Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Double-Ginger Sour Cream Bundt Cake
Adapted from Epicurious.com
(makes 12 to 14 servings)
Softened butter (for brushing pan)
1/2 cup raw sugar*
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
4 heaping tsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
1 cup candied ginger, processed in a Cuisinart (or with a knife if you're handy), until it resembles a chunky paste
1. Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F.
2. Brush softened butter generously all over inside of 12-cup Bundt pan. Sprinkle raw sugar over butter in pan, tilting pan to coat completely.
3. Whisk flour, ground ginger, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl.
4. Using electric mixer, beat 1 cup butter in large bowl until smooth. Add 2 cups sugar; beat on medium-high speed until blended, about 2 minutes.
5. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in 1 egg yolk and vanilla, stopping to scrape down bowl as needed.
6. Add flour mixture in 3 additions alternately with sour cream in 2 additions, beating on low speed just until blended after each addition. Mix in ginger paste.
7. Spread batter in pan, being careful not to dislodge raw sugar. Bake cake until top is light brown and tester inserted near center comes out with a few small crumbs attached, about 55 minutes.
8. Transfer to rack; cool in pan 15 minutes. Gently tap bottom edge of pan on work surface while rotating pan until cake loosens. Place rack atop pan and invert cake onto rack; remove pan. Cool completely.
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Most farmers love talking farm machinery, especially on the rare occasions that they get to purchase a piece brand new -- and I’m certainly no different. Open Farms is now the proud owner of a new BCS 853 Diesel Tractor with Tiller. Don’t know what a BCS 853 is? Well, don’t worry I’ll be happy to explain. As the salesperson pointed out to me, it's not just a tiller, it's a tractor. What’s the difference? A tractor can utilize all kinds of attachments, such as a rotary plow, a subsoiler, a cultivator, mower, a snowblower — AND a tiller. Since all of those attachments are fairly expensive to purchase, we opted for just the tiller to start. It'll turn our beautiful, loamy soil into a perfect seedbed in no time.
I've only used the tractor for a week, but already it has made a huge difference on the farm. With this new piece of machinery we've been able to turn the remaining fallow patches into beautifully seeded cucumbers and successions of green beans. In case you’re a farm nerd like me, here's an additional detail on the tractor: It’s a Diesel.
The diesel motor will last 2 to 3 times longer than a gas-powered motor if cared for correctly and it has more torque than gasoline motors. Plus, it just sounds cool. Farm intern Samantha says it sounds a bit like a helicopter and I couldn’t agree more. It sounds like it has a lot of power – and it does have a lot of power!
So, if you haven’t already, come out to the farm, pick some vegetables and check out the new tiller, er, tractor. I’ll be happy to tell you all about it.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
- In a large stew pot, heat the oil, then add the onions and cook gently for 2 minutes. Stir in the garlic, ginger and spices and cook gently, stirring frequently for one minute.
- Add lentils, tomatoes, eggplant and 2 1/2 cups of the stock to the pan and stir well. Simmer, covered for 20 minutes.
- Add the red bell pepper and cook for an additional 10 minutes, until the lentils are tender and all the liquid has been absorbed.
- Meanwhile, bring rice and remaining stock to boil, adding green beans, cauliflower and mushrooms. Simmer for 15 minutes, until rice and vegetables are tender. Remove from the heat and set aside, covered, for 10 minutes.
- Add the rice and cashews to the lentil mixture, mix lightly and pile onto a warm serving platter. Garnish with egg and cilantro sprigs — and serve hot.
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Farm Director Ben Penner sent us a note about weather this morning. Now that we’re experiencing a more “normal” weather pattern for Minnesota, he thought it would be a good time to reflect on how weather affects our work at the farm.
Vegetables need a lot of water to grow, he writes, but if that water comes at the wrong time or in too great an amount, as it did this spring, then it can cause problems. For example, Open Farms is still playing catch-up from the late spring, when we weren’t able to get all of our crops in the ground in a timely manner due to all the snow on the ground. Then, when it finally did warm up, it REALLY warmed up. Back in May, we had a single 100-degree day, and it caused some of our broccoli (a cool weather crop) to go to seed -- fortunately, not the whole crop, but we probably lost 1/3 – 1/4 of our plants just because of that one day.
In the meantime, out on the farm, Ben could use some help plucking weeds and stopping the march of potato bugs across our tubers. We now offer shifts just about every day of the week, so if you have the time and want to get outdoors, please come down to the farm!