Thursday, January 24, 2013

Cheesemaking Book Giveaway!!

 I just wanted to let you all know that I'm giving away a copy of Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking: The Ultimate Guide for Home-Scale and Market Producers by acclaimed cheesemaker Gianaclis Caldwell!! It is a fabulous resource with beautiful pictures, recipes with pH guides and profiles of artisan cheesemakers. My very own cheesemaking profile and Mozzarella recipe are featured in the Pasta Filata cheese section :) Visit my facebook Page for details. Don't miss this opportunity to add this fabulous book to your library!!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

A Farm Girl Christmas

This is repost from last year but it is so much fun I couldn't resist posting it again. Enjoy!

Farm girls are not like other girls. The gifts that touch our hearts are not jewels or furs. A new chicken coop, muck boots or a cider press are far more precious than gems. This weekend my wonderful husband drove six hours to pick up two beautiful dairy goats, an Alpine and a Sable, for me. They are due to kid in just three days. Think of those beautiful bouncing babies and fresh winter milk! That trip meant far more to me than any trip to the jewelry store ever could. I've been musing over the fact that I got a 'Sable' for Christmas. Most women would think it was a coat not a goat. Thus I was inspired to rewrite the 'Santa Baby' song so that it would apply to all us farm girls.

Santa Baby

Santa baby, slip a Sable under the tree, for me

I've been an awful good girl
Santa baby, and hurry down the chimney tonight

Santa baby, an Araucana laying hen, eggs -light blue

I'll wait up for you dear
Santa baby, and hurry down the chimney tonight

Think of all the animals

Think of all the time not spent at the malls
Next year I could be oh so good
If you'd check off my Christmas list
Boo doo bee doo

Santa honey, I wanna sheep and really that's cheap

I've been an angel all year
Santa baby, and hurry down the chimney tonight

Santa cutie, there's one thing I’d really dig, a pig

and he’ll need a pen too
Santa cutie, and hurry down the chimney tonight

Santa baby, fill up my Christmas socks with some tools for my box

Oh, that would be so fine
Santa baby, and hurry down the chimney tonight

Come and plant my orchard trees

With heirloom verities bought at nurseries
I really do believe in you
Let's see if you believe in me
Boo doo bee doo

Santa baby, forgot to mention one thing here, a Deere

I don't mean from the woods
Santa baby, and hurry down the chimney tonight

Hurry down the chimney tonight
Hurry down the chimney tonight

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

And the Winner of the Wood Fired Cook Book is....

With a little help from We have our winner. Congratulations to:

Please contact me with your address by 1/1/13 to claim your prize!!
I really appreciate each and every one of you for taking the time to enter. I enjoy reading your comments. I have another giveaway running on my Facebook Page, please stop by to enter.
~Have a Blessed Holiday Season~


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Wood Fired Cookbook GIVEAWAY!!!

Since we finished reconstructing our wood fired hearth oven I thought I'd give away a copy of this beautiful book! Whether you dream of wood fired cookery or are interested in tips for regulating heat zones in your hearth oven, this book is sure to inspire you. If cooking in a brick oven is not in your future, many if not all of these recipes can easily be adapted to standard oven use. This book is chock-full of recipes for Pizza, Calzones, Flatbread, Seafood, Poultry, Meat, Vegetables, Pasta, Rice, Eggs, Bread and Desserts with an old world rustic style.

Enter to Win!
I would like to give away a FREE copy of this book
as the first in a series of Holiday Giveaways

There are four ways to enter, choose one or quadruple your chances by doing all three!
1. Follow this blog and comment on this post
2. Friend my Facebook Page and leave me a comment
3. Visit my website 
and sign the guest book located at the bottom of the About Us page
4. Share this giveaway on Facebook and/or your blog and post a link to the share as a comment here!
This GIVEAWAY Ends November 30th
Good Luck!!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Reconstructing Our Wood Fired Hearth Oven Part 2

Once we have the oven core in place we started looking for finishing materials. The rock we used in the initial construction was long gone, scattered throughout other projects. We looked for more rock but couldn't find anything. We even looked at buying new rock but that is not our way of doing things.

The first piece that came our way was the Indiana limestone slabs that we cut and shaped for the hearth.

Next we were able salvage some decorative cut limestone from a hundred year old house that was being demolished.  The bricks for the chimney came from the same house as the decorative cut limestone.

We used Roxul rock wool insulation around the dome of the oven.

Stucco mesh corner bead over the rock wool.

Ready for Stucco!

First fire!

Ready to bake!!
 Bread ready to load onto the oven
Wood Fired Bread!
Wood Fired Pizza!

Reconstructing Our Wood Fired Hearth Oven Part 1

This is the story of my wood fired brick oven. As with most great adventures ours was born of passion. In this case it was a passion for good bread! In our quest we found the ultimate guide, The Bread Builders: Hearth Loaves and Masonry Ovens by Daniel Wing. This book contains an inspiring discourse on brick oven history as well as oven plans and recipes. It was all my husband needed to design our oven.

Oven construction began late in summer of 2002

A hearth large enough to bake 30 loaves

It was a masterpiece

For two years we used the oven regularly baking for the Farmers Market and throwing amazing pizza parties for friends and family. When we moved to the farm we had to partially disassemble the oven in order to move it. When we had the crane move it to the farm they weighed it. The oven core alone weighs 6,540lbs! There was no time in the midst of moving with five children to dig footings and pour concrete for a new base. We had it set temporally on railroad ties. Temporally? That was seven years ago! We are determined to get it operational again this year.

 This summer we poured a new reinforced foundation and built the new oven base. You can see the oven core on the rail road ties in the background.

 The front loader arrives to move the oven to the new base.

 In order to position the oven on the new base we had to set it down and lift it from with straps from above.

Notice that the oven never touches the base, the rebar provides a gap. This gap allows the heat to stay in the oven and not transfer the base.

I hope you enjoyed these pictures. In part two I'll show how we finished it!