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Farmette1769's Blog

by Monica Melograna-Ward

Tag Archives: Recipes

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Our honey bees are quiet right now. This pic was taken yesterday, which was rainy. Even if they were out and busy, they wouldn’t have bothered Barry unless he had poked his head up to entrance level.

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I was going to write some more about wintering honey bees, but I was pleasantly interrupted by our teenage son and delayed this blog until today, which turned into tonight.

He had wanted something interesting for dinner. This is the same child that loves to feast on Hot Pockets and Flavored Doritos.

To say the least, I jumped at the chance to make a few suggestions. And then that turned into us making a somewhat Mediterranean meal together. There was falafel mix in the cupboard and dry rice in the pantry.

We took advantage of a fresh red bell pepper that was leftover from Thanksgiving, a few grape tomatoes and a bag of fresh spinach I had acquired at the farmer’s market just that day. I had picked up one dragon fruit which he insisted on including in the meal, albeit a Central American fruit.

He topped dinner off with store bought hummus (another Thanksgiving add-on) and pretzel crackers (yes, another holiday purchase). He reveled in the fact that we made international cuisine that was also healthy. When did this junk food junkie change his attitude? Maybe just last night…

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The Main Ingredient in this Weekend’s Farmette 1769 Recipe is
Farmer’s Market Humanely Raised Rabbit Meat.

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This is not where meat comes from. It has been neatly packaged for your consumption. I was raised with this. At some point I was a vegetarian and I still eat many vegetarian meals right now. But, humans existence today happened because we are omnivores, giving us a major advantage over other mammals. When meat is scarce, we can switch to plant-based food and vice versa. Our two-legged, tall, mostly hairless, sweat gland filled bodies, give us the ability to follow prey until they are more worn down than us. So, having said all that about my omnivorous diet…

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Would you rather your meat come from here?

CHICKEN-PROCESSING-PLANT

Or here?

The meat used for today’s recipe blog post was procured from the Charlotte Regional Farmer’s Market. The man that I purchased one rabbit’s worth of meat from, raises, butchers, and sells this there on the weekends.

Albeit with protest from a dear friend of mine, that now thinks I am a #savage pet #rabbit eater, here is this weekend’s farmette recipe:

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Marinate Rabbit Meat in a bowl with the following flavorful ingredients using whatever amount strikes your fancy.

Salt
Pepper
Rosemary
Thyme
Lemon Juice
Olive Oil
Fresh Chopped Garlic

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Then, just put it on the grill or roast it in you oven.

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It not only looks, but tastes a lot like chicken. Rabbit meat has a gamey flare. It is a bit more difficult to get off the bone than poultry, due to muscle tone. The first time that I ate rabbit meat, was breaded and deep fried. It was great! I would have eaten it more often over the years if it was more readily available. But, now, I have not only found a source for rabbit meat, but one that does not factory raise or slaughter the animal.

Happy Weekend Cooking! :)MMW

 

 

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Guest Blog Post

Tested and Written by Jamie Andrew Ward
Edited by Monica Melograna-Ward

Jamie’s Kombucha – 101

K1

Before you begin, you must get a SCOBY. This is the engine that drives the whole kombucha car. You can get one online or ask a friend for one. A “baby” scoby (which can be easily peeled off and removed) grows with each batch, so people can share them easily.

You’ve gotten your scoby. Now what do you do?

K2

Step A1: Boil water.
I always use a little extra water, in addition to what would fill my container – due to evaporation. Boil it for 15 minutes to ensure that any impurities are gone.

K3

Step A2: Make a big batch of black tea.
Black tea works best and helps keep the scoby healthy. You can use herbal, but only after a few batches with black tea. Then you need to go back to black. I use 18 tea bags per 1.5 gallons.

K4

Step A3: Add sugar.
I use 2 cups per 1.5 gallons of water. The scoby ferments on the sugar and thus eats most of it. The longer you ferment, the less sugar you have in your kombucha. GTS has 2g per serving. I aim for about that level.

Step A4: Make sure that the sugar has dissolved into the water, then cool.
Let your mixture return to room temperature. This is crucial, because hot water will kill a scoby.

Step A5: Place in large GLASS container. Cover with cheesecloth and a rubber band to seal the top.
This lets the air in, and thus fermentation to occur. It also keeps the bugs out. Gnats love kombucha. I like jars with a spout, but the spout must not be metal!

K5

Fermentation

Step A6: Place in cool, dry location for about 2 weeks.
You can taste along the way to check on how your production is going. You can use a straw and extract a sample. Insert the straw into the liquid, then cover one end of the straw with a finger to pull some drops out.

2 weeks later…

K6

Secondary Fermentation (Bubbles and Flavor)

Step B1: Remove scoby, and some of the tea, into a separate container.
Store this until your next batch. You can look up how to keep a scoby and feed it between batches. I tend to do one batch after another, so I have not had need to learn how to do this.

K7

Step B2: Add a tablespoon or two of sugar to the tea.
You will see it foam up.

K8

Step B3: Set out your sterilized jars.
I run then through the dishwasher, twice. Recycled GT containers work the best. I was using ball jars also, but was not getting the fizz that I get from the GTs. I completely stopped using the mason jars. In a pinch, they work OK.

Step B4: Add juice, if desired, to the bottom of your jars, for flavor.
I use ½ cup of juice per 16 oz container. Add juice. Then add the tea.

K9

Step B5: Close containers tightly. Let sit (counter or table) for about 3-7 days.
I have found SEVEN to be the magic number of days – so, exactly one week.

Step B6: On the 8th day, refrigerate all bottles.
This slows down the fermentation process and allows your mixture to mellow, or, at the least, take its time developing. Experiment, have fun, and feel free to choose your own chill date.

Note:
If you get something slimy in your bottles, this is a baby scoby. You can remove or swallow this. It won’t harm you to ingest (GROSS! – comment by MMW).

Handy Tip:
When I clean the big containers, I use hot water, and a very versatile product, VINEGAR. I get a large bottle of white vinegar at Costco for about $3.00. It helps keep the PH okie dokie. I use vinegar to clean my coffee pot too. So, if you not only love kombucha, but also coffee, this is a great (and natural) cleaning product to keep stocked in your kitchen.

Conclusion

In the intervening weeks, I assess what I did and didn’t like about the latest, completed batch. Then, adjustments can be decided upon for the next time I begin production. Trial and error is where you will live for a while: More or less sugar, more or less juice, more or fewer tea bags, more or less sugar before the secondary fermentation, etc….

You’ll find your rhythm, enjoy special recipe homemade kombucha and save a lot of $$$. That’s it!

Happy Saturday and Enjoy Your Weekend Projects!

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