Bummer on the lack of pictures again - the strata I had at market on Saturday was a real beauty!
Strata is one of those recipes that I use to clean out the refrigerator and use old bread. It is also a go-to recipe when eggs are plentiful in the spring. I make so many variations of it and pretty much tweak it to what I have on hand and what kinda "goes together". I used our Old Time Heritage Turkey Eggs which are about 1-1/2 eggs per each chicken egg called for in a recipe.
The strata I had at market on Saturday was made with Who Cooks For You Farm's amazing pork sausage, a bag of Sturges Orchard's baby kale, garlic scapes from Normand Homestead (at the Grove City market), and rustic Italian bread from Mediterra Bakehouse. I used a little Parmesan cheese on the top grated by our local market, but Goat Rodeo's stampede would have taken this strata from amazing to incredible!
Remember to use good quality ingredients and the results will reward you!
Sausage, Kale & Garlic Scape Strata
Add the kale & garlic scapes and a little sprinkle of salt. I added a little avocado oil because the sausage was lean but you could add olive or other cooking oil if needed to sauté the kale. I also add a little water, cover the skillet & turned the heat down to a simmer to soften the kale.
While kale is cooking, grease a 13x9 pan, cut the bread into 1 inch cubes and put the cubes in the baking dish - it should come up about 1/2 way in the baking dish and cover the bottom.
Add the kale, scapes and sausage mix to the bread and try to distribute it evenly.
Whisk the eggs and milk together with a sprinkle of salt and pour over the bread, sausage, scapes & kale (if the egg milk mixture does not coat the bread, you can mix 1 egg to 1/2 cup milk to add more moisture). Let stand for about 10 minutes for the egg mixture to soak into the bread.
Sprinkle with cheese and bake in a 350 degree pre-heated oven for about 30 minutes or until browned and a knife inserted into the center comes out "clean".
For a meatless mix, you can change out the sausage for mushrooms.
You can exchange the kale for nettles, spinach or chard (I have even used broccoli). You can change out the meats to bacon, smoked meats, smoked sausage, ground beef, ground turkey, hot dogs, what ever you have and would go together in a meal with the bread and veggie.
Let me know if you have any questions and enjoy!
I am so sorry to say that I have no picture of the Lazy Dazy Cake I had at market Saturday! Those of you who tasted or purchased it probably have the lingering after effects of the overwhelming gastronomical goodness seared into your soul, but that does not help those who were less fortunate (like my husband!). I do have to remember to get a picture before we eat or sell out of something I want to blog about - even if my photography and plating skills are seriously lacking!!! I found a really nice, well displayed picture of my favorite cake of all time here, so those of you who did not see or taste it can get an idea of how amazing this cake looks and then know that it is even MORE amazing in your mouth!
Lazy Dazy (Daisy) Cake was one of my Great-Grandma's "go-to" recipes and was one I made sure I added to the recipe journal she gave me. It is a simple classic "milk" cake with warmed milk as an ingredient in the cake. I find it similar to a coffee cake or a mix between a sponge and pound cake - you cannot find this flavor or texture in a cake out of a box!! This It is excellent alone or with berries (strawberries, YUM!) and it is exquisite with the broiled coconut topping added to the top! It is a simple and quick cake to make and I do not find it any harder to make than a box cake and I know exactly what went into it!
The history I could find on the Lazy Dazy Cake is fairly limited online. I found references to the early 1900's without the topping then the topping being added in the 1930's or 1940's. Most of the recipes are similar with a little more or less butter, vanilla, salt or milk used with the exception of one on an advertisement for Birds Baking Powder from the 1950's being completely different.
Cakes used to all be made from scratch with ingredients sourced locally from farms, mills, and merchants - boxed cake mixes did not become popular until after WWII. I remember my Grandma telling me of a friend whose husband refused to let her make a box cake - after tasting this Lazy Dazy you will know why!
I like to source good quality, grass-fed butter and whole (full fat) cream-line milk like that from Hartzler Family Dairy - I buy mine at the Meadville Market House but the East End Co-op, Frankferd Farms or Whole Foods are options. Old Time eggs are from free-range, pasture-raised hens that are supplemented with a custom, nutrient dense, non-GMO feed. I do not use bleached flour and try to source good quality, local flour like is milled at Frankferd Farms or Weatherbury Farm. I only use pure cane sugar (minimally processed is better, IMHO) and I use only pure vanilla extract, not imitation. Nutrient density (nutritional quality) is possible in sweets by using good quality, wholesome ingredients!! (say that 3 times!) I do not mean quantity of energy or calories by "nutrient density" but the richness of vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients included in a food. Sweets, like most foods, should be consumed in moderation but it makes one feel less guilty to know that there are actual whole foods, with names I can pronounce, or "good things" that my body needs in the deliciousness tantalizing my tastebuds!
Grandma Ruth's Lazy Dazy Cake
2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
Bring to a boil then mix with the mixture from above:
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons butter
Place in a greased 13x9 baking dish and bake in a 350 degree (pre-heated) oven for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out "clean".
1 stick or 8 tablespoons of butter
1 cup brown sugar
4 tablespoons milk or cream
1 cup coconut
(Optional to add 1/2 cup nuts)
Bring first 3 ingredients to a boil and add coconut when all the sugar is melted and the mix is hot. Spread over hot cake and place cake under broiler in the oven for about 4 minutes or until the coconut is starting to brown and the topping is beginning to caramelize.
Let me know if you have any questions! Enjoy!!
Spring equals eggs are "in season" from our old fashioned poultry. Our hens follow their instincts to reproduce in nature's rhythm! Old Time Farm does not use lights to force our hens to lay eggs out of their natural cycle, so, as the days become longer, the Chanty and Turkey Girlz kick into production without regard to market availability or that consumers are accustomed to 365 access to what was a seasonal "protein" in yesteryear. Add to that our Chantecler and Standard Bronze tendency to go "broody", or want to sit on eggs to hatch vs lay eggs when the weather warms, means even more seasonality to the production.
This seasonal aspect is one of the biggest challenges we face with bringing products from our heritage breeds to market. How do I explain to people that we will not have eggs 365 days a year like farms using chickens selected for maximum production in minimum time on minimum input, and what in the world do I do with all the eggs produced during the peak egg season (February through April) when the Farmers' Markets are not open? We hatch chicks for future generations and ship "hatching eggs" to farmers/homesteaders on certain days of the week and obtained licensure of our kitchen from the state so we can use the extra eggs from other days in finished product at our markets! Eggs can also be shelled, beaten and frozen for use out of season. Before refrigeration, there were many ways used to store eggs for off-season use from storing in sawdust or sand to coating with a fat and storing in a cool location. Thankfully, we have refrigeration today.
I digressed to "talking turkey" so back to Bread Pudding! This week, I brought one of our most beloved recipes to market and I promised to share the recipe and how to make it ... Bread pudding with Rhubarb. When the eggs are plentiful, we make many egg recipes including bread pudding (sweet) and strata (savory) as well as rice pudding. My Great Grandma made bread pudding to use up stale bread and it was always a treat! Adding the rhubarb was a twist I added while experimenting - the sweet and sour play perfectly off each other. I encourage you to look at this as a "base recipe" and experiment with the sweet and savory aspect, using different breads and a variety of fruits, nuts and seasonings.
Bread Pudding with Rhubarb
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 13x9" baking dish (if 13x9 is too much for you, cut the recipe in 1/2 and make a smaller amount or share with a friend or neighbor)
Cut the bread into cubes (no need to be precise) and spread out into baking dish.
Cut the rhubarb and sprinkle evenly in baking dish with bread.
Whisk the eggs, add the sugar, milk and vanilla & whisk some more to mix together.
Pour the egg, milk, sugar, vanilla mix over the bread/rhubarb mix and gently submerge any floating bread to make sure it is completely coated with the egg mixture.
Let stand for about 10 minutes so the bread can absorb the egg mixture then bake at 350 for about 40 minutes or until a knife or pick comes out "clean" when inserted into the center of the pan.
Eat warm with cream, whipped cream or ice cream or cold.
Do not be afraid to experiment with adding fruits like cranberries, blueberries, strawberries, raisins, craisins or changing the exact to almond, orange or anything else that suits your fancy. You can add nutmeg or cinnamon for a different flavor as well. Try making a baked French toast with whole slices of bread or removing the sugar and adding meat and a veggie for a savory option like our Nettle and Turkey Egg Strata.
Let me know what variations you come up with! Our ancestors had many variations of bread pudding and custards as all food in the house was precious and this was a wonderful way to use up the seasonal abundance of eggs and stale bread!
I will try to add a picture soon - I forgot to take a picture and we sold out of the bread pudding at market!
Homemade taco seasoning is the perfect base for your Cinco de Mayo celebration! You know exactly what the ingredients are and no running to the store to buy a single use package of seasoning! Old Time ground beef or a chuck roast combined with the taco seasoning below - Qué Delicioso!
1 tablespoon chili powder (see below for recipes)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt (or kosher salt)
1 teaspoon black pepper (optional - adds heat)
Mix all ingredients and use with one pound of Old Time ground beef, chicken or turkey (or store in an airtight container for later use). I add to the ground beef when browning it or to the chicken & turkey when being sautéed or with shredded leftovers before reheating.
Learning your ingredients allows you to tweak the flavors for your taste as well as substituting ingredients in your pantry for those that you may not have on hand when you wish to make a dish. Often, you can replace the garlic and onion powders with fresh onion and garlic. Cumin applies a smokey, earthy flavor to many dishes and is a staple in my pantry,
Chili Powder (Joy of Cooking)
3 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon tumeric
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
Mix together and use lots of crushed garlic in recipe or add 2 tsp of garlic powder. Store in an airtight container.
If you like a more potent chili powder, try this one:
Potent Chili Powder
1 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon oregano
2 teaspoons garlic powder
Do you have a recipe you use? Have a happy Cinco de Mayo!!
Seasonal eating while cleaning the pantry at its best! Nutritious pasture-raised Old Time Farm heritage turkey eggs are in season now! Combine the eggs with foraged nettles, ham loaf mix from Blackberry Meadows Farm pastured pigs (to clean out the freezer) and some stale Mediterra slider buns (to clean out the fridge)! Sprinkle a little Real Salt with Garlic and parmesan cheese grated at County Market and bake at 375 degrees for 30 mins = delicious dinner is served!! I could have foraged for some garlic mustard and used that in place of the garlic salt or used scallion sprouts from Harmony Grove Farm. Fellow farmers I seek out for pasture-raised pork are Auburn Meadow Farm and Who Cooks for You Farm would be a source for the pasture-raised pork as well as greens.
Nettles are a foraged green (AKA "weed") that tastes like spinach but is MUCH more nutrient dense than spinach found in any store! I originally discovered nettles when searching for new calves hidden by their mamas. I found the calves hidden in these 5-6 foot high stands of "weeds" with prickers on them. After touching the plant it STUNG for a LONG TIME, became numb and left a welt! I generally do not get poison ivy so I HAD to find out what this dastardly plant was about! I learned it was "stinging nettle" or "Urtica dioica" and an excellent source of iron, magnesium, potassium, calcium, vitamin A, protein, and dietary fiber as well as having a long history of being used for food, fiber and medicine going back to neolithic times! This incredibly tasty nutrient dense food is growing naturally right on our farm without me even planting it, BONANZA! Then we ate it and it was YUMMY and a peculiar thing happened ... our stuffed noses from seasonal pollen allergies cleared right up! You can discover why nettles may be "the most nutritious plant on earth" as well as how to identify it, harvest it, medicinal properties, how the nettle stings, how to avoid or mitigate the sting and more in this video by my favorite local food foraging instructor, Adam Haritan from Learn Your Land.
Strata is fairly simple to make and, if you leave the bread out, it is a "frittata" and if you put that in a pie shell it is a "quiche", if you make it flat in a skillet, it is an omelet and if you scramble the omelet it is fancy scrambled eggs! The main ingredient is the eggs with a little milk and seasoning along whatever needs to "go" from the fridge and freezer and seems like it would go together well.
Back to the recipe/mix I made this time:
1 lb of sausage or ham loaf mix
5 turkey eggs
4 stale slider buns
1 gallon bag of nettle tips (can also use spinach, kale, broccoli or other green)
splash of milk
garlic salt (or salt along with garlic or garlic mustard greens)
parmesan or grated cheese of some sort (approx 1/2 cup)
large pie plate
Prepare nettles by washing and removing leaves and tips from stems (use gloves - another link I found says to let it wilt to remove stinging but I have not tried that yet!!)
Brown the sausage in a skillet and crumble. Remove sausage and set aside.
Add a little bacon grease, lard or butter if there is not enough fat in the skillet to sauté your nettles or greens. Sauté the greens until wilted - cover a steam a little if necessary to soften (more necessary when using kale)
Crumble the bread and sprinkle about 1/4 cup parmesan cheese on it in a large bowl. Whisk the eggs and a splash of milk along with a couple sprinkles of the garlic salt and pour over the bread (it should be gooey, not dry but not all eggs either). Add the sausage & greens, lightly toss and dump into the pie pan or baking dish. Sprinkle with more cheese and put in a 350 or 375 oven to bake until brown and the center is set (you can poke it with a knife in the center to make sure the center is done - if the knife comes out clean vs with soft egg on it, it is "done". I generally set the timer for about 20 minutes then watch it.
Another option for a "hand food" would be to bake the mix in muffin tins for breakfast or dinner "on the go"!! Just make sure you adjust the baking time accordingly!
Have fun turning seasonal farm foods and "weeds" into delicious, nutritious foods for your belly and soul!
Let me know if you have any questions or what you decided to add to your strata, frittata, omelet or scrambled eggs!
I just LOVE beef stroganoff! The recipe I use is from an old compilation of recipes, "Among Pork Chops and Other Things, Navy Supply Officer's Wives Cookbook, Vol II" and was my grandmother's book. This poor old spiral bound book is falling apart, but has the very best recipes in it! This recipe was submitted by Judi Kern from Charleston, SC. Thank you to Judi, wherever you are now!
Beef Stroganoff (Old Time tweaks in parentheses)
1 1/2 lb round steak (or beef cubes or ground beef)
1/4 cup butter (or tallow)
4 oz can mushrooms (I use 8 oz fresh mushrooms sliced)
1/2 cup chopped onion (1 small onion is fine)
1 clove garlic -minced (I like a big one or 2 medium)
12 or 13 oz beef broth
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup flour
dash of salt & pepper
Cut beef into thin strips and dust with flour. In a large skillet, brown beef in butter. (If using ground beef, brown & crumble the beef then add the flour and cook about 5 more minutes until flour starts to turn to a more golden color - make sure to stir often).
Add mushrooms, onion & garlic - brown lightly. Add beef broth, salt & pepper. Cover and simmer about a hour stirring now & then. Stir in sour cream, cook over low heat for 5 minutes.
Serve over egg noodles, rotini, rice, baked potatoes or biscuits. YUM!!
Here is a good recipe for homemade egg noodles!
I had never sautéed or pan-fried a steak before ... always grilled them ... as of this week, that is going to change forever!! No more braving the wind, rain, snow and sub-zero temperatures to fire up the grill to make steak or burgers. The skillet is my new best buddy!
Heritage pastured poultry/eggs and grass fed beef produced on Old Time Farm are unique because the variables in production can distinctly change product on your plate while commercial meats are "carbon copy" duplicates focused on fast/cheap production. The age at harvest, the type of forage fed, the amount of exercise received, the mineral/supplementation provided, consistent weight gain through their life (and especially up to harvest), how much fat or "finish" they have, stress levels at farm and at harvest, how they are cut by the butcher and how long they were aged for after harvest all make a huge difference in the texture/flavor of the products we offer and combines the art of observation and timing as well as science to create a true artisanal product. Selective breeding for rate of growth, how fast they mature, weight of bone, richness of milk for cows to feed their calves, body/muscle type, how well they forage for food, and how docile and calm the temperament all play in to the flavor and texture as well. Variables in harvest age mean that there is not one cooking method fits all harvest ages or cuts of poultry or beef to accentuate the delicious depth of flavor and nuances of texture - some are better cooked "low and slow" while others like it quick & hot!
Contemporary recipes are created for commercial meats so I decided to take some cooking "coarses" to "bone up" on the science of cooking and to "stretch my wings" beyond the country comfort food I was brought up on. I wanted to understand "why" things cooked like they did and apply it to the range of grass fed, pastured and heritage meats we produce on Old Time Farm. Thank you Chef Todd for leading the way and to you for following on this journey with me!
One of our assignments in the cooking "coarse" was to choose a "protein" to sauté. Being a "good" student, I could not sauté just one protein, I had to sauté a variety of proteins! What is the key to the beautiful caramelized coating on the beef and the perfectly pink interior? You can watch this video by Chef Todd and/or follow these instructions:
So onward with the research into cooking these amazing foods and the nourishment they provide ... more cooking "coarse" classes along with many good reads like "Nourishing Broth" by Sally Morell, "On Food and Cooking" by Harold McGee, "A Guide to Modern Cookery" by A. Escoffier, "The DNA Restart" by Sharon Moalem, "Minerals for the Genetic Code" by Charles Walters and more!
The Old Time Standard Bronze Heritage Turkey is a true Taste of History. The lineage our Old Time Turkeys can be traced over 173 years! Our Standard Bronze were called the “Mammoth Bronze” in the early 1900’s and, ironically, they trace back to Meyersdale, Pa and some poultry breeders by the name of "Bird Brothers".
Our turkeys and chickens were recently certified by the American Poultry Association as being true representatives of their respective breed standards. Our understanding is that we are one of only 2 flocks holding this certification at this time. The other farm holding this certification is Good Shepherd Poultry Ranch and we are so fortunate that our line of turkeys descend from their flock (sold in Heritage Foods USA www.heritagefoodsusa.com ).
The Standard Bronze Turkey was the turkey of choice before 1950 and today is in need of conservation to keep the breed alive for future generations. The commercial industry concentrated on creating faster growing, larger, more uniform birds that would put out the maximum meat in the least amount of time with the least amount of feed in the least amount of space and pushed breeds like the Standard Bronze to the side in their haste.
Your purchase assists our conservation efforts by allowing us to keeping the very best individuals as breeding stock for future generations. I am extremely grateful to Frank Reese from Good Shepherd Poultry Ranch for all the work he has done to preserve rare bloodlines in turkeys along with sharing the information taught to him by the master breeders of turkeys before him - so much would be lost if not for his efforts and life's work. He has traced his bloodlines back 173 years and has selectively bred his turkeys for both the table as well as for breed standard (like we do). We study and work hard to apply the information he has shared along with researching old historical magazines, books and documents to supplement and fill in minor details and fine points on breeding turkeys and poultry so we may be positive stewards for our poultry. Our goal is to preserve high quality poultry that represent their breed standard as well as being pleasing on the table.
Key points for our Standard Bronze turkeys
Here is some additional history on Good Shepherd Poultry Ranch and Frank Reese:
Old Time Heritage Turkey Tips & Tricks:
It is normal to have black “ink spots” under the skin – that is a clear indication that it was a dark feathered bird and comes from the small immature feathers that sometimes need to be removed. With a white bird, you generally do not see this even though it is there. You may also see some scratches and bruises. This occurs sometimes because they are active birds.
Store your turkey in the coldest part of your refrigerator until you are ready to cook – it is best for fresh meats to “rest” before cooking vs being cooked directly after harvest. Most references I have state storage time is “approximately 10 days from harvest when stored under 40 degrees” for poultry & many advise "resting” a bird for up to 2 weeks like aging for beef. I have found it best for the turkey (and most chickens) to “rest” for at least 4-5 days in the refrigerator before cooking for the best eating experience - eating a fresh processed bird (or anything other than fish) is not “good eats". We tested our personal chickens up to 10 days in a 38 degree refrigerator have found them to be fresher than any poultry we have ever purchased from a store & turkeys will be the same. We are not used to buying truly fresh meats today. Most supermarket “fresh” turkeys are stored at 26 degrees for 6 weeks or more and who knows how long in the refrigerator case.
Make sure you place a cookie sheet or pan underneath your turkey in the refrigerator so it does not leak and make a mess. There may be some water in the bag is from the chilling process. We use a wet chilling process to cool the birds during harvest.
Old Time Heritage Turkey Recipe
My preference is to do as little as possible with the turkey because there is so much flavor in these old fashioned, Heritage birds! I do not stuff my birds because I make stock from the bones. I do not brine as the birds do not need the flavor or moisture from the brine.
1. Preheat over to 450 degrees
2. Rinse turkey and pat dry.
3. Lightly salt inside and out (sometimes I skip this step)
4. Place turkey on rack in roasting pan or on top of celery and carrots.
5. Add a couple cups of water to roasting pan
6. Insert meat thermometer into thigh
7. Place turkey in oven and reduce heat to 325 degrees
8. Roast 12-15 mins per pound or until meat thermometer in the thigh reaches 165 degrees. (do not open oven any more than you absolutely have to!)
9. Remove from oven and let rest 20 mins or so.
Excellent with your holiday meal, a leftover turkey sandwich or on a piece of toast! Easy to make!
Wolfgang Puck Cranberry-Apple Relish
1 cup whole fresh or frozen cranberries, or dried cranberries
1 apple, peeled, cored and cut into a 1/2 “ dice
½ cup sugar
1/3 cup water (or soaking water from dried cranberries)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
If using dried cranberries, put them in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Let steep 15-30 minutes and drain over a bowl. Retain 1/3 cup of the soaking water. In a small saucepan, combine the apple, sugar, water, and lemon juice. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until mixture starts to boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the mixture is thick and the berries have popped open, about 20 minutes, or up to 30 minutes if using dried cranberries. Let the mixture cool and then transfer to a nonreactive container, cover, and refrigerate. You should have about 1 ½ cups.
This recipe is an all time favorite in our house and doubles as a sloppy joe recipe! I do not usually measure when I cook this and it make to the desired taste and texture, so all measurements are approximate.
1 Spaghetti Squash cut in half and roasted at 350 degrees cut side down until soft (30- 40 mins) or pasta of choice cooked Al Dente
Over medium heat, fry bacon pieces until crisp on edges, add Old Time ground beef (or turkey) dash of salt and dash of pepper. Brown and crumble ground beef.
Add celery, onion, garlic and mushrooms - cook until translucent and tender.
Add can of tomatoes, tomato paste and water - mix in well.
Start with 2 tablespoons each of worchestershire sauce and brown sugar. The worchestershire adds some "tang" to the sauce while the brown sugar softens the bite. The sauce will start to darken from the worchestershire and look more like a BBQ sauce than a red sauce. Slowly add more worchestershire sauce to your taste. I usually will let it simmer for a few minutes before tasting and adding more. In the end, I added 3 tablespoons of worchestershire.
Spoon over spaghetti squash or pasta and top with grated cheese
You can exchange the diced tomatoes for more tomato paste if you want a smoother sauce.
Cooking tip: Granny always made her barbecue sauce from scratch from ketchup, worchestershire and brown sugar - all to taste. No more searching to find the "right" BBQ sauce in the aisle! Start with ketchup in a bowl, add some brown sugar and add some worchestershire & mix. Add worchestershire for spice, sugar for the sweet and ketchup as a base for both. If you get it too sweet or too tangy, just add more ketchup.
Old Time Farm