Welcome to The Pauley Principle!

The Pauli Principle, named for Wolfgang Pauli, deals with atoms and electron-sharing that results in new, stronger bonds. Think 2 parts hydrogen and 1 part oxygen, a shared delectable (!) electron and VOILA! Water!

Similarly, when you prepare whole food to share with family and friends, especially foods you've grown, something amazing happens. Meals become tastier and healthier. Your soul, not just your stomach, becomes fulfilled. You live life more abundantly as a result. During a shared meal, the bonds that people create grow stronger and become something new: GREATER than the sum of the parts! I give you The Pauley Principle.

Monday, February 27, 2012

FARM MARKET PREPARATIONS



Busy, busy, busy!  I'm bustling around today with shopping for ingredients and packaging for my cottage food production of breads, jams, jellies, and cookies to go along with the brown eggs we have to sell. On Fridays, I'll be baking for our farm market which will be held on Saturday from 12 to 6 at our farm near Chillicothe, Ohio. So excited!!!

I'd like to add popcorn and pies to the list of offerings as soon as possible. Later, in season, we'll have plants, fruits and vegetables. On the livestock side, Chris will be offering his blended feeds and bales of hay. We're starting small but will have a few different offerings each week along with a steady supply of breads and eggs.

In the meantime, there are things to be done: Get the trailer ready and moved. Make the signs. 
Cook and bake. Package and label.
Spread the word! 
Farm Market, Blaine Hwy 3 miles off U.S. Route 23.  Saturday, 12 to 6. 
Look for a vintage Airstream Camper in front of an old barn.
(Our farm is near the KC Raceway.)

This will be so much fun!!! We'll have very tasty products made with great care and select ingredients. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Making Maple Syrup




Here is Chris pouring collected sap into a storage container.
Maple syrup is cooked down from sap that you gather from sugar maple trees. There are no other ingredients, not even water. And it's incredibly good. On the market, maple syrups will often have corn syrup, gluten, color and other additives which can stretch profitability and decrease the steaming time required. Since it takes 35-60 gallons of the thin slightly sweet sap to make a gallon of pure maple syrup, doing it the old-fashioned way takes time but the result is pure YUM!
 

These little jugs are self-sealing.
Gather your supplies. We use food safe plastic jugs, buckets, storage containers, and little PVC water line spouts unless you want to go truly old-fashioned and use young, pithy elderberry saplings to make spouts. Maple syrup production houses will collect into stainless steel vats using long water lines but we simply gather the jugs, pour into buckets and bring it to the kettle twice daily. After the sap cooks down, we check the sweetness with a hydrometer, but tasting is the best test of all!  I buy little pint jugs to store it in for a vacuum seal. Very fresh, very pure. 


Chris is gathering sap.
PVC works perfectly. Shave down the insert to prevent leakage.
Start tapping the trees when daytime temperatures are going to be above freezing but nights are still very cold. In Ohio, the sap usually begins running fast sometime in February. 


If you have the opportunity to tap into maple trees and decide you'd like to give this a try, plan ahead. If you steam off the sap inside your kitchen, it can strip your wall-paper! Been there, done that, at our old farmhouse. If you cook it down outside with a gas turkey fryer, the cost can end up being around $10-$11 a pint for the propane, not counting the cost of the jug. We began cooking over a wood fire a few years ago, using a tripod and kettle. Oh, and a large firewood supply. Whatever method you choose, proceed slowly and with caution. Be aware that if you cook the sap down over an open fire, the syrup will retain a smoky flavor.
Doing it the old-fashioned way takes a lot of wood...
...and WORK!


Try my cousin Stephanie's recipe for Sticky Bun Tea Ring and you'll want to search for maple trees you can tap into yourself!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

VENISON MEATLOAF

A lot of people think they don't like meatloaf, so they give up on it. What a pity! I used to feel the same way. Then I tried and tried to play with different ingredients to make meatloaf that I would like, and I really enjoy this one. It's truly delectable. This meatloaf is gluten free, without any bread crumbs or crackers, but it's not heavy. The eggs give it loft. I use a duck egg which is very lofty in baking but instead of a duck egg, you can use two medium sized chicken eggs. If you like a dense meatloaf, just go with one chicken egg. Of course, you can also use beef but, if you do, please lighten up on the butter! 


meatloaf ready to serve
meatloaf platter with cherry tomatoes, asparagus and fried onion rings

There are a lot of ingredients in this, but the overall flavor you get is just out of this world! Our venison is wild and organic but young, so the flavor is really delicious. I also used my son's homemade hot sauce.

The next time I serve it, I'm going traditional with brown gravy, our own potatoes (from our cellar) that I will serve mashed and green beans that I froze from our garden. I'm going to make it again really SOON!!!


VENISON MEATLOAF

Step 1:  Saute the following~
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup chopped celery
1/2 tablespoon garlic

Step 2: Stir in~
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 freshly ground pepper, coarse
pinch of cayenne
pinch of nutmeg
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup cream

Step 3:  Mix together in a large bowl~
1 pound ground venison
1 duck egg or 2 chicken eggs
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon red pepper sauce

Step 4: Set the oven temperature at 350 degrees F.  Then~

After you've combined the ingredients in Step 3, mix in ingredients from Steps 1 and 2 until everything is incorporated. Then spoon it into a 9" X 5" baking pan. I topped it this time with a sweet and spicy barbecue sauce. Do what you like. If you prefer, you can use ketchup mixed with brown sugar, or try something else. It's perfectly good without a topping. Bake about 60 minutes, until the internal temperature is 160 degrees F. Allow to set a few minutes after baking to cool slightly. Then drain off the fat. Slice and serve. 







Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Build-Your-Own Barrel Cellar

My son attributes an article in Mother Earth News for giving him the inspiration to build his own barrel cellar. He had an especially good potato crop, growing Red Pontiacs, Kennebecs, and Russets. He dug them in September and then needed a good place to store them.
My son Josh
After he gathered his materials (a 55-gallon drum, a drain pipe, a piece of wood for a lid, some gravel, wire mesh), the actual work only took "maybe five hours total" to build his cellar and he dug it by hand on a September weekend.
"The cellar did remarkably well!"
Look inside. You'll see the remnants of the 120 pounds of potatoes Josh stored over the winter.
Not one single bad potato!
The original design was for the barrel to go in at a 45 degree angle. Josh built it on a hillside near his backyard and didn't need that much tilt. He also drilled holes in the bottom of the barrel to allow drainage, if necessary, then added gravel under the barrel and a gravel-lined ditch for a drain line to be sure no moisture would be trapped from condensation. Wire mesh was added to the end of the drain line so that no little varmints could crawl up in it. Josh says he never saw the first sign of water, condensation, or creepy crawlies.

"The potatoes last so much longer," Josh says. "No rotten potatoes, no eyes have been growing, and no dehydration. And none of them froze!"

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Photo Essay

There is something visceral, very REAL, about our connection with the land when we grow, harvest and preserve great food and drink for the table. Sharing the food  and experiences with others becomes incredibly fulfilling. Chris and I have discovered that magic. 











In this blog, I share our experiences, successes and frustrations with our particular brand of homesteading that includes chickens, gardening, cooking, food preserving, and building projects. You will find an occasional recipe, some research or an idea that makes life easier. And if I occasionally make you laugh or help lighten your load, that makes me happy. 


When you prepare food to share with family and friends using whole food products, especially what you've grown, you'll serve up meals that are tastier, healthier, and your soul will overflow with fulfillment. You will be living abundantly. Work with your right hand and share with your left. In all you do, act of out love. Your life will become more than the sum of your parts. This is The Pauley Principle.

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Maybe the day's over-rated, but I think Valentine's Day sparks the lover in all of us! Serving up chocolate covered strawberries any day can re-kindle that spark! (That reminds me: I need to order strawberries and get some organic material on the berry patch! Maybe I'll be able to sell some great dipping strawberries at our farm market this summer. According to Brad Bergeron at the fruit and veggie school, the best-tasting June-bearing strawberries for this climate are the Early Glow.) 




Today I'm fulfilling my promise to surprise some people with a special home-made treat, using my own recipe for dipping chocolate:

6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 oz. baking chocolate
1 T. butter
3 T. heavy cream

(Hint: Prepare what you're going to dip. If you're using strawberries or some other fruit that you wash prior to dipping, allow to thoroughly dry before you dip! This is enough chocolate dipping sauce for 2 dozen strawberries.)

Everything goes in at the once. Use a heat-proof bowl and a wooden spoon to slowly melt the chocolate, butter, and cream over a smaller pan of simmering water OR use a double boiler. Stir until smooth. Allow to cool. It will thicken as it gets cooler, and this is what you want. Just stir occasionally to keep it smooth. 

While you wait, grease and line a jelly roll pan or cookie sheet with parchment or baking paper. This will keep the paper from curling up or slipping. When the chocolate is cool, thick and smooth, you're ready to dip:
The berries are washed, blotted and ready for dipping.

Hanging out on parchment. Leaving some of the berry showing is just plain pretty. Don't worry if each one is different.

Allow the chocolate to set before packaging. If you're just going to dive in and eat them all, don't bother!!!
You can use this thick, gooey dipping chocolate for lots things: angel food cake, marshmallows, cherries, bananas, raspberries. 

Store the left-over dipping chocolate in a jar or a squeeze bottle, such as a re-cycled honey container. Enjoy! Make somebody's day!!!


Monday, February 13, 2012

Starting our FARM MARKET

When I got this sign many years ago, I had no idea that someday I would have eggs to sell. I just really like eggs!






Today we jumped our first hurdle toward having a FARM MARKET! We passed the Ohio Dept. of Agriculture inspection! Our chickens are producing eggs. Our packaging is in place. We are READY! 




The ROOSTER door knocker from eggcartons.com will greet people and let us know when we have a customer.


Chris and I are beginning our farm market at home. At first, all I'll have is eggs to sell on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Later we'll have more things to offer, both from our gardens and from cottage goods that we produce. 


By a year from now, Chris will probably have the old red farmhouse re-roofed and renovated to set up our farm market  there. That will actually be a better location. 


I'm so excited!!! The thought of having our own FARM MARKET is incredibly energizing!!! I'm thinking about making small market and egg baskets for our produce, jams and jellies, and bread! I can hear the dulcimers and Celtic music now! 


We'll keep it small and manageable, a place where friends old and new can stop by and visit if they want. I have to do a pickled egg jar and offer sweet tea! This is going to be so much fun!!! 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

BROWNIES: A Great Way to say I LOVE YOU!!!

Shown here with powdered sugar, this is close to Heaven!
For convenience and  frugality, nothing beats the boxed mixes of brownies. 


If, however, you want to serve up a delectable treat for that special person, a treat that won't be greasy or cause heartburn, then please try this made-from-scratch version  and see if this isn't the best brownie you have ever eaten! It's chewy, fudgy and so... 
YUM!!!






BROWNIES
From THE ART OF FINE BAKING by Paula Peck 
Simon and Schuster, 1970

6 ounces baking chocolate
3/4 cup butter
6 eggs
3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1  1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1  1/2 cups walnuts

Set oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and lightly flour an 11" X 16" jelly roll pan. Melt chocolate and butter together. Set aside to cool slightly. 

Beat eggs and sugar together until fluffy. Add vanilla. Stir in chocolate mixture, then the flour, salt, and nuts. Mix only until combined. (Too much mixing will mix in more air for a cake-like browie.)

Pour into prepared pan, bake about 25 minutes or until top looks dry. (You can cut while still warm with a pizza cutter.)  

Serving suggestion: Fresh strawberries with chocolate syrup!

For a great buy (50% off!!!) on a jelly roll pan, click the link below! 



Friday, February 10, 2012

BERRIES: A REALLY BIG DEAL!!!




Please read to the end, and view the video for beneficial  effects of berries for preventing cancer.
Recently I went to OSU's Fruit and Vegetable School. Chris asked what the biggest thing I learned was. All sorts of stuff rolled around in my head, but the one thing I said was, "I now know the difference between raspberries and blackberries!"


I've always wanted to know the difference! That was a big deal. But then, after I got home and went to OSU's online research on berries, what I found out was an even BIGGER BIG DEAL!!!







At the fruit & veggie training, besides F&V varieties, I learned about environmentally sound approaches to unwanted grasses and weeds, pests, and I learned about some new biodegradable mulches. They also taught us some grafting techniques.
Ya-da-ya-da-ya-da. But good stuff to know if you want to garden. And I do. Thank you, Ned Barkema, Brad Bergefurd, Jim Jasinski, and Gary Gao!

But it was BERRIES that stuck in my head!

So I looked up some more OSU info on berries. In 2010, OSU berry research with rodents revealed this:

In a 2010 study (funded through the U.S. Senate, by the way), freeze dried berries fed to rodents inhibited oral, esophageal, and colon cancers in these rodents! The carcinogens were actually stopped from causing DNA damage to cells. The next OSU study will be on the effect of berries on skin and cervical cancers. A huge THANK YOU to the researchers!!!


Here's the latest since the 2010 study with a truly compelling video:
http://cancer.osu.edu/mediaroom/releases/Pages/Common-Berries-Fight-Cancer-As-Well-As-Exotic-Varieties.aspx

Obviously, they're on to something that's a REALLY BIG DEAL! So please, eat your berries! Blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, elderberries, all of them and more! Enjoy!!! FYI, they contain vitamins A, C, E and selenium, ellagic acid and anthocyanins (attributing to their color).


Question: What's the difference between a raspberry and a blackberry?
Answer: Here's one easy way to tell the difference. Both berries grow on a receptacle, a little white puff similar to the end of a Q-tip. When you pick a blackberry, this receptacle pulls off with the berry. On the other hand, when you pick a  raspberry, this receptacle stays on the berry vine.


Thanks to the researchers:
Dr. Gary Stoner conducted the most resent research along with Li-Shu Wang, Claire Seguin, Claudio Rocha, Kristen Stoner, Steven Chiu and A. Douglas Kinghorn.
Direct from their website:
The berries used in the study were provided by Dale Stokes of the Stokes Raspberry Farm in Wilmington, Ohio, (black and red raspberries); Erin Theony and the Washington State Raspberry Commission (red raspberries); Watershed Foods, Gridley, Ill., (blueberries); Driscoll Farms of Watsonville, Calif., (strawberries) and Dr. William J. Keller of Nature’s Sunshine, Inc., Spanish Fork, Utah, (noni, acaĆ­ and wolfberries).

This study was supported by the National Cancer Institute and the United States Department of Agriculture through the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.

The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (cancer.osu.edu) is one of only 40 Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the United States designated by the National Cancer Institute. Ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the top 20 cancer hospitals in the nation, The James is the 180-bed adult patient-care component of the cancer program at The Ohio State University. The OSUCCC-James is one of only seven funded programs in the country approved by the NCI to conduct both Phase I and Phase II clinical trials.






Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Chocolate Mousse



Caution: 
This recipe uses raw eggs. If you trust your egg source, this is a fluffy melt-in-your-mouth heavenly dessert!




CHOCOLATE MOUSSE
4 oz. Ghirardelli chocolate, semi-sweet
2 tablespoons butter
2 large eggs or 3 small eggs
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup cream
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Separate the egg whites and yolks into bowls. Chill a bowl for the cream which should be very cold. 

Melt the chocolate and butter slowly in a mixing bowl over simmering water and stir to a creamy texture. 
Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly before adding egg yolks one at a time.
 Incorporate well after each egg yolk using a wire whisk. 

Set the chocolate mixture aside while you work quickly with the egg whites and the cream.

Beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and slowly add the 1/4 cup of sugar while mixing. Continue beating until the egg whites reach the stiff peak stage. Set aside.

Beat the heavy cream in the chilled bowl until it begins to foam and get thicker. Add the 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar and the vanilla. Continue to whip the cream until it holds soft peaks.


Gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. This will keep it fluffy and lighten the color. 

Then, very delicately, fold in the whipped cream.

FINISHED! Now, divide into individual serving cups. Chill. Makes 4 servings.  



Monday, February 6, 2012

BEAUTIFUL ROOSTER GOES MEAN


Our beautiful Speckled Sussex rooster is beginning to turn aggressive.  He has 48 chickens to protect and he's taking his job way too seriously. Early on, in order for Roosti-Roo not to think Chris was another rooster, Chris would toss him a little food when he entered their range, knowing that the rooster should not see him as a great big competitive rooster since no other self-respecting rooster would show up with feed!

The plan seemed to work for a little while until we began to see hawks in the area. Now, he's totally aggressive and seems to think maybe Chris is a giant hawk who dropped its prey in the pasture while he plans a terrible attack on unsuspecting hens.
Who knows how a rooster thinks?!