Friday, April 03, 2009

Locally grown

I was lucky enough to get out onto some of the back roads of Michigan yesterday on what turned into a beautiful warm spring day. I visited Michelle and Danny Lutz of Maple Creek Farms in Yale. They run an organic farm that provides for up to 700 families every year through their CSA program. I'm writing an article about them for edibleWOW, so you can read more about that later.

On my way back I stopped at the Westwind Milling Company in Linden, MI. They grow their own grains organically and process it into flour in a mill built in 1836 — pretty spectacular. The mill holds their bakery and shop that offers other locally produced foods. I had been wanting to get up there for months and am so glad I did.
It really is like an old-time general store. I enjoyed a great conversation with Lee Purdy, the owner and Brenda Payne who works there. I couldn't resist the flours and walked away with all sorts to try out: whole wheat, dark rye, barley, multi-grain, as well as some Michigan honey. Check it out if you're in the area. And stay posted for bread-making updates!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Who needs Bisquick?!?

Biscuits! Who doesn't love a good, flaky biscuit?! I made some delicious ones the other night from an old copy of Saveur (Look how high they rose!) and thought I'd share this super easy recipe.

Chive and Cheddar Biscuits
• Heat oven to 450°.
• Whisk together 2 cups flour, 2 tbsp. baking powder, 1 tbsp. sugar, 1 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. baking soda in a bowl.
• Using a pastry cutter (or two knives), work 8 tbsp. cold butter cut into thin pats into flour mixture until the butter is the size of small peas.
• Add 3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. buttermilk, 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, and 1/2 cup finely chopped chives to flour–butter mixture; stir with a fork to form a loose dough.
• Turn dough out onto a floured surface; gently pat into a 6" × 9" rectangle. Fold in thirds as you would a letter; pat into a 6" × 9" rectangle again.
• Dip edges of a 3" round biscuit cutter in flour; punch out 6 biscuits from dough. Transfer them to a parchment paper–lined baking sheet. (Form and cut dough scraps into another biscuit or two, if you wish; they won't rise as high, though.)
• Brush tops with 2 tbsp. heavy cream; bake until lightly browned, 14–16 minutes. Makes 6.
If you don't have buttermilk, add a scant tablespoon or so of vinegar to a cup of milk and let it sit for a few minutes.

I substituted dill for the chives and would definitely cut down on the salt next time at least by half — especially with dill. AND, good news, it makes more like 8. And they are big and fluffy and flaky and GOOD!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Hot off the presses!

I just posted a couple of new prints to the shop: Sloe Gin Fizz at Etsy. I've always been fascinated with old cameras, so there's a drawing of my childhood Instamatic that I dragged off to camp every year for nine years. I must have hundreds of photos from every summer. Nowadays with a digital camera that seems like nothing, but when you consider it was actual film?!

And the second print is a vision I've been having lately of giant birds taking off with peoples' houses - yikes! What does that mean?!?!

"But then I became a special event…"

You just never know where you and your work will show up on these crazy world wide interwebs. I was trolling through my Google Analytics data this morning trying to find out why I had a lot of traffic to my Etsy shop yesterday. And while I wasn't able to figure it out, I did find that a few days ago, my rain boot was featured on a Czech blog on the site and brought quite a bit of traffic. I also found out that Google can translate pages for you, though they may need to brush up on their Czech skills. Here is the translation:

Dancing in the Rain
Today I am astonished you-instead of order out spring, so there mysteriously appeared a little snow and it covered me.
But then I became a special event. Waiting for the tram, and protecting people zachumlaní before pršosněhem, heap umbrellas. And then the fight started at the two ladies. Well, read the administration, ladies. Just pani and around fifty, fashion clothing. A knocking is open deštníkama: o). It was very comical, and they had people smile and forget about the rain and snow vystrkovaly necks to see better.

I do not know why you ladies liked, I do not know whether they knew it was a rough deštníkové balancing the accounts of the past, or just neschoda about who goes first. However, it was ridiculous. Frequently, the fight that results are ridiculous, but we do not see.

Sometimes máchám umbrella and ubližuju people around him. Not on purpose, but because it is through the sulfur-see. So probably I dance in the rain in tunicates: o).

Have a nice day: o).

You get the gist, I think?! We, too, had an out of order spring event of snow on Sunday. Anyway, it's fun to see where you land and to read about the woman who wrote this fun account of umbrella wars. She has an online shop called MamaZoo (how fun?!) and is a graphic designer and mom living in Prague.

Well, read the administration, ladies. I'm off to dance in the rain in tunicates :o)