It is nearing the end of July as we record this and the garden is in full production. We are eating fresh garden tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, eggplant and sweet corn. This is the best time of year for both cook and gardener.
We give a review of using all Janie’s Mill flour in our English Muffins. The simple change in flour makes a world of difference.
Mark your calendars for our upcoming events: September 11 we will have Kwiksilver Karaoke and October 9 will be our 3rd annual Fall Festival. Both will be a lot of fun.
On this episode, we hope you notice a small upgrade in quality with our recording. In our on-going efforts to improve everything we do, we are working on the podcast as well.
We are at war with Groundhogs. Whistlepigs. Woodchucks. Those are the nice names they are called here at Five Feline Farm. Given their damage to our gardens, a lot of not so nice names prevail.
Since the recording of this podcast, we found an additional breach. In the area they tunneled under the boardwalk, at least one then climbed the garden fence and munched on cucumber leaves. Until we personally witnessed them climbing redbud trees, we thought groundhogs were just that groundhogs. The one that went over the garden fence left behind claw marks and telltale fur.
More fencing, repellent granules, hot pepper and the sonic stakes we reference have been added to that area.
The sonic stakes do appear to be having some positive effect. We will continue to report on that in future episodes.
Make sure you subscribe to one of our social media channels or email to get updates on this war.
Five Feline Farm is small in the world of farms. We have five and a half acres but we try to take advantage of everything this land provides.
Right now, in late June the gardens are producing a lot of good food. Green beans, peppers, carrots, and eggplant to name a few. But we also have wild, native food to gather.
Black raspberries are one of those native wild berries that are delicious. Full of seeds and nutrition, we use these in pies, jams and now vinegars. The blackberries will be next in the wild harvest. The black walnut trees are loaded with nuts this year.
On this episode we talk about all of those things and more.
Here at Five Feline Farm, we have started experimenting with infusing vinegar. We start with either white or apple cider vinegar, then add ingredients from our gardens to steep. We started with chive blossom and garlic scape infusions. The chive blossoms turned the vinegar a beautiful pink color. Garlic scapes keep the original color of the vinegar. But the flavors are phenomenal!
Now we are trying other fruits and herbs.
Small batch with farm-fresh flavors beats those fancy specialty oil and vinegar shops any day.
The next question is always, “How do you use these delicious vinegar infusions?”
The first obvious choice is on a salad.
Pile your favorite greens and salad toppings into a bowl. Drizzle a good quality, flavorful olive oil across the top. Then splash with an infused vinegar. Add some fresh cracked pepper and sea salt to taste.
This simple dressing allows the flavors of your salad ingredients to shine.
You can also make a quick vinaigrette dressing. Start with blending dijon mustard, salt, pepper, and infused vinegar in a bowl. Blend in olive oil with a whisk drop by drop, then in a thin stream to create an emulsion. You can adapt the proportions to taste.
But you do not have to limit yourself to only topping a traditional green salad. Here are some more ideas:
—Scrub new or small heirloom potatoes and cut them into bite-size cubes. Boil in salted water or steam until tender. While still warm, toss with olive oil, infused vinegar, and salt to taste. The potatoes will pick up the gentle underlying notes from the infused vinegar.
—Or slice colorful raw beets very thin. Use the same dressing ingredients plus some freshly ground pepper.
—Splash infused vinegar over grilled chicken breast.
—Make a pan sauce after roasting chicken or fish. After cooking, remove the meat from the pan and return the pan to medium-high heat. Deglaze the pan with infused vinegar, then add butter to thicken the sauce. Serve over the meat.
As you can tell, infused vinegar is delicious any time you need a bit of acidic tang to your meal.