Monthly Archives: November 2012

Recipes from the Small Home Farm Thanksgiving Episode

If you joined us for Small Home Farm Radio’s special Thanksgiving episode, here are the recipes we shared with our listeners:

From Jackie Rousseau:

Belgian Carrots

Brown some chopped onions in butter in the bottom of a pan.  When partly cooked, add baby carrots or chunks of carrots, a little bit of sugar and a little water.  Cover and cook slowly on a low heat until done.  Salt and pepper to taste and serve warm.

From Cecily Lahey:

See the book Recipes from the Old Mill found in the Book of the Week from Episode 39.

From Barbara Lahey:

Sausage and Kraut One Pot Meal

Brown diced onions

Add 2 jars sauerkraut – drained & rinsed

Add some water – enough to see it just under the kraut.  Mix in 1 c. brown sugar and let simmer for a while.

Add 2 packages Eckhart’s sausage cut into 3” lengths and place on top of kraut.

Now add Peeled potatoes cut in half – little reds are best

Last, add peeled apples – cored and halved

Sprinkle with sugar, and let simmer again using a heat diffuser between your pan and the burner if you have one.  It acts as a double boiler so food doesn’t burn.

Mix up any dumpling recipe & scoop the dough on top of potatoes & apples.

Place lid on pot & let simmer for 20 minutes. Do not peek while it’s cooking!  Serve immediately.

From Chelsea Daniels (The Canny Preserver):

Basic Tomato Sauce and Condensed Tomato Soup (click link to go directly to her website)

Ranch Seasoning Dry Mix

5T dried minced onions

7 tsp dried parsley

4 tsp salt

1 tsp garlic powder

FOR DRESSING: Mix 2 T dry mix with 1 cup mayo and 1 cup buttermilk OR sour cream

FOR DIP: Mix 2 T dry mix with 2 cups of sour cream

Taco Seasoning Mix

½ cup chili powder

¼ cup onion powder

1/8 cup ground cumin

1 T garlic powder

1 T paprika

1 T salt – Chelsea prefers sea salt.

¼ cup = 1 packet

Cream of “Something” Soup  (you can add mushrooms, onion, celery, for that variety of cream soup, or use chicken boiullon and maybe some small pieces of diced chicken to use as cream of chicken soup)

1 cup non-fat dried milk

¾ cup cornstarch

¼ cup bouillon* (add this later)

4 T dried minced onions

1 tsp dried basil

1 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp pepper


Chicken Base (for gravies, soups, etc.)

Start with stock ingredients (whole chicken, onion, carrots, celery, garlic, water, salt & pepper

Let simmer for a few hours until the liquid is reduced and the vegetables have dissolved into the sauce strain before using.

* Chelsea likes to use “Better than Bouillon” instead of regular bouillon.

From Erin Lahey:

For the Pioneer Woman’s Mashed Potatoes recipe, go here.


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Turkey and Pie, Oh My!

It’s that time of year again!  The holiday season has officially begun.  Between Thanksgiving week and January 1, life just isn’t the same at Aspendale Farm.  We had a whole slew of family come up to see us for four days.  Even Uncle Zach surprised us by showing up on our doorstep on Thanksgiving day – the turkey!  He called and told us he was having dinner with a friend, then showed up an hour later!  Considering it’s a four hour drive, we assume he was lying through his teeth on the drive up here! LOL!

L-R: Chelsea Daniels, Erin Lahey, Marty Lahey, Cecily Lahey, Jesse Lahey, JJ Lahey.

Most of us participated in the Third Annual Turkey Trot.  There were several walkers among the children and grandparents, Cecily and I ran 2 1/2 miles, and Aunt Chelsea and the men ran 9 miles.  It was a beautiful sixty-degree day and the run was a great way to start the day!

Left: Hank Werner mashing those potatoes! Right: Marty Lahey

Dad and Hank monopolized the kitchen part of the time.  Dad loves cooking the turkey, and Hank, who may never have cooked a thing in his life, stepped up to prove he could mash those potatoes – and mash them he did!

Left, me. Right, Chelsea Daniels (The Canny Preserver).

And of course, I was glad to have company in the studio recording our special Thanksgiving episode of Small Home Farm Radio!

We also put on a bit of entertainment for everyone – Cecily and I played a couple of duets on the piano and violin;  JJ, Cecily, and Betsy put on a *hilarious* skit – “The Grammar Nazi”; and Uncle Zach did a Victor Borge impersonation with “Punctuation” as well as reciting a monologue given by Dickens’ character “Fred” in “A Christmas Carol.”  It was admittedly difficult to take his earnest defense of Christmas very seriously with his silly Santa hat bobbing every time he moved!

A good time was had by all, snow starting falling the day after Thanksgiving and hasn’t really stopped yet!  The guys made bonfires outdoors in the snow Thursday and Friday evening, which was pretty fun, and significantly warmer than I expected.  Now, we are jumping feet first into Christmas and ready to go!

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Mark Your Calendars: Organic Gardening Workshop!

Come join me:

Organic Gardening Workshop

Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013

9 am – 3 pm

Comins Township Hall
1651 N. Abbe Rd., Fairview, MI

  • Getting Started in Organic Gardening
  • Six Easy Vegetables to Grow in Your Garden
  • Home Orcharding
  • Seed Saving Techniques
  • Healthy Soil for Healthy Plants: How to Get It


Dave Schleicher

From Earth to Health Farm

Tika Cowie

Cleaner Living Farm

Erin Lahey

Aspendale Farm

Registration includes:

All five sessions


A light, organic lunch

For information or to register:  Call 989-826-2115
Cost is $10 per person before Feb. 7, or $15 after Feb. 7.


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Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti

My sister-in-law makes a fabulous batch of biscotti!  I’m actually not a biscotti fan, but I do love brownies and chocolate cookies, and dunked into coffee, these are reminiscent of both.  However, as much as I love her biscotti, I also love to minimize my intake of white flour, which, while tasty, is almost completely devoid of anything good for my body.  Whole wheat flour, on the other hand, has four times more fiber than white flour does, it’s lower on the glycemic index scale, meaning that it converts to sugar in your blood slower than white flour does, and it keeps you feeling full longer, too.  In addition, since whole wheat flour is processsed less than white flour, there are significantly greater amounts of vitamins remaining in the flour, including folate, riboflavin, niacin, B-1, B-3, and B-5.

So any time I can substitute whole grain flours, such as whole wheat or oat flour for all or part of the flour in any recipe without detracting from the taste, I do it.  This results in lots of experimenting in the kitchen.  Fortunately, I love to experiment … in the kitchen, the garden, with my animals – you name it.  Experimenting is the name of the game.

So, my daughter Cecily and I have been doing a lot of experimenting lately, and we’ve landed on a good mix for my sister-in-law’s biscotti recipe that works really well.  These are still quite yummy – and in spite of having whole wheat in them, which you might think would make the biscotti heavier, our biscotti turned out lighter than ever (although actually, in biscotti “heavy” isn’t a bad thing.  Bread, yes.  Biscotti, no.)  I suspect it is because we are using duck eggs in our baking.  So far the rumors have held true… everything we’ve baked with duck eggs have turned out noticeably lighter than their chicken-egg counterparts.  We’ve hardly altered her recipe at all, really, but it’s healthier and still quite a decadent treat in my book:

Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti

3/4 c. hazelnuts, chopped

3/4 c. plus 2 tbs. white flour

3/4 c. plus 2 tbs. whole wheat flour

3/4 c. mini chocolate chips or regular semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 tsp. baking cocoa powder

1 tbs. instant coffee granules

1/4 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1 c. sugar

2 eggs (if you can find them, use duck eggs, otherwise chicken eggs will be just fine)

2 egg whites (again – duck egg whites if you can get them easily – no worries if you can’t)

1 tbs. pure vanilla extract

1.) Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Place chopped hazelnuts on a baking sheet and toast until light brown – about 5-8 minutes.  Allow to cool slightly.

2.) Line two baking sheets with tinfoil or parchment and spray with baking spray.

3.) In large food processor or blender, combine 2 tbs. chopped, toasted hazelnuts, the flours, 2 tbs. chocolate chips, baking cocoa, coffee powder, baking soda, and salt.  Process until nuts are finely ground.  Transfer to a large bowl (such as in your  stand mixer).

4.) Next, in food processor or blender, combine eggs, egg whites, sugar, and pure vanilla extract.  Whirl until slightly thick – about two minutes or so.  Pour into bowl with dry ingredients and mix together well.  Add remaining nuts and chocolate chips.

5.) Now spoon 1/4 of your batter into a narrow log about 1 1/2″ w x 14″ l onto baking sheet.  Put two logs on each of your two baking sheets.  Bake 15 minutes, turning cookie sheets around in the oven once about 7 or 8 minutes into the baking.

6.)  Remove from oven and turn down to 300-degrees.  Let the biscotti cool a bit, then slice logs 1/2 – 3/4″ thick.  Arrange pieces on baking sheets so they aren’t touching each other and bake in the 300-degree oven an additional 20-25 minutes until they are dry.

7.)  Remove from oven and serve dunked in coffee.  Store in an airtight container.

*Even my poor kids, whose growth will no doubt be stunted from ingesting coffee so early in their lives, love it dipped in coffee.

See if you can arrange for someone with a great deal of self-denial to dole out two or three pieces of biscotti, then hide the rest on you, or you may be eating biscotti one after the other until you are thoroughly ashamed of yourself.

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Morning Rush Hour

Wednesday morning I had to drive my oldest son JJ to his classes – nearly an hour round trip.  Jesse’s been out of town this week and I needed a car all day.  So we headed out in the gray dawn. We drove down the road a bit before we ever encountered anyone else.  It was quarter to eight and there should have been a lot of traffic.  The first person we did encounter was an Amishman in a horse-drawn buggy.  The second was an Amishman on a bicycle.  At length we encountered another car, then nothing.  No one but the two of us driving through the woods.  And then – whoosh!  Right over the windshield, barely a foot above us, a barred owl unsteadily swooped and flapped past.  It was such an unexpected meeting on that quiet misty road.  As quick as he had appeared, he was gone, and we were alone again.

We passed only a few other cars on the drive before I dropped him off.  Much later that evening I headed back with Betsy to pick him up.  Again there were few cars, but about five minutes away from campus, we passed a beautiful eight-point buck standing at the side of the road.  I worried that he might move out in front of me on the road, but he only stood there, regal and unmoving.  There were more deer further on.  How often does the morning traffic consist of horses and buggies, bicycles, and owls, and the evening traffic of a buck, three does, a handful of cars and another buggy?!

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