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Monthly Archives: August 2015

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It’s “babies everywhere” this week, with a forth tortoise hatched (a month behind its siblings), the chicks passing their two-week mark (and weaned off the heat lamp), and two brand-new lambs over at Cruzan Gardens! Cuteness is exhausting, so there have been many early nights, and much worry over just how rat-proof various pens and boxes are. With the summer slowness and all this cuteness to soak in, we’re anticipating being closed on August 26th and September 2nd, so be sure to stock up on everything this Wednesday! Eggs will still be available each week, so please email or reach out via Facebook for your egg pickup arrangements. This week’s special is a braided sweet bread for $10.


One of our trusty Ameraucana layers.


To tide you over those bread-less weeks, try making my Rye Pancakes with homemade lemon-butter!

Rye Pancakes
makes 8-10

1 Cup Rye Flour (or Buckwheat flour)
2 farm-fresh eggs
1/2 teaspoon yeast
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon melted butter (or coconut oil)

Beat all ingredients in medium bowl, adding enough water to reach a pourable consistency. Let stand for 30 minutes, then pour by the 1/4 cup into a preheated cast iron skillet on medium heat. Cook until lightly browned on both sides. They should come out about 1/4″ thick, with large holes.

Lemon Butter
makes 1 cup

1 pint heavy whipping cream
juice of half a large lime

Gently heat the cream in a small saucepan to a light simmer, stirring constantly. Add in lime/lemon juice and stir for another minute or so, until slightly thickened. Pour into a quart mason jar or a blender, refrigerate until cooled (this can be done in the freezer in about 15min or less). Then, with an immersion or standard blender, beat for a minute or two until the butter solids just barely separate from the buttermilk – you want a soft, creamy butter, not a dense, fatty butter. Use a sieve to separate your lumps of butter out, form them into a soft ball and refrigerate until serving. Alternatively, beat the cooled, soured cream with a whisk until thickened, you’ll then have a good quantity of delicious sour cream – without any of the chalkiness of the bought varieties! For mascarpone, simmer your mixture (at 180ºF) for several minutes, allow to cool (it should have thickened), then drain for several hours.

I like to serve the warm pancakes with any of the above, sprinkled lightly with demerara sugar.


3 1-month-old tortoises, with the 1-week-old hatchling – all from the same nest. The growth rate during the first year is quite rapid. The newest one has some extra scutes (shell plates) – possibly the reason for a later hatch date?

Keep an eye out for sprouts on our market listing and roadside stand! In the coming season we’ll be growing sprouts of several different kinds, including  sunflower, buckwheat, and a leafy green mix. The drought may make it tough to grow full-size greens, but we’ll certainly still manage to have salads. We might even get some salsa verde, as the tomatillo plants are finally starting to set after several months of flowering to no avail. The newest batch of arugula and bok choy are trying really hard since the few sprinkles of rain last week – there’s still a little hope left!


Milk without the “Moo”

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DSC_8411Happy Monday! I’m taking a brief respite from drilling post holes for Juno’s new fence to share with you how to make delicious Oat and Almond Milk, with none of the added ingredients or throw-away packaging that you’d get at the store. Read on below. Meanwhile, the Buff Orpington chicks arrived mid-week and are growing by the day! They are extremely calm and friendly chicks, and just as cute as can be – larger and fluffier than the Ameraucanas were. Fortunately, they are safely locked down in their brood-box, for as I sit here I see a small kestrel on the prowl for lizards, mice and other small tasty critters – I’m sure that a chick would make a very tasty lunch for her.

DSC_8412Before I forget, Nidulari has two specials this week: our Artisan Focaccia with fresh local rosemary ($10), and a white loaf encrusted with sesame seeds ($7). We’ll be open from 2:30-6:30pm on Mahogany Road, or you may order ahead for delivery to Cruzan Gardens on Midland Road.


Sometimes you need to treat yourself to something special. Homemade beef Dolma with a baby-lima bean garlic dip hit the spot for lunch today!

DSC_8415Back to milk making. I’ve been trying to avoid dairy for allergy reasons – and the lack of a local, natural milk supply – so I decided to try making my own oat, rice, or almond milk so that I might control what it contains. As I’ve mentioned before, we do make coconut milk, but I find that it is far too heavy for daily use, and I find the coconut flavour to be overpowering. As it turns out, non-dairy milk is easy (and cheap) to make! The same method goes for all, except that rice has to be cooked before starting the process, and that for almond milk you only need about 1/2C almonds for 8C milk.

Oat & Almond Milk
makes 1/2 gallon (8 cups)

I use an immersion blender, a half gallon mason jar, a nut-milk bag, and a mixing bowl. You could equally well use a blender, a piece of fine cotton cloth, or a very fine sieve.

DSC_84271. Measure out 2 cups of rolled oats and a handful of raw almonds (optional) into your jar or blender. Fill with water, stir, and drain a couple of times until the water comes off nearly clear – otherwise your final product will be somewhat mucilaginous (not a good texture for milk).

DSC_84282. Add enough water to your rinsed and drained ingredients to fill the jar or blender halfway. Blend on high speed for roughly 30 seconds. You’ll have a somewhat thick, lumpy liquid.

DSC_84293. Pour the contents of your jar into the nut-milk bag or cloth (in a bowl) using a little more water to rinse out the jar and adding that too. Now twist the top of your bag closed with one hand, and start squeezing the bottom of the bag with your other hand. This process will take a few minutes and some firm squeezing in order to get all the milk out. You should end up with a bowl of thick, creamy liquid, and a handful of firm, almost dry oat residue (chickens love this, or try mixing it into your dog’s food, a bread recipe, or pancake batter).


DSC_84314. Pour your “cream” back into the jar/blender and add your “flavour”. I like to add 1/2t sea salt (makes it keep better and enhances the natural flavour) and about 2T unrefined sugar. A dash of cinnamon is nice, or you can make a decadent “chocolate milk” by adding a few tablespoons of cocoa powder. Experiment.

DSC_84335. Now top up your jar/blender with water until you have a total of about 8 cups, and blend once more for a few seconds to mix everything together. I find that this milk is “acceptable” at room temperature, but really good once it’s cold, so go ahead and refrigerate it right away. It will separate a little as it sits, so be sure to shake or stir before serving.

Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!

What are you waiting for? Get to milk making, and don’t forget to order your bread for the week!