucchini, HAM glorious HAM and caesar salad.  Also there was wine and rum o’plenty.  Now, I love cooking hams because they pay it forward for days – fresh bread and ham sandwiches, homemade baked macaroni and cheese, and as a child we used to have split pea soup when Nana (my Momma) would boil the ham bone.  HOWEVER, the Farmer’s most hated vegetable is peas so I’ve had to modify that a little bit.  Coming up in a few days will be a post on Ham and Corn Chowder – delightful.

Anyway, back to the present.  So on this particular night these three downed a lot of their sauce of choice and after having a pen thrown at my jugular I threatened them I would write about them but I don’t think they heeded my warning so here it is BRO.

Have you ever seen those pictures of First World Problems?

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Source: www.memegenerator.net

This is the Farmer.  And his brothers.  Always.  Except substitute the word “water” for the words “rum and coke”.  If I’ve got a hankering for rum and coke, I’ll drink it without ice.  And if I’ve already had seven doubles, I probably won’t care if there’s ice in it anyway.  Just sayin’.

The Farmer is a resourceful guy however on this instance, I will take full credit for this idea.  I was only kidding but they were so desperate they actually did it.  Can you guess what this is?

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You got it.  It’s the ice from the inside of the deep freeze.  That’s what desperation will do to you; they both REALLY REALLY needed that rum and coke and it had to be ice cold.  The first one went down amazing, even though it was my idea their faces said “look at our brilliant ingenuity!”  Until the Farmer poured his second drink which tasted like a fishy mug of nastiness.  The Farmer is not one to abuse alcohol (meaning pour it out) but this time, he had to to save himself from cleaning it off the bathroom floor later.

You know what else I keep in my deep freeze?  Ice cream (actually I had vanilla bourbon greek frozen yogurt but tomato tomatoe right?).  And you know what goes great with vanilla greek frozen yogurt?  Supafly Summer Berry Pie.

Now I promised I would get the recipe for the pie crust from Nana and I got it.  It’s pretty special actually because it came out of my Grandma Clement’s Farm Women’s Union cookbook.  Pretty special to me because I never actually got to meet this remarkable woman but over the years I have met her through cooking.  That’s a special kind of love.

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SO the pie crust recipe.  Nana makes a large batch of it and freezes them in wax paper-wrapped balls because Papa (my super amazing kickass Daddy-O) LOVES cakes and pies.  And pastries.  And cookies.  And cinnamon buns. You get it.

Pastry Crust
5 cups flour
1 pound shortening (like Crisco)
1 tsp. salt
Cold water
1 large egg
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tbsp. vinegar

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So what you need to do is beat the egg in a measuring cup, add the vinegar and then fill the cup to 3/4 full with the cold water.  Mix all the dry ingredients in one bowl and cut the shortening into them with two knives or a pastry blender.  Add the cold liquid gradually stirring with a fork.  Place dough between two sheets of wax paper and work together until it holds.  Separate dough into grapefruit size balls and freeze individually to take out as needed.

Now for the supafly berry part!  This is easy.  After you’ve rolled out your pastry crust between two pieces of wax or parchment paper and laid in a 9″ pie plate, take any combination of berries you have (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries) to add up to 5 cups to mix with 1/3 cup of flour and 1/3 cup of white sugar.  Once you’ve tossed them together add them to the pie shell and bake in a 375F oven for 30 minutes.  (That’s my chocolate zucchini cake below, if you’re lucky I’ll share that too).

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May your drinks be cold (and with actual sanitary ice cubes, not our super sketchy rural substitute) and your belly’s be full with amazing summer treats!  Kindness and joy to you all, Kim.

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Borscht!

So yesterday I was put on damage control.  On this particular day, what that meant was that there was livestock out and it needed to get back in and the escape route sealed STAT.  So 6 sheep and a calf later, everything was where it should be and I was on my way to the barn for some twine to secure two panels to two more panels in the hopes that they would not escape again.  While repairing the second panel, a piece of dirt it was on disintegrated and it fell on my leg, MOTHER *$%&#%, and I now have a bruise the size of a salad plate on my shin.  In that moment where it hurt so badly I almost wet myself I thought “what would make this moment better?”  Answer: BORSCHT.

Luckily for me, ’tis the season.  So after we went out last night with our BFF’s (who also happen to be the Farmer’s Brothers and my wicked cool Sisters-in-law) and got our drink on, I got to work this morning making two monster pots of this delish summer soup.  Beef, beets, beet tops, onions, potatoes, carrots, cabbage, dill – what’s not to like?!

All the credit for this recipe goes to my super cool Father-in-Law and Mother-in-Law.  I was not raised eating borscht but was introduced to it when I met the Farmer.  The Farmer Sr. has been a farmer longer than bacon’s been a food group and there’s two things he knows well – borscht and homemade perogies.  Mmmmmm.

Start with your ground beef again.  Notice the snazzy mallet?  Yep, my fave kitchen tool there again.  (See my Taco Salad post to find out its origin).

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So once you have your ground beef cooking, add some onion.  I added one large in-season white onion to each pot (you can also add garlic but I didn’t know I had any until later on today) and once it’s cooked, fill each pot up with beef stock according to the directions.  I use whatever I have in the house, OXO packets/cubes or the liquid style stock you shake and add.

While your beef and onion is simmering, wash and peel your beets.  I used 3 large ones for this recipe today and as you can see I made enough to feed an army (or the four of us twice).

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Once you have your beets peeled and washed, chop them up into cubes and don’t forget to save the beet tops to chop and add too.  Beet tops are magical steamed with vinegar and a bit of butter but they’re also great in borscht.

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After you add the beets to the pot, wash and cube your carrots, potatoes and cabbage.  I used about 10 baby potatoes and 4 fresh carrots for these two pots.  I also cut up half a head of cabbage to add between the two pots too.  Chop up the fresh dill too, it makes this so delish!  There was about two full tablespoons after I chopped it to each pot.

After that, just taste it and you can season with salt and pepper as you need.  I also like to add a little vinegar because that’s how I eat it.  I DO NOT under any circumstance add cream or sour cream to it because I am not a fan but if you like that kind of thing then knock your socks off.  Let it simmer on the stove for at least an hour on low and you will have a pot of pure bliss to eat once you’re done!

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I spent a great deal of time in the kitchen today, I also baked two loaves of bread (with the best bread recipe courtesy of my Grandma Johnson), a blueberry raspberry pie and a chocolate zucchini cake.  Below is the pie.  I ate 25% of it.  I would have added the recipe to today’s blog but basically I thought it was going to suck so I didn’t pay too much attention to it and I nabbed the crust from Nana’s freezer yesterday and I don’t have the recipe for it.  I promise I will get it and add it to the next post!

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Borscht!  (Recipe for two large pots as shown in pics)

2 pounds ground beef
2 large onions
3 large beets, peeled and cubed
10 smallish potatoes, cubed
4 large carrots, sliced
Half a head of cabbage, sliced
Fresh dill, 4 tablespoons chopped
Beef stock as needed (at least 10 cups worth)

Happy Eating!  Kim.

The Farmer’s Fave Taco Salad

So here I go on my maiden blog voyage. I’m nervous and I don’t even have an audience. I’d picture you all in your underwear but I bet at least half of you are already in them so that doesn’t help.

If you haven’t already read my bio, I’m the wife of the Farmer and the Mom to two beautiful little Farmer’s Daughters and we live in the sticks. Our lives are surrounded by tractors, cow poop, sheep, pigeons, guns and a whole lot of crazy fun.  I decided to start a blog for a lot of personal reasons but mainly because I really love my life and want to share it.

So! For my virgin posting I’ve decided to share a recipe because its basic and it was easy to take pictures of. Pardon my amateur photos as well, hopefully as this venture progresses I will become better at it.

It’s the heart of summer here on the prairies and that means veggie harvest! Here’s a recipe for taco salad that our family really loves.  For any of you that know the Farmer, you also know that he may contract scurvy at any time so getting him to eat vegetables is not an easy task.  He loves bowls full of this.

It’s pretty basic, first open the bag of Doritos and eat one.   Next, fry your ground beef and add the taco seasoning.  (In case you’re wondering, that nifty little tool you see in my pan is what I call my “magic meat pounder”.  My good friend gave it to me and it came from a place called Pampered Chef.  Some of you may have heard of it…  Anyway, the Farmer loves it, it’s how I get him to cook).

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Once the beef is cooked, set it aside.  Step three – wash your lettuce.  This particular batch came straight from Nana’s garden.  Nana is the Farmer’s Daughters’ Nana obviously.  She’s my Mom and she’s super awesome.

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Once the lettuce is washed, tear it up and put it in that large bowl I was talking about.  Eat another Dorito.  Add some shredded cheese, green onions and tomatoes.  That little hand belongs to the youngest Daughter, she was thieving cheese faster than I could shred it and get it in the bowl.

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Once that’s all done, add your ground beef and the Catalina Dressing (you could also use Italian if you like something less sweet) and mix it up.  Crush up the Doritos and put them on top.  Then eat another one for good measure.  I love Doritos and so does the Farmer.  Acutally funny story.  On this particular evening, I went for the bag of Doritos and it was MIA so I went outside and asked the Farmer if he’d seen it and he said “I can’t remember” which obviously means he ate them.  This salad almost had Multigrain Tostitos on it but the Farmer called me from the road and said he stopped at the gas station nearby and got a bag so his salad wouldn’t be ruined.

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Anyway, the recipe is below, I hope you enjoyed my first post!
The Farmer’s Fave Taco Salad

1 super large bowl
1 pound ground beef (always better when raised on your own dirt)
Package of taco seasoning
A bunch of lettuce
Tomatoes
Green Onions
Cheese
Kraft Catalina dressing
Nacho Doritos

Fry ground beef add taco seasoning and set aside.  Wash and tear up lettuce and add to bowl with shredded cheese, green onions and tomatoes.  Add beef to salad in super large bowl and add Catalina dressing (Italian if you like a tangier taste).  Crush up Doritos and add to top.

Cheers!  Kim.