Monday, April 25, 2011

Making Mayonnaise and Custard with our own eggs

When we used to have laying hens years ago, we made our own mayo all the time. Once we had converted our single-room chicken coop over to the meat birds, we suffered over the loss of having our own eggs. Now that we're back into the egg business, this weekend we made mayo (the last store-bought jar was empty, having gone into egg salad last week!), and yesterday Darrell made a cooked custard to take as a dessert to my mom's house for Easter.

Making Mayo
This recipe comes from an old recipe book by Vincent and Mary Price (yes, the actor) called "A Treasury of Great Recipes", published in 1965. It also, BTW, is the source for the basic recipe I have adapted for great guacamole. Anyhow, here's how easy it is to make mayonnaise, per the Vincent Price recipe. Homemade mayo has a shorter shelf life than store-bought because it's not full of preservatives, so make what you need, and try to use it up in a week and a half or so . . .

1. Measure 1 Cup salad oil
2. Into container of a blender put: 1 egg, 1/2 Tsp. dry mustard, 1/2 Tsp. salt, 2 Tbs. vinegar, and 1/4 cup of the salad oil.
3. Cover container and turn motor on low speed. Immediately uncover container and pour in remaining oil in a steady stream, taking no longer than 15 seconds total blending time from turning on motor. Switch blender to high speed and blend for 5 seconds.
Makes 1 1/4 cup.

NOTE: our blender has a pour opening in the top, so we put the top on with that center area already open - we just cover it with a hand as the blender is switched on. Makes it quicker to start pouring the rest of the oil right away. Don't pour too fast!

Egg Custard
Use to make pie filling or just a baked custard.

4 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 Tsp salt
2 1/2 cups whole milk
1 Tsp vanilla
sprinkle of nutmeg.

Whisk eggs lightly, then whisk sugar and salt into the eggs. Stir in the milk and vanilla into that mixture until well mixed; pour into unbaked pie shell or ramekins or baking dish. Sprinkle with nutmeg to taste. Bake at 425 degrees for 45 minutes or until set. You can put a metal probe into the middle - if it comes out clean and uncoated, custard is done.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

New feeder pigs for Easter!

Last Tuesday, between the rain showers, Darrell went to pick up 9 little feeder pigs. We also have 3 little ones that were born to a sow here, which means that toward end of summer and into fall, we will have pigs to sell - finally!

We had issues getting feeders, tried farrowing a couple of sows this winter, which didn't work out well due to the cold. We are set up better for that, but now that spring may actually be upon us, things will be easier on that score.

I wanted to take photos of the little pigs in the field pen, but it has been so wet and nasty since they came, they are penned inside the big shelter - we didn't want to risk them getting too cold and too wet and ending up dying of hypothermia. They have plenty of room inside the shelter, and are bedded in deep straw to keep warm. They sleep in a pile like puppies and kittens - so cute! When it dries out some, they'll get turned out into the larger pen - I'll get some photos of them at that time. Several of them have big white blazes on their faces - cute little critters!

When Darrell got back with them in the stock trailer, he backed down the lane as close to their area as he could get, but the lower lane and big pasture area are so saturated, he didn't dare get off the main lane. So, he carried the nine little ones in a big feed tub with a piece of plywood over the top - 1 or two in a trip - took him 6 trips, walking several hundred feet from the trailer to the pen in the pasture, to get them there. I stayed by the shelter, keeping the arrivals in the shelter - Tuesday was so cold and nasty! After they were all in, we put a length of hog panel across the entrance to the shelter to keep them inside.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Oxtail soup . . . hearty and good!

I picked up some oxtail at our favorite butcher shop (yes, we do buy some meats, especially beef!). I also bought a couple of nice chuck roasts. We did a pot roast for dinner one night, and I seared and braised the oxtail in another dutch oven at the same time. The left-over pot roast meat and juice and the meat and juices from the oxtails went into a soup pot yesterday, together with potatoes, carrots, corn from the garden from 2010, peas, barley, and some additional seasonings. Dinner last night was this thick, flavorful soup and French bread that Darrell made. Probably the last pot of veg/beef soup I'll make until next fall - but I do love it!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Spectacular Buttermilk Pie!

Darrell had an extra pie crust and was looking around online for an interesting one-crust pie recipe (we had brought a custard pie to someone's house the other night, and the pie crust recipe we love makes two crusts). He found this on AllRecipes.com. The submitter says it was an old recipe when she was born, in 1919! A couple of comments said that it was too sweet - the recipe calls for 2 cups of sugar. Someone pointed out that back in the early 1900s, people were using raw sugar, which was not nearly as sweet as our refined sugar. So, he cut the sugar down. He also added an extra Tbs. of flour and an extra egg for thickening. Note that the crust recipe is from the AllRecipes page and not ours.

Old-Time Buttermilk Pie (Darrell's adaptation)

Ingredients
CRUST:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening
1/4 cup cold milk
1 egg, beaten
FILLING:
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup lemon juice

Directions
In a bowl, mix flour and salt. Cut in shortening until smooth. Gradually add milk and egg; blend well. On a floured surface, roll dough out very thin. Place in a 10-in. pie pan; set aside. For filling, cream butter and sugar in a mixing bowl. Add flour. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in remaining ingredients and mix well. Pour into crust. Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes. Cool completely before serving.