Search This Blog

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Belated RECIPE WEDNESDAY - purple eggs?! and storm damage...

Sorry for the delay in posting, but we were down in our dugout dodging the tornado last night! I haven't hidden in a basement like that since we lived in Oklahoma! Our neighbors up the hill lost one of their barns in yesterday's storm, see the news clip:

Luckily, we just have downed trees and a washed-out driveway! Our thoughts and prayers go out to all affected more severely by this storm. So, here's a great, after-Easter, old family egg recipe for you:



* 8 eggs
* 1 (15 ounce) can sliced beets with liquid
* 1/2 cup white vinegar
* 1/2 cup white sugar
* 1/2 cup water


1. Place eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring water to a boil and immediately remove from heat. Cover and let eggs stand in hot water for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from hot water, cool, and peel. Place eggs in a glass container.
2. In a saucepan, combine beets, vinegar, sugar, and water. Bring to a boil, and stir until sugar is dissolved. Pour over eggs. Cover, and chill in the refrigerator overnight. The eggs will be purple in the morning! If you like them a little zippier, just use less sugar (1/4 cup).

AND...a wonderful chicken salad recipe...great for spring brunches, showers and parties!



* 2 boneless chicken breast halves, cooked, or 2 cups cooked cut-up chicken
* 1/4 cup creamy salad dressing
* 4 tablespoons cole slaw dressing
* 1 stalk celery, chopped
* 1/4 onion, chopped
* salt and pepper to taste
* opt: halved seedless grapes, chopped nuts


1. In a food processor, combine the chicken, creamy salad dressing, cole slaw dressing, celery, onion, and salt and pepper. Mix until well chopped. Serve on rolls or bread for sandwiches, or in hollowed out tomatoes, on a lettuce leaf, for a pretty presentation. You can also add halved green or red seedless grapes or chopped nuts to the salad, to make it fancy.

Enjoy! Here's hoping for warmer, calmer weather ahead!

"Be thou the rainbow in the storms of life. The evening beam that smiles the clouds away, and tints tomorrow with prophetic ray."
-Lord Byron

Friday, April 22, 2011

MJF Twin Tiers FARMGIRLS - First meeting! Please join us!

Hello Ladies!
We're starting a local MaryJanesFarm chapter!
The scheduled first TWIN TIERS FARMGIRLS meeting will be:

DATE: FRIDAY MAY 13th, from 7-8:30 PM.
PLACE: Schuyler County Human Services Complex
323 Owego Street, UNIT 10
Montour Falls, NY 14865
BRING: copies of a spring recipe to swap, and a friend!

Can't wait to meet you all - it'll be lots of fun! Grab your aprons - we'll see you there!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Recipe Wednesday! I DO declare! It's the BEST Southern fried chicken...

Howdee y'all, just wanted to share this recipe from The Blue Willow Inn
with you, voted the South's BEST lil' ole restaurant!
If you have one of our FRESH BROILERS, there's no betta way to "et it up"!

The Blue Willow Inn's Fried Chicken

* timer
* Prep Time: 10 mins
* Total Time: 22 mins
* Serves: 8, Yield: 8 pieces


o 1 lb whole chickens
o 1 quart water
o 1 1/2 cups flour
o 1/2 teaspoon salt
o 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
o 2 cups peanut oil


1. Cut chicken into 8 pieces.
2. Wash throughly and remove excess fat.
3. Cover chicken in a bowl with the quart of water and allow to sit or 3-4 minutes.
4. Mix the flour, salt and pepper.
5. Remove chicken from water, shaking off excess water but leaving it moist.
6. Dredge the chicken pieces in flour mixture.
7. In a large deep heavy skillet, heat oil
8. Place chicken in oil and cook uncovered 6 minutes on each side.
9. When golden brown remove from oil and drain on paper towels.

Mmm Mmm... now thet's good eatin' right thar!

About This Recipe:

"The Blue Willow Inn in Social Circle, Georgia is one of the South's most popular restaurants. This is their famous fried chicken recipe."
Many believe the house was the inspiration for "Tara" in Gone With the Wind, as Margaret Mitchell stayed nearby!
If you're in GEORGIA, you MUST eat here! Link is to an article about Billie's financial troubles after the death of her husband, help keep this WONDERFUL business alive and prospering!

"I love chicken. I would eat chicken fingers on Thanksgiving if it were socially acceptable."
-Todd Barry

Friday, April 15, 2011

now available - TOSCANO FARM CSA spring newsletter, CSA begins SOON!

Hello all!
If you'd like a COPY of the TOSCANO FARM CSA spring newsletter, just send me an email at, and I'll get it right to you! It has listings of all of our farm co-op products, with pricing and availability. This is from our listing:


These broilers are a Barred Rock/Cornish cross, we are breeding them from our own organic hens and roo. Butchered at 8-10 weeks for good size and maximum flavor, they are clean and lean, with almost no fat due to their freedom in the field! They roam around the meadow, and our yard. Delicious meat! 4-5 lb. broilers, available frozen now and fresh in May, July, and September.

Expected delivery dates: May 18, July 1, September 1"


"I have a farm and I love it there. There's really nothing to do, but even watching the chickens, it's fun."
Salma Hayek

(OBVIOUSLY, Salma has someone else doing the work FOR her!)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

What's in YOUR new Mcburger? Beef Buying from ARGENTINA?! Support US beef growers!

A Must Read about McDonalds ~ this is a good decent man who took the time to write this and he signed the statement and included his contact info.

Please Read on:

I'm sure those of you who aren't in the cattle business don't understand the issues here. But to those of us whose living depends on the cattle market, selling cattle, raising the best beef possible... This is frustrating. This will keep us from ever stopping there again, even for a drink. The original message is from the Texas Cattle Feeders Association American cattle producers are very passionate about this.

McDonald's claims that there is not enough beef in the USA to support their restaurants. Well, we know that is not so. Our opinion is they are looking to save money at our expense. The sad thing of it is that the people of the USA are the ones who made McDonald's successful in the first place, but we are not good enough to provide beef.

We personally are no longer eating at McDonald's, which I am sure does not make an impact, but if we pass this around maybe there will be an impact felt.

All Americans that sell cows at a livestock auction barn had to sign a paper stating that we do NOT EVER feed our cows any part of another cow.. South Americans are not required to do this as of yet.McDonald's has announced that they are going to start importing much of their beef from South America . The problem is that South Americans aren't under the same regulations as American beef producers, and the regulations they have are loosely controlled.

They can spray numerous pesticides on their pastures that have been banned here at home because of residues found in the beef. They can also use various hormones and growth regulators that we can't. The American public needs to be aware of this problem and that they may be putting themselves at risk from now on by eating at good old McDonald's.

American ranchers raise the highest quality beef in the world and this is what Americans deserve to eat. Not beef from countries where quality is loosely controlled. Therefore, I am proposing a boycott of McDonald's until they see the light.

I'm sorry but everything is not always about the bottom line, and when it comes to jeopardizing my family's health, that is where I draw the line.

I am sending this note to about thirty people. If each of you send it to at least ten more (30 x 10 = 300) ...and those 300 send it to at least ten more (300 x 10 = 3,000) ... and so on, by the time the message reaches the sixth generation of people, we will have reached over THREE MILLION consumers!

(I did a bit more....90!...mtc)

I'll bet you didn't think you and I had that much potential, did you? Acting together we can make a difference. If this makes sense to you, please pass this message on..

David W. Forrest, Ph.D ., PAS, Dipl.
ACAP Department of Animal Science
Texas A&M University
Phone (979) 845-3560
Fax (979) 862-3399
2471 TAMU College Station , TX 77843-2471

THANKS to AMY at Mrs. Rooster's Hen house for the link!

"For less than the cost of a Big Mac, fries and a Coke, you can buy a loaf of fresh bread and some good cheese or roast beef, which you will enjoy much more.
-Steve Albini"

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

RECIPE WEDNESDAY! Use those eggs! Pound Cake 3 WAYS...

There are only so many ways you can cook an egg, and my kids are starting to give me those "Not again!" looks. For those of you, like me, with an excess of eggs, here are recipes for you! (Hey, if yours are brown, you can't color them for Easter anyway!)

FIRST...YUMMO...MY Favorite...Ooey Gooey Chocolate Decadence...


3 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/2 lb. (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
2 c. sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
3 tbsp. brandy or water
2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt, or to taste
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/4 c. buttermilk


4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
6 tbsp. (3/4 stick) butter
2 tsp. light corn syrup
1 tsp. water

Heavily grease a 12 cup Bundt pan; set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. To make the cake, place both chocolates in top of a double boiler over simmering water or in a microwave; stir until melted and smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.

In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Mix in chocolate, vanilla and brandy or water. In a small bowl stir together flour, salt and baking soda. With mixer on low speed, alternately add flour in fourths and buttermilk in thirds, beginning and ending with the flour. Pour into prepared pan. Bake in center of oven for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove to rack and cool 10 minutes. Invert to remove from pan and cool 20 minutes before frosting.

Meanwhile make Chocolate Glaze, if desired, by melting chocolate and butter in a small saucepan or microwave. Remove from heat and stir in corn syrup and water. If too thin, let sit until it thickens slightly. Pour warm glaze over top of cake, allowing it to drop down the sides. If the glaze is too thick, reheat slightly. Let cake sit several hours before serving.

Note: The cake may be covered and held at room temperature for several days or frozen. Freeze, uncovered, until glaze is solid, then wrap in foil. Defrost, uncovered, at room temperature.
AND...if you REALLY want to use up your EGG STASH, try this one...


3 cups sugar
2 cups Crisco shortening
10 eggs
3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup evaporated milk (Don't use "sweetened condensed" milk!)
1 tsp rum flavoring
1/2 tsp almond flavoring (optional)

Cream Crisco and sugar together well, then add eggs, beating very well after each. Add salt, flavorings and milk, then flour. Bake in an extra large tube pan that has been floured and greased. Bake at 300 degrees for 2 hours. Check after 1 hour and 45 minutes. Cake is done if knife inserted in center comes out clean.

FINALLY....if you only wanna use a HALF DOZEN, try this one!


* 6 eggs
* 1 cup cold unsalted butter (8 oz.), cut in 1/2-inch pieces
* 1 8-oz. pkg. cold cream cheese, cut in 1-inch pieces
* 2-3/4 cups sugar
* 1 tsp. kosher salt
* 4 tsp. pure vanilla
* 3 cups sifted cake flour*


1. Let eggs stand at room temperature about 30 minutes or until they are room temperature (no more than 2 hours). Generously butter and lightly flour two 8x4x2-inch loaf pans or one 10-inch tube pan. Using large bowl of heavy-duty stand mixer with paddle attachment beat cold butter about 2 minutes on low speed, occasionally raising to moderately high speed for 5 seconds to dislodge butter from paddle.

2. Add cream cheese. Beat on low speed 3 minutes with occasional short bursts on high speed to dislodge mixture from paddle. Beat butter and cream cheese mixture until waxy and well-blended. Still mixing on low, add the sugar in a slow continuous stream. (This should take 1-1/2 to 2 minutes). Add salt. Continue creaming butter and cream cheese mixture for 5 minutes, scraping sides and bottom of bowl once halfway through. Increase speed to medium; continue mixing 2 minutes more, scraping once.

3. Add eggs, one at a time, beating 20 to 30 seconds after each addition or just until each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next egg. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl after first three eggs. Beat in vanilla with the last egg.

4. Gradually add about 2-1/2 cups of the flour on low speed, mixing until just blended (this should take about 1 to 1-1/2 minutes). Turn off mixer. Fold in remaining flour by hand with a rubber spatula, just until combined.

5. Turn batter into prepared pan(s). Shake pan(s) gently to distribute batter. Run a spatula in zigzag pattern through batter. Drop filled pan(s) from a height of about 6 inches onto kitchen counter to dislodge any large air pockets.

6. Place on center rack of cold oven. Turn oven setting to 300 degrees F. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes to 1-1/2 hours without opening oven door for the first 1 hour and 15 minutes. (Bake 1 hour 45 minutes for tube pan.) Test for doneness by carefully inserting a cake tester in center of cake or gently removing cake from oven and listening for light bubbling sounds that soften and slow as cake approaches doneness.

7. Transfer to cooling rack. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans. Cool completely before serving. Makes 2 loaves (24 servings) or one 10-inch tube cake.

8. *Note: 2-1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour can be used in place of the cake flour.
"Let's face it, a nice creamy chocolate cake does a lot for a lot of people; it does for me."
-Audrey Hepburn

*** P.S. Here's a link from a blogger I follow, Sweet Jeanette, it's a SHORTCUT MIX version of the CHOCOLATE CAKE! Great minds DO think alike! ENJOY!
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Come to the Dark Side...of Chocolate.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Homestead Revival: Give Away: Wire Baskets!

Homestead Revival: Give Away: Wire Baskets!

LOOOVE these wire baskets (from Forgotten Way Farm), you too can enter the giveaway or see the link to find where to purchase them. Can't you just see using these a million different ways? I can!

Here come the Food Police!

Banning the brown bag? Is this freedom in the USA?
See the quote I've included after the article by Thomas Jefferson!

***via YAHOO***
Mon Apr 11, 12:29 pm ET
Chicago school bans homemade lunches, the latest in national food fight
By Liz Goodwin – Mon Apr 11, 12:29 pm ET

Students who attend Chicago's Little Village Academy public school get nothing but nutritional tough love during their lunch period each day. The students can either eat the cafeteria food--or go hungry. Only students with allergies are allowed to bring a homemade lunch to school, the Chicago Tribune reports.

"Nutrition wise, it is better for the children to eat at the school," principal Elsa CarmonaƂ told the paper of the years-old policy. "It's about ... the excellent quality food that they are able to serve (in the lunchroom). It's milk versus a Coke."

But students said they would rather bring their own lunch to school in the time-honored tradition of the brown paper bag. "They're afraid that we'll all bring in greasy food instead of healthy food and it won't be as good as what they give us at school," student Yesenia Gutierrez told the paper. "It's really lame."

The story has attracted hundreds of comments so far. One commenter, who says her children attend a different Chicago public school, writes, "I can accept if they want to ban soda, but to tell me I can't send a lunch with my child. ARE YOU KIDDING ME????"

For parents whose kids do not qualify for free or reduced price school lunches, the $2.25 daily cafeteria price can also tally more than a homemade lunch. "We don't spend anywhere close to that on my son's daily intake of a sandwich (lovingly cut into the shape of a Star Wars ship), Goldfish crackers and milk," Northwestern education policy professor Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach told the paper in an email. She told The Lookout parents at her child's public school would be upset if they tried to ban homemade lunches.

"I think that lots of parents at least at my child's school do think that what they pack is more nutritious [than school lunches]," she said. A Chicago public school teacher started a blog to protest the city's school lunches, and last year the schools tightened their nutrition standards for cafeteria-served school lunches. Every lunch must contain whole grains, only reduced-fat salad dressings and mayonnaise are offered as condiments, and the meals must feature a different vegetable each day. Meal providers also must reduce sodium content by 5 percent annually. About 86 percent of the district's students qualify for free or reduced price school lunches because their families live close to the poverty line.

Change in Chicago's school cafeterias feeds into a larger effort to combat the country's childhood obesity epidemic. About a third of America's kids are overweight or obese, and since children consume at least 30 percent of their calories while in school, making lunches healthier is seen as one way to counter that problem. Poorer kids are also more likely to be obese or overweight than middle class kids, and to consume a bigger proportion of their calories while at school. Forty-four percent of American kids living below the poverty line are obese or overweight, according to a 2010 study published in Health Affairs.

While we haven't been able to track down another school that bans homemade lunches outright, many smaller food battles have been playing out in cafeterias across the country. As principals try to counter obesity in their schools, healthy intentions can come across as overreach, occasionally sparking parent and student anger.

Alabama parents protested a school's rule that barred students from bringing any drinks from home, as ice water was provided at lunch. East Syracuse, New York schools have outlawed cupcakes and other desserts. And schools around the country have kicked out chocolate milk and soda vending machines. Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin even showed up in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, with dozens of cookies to express her disdain for a debate in the state about recommending teachers limit the number of times per month the sugary treats are eaten in classroom birthday celebrations.

Tucson, Arizona's Children's Success Academy allows home-packed lunches--but only if nothing in them contains white flour, refined sugar, or other "processed" foods, the Arizona Republic reported in a story last year. The school has no cafeteria, so some parents told the paper they struggled to find foods to pack that meet the restrictions. Many schools ban fast food or other take-out meals.

Soon, cafeteria offerings across the country will all be healthier, whether students like it or not. Last year's Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, championed by First Lady Michelle Obama, calls for higher nutritional standards to serve the 32 million kids who eat lunch every day at school (most of whom qualify for free or reduced price lunches through a federal government program). For the first time, the USDA will set calorie limits for school lunches, and will recommend they contain more vegetables and whole grains, and less salt, USA Today reports. French fries should be replaced by vegetables and fruit, the guidelines say.

The bill also calls for stricter food safety checks on cafeteria food.

“Was the government to prescribe to us our medicine and diet, our bodies would be in such keeping as our souls are now.” (Often paraphrased as): “If people let the government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.”
~Thomas Jefferson, 1781

Monday, April 11, 2011

Do you know where your eggs were?


Gotta love the new labels on eggs...It's time to define the terms.....

"CAGE-FREE" does not equal Humane Conditions!
80,000 chickens in one barn...does that sound humane to you?

"ACCESS TO THE OUTSIDE" = a tiny little screen porch on the end of that barn!

Some of the "organic" eggs in the supermarket are from SAME companies who brought you the recent salmonella scares. Eggs can also be RE-WASHED and RE-SOLD. They can be a month old or older. Doesn't sound so appetizing for breakfast, does it?

Marketers can spin just about anything...LEARN WHERE YOUR FOOD IS REALLY COMING FROM! BUY LOCAL, BUY SAFE! Support your local small farmers!

***by Stacked Stone Farm on Monday, April 11, 2011 at 11:41am***

(from facebook - "like" Stacked Stone Farm on facebook too!)

StackedStoneOrg Stacked Stone Farm

"CAGE-FREE" = up to 80,000 chickens or more in one barn
"ACCESS TO OUTSIDE" = tiny little porch on that barn HUMANE?! Hardly!

(from twitter - follow us on twitter too - at StackedStoneOrg)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

New coop design! Theme to be revealed when finished...

And so begins work our new BIG coop! We're just getting the base finished, the walls will go up soon. The coop name will be a dead giveaway, so you'll have to wait until it's done to find out! I'll post more pics as it goes up.

"Nature is my manifestation of God. I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day's work. I follow in building the principles which nature has used in its domain."
-Frank Lloyd Wright