Slow Food: French Onion Soup

Slow Food Challenge

Normally after the market on Saturday I head home, have lunch, and either work on our books or get started on production (or both).  I’ve been feeling tired lately, so I decided laziness was in order and rather than focusing on the business, I turned my attention the Slow Food Challenge. Continue reading

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Winter Wonderland

From the perspective of North Carolinians, we are officially snowed in.  The areas around the house received between 3 and 8 inches making travel difficult.  On the way home from work (a fairly short commute) I saw at least three accidents and double as many cars stuck off the road.

The garden had quite a bit of snow and the poor bees were literally snowed in.  I went out there shortly after taking these pictures and uncovered the entrance to the hive so they can (hopefully) have some ventilation.

The guy who lives across the street decided to try to shovel out his walk and driveway and brought his new puppy out with him.  The puppy had a wonderful time in the snow, running frenetic circles from the porch to the driveway and back.  The girls sat totally fascinated.

What did I do with my time?  Housework?  School work?  Use it productively?  Of course not.  I goofed off for hours (took my first shot at lip balm & a hand salve) and then, for my big project decided that homemade vegan cinnamon rolls were in my future.  They actually turned out quite well.  🙂

Cooking & Canning

Today was a bit cooking day.  It was a bit cooler than it has been so it was a decent day for it.  I bought some fantastic SC peaches yesterday from a farm stand, so I decided to try canning them.  It was my first go at it and one big lesson learned was to do LARGE quantities.  It is a very lengthy, laborious process so walking away with just a few jars is rather frustrating.

I took advantage of the leftover, slightly mushy peaches that I didn’t use canning and made a peach cobbler.  I then took the peach skins and attempted to make peach honey.  I couldn’t quite get the consistency I wanted, so I’m interested to see how it turns out when we finally open the jars.  W helped me make two tomato pies with tomatoes and zucchini I picked up at the market on Saturday, and we cooked green beans from the garden and corn from the same farm stand as the peaches.

Sometime ago I picked up a rather large bag of organic rolled oats from the coop and I was in search of the ultimate granola recipe.  I’ve been making one batch per week for W who loves to snack on it.  My aunt Neno was kind enough to pass a recipe along and its fantastic.  She made some suggestions as to how to vary it and I’ve been working on it a bit as well.  Here’s the latest version:

GRANOLA BARS
INGREDIENTS
2 1/2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup packed brown sugar (I recently cut this to 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup wheat germ (or ground flax seeds)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup whole wheat all‐purpose flour
3/4 cup raisins (optional)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup honey
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup vegetable oil (or 1 cup applesauce)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
DIRECTIONS
1.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Generously grease a 9×13 inch baking pan.
2.
In a large bowl, mix together the oats, brown sugar, wheat germ, cinnamon, flour, raisins and salt. Make a well in the center, and pour in the honey, egg, oil and vanilla. Mix well using your hands. Pat the mixture evenly into the prepared pan.
3.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven, until the bars begin to turn golden at the edges. Cool for 5 minutes, then cut into bars while still warm. Do not allow the bars to cool completely before cutting, or they will be too hard to cut.

GRANOLA BARS

INGREDIENTS

•2 1/2 cups rolled oats

•3/4 cup packed brown sugar

•1/2 cup wheat germ

•1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

•1 cup whole wheat all‐purpose flour

•3/4 cup raisins (optional)

•3/4 teaspoon salt

•1/2 cup honey

•1 egg, beaten

•1/2 cup vegetable oil (or 1 cup applesauce)

•2 teaspoons vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Generously grease a 9×13 inch baking pan, or line with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, brown sugar, wheat germ, cinnamon, flour, raisins and salt. Make a well in the center, and pour in the honey, egg, oil and vanilla. Mix well using your hands. Pat the mixture evenly into the prepared pan.

3. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until the bars begin to turn golden at the edges. Cool for 5 minutes, then cut into bars while still warm. Do not allow the bars to cool completely before cutting, or they will be too hard to cut.