Category Archives: Recipes

Egg Drop Soup

  • Home made egg drop soup:  (Tan Hua T’ang)
  • 3 cups of chicken stock broth.
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca flour (cassava)* or cornstarch
  • 2 eggs slightly beaten (farm fresh from pastured hens is best)

Heat broth and salt to boiling.  Mix cold water and tapioca flour; stir gradually into broth.  Boil and stir 1 minutes.  Slowly pour eggs into broth stirring constantly with fork, to form shreds of egg.  Remove from heat; stir slowly once or twice.

You can also make this without thickening it with the tapioca flour or cornstarch if it needs to be absolutely thin liquid.

For best medicine, you need to find a local farmer from whom you can purchase healthy pasture raised spent hens or broilers.  You may have to butcher them yourself.  Cook them down bones and all, pull off the meat bits, then throw the bones and cartilage back into the water and simmer another hour or so.  The goal is to get as much of the chondroitan out of the cartilage and minerals out of the bones and into your broth.  Once done, strain out the bones and let the broth cool.  Chicken fat is quite soft, so if you want to skim it off, you’ll eventually have to put it in the frig or other cool spot so that it will harden on the top of the broth so that you can remove it with a slotted spoon.

Buying chicken broth in the store is NOT the same product as what you are making here.

As always, find certified organic or organically raised ingredients.

This was a big hit with my father-in-law who is recovering from hernia surgery, is very weak, and really doesn’t have an appetite.

However, it’s quite good even if you aren’t sick or in recovery.

Cheers

tauna

*my friend Francoirse raises cassava in DRC!

Moussaka for Lunch

Today started out with me castrating about 25 ram lambs.  Thankfully, Dallas and Rick caught and held them for me – MUCH easier to have extra hands.  To castrate lambs, one catches them up and holds their hind legs up to their front legs thereby the testicles are easy to grab hold of.  The handler is holding the ram on his lap.  I assured Rick I’d never missed before.  I think i scared him a bit!   😉  (I did NOT use my teeth!)   We also dewormed all the lambs as well as the ewes.  That will help clean them up and get them gaining well before selling the lot on September 7 at Kirksville Livestock Auction at the special sheep sale that day.  After selling off 54 lambs, 80 ewes, and 2 mature rams on Monday, we counted out about 51 lambs and and 52 ewes to sell the 7th, then I’ll be out of the sheep business.

This afternoon, I’m doing the washing and will clean up and around the barns in preparation for semen checking the bulls tomorrow and hauling out to the cows.

Moussaka” is an Arabic word and a popular dish in many Middle Eastern countries, the immortal eggplant-and-lamb casserole is generally credited to the Greeks, who claim it as a national treasure.  This recipe provides 8-10 servings.

  • 1 large eggplant (or about 2 lbs)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 to 2 lbs ground lamb
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 3/4 cup red wine or beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon snipped parsley
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • White Sauce (see recipe)
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2/3 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Tomato Sauce (see recipe)

Cut unpared eggplant crosswise into 1/2-inch slices.  Cook slices in small amount boiling, salted water (1/2 teaspoon salt to 1 cup water) until tender, 5 to 8 minutes.  Drain.  Heat butter in 12-inch deep skillet until melted.  Cook and stir lamb and onion until lamb is light brown: drain.  Stir in tomato sauce, wine, parsley, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.  Cook uncovered over medium heat until half the the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes.  Prepare White Sauce.

Stir 2/3 cup of the cheese, 1/3 cup of the bread crumbs and the egg into meat mixture; remove from heat.  Sprinkle remaining bread crumbs evenly in greased oblong baking dish 13 1/2 x 9 x 2 inches.  Arrange half the eggplant slices in baking dish; cover with meat mixture.  Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the remaining cheese over meat mixture; top with remaining eggplant slices.  Pour White Sauce over mixture; sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Cook uncovered in 375ºF oven 45 minutes.  Prepare Tomato Sauce.  Let moussaka stand 20 minutes before serving.  Cut into squares; serve with Tomato Sauce.

White Sauce

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten

Heat butter over low heat until melted.  Blend in flour, salt, and nutmeg.  Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until smooth and bubbly; remove from heat.  Stir in milk.  Heat to boiling, stirring constantly.  Boil and stir 1 minute.  Gradually stir at least 1/4 of the hot mixture into eggs.  Blend into hot mixture in pan.

Tomato Sauce

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped ripe tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 bay leaf, crushed
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste

Cook and stir onion and garlic in oil in 3-quart saucepan over medium heat until onoion is tender.  Add remaining ingredients except tomato paste.  Heat to boiling, stirring constantly; reduce heat.  Simmer uncovered until thickened, about 30 minutes.  Stir in tomato paste.  (Add 2 to 3 tablespoons water if necessary for desired consistency.

PERSONAL NOTES:

I use organic grass fed milk, eggs, and butter.  Freshly grated Parmesan cheese and locally and organically grown tomatoes for sauces.  You can buy organic tomatoes and paste in the stores.  Thankfully, between what we raise ourselves and what i can purchase, it is all local and/or organic.  Flavors are much better.

Garlic Burger Buns from the American Queen

Dallas and Nathan traveled with Aunt June Lamme eight years ago on the American Queen Steamboat down the Ohio River.  Nathan thoughtfully purchased a cookbook from the ship’s cook for me and one of the best burger buns is my go-to.  From Kathy Casey‘s cookbook, Kathy Casey Cooks – Favorites.

Garlic Burger Buns

Makes 6 buns

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/3 cup warm water (90°F to 110°F)
  • 1 package dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp finely minced garlic
  • Coarse ground salt for sprinkling

In a small bowl stir together the milk, olive, oil, sugar, warm water, and yeast.  Stir to dissolve yeast and let sit about 10 minutes then pour into a large mixer bowl.

Whisk the eggs in a small bowl and add all but 1 tbsp. to the liquid ingredients, reserving the extra for brushing the bun tops.  Mix in flour, salt, and garlic with paddle attachment until incorporated and then change to a dough hook.  Mix with dough hook on medium speed for about 3 to 4 minutes, as needed, to make a smooth, moist dough.  Knead until smooth.  Place in a large greased bowl, cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.

Punch down and divide dough into 6 pieces.  Roll into balls and let rest 10 minutes covered with a towel.  With a well-floured rolling pin, roll balls into 4-inch rounds.  Place on a greased baking sheet.  Cover lightly with a towel and let rise until almost doubled.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F.

In a small bowl, whisk remaining egg together with 1/2 tbsp water.  Brush the tops of the buns lightly with egg wash, sprinkle lightly with coarse ground salt and place in oven.

Bake about 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown.  Cool buns on a rack.

That’s the recipe, but i usually make 8 buns with this recipe since they are rather large.  They also need to be eaten fresh or they tend to become crumbly.  I use lovely Hebridean Sea Salt flakes harvested from the shores of the remote Scottish Hebridean Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides, Scotland.

Easy Hamburger Buns

The chooks (laying hens) practically stopped laying eggs this winter, so bread making had to be adjusted.  This super easy and relatively quick recipe is officially to make burger buns, but creativity can turn them into hot dog buns, loaf bread, or slice thin and broil with cheese and/or garlic butter or make mini-pizzas.  Cut smaller rounds for cocktail buns.  Recipe modified from the original found in the very helpful “Dining On A Dime” cookbook.

Try to use homegrown, local, or organic ingredients whenever possible. There are several search sites online to help you find sources near your home.

Easy Hamburger Buns

  • 5-6 cups flour (preferably unbleached white and/or stone ground – using 100% stone-ground can affect how high the buns rise)
  • 2 pkgs or 2 Tablespoons yeast
  • 1 cup milk (organic or local, real (raw) from cows grazing on pasture)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup oil  ( i use olive oil if i use oil, but mostly i use home made applesauce)
  • 1/4 cup sugar (organically grown cane to avoid GMO)
  • 1 Tablespoon salt  (Real salt)
  • butter, melted  (same as milk)

Stir together 2 cups flour and yeast.  In a saucepan over medium, heat milk, water, oil, sugar, and salt to very warm (120ºF-130ºF/50ºC-55ºC).  Add liquid all at once to flour mixture  Beat until smooth (about 2 minutes) on medium speed with electric mixer or 300 strokes by hand.  Add enough additional flour to make a soft dough; mix well.  Let rest 10 minutes.  Roll out on a  well-floured surface to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut with 3-inch round cutter (or rim of glass).  Place rounds on greased baking sheets.  Let rise in warm place (80ºF/27ºC) for 30 minutes.  Preheat oven to 425ºF (230ºC) and bake 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned.  Brush melted butter on the tops whilst still warm.  Make 12-20 buns.  (depending on how thick you cut them).  For burger buns, I like at least 15, otherwise it’s just more bread than one needs to make a nice sandwich.

Substitutions and ideas:

I use 1/2 cup of prepared applesauce instead of olive oil.

Add 1/2 cup of ground seeds (i’ve used chia, but flax, sesame, or hemp would likely work as well)

Try 1/2 and 1/2 with unbleached white flour and stone-ground whole wheat.

I warm the oven for about 10 minutes, then turn it off and place the buns inside to rise.  However, this slows down the process, because they need to be taken out before preheating the oven for baking.

Enjoy!

tauna

Pomegranate (Rimon) Season

Find pomegranates in the fresh fruit section of your local grocery store now!  But hurry–the season is nearly over!  Pomegranates I purchase at Twin Oaks Produce, located just west of Brookfield, Missouri, for only $1.89 each, are sweet and juicy!

Granted – they are not local to north Missouri, but they are very tasty and certainly good for you.  Check out this handy fruit chart to compare nutritional values of popular raw fruits:

Dr. Decuypere’s Nutrient Charts
~~ Fruit Chart ~~

Even a cursory search on the internet will produce oodles of sites touting the health benefits of eating pomegranates.  Here’s one I found:  Powerful Health Benefits of the Pomegranate.  There are instructions for removing the arils on this page, but all i do is cut the fruit in half, parallel to the crown, then cut in half again. Bend skin backwards to make aril (seed) removal easier.  It just takes time – no hurry – it’s definitely worth the effort.blog photos 001

It seems most of the commercially available pomegranates are grown in California.  Pomegranate trees can be grown in less favorable climes, but with limited success or smaller fruits.  Pomegranates are picked ripe, so no need to wait for it to ripen.  As far as I can determine, pomegranates are still non-GMO, but correct me quickly if I’m wrong!

One of my favorite smoothies is a combination of about 1 cup pomegranate arils, 2 cups baby spinach, and up to 1 cup coconut water (enough to get the smoothie to blend easily).  Delicious and healthy.   

Our trip to Israel in the fall of 2011 (for Sukkot) would not have been complete without a wine tasting and visitor tour to Rimon Winery.

Rimon (pomegranate) orchard is located on the mountain next to Moshav Kerem Ben Zimra, amidst grape vineyards and other fruit plantations. The winery has visitor center  that attract thousands of tourists annually from Israel and abroad.
Rimon (pomegranate) orchard is located on the mountain next to Moshav Kerem Ben Zimra, amidst grape vineyards and other fruit plantations.
The winery has visitor center that attract thousands of tourists annually from Israel and abroad.
Rimon Winery - Creator of award winning wines and many other products - located in Upper Galilee, Dalton, Israel
Rimon Winery – Creator of award winning wines and many other products – located in Upper Galilee, Dalton, Israel