Heirloom Meals: Savoring Yesterday's Traditions Today

Wednesday August 15, 2012

Heirloom Breeds & Seeds:
Year of the Dragon Carrots by Annie Reichert

Dragon Carrots are strong and sweet with a hint of hay on the inside complemented by a bitter, earth-fresh exterior. Standard carrots have been bred to be bright orange; you are likely connecting with an ancient line of carrots when you bite into white, yellow, purple, and red carrots. As all things you’ve just pulled up yourself, dragon carrots are delicious in the field, and crunch loudly enough to make your fellow gardener’s head turn. To emphasize their contrasting colors and simple summer crispness, enjoy these carrots in a shredded salad with olive oil, lemon, parsley, and salt. Alternately, to braise them in a little water and butter with a splash of orange flower water would bring out the wonderful sweet heart within the crimson dragon skin.

These were grown from organic seed at High Mowing Seeds in Wolcott, VT.

Thursday June 28, 2012

Heirloom Breeds & Seeds:
Happy National Tapioca Day!

Today is National Tapioca Day! For that reason we are taking a break from Farmer Thursday to celebrate. Over the span of June, we continuously sought out original recipes that included Tapioca, and well we never received any responses. So instead we borrowed a recipe from Bob's Red Mill Natural Foods for an Old Fashioned Tapioca Pudding:


1/3 cup Small Pearl Tapioca

3/4 cup Water

2-1/4 cups 2% Milk

1/4 tsp Sea Salt

1/2 cup Sugar, divided

2 Eggs, separated

1/2 tsp Vanilla


Step 1: Soak tapioca in water for 30 minutes in a 1-1/2 quart saucepan. Do not drain remaining water, if any.

Step 2: Add milk, salt, 1/4 cup sugar and lightly beaten egg yolks to tapioca and stir over medium heat until boiling. Simmer uncovered over very low heat for 10-15 minutes. Stir often.

Step 3: Beat egg whites with remaining 1/4 cup sugar until soft peaks form. Fold about 3/4 cup of hot tapioca into the egg whites, then gently fold mixture back into saucepan. Stir over low heat for about 3 minutes. Cool 15 minutes then add vanilla.

Step 4: Serve warm or chilled, plain or with fruits, nutmeg or coconut mixed in. Makes 3-1/2 cups (4 servings).

Once this delectable treat is finished, we encourage garnishing it with fresh nutmeg for flavor. 

The next step is to enjoy, and that is something we all did here at Boulderwood. 

Thursday June 21, 2012

Heirloom Breeds & Seeds:
The Jungle

What was once a beautifully planned and planted garden...

Has become the Boulderwood Jungle...

You would not believe how busy the past couple of weeks have been. With a fractured ankle, interns arriving, running Heirloom Meals, and the motions of life,  it's been hard to dedicate time outdoors. Goodness the heat the past two days, has not been very encouraging, thought I would share the pictures, of what has become known as the Jungle. I am hopeful that this weekend with the help of my team, we can tackle the Jungle with some weeding so we can then see the lovely side of the garden.



Friday January 20, 2012

Heirloom Breeds & Seeds:
Celebrating Heirloom Kernels

I can’t remember the last time I read a positive article about corn.  With the emphasis on genetically modified corn engineered by Monsanto for high fructose corn syrup and ethanol and the golden piles photographed in the Midwest as examples of excess of commodity crops we are hardly celebrating the tiny kernel.  Except today— National Popcorn Day—January 19th.  A day solely devoted to our favorite movie munchies and rainy day snack!

The origins of January 19th as National Popcorn day are unknown, however if you want to celebrate and need some ideas for decorations or games head here.  Also, a good friend of mine was kind enough to share her own Kettle Corn recipe (watch out because it's addictive!), she also gives instructions on how to pop corn the old fashioned way with oil in a pan on the stove.  

It was a near miss, but thankfully I heard about National Popcorn Day before it had passed.  We just finished ordering our seeds from the folks at Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds for planting the Heirloom Meals garden and selling on our website but I headed back over to their online catalog to read up on heirloom corn varieties with the dream of adding to our order a few packs of corn seeds.  While Baker Creek sells 12 different heirloom varieties of corn their beautiful red Strawberry and dark brown Dakota Black varieties are both well suited for popping-you can check these out at the Baker Creek website.

So what’s my favorite kernel of truth?  Popcorn pops in two shapes— the butterfly and the mushroom —next time you’re at the movies take a closer look…

Friday January 13, 2012

Heirloom Breeds & Seeds:
Not all Chickens Cluck the Same By Mary Vaughan


There are few things as exciting as a new cookbook especially just when the January doom and gloom starts to set in and you’re counting down the days until you can start planting things and seeing the sun again.  I just received a little delivery from amazon—“The River Cottage Cookbook.”  Author Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has a way with words and ordering this book was a bit of a ploy on my part as I knew that this is a book that makes you feel confident you can undertake virtually any agricultural activity and I am confident that I want to raise chickens in my parents’ yard.  My parents, however, might still need a little convincing. They willingly allowed me to move back home while I am interning at Heirloom Meals-but of course that was before they knew of my plans for chickens, bees, raised beds and cold frame.   Perhaps I can include a human sized roost in that coop…

Most of us can name the breed of dog we own but can we name the breed of chicken our eggs come?  Largely the chicken undertaking and research has been an experience in learning that “not all chickens cluck the same.”  The number of eggs you get and whether your laying bird will ultimately taste good on the table has everything to do with the breed you select. The size and color of the eggs and personality of the chickens also varies considerably across breeds.  Hugh talks about the Isa Brown and Welsomer as great layers, and Cuckoo Marans, Light Sussex, Dorking, Wyandott, Dumpy and Rhode Island Red as “good dual purpose birds”- for the eggs AND the table. 


Our friends at Pete and Gerry’s Heirloom Eggs sell the eggs from two heirloom varieties- Ameraucanas and Marans.  Ameraucanas lay beautiful pastel blue colored eggs and Marans lay brown eggs.  These birds are well adapted to harsh environments as the Ameraucanas originated in the Patagonia and Marans were bred in France to be adapted to damp environments.  For more information about either of these Heirloom breeds check out Pete and Gerry’s website.

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