Sunday, January 29, 2012

Pastured Local Eggs

According to Local Harvest: Eggs from pastured hens contain up to 20 times more healthy omega-3 fatty acids than those their less fortunate cousins, factory hens.

One of the first things we did after moving back to the land of color was find a local source of fresh, pastured eggs!

These wonderful chickens (and their humans) live at about 8,000 feet altitude and happily run free in their yard, eating a diet rich in bugs and worms (umm, the chickens, not their humans {grinz}) .

The ultra natural nourishment and healthy mountain lifestyle show in the eggs. They come from from a variety of chickens, so they sport different color shells (thicker than store bought eggshells and GREAT for starting seeds in, but that will be another blog ..), yet they all have the same, luscious, deep orange yolks that taste far more tasty than any store bought, sadly traumatized, factory farmed, chicken eggs ever taste.

Plus, when buying local in this manner we are supporting a local family, folks who are our neighbors, and their local business! They directly keep food on our table and we directly keep food on theirs, while at the same time keeping money circulating within our community and boosting our local economy.

A win win situation for all involved! Support your local chickens and your overall health! :-)

One note - hard boiled ultra fresh eggs are a nightmare to peel. Eggs have to be at least a month old for the albumin membrane to let go! So, we simply buy an extra dozen or two to "age" for this purpose.

Friday, January 27, 2012

2,534,400 Steps Closer To Home

The ALOF family has relocated over a thousand miles from our gulf coast abode.

We're now over a mile high and 2,534,400 steps (give or take a few) closer to our ultimate Rocky Mountain life.

The business is hibernating for winter and spring while this short term transition is occurring. We look forward to serving everyone again when the spring thaws this wild winter and summer stars fill the night sky!

We are looking forward to finding and settling into our new long term homestead and in the meantime, are getting reacquainted with the high country and back into the swing of things!

This picture was taken in Douglas County, Colorado :-)

Making Multigrain Bread

Keeping the kitchen toasty while the snow falls outside! This bread is hearty, delicious and goes really well with fresh soup!

Note, I am at 6000 ft altitude, measurements are approximate

1 cup poolish (starter)*
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon milk
1/4 cup honey
1/8 cup molasses (unsulphured)
1 egg
1 teaspoon unrefined salt
1 tablespoon raw sunflower seeds
1 tablespoon toasted sunflower seeds
1 tablespoon raw pepita pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon flax seeds
1 tablespoon millet
1 tablespoon quinoa
1 tablespoon oats
1 tablespoon oat bran
1 tablespoon wheat bran
1 cup bread flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup semolina flour
1 1/2 tablespoons bread yeast

I let the bread machine knead it, checking to make sure the moisture level was correct (adding water or flour as necessary).

After the dough was done rising, it was formed into a loaf, sprinkled with a bit of wheat and oat bran, left to rise a bit more and then baked at 350 degrees until it was done :-)

*To make a poolish mix 1 cup of lukewarm water with 1 cup of flour and add a packet of bread yeast. Stir. It should be a pancake/waffle batter consistency. Let sit for at least 24 hrs and up to 5 days. It'll become bubbly and smell yeasty.