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!

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These Jersey cows produce awesome milk while out on pasture grazing in north central Missouri.

tauna

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Mix ingredients then let rest for 10 minutes.
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Cut into 3 inch rounds or whatever size and shape you want.
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Place on a buttered pan.
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Let rise 30 minutes at 80F or thereabouts.
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After rising.
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Brush tops with butter if you want to.

Brush and Trash

Just two days before my sons and I left for Scotland on 12 September, our area received over 10 inches of rain in about 12 hours!  What a nightmare!  ALL of our watergaps were washed out and in some low lying areas, fences were laying almost flat to the ground.  My husband and Christian got to stay home and do all the cleanup.

With that in mind, it is time I try to keep some of the big dead logs and rotted stuff from being washed down into a massive water gap that is on the eastern edge of my farm.  This ditch catches all the water from my place plus a good deal of the runoff from the row crop farmers to the north as well as runoff from Cotton Road.  My southern neighbour’s property also has a good deal of runoff in this ditch, so it doesn’t take much of a rain to really get things rolling, but 10 inches in 12 hours is a mess!

Burning the rubbish that had been pushing on the perimeter fence.
Burning the rubbish that had been pushing on the perimeter fence.
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My new pup, Red Wolf, an Australian Shepherd from Scott and Jennifer Allen’s fine stock dogs. Red is about 4 months old. He is not obedient enough to be allowed to run without a long lead. He needs a lot of training, but he’s learning quickly. Lots of distractions in the timber and we are working close to a paved road.
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These White or Paper Birch, or whatever they are called are pretty rare in north Missouri, so I’ve taken extra time to prune them to encourage better growth. Don’t know if they really have any other value other than to be extremely pretty. These trees are staying! We are making considerable headway in clearing away rubbish from the creek (or ‘crick’ as we say in north Missouri).
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Old growth timber that needs a LOT of TLC. My Grandpa Falconer raised sows and pigs in this 20 acre timber patch for years. I plan to lamb out my ewes in here this spring.
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No, not really! my little Stihl 211C is not designed to take down a tree of this size and my skill level is not either!
Dallas standing by one of the trees that is too old and ugly to have any value.
Dallas standing by one of the trees that I’ve been told is too old and ugly to have any value.

Dallas and I have been working at clearing this week and since there are very few days in north Missouri that the wind lays enough to start brush fires, we coveyed up and set three today.  Although it was a bit nippy and no sun, working in the shelter of the timber with no wind the temperature was about perfect.

Biscuit Topped Italian Casserole

Time to clean out the frig!  There were some leftover green beans, but i added another 10 oz bag, had some organic carrots that were starting to get soft, so sliced them thinly to steam.  Browned 1 1/2 lbs of home-grown grass finished ground beef, added about a cup of organic chopped onions and let simmer.  Earlier, I had thawed out an ice cream bucketful of cooked tomatoes I had cooked up from tomatoes friends and neighbours had given us last summer, so that needed using.  All the players fell into place to make this dish and it is one of our favourites.

Recipe:

Ingredients:

1 lbs grass-fed ground beef

1/2 cup organic chopped onion

15 ounces or so of diced tomatoes, tomato sauce or juice – whatever you have

20 ounces total of green beans or carrots, or okra, peas, whatever – although we don’t particularly like broccoli in this dish

Stir in about 1 cup of shredded mozzarella

Salt and pepper to taste

Heat together and simmer until thickened consistency, then pour into an 8×13 inch baking dish. After arranging biscuits and cheese on top, bake at 350ºF for 27 minutes.

Adjust ingredients to match your crews’ hunger level!

Biscuits

1 3/4 cup of flour

1/3 cup organic butter

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon Real salt

Mix these together, then add about 3/4 cup of milk from grass fed cows to make a soft dough.  Roll out thinner than usual, then cut and arrange on top of casserole as pictured (or just however you want to – make a smiley face!).  Then scatter another cup or so of your favourite cheese and sprinkle with oregano.

Biscuit Topped Italian Casserole
Biscuit Topped Italian Casserole

Scotland and Steak

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Orkney Scotland

“Scotland is a pretty country.  The roads are so winding that they seem designed to ensure a maximally scenic experience, and the fields are greener than in most other places by orders of magnitude.  They are also pleasantly irregular, having been parceled off in an age before right angles, and are separated by fences hewed out of rock or long and commendably trim hedges.  A knight in armor on horseback would look less out of place on a Scottish road than a car does.  But what would look most natural of all is a golf cart.  The entire country is a vision of the golfing afterlife, with epic stretches of fairway and rough, and the odd clump of forest for texture.  Fields stretch out to the horizon, covering the rises in the land the way a taut blanket covers an uprise of toes.  Looking skyward, you have the feeling that the hand of God might plunge through the cloud cover to stroke all that dewy pasture like an old woman patting a cat.”

an apt description by author Mark Schatzker in his book, STEAK.

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Orkney, Scotland
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Shetland Scotland
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Longoe Farm – part of the Castle of Mey estate, Thurso, Caithness, Scotland
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Shetland
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Kingston Farm – Dunlouise Angus – Forfar, Scotland

Potato Abortion

The potatoes are getting soft and eyes are sprouting – I cut out the eyes and throw them in the bin for the chooks.  They could have had life!!!  The potatoes are quartered and thrown into a pot of boiling water, along with their skins…..

Milk leftover this week, so it is potato soup with cheese and broccoli for lunch today.

Never let food go to waste.  Get creative.

Yerba Maté

My dear friend Ivis from Bolivia introduced me to Yerba Maté several years ago and I’ve been hooked on it since.  Described as ““strength of coffee, the health benefits of tea, and the euphoria of chocolate” all in one non-alcoholic beverage.

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Cure your gourd before using. 1) Fill gourd halfway with mate and fill with hot water. 2) Soak for 24 hours. 3) Remove herb and thoroughly scrape gourd pulp from inside using a spoon.
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4) Repeat steps 1-3 a second time 5) Give it a final hot water rinse
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With a tiny spoon (souvenir size), I scoop in about four spoonfuls and fill with not quite boiling water. Some people add sugar. Be careful – the bombilla will get hot!

Be culturally in vogue with a gourd and bombilla to properly enjoy your maté,

Yerba Mate contains caffeine, so check out possible drug interactions and side effects.

Cultivation (from Wikipedia).  The Yerba mate plant is grown and processed in South America, specifically in northern Argentina (Corrientes,Misiones), Paraguay, Uruguay and southern Brazil (Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, Paraná and Mato Grosso do Sul). Cultivators are known as yerbateros (Spanish) orervateiros (Brazilian Portuguese).

The Unique Corriente – History

Three years ago, I had never even heard of the breed of cattle called ‘Corriente,’ but now, this noble and native breed comprises over 90% of my herd!  Despite being around for centuries, few people are familiar with them.  Corrientes can be described as a small frame Longhorn with shorter and straighter growing horns and are quiet, gentle, and hardy.  Never enter a pasture, though, with any type of livestock – they are protective of their young and may be leery of strangers.

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Corriente cow with a Red Angus calf by her side.

Here’s a short history of the unique, yet ‘common,’ Corriente!

History (from North American Corriente Association)

The Corriente can be traced back to the first cattle brought to the New World by the Spanish as early as 1493. These hardy cattle were able to withstand the ocean crossing and adapt to their new land. They were brought to the West Indies and south Florida, as well as to Central and South America. Over the centuries the descendants of these cattle were bred for different purposes – milk, meat and draft animals. They also adapted through natural selection to various regions. Eventually, their descendants spread across the New World. In the early 1800’s, European and other breeds were introduced, and by the 1900’s many ranchers in the Americas were crossing their herds with modern beef cattle. Pure descendants of the original Spanish cattle almost disappeared, but some managed to survive with little human care or intervention in remote areas of Mexico, Central and South America, and in very limited numbers in some areas of the southern U.S.
Today, there is evidence of a worldwide growing interest in preserving various strains of these hardy, native cattle. Cattle associations in Spain, Cuba, Mexico and South America are making efforts similar to the NACA’s to recognize their attributes, though few actually support registries.

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Crossbred calves drinking from a tire tank. One cow to the left.
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Longhorn heifer with her first calf.

In Central and South America, the various descendants of the early Spanish cattle are generally referred to as “Criollo.” In parts of northern Mexico, they are often called “Corriente,” although this term is frequently used for any small cattle of indiscriminate breeding and not just for the type of cattle recognized by the NACA. “Corriente Ropers” became the most common term used at the border to refer to the cattle purchased for rodeo use. Thus Corriente was chosen by the founders of the NACA to be used for this registry.
John E. Rouse, in his book, World Cattle, Vol. III, Cattle of North America, explains the names used in Mexico. Regardless of the name, the NACA has made great in-roads toward defining, describing and preserving Corriente cattle as a specific breed.

“Descendants of the original Spanish cattle, little influenced by modern breeds, are now seen only in the remote parts of the country. These are generally known as Criollo cattle, although in the state of Sonora the term Corriente is more
common, and in Baja California the word Chinampo is used. All these terms, meaning ‘common cattle’ or ‘cattle of the country’ are applied to more or less pure descendants of the Spanish cattle, as well as to the indiscriminate mixtures of these and more recently introduced breeds.” cattle pics and more 443 - Copy

Faith, Family, Farm

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