Pizza Crust

pizza

Pizza. I once heard it is the perfect pregnancy food. All the food groups can be added and it’s hard to despise the taste. For us, it satisfies every child too. A favorite pastime for us is to ask ultimate questions like, “If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?” 99% of the time, we settle on pizza. The toppings are so versatile and now, with cauliflower crust, almond flour crust, coconut flour crust or even zucchini crust (yes, I’ve made this), the crust can be versatile too.

Hopefully, with the recipe I have for you today, you have some tomatoes you’ve preserved from last year’s harvest, because you’ll want to make tomato sauce and pick up some mozzarella. As for extra toppings, think Italian sausage or brats. My boys love these thin sliced and placed on top.

We currently have a sale on for some tasty, local meat too. Check out our recent email newsletter: Click here! Or browse what we currently have available: Click here!

Today I want to share our favorite crust. We’ve been using this for years. You can substitute some or all of the flour for freshly ground or whole wheat too and it still works great. Add some extra olive oil to a bar pan with raised sides and it makes great deep dish. Roll it thin and it also makes an excellent thin crust. I’ve even used this for calzones.

Best part? Mix it up and, after getting all the toppings ready, it’s ready to be put in the oven just twenty minutes later. If you don’t have a favorite pizza crust, give it a try. I think you’ll like this one!

Favorite Pizza Crust

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups flour, additional if needed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon or more olive oil, to seal finished dough
  1. In a bowl, combine the flour, salt, sugar and yeast.
  2. Add the water and knead for about ten-fifteen minutes or eight minutes in a mixer. Use the stretch test to see if the dough is ready to rest. Simply stretch the dough and if it can become thin without breaking, it has been kneaded enough.
  3. Pour a bit of olive oil over the dough, sealing it, cover and let rise for 20 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 450 Fahrenheit.
  5. After the dough has risen, knead it a bit and place it on a pizza pan. Roll it as thin or as thick as you like.
  6. Add all the seasonings, toppings, and cheese you prefer.
  7. Bake for 11 – 15 minutes at 450 Fahrenheit.

Enjoy!

Advertisements

Side Pork Cabbage Soup

Minnesota winters require a good soup. They not only warm, but they nourish our bodies too. What is your favorite soup? Do you even like soup? Me? I love soup, but I have to convince my boys. They’re not so easily won. As long as it’s a good cream soup, they’ll devour it though. IMG_2710I tried this one on them the other night and they really enjoyed the smell of the sesame oil. I’ve found that many good side pork recipes have sesame oil in them.

My love for cabbage soup started with The Joy of Cooking after receiving the book as a wedding present. Basic cookbooks like that and Betty Crocker’s Cookbook are a great place to start when learning to cook and bake. You’ll learn the basics, what you like and don’t like, and then be able to expand from there. I like to learn as I do things, but maybe you like all the knowledge before you jump in. If so, I’d recommend finding a chef you really enjoy and watching his/her videos on youtube.com or from the library. You can gain some excellent knowledge this way.

With recipes, I often get ideas online and then just make up my own way to do it according to the skills I’ve learned along the way. Most recipes don’t have you sear the meats and veggies or grill them before adding to soup or slow cooker recipes, but I’ve found this to enhance the texture and flavors so much I almost always do it unless I forgot to take it out the night before and it’s still frozen.

The nice thing about side pork is that it’s typically a smaller portioned package and so it will thaw within the day. That and soups don’t take a whole lot of time if you have all the ingredients available in your pantry or freezer. I love modern technology and don’t know where I’d be without a fridge and freezer. Also, buying in bulk (especially meats like half a hog, frozen whole chickens or a quarter beef) ensures I don’t have to go to the grocery store more than once a month except for milk or fruits, saving me a lot of time, energy and money from impulse buys.

Now this soup may not be for everyone. I’ve found many just don’t crave the rich fat that accompanies side pork. Many of us crave carbs. This is not a high-carb soup, in fact this would be considered more of a keto or paleo soup in modern diet language. Perfect for low-carbohydrate diets, pastured side pork gives high quality fats that our bodies need to thrive. From previous blog posts you may remember it’s a great source of natural vitamin D.

I hope you like soup because here’s my first side pork installment. I hope to have many more in the coming months, so tell me your favorite things to do with side pork and your favorite soups too. I’m also looking for excellent ideas for beef! We also have 3 and 3/4 beef available still this fall, so share! What are your favorite beef and pork recipes?

Enough from me. Now go enjoy some soup on these cold winter nights!

Side Pork Cabbage Soup

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lb. side pork a.k.a. pork belly
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon + Chinese five spice powder
  • 1 teaspoon + garlic, chopped or 1/2 teaspoon + granulated
  • 5 cups or more chicken stock/broth
  • 1 small head of cabbage or 2-3 bok choy
  • 1-2 Tablespoon roasted sesame oil
  • optional excellent veggies: 1-2 leeks, chopped; 3-5 carrots, long sliced; 3-4 Tablespoons of tomato paste for a more minestrone-type taste
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat a large saucepan or cast iron skillet on medium heat. Pour 1 – 2 Tablespoons of olive oil or lard into heated pan and spread evenly. Place chopped onion and any other veggies (such as leeks and carrots) into pan to sauté for about 5-7 minutes until onions are “clear” rather than white all the way through. Place sautéd veggies into an unheated stockpot that you will finish the soup in.

In the saucepan, heat the pork belly until browned, about 7 minutes. Place pork belly into stockpot. Add five spice powder and garlic to stockpot.

Pour one – two cups of chicken stock into saucepan to get all the good veggie and pork juices into the liquid, about two minutes. Pour this liquid into the unheated stockpot with the remaining chicken stock and heat all to boiling.

Once boiling, turn heat to medium-low and add the cabbage. Cook until cabbage is soft. Add salt and pepper to taste. Turn off heat, let cool for five to ten minutes and then add sesame oil.

Enjoy!

DIY Stocking Stuffer

I don’t know about you, but I grew up opening a stocking of little goodies on Christmas day. It’s still one of my favorite traditions. I especially enjoy thinking of and finding things throughout the year that my family will enjoy. Don’t tell, but I will be including some of my favorite handmade lotion in the stockings that I’ve made for extended family. I know they love this stuff and it’s the perfect winter gift.

IMG_4185

I know most people don’t have tallow lying around, but if you’ve saved some from deer or beef cattle, I’ve got the recipe for you:


Do-It-Yourself Tallow Lotion      Time=1 hour       Difficulty=medium


1 cup tallow, beef, deer, sheep or goat (with the addition of lavender oil I did not notice the scent of the deer tallow)


2 Tablespoons olive oil or sweet almond oil


1/2 tsp essential oil (be sure you test a drop on your skin first so that you don’t have a batch of lotion that will irritate your skin – e.g. cinnamon oil often irritates skin)


Place tallow in double boiler or other pan and warm it on low heat until it is just melted. Once melted, remove from heat and add olive or almond oil. Let it cool to room temperature then add the essential oil(s).


Once the tallow, olive or almond oil, and essential oil(s) are combined, pour the mixture into a container if you are not going to whip it. Otherwise, place your pan into the fridge until it is just hardened. It takes about 30 minutes. Then remove it from the fridge and whip it with a hand mixer until it is the consistency you desire (Usually 3 minutes for me). Scrape it into your final container and enjoy!

 

If you don’t have tallow, you can buy it online or sometimes find it at a local meat processor. We also have some beef tallow for $3 per pound. And if you’re not up to making it yourself, our tallow lotion is $2 for a 4 ounce jar. Email or give us a call.

Also, one last reminder for orders before Christmas. We can make gift certificates or provide pork and chicken by the pound or in large quantities. Let me know by Saturday if you’d like me to make you up some lotion. Let us know before December 23, 2017 and we can even deliver to the Aitkin or Crosby areas and anywhere between here and the Twin Cities.

Don’t forget our $15 off promotions run until the end of December 2017. Read more by clicking here: $15 off!

We hope you are enjoying this advent season!

Fall Update and Great News

IMG_4390Wonderful news. We have been given a great gift and long-awaited happiness in our lives. On September 21, Asher George Nix was born to us. Asher is the first Hebrew word of the Psalms and one of Jacob’s sons in the Bible. The word means Blessed or Happy! George is Mathew’s amazing dad and the name also means farmer, rather appropriate huh? Please rejoice with us.

In farm news, we are still plodding along and continue to enjoy the fall harvest. Today was our first big frost with the temperature last night reaching 23 degrees F. With the high tunnel, we still have a bit of a growing season, but most of our produce is done. We’re also stocking up on hay for winter so the cows and pigs have plenty to enjoy.

Available products on the farm still include pork and chicken. We will also have tomatoes, spaghetti squash, peppers, watermelon, possibly purple potatoes, and tallow

lotion until they are all sold or the high tunnel gets too cold. Spaghetti squash is a wonderful keeper. The seeds we planted this year were from a squash I cut up in March that was still good from the 2016 harvest. Small are $1.50 and large are $3. Our tomatoes are down to $.75 per pound for seconds and $1.75 per pound for unblemished tomatoes. I highly recommend my favorite green zebra tomatoes. Our peppers are Marconi and $0.50. They are long and a lot like a green pepper, but without the belly ache that some people get from green peppers. Tallow lotion is great for winter skin and only $2 for a 4 ounce jar.

IMG_4249We ordered more chickens than were sold, so we still have some chicken in the freezer. On farm purchase of chicken is $4.00 per pound. Delivered to the Twin Cities is $4.25 per pound. USDA inspected chicken is $4.50 per pound.

Pork! We still have six hogs available for October and IMG_3488November butcher dates, mainly because our main marketing person recently had a baby… We sell in half or whole hogs. Some people have ordered with a friend and split up half a hog. Hogs are normally around 200 pounds. We charge $3 per pound hanging carcass weight plus the butcher fees which varies with your custom order of ham, bacon, pork belly, sausage, pork chops, roasts, etc. As with chicken, we also have USDA inspected pork in 1-4 pound packages for $6.50 per pound. There are still some tasty pork chops, roasts, ground pork and side pork. Small hams are available for $7 per pound and 1 lb. bacon packages are $8 per pound.

As always, our chickens and hogs are pastured and moved regularly. They are fed non-GMO feed and are soy free. We grind the grain ourselves and source much of it from within 30 miles. That also means the grain is fresh increasing the nutrient quality of the food given our animals.

Thanks for being part of our farm family. Without your supporting local, sustainable agriculture, we couldn’t strive to exercise careful dominion over the resources that have been entrusted to us.

IMG_0493

Bundt Pan Roast Chicken

It’s been a few months since you’ve heard from us on the blog, but a few months seems like no time at all during springtime on the farm. We’ve been busy enjoying the new baby animals: chicks, turkey poults, calves, and goat kids. The human kids and I (Katie) have also been working hard to get all our tomatoes, cucumbers, squash and melons planted in the high tunnel while Mathew has been fixing what breaks and making more chicken tractors. Things are going well lately and we continue to persevere and see mostly good days in our busy season.

Life gets moving and sometimes we forget things, so I wanted to send this reminder that we’ll need to know your order for broiler chickens by Tuesday, June 6th. Our plan is to butcher July 8th and 15th. If more than 100 additional chickens are ordered from all of you, we plan to butcher September 2nd and 9th as well. With your order, please include your preference for which butcher date you would prefer.

You can also order pork, goat meat and maple syrup. Currently we have rhubarb for $2 per pound as well.

Please give us a call or email. Otherwise you can get a hold of us through Facebook, Instagram, and by mail. All ordering information is listed on this page: https://righteousoaksfarm.com/ordering-information/ . Here is a link to the downloadable printable order form if you need it: Printable Order Form

Now on to what was promised in the post title: Bundt Pan Roast Chicken. I stole this without regret from delish.com. It seemed like too wonderful a recipe not to try with our broilers. I just love roast chicken, and this all-in-one meal is sure to please. I hope you look forward to making this as much as I do come July (though you might want to go straight to grilling and wait for cooler days for this one):

Opportunities

We’ve been busy. Farm babies are coming nearly every day now. Goat kids and calves keep appearing. Of course we still have our puppies and piglets to care for too. It’s been a fun but always busy time of year.

I wanted to let you know about a few changes and additions to our website. Under our new “Opportunities” tab at the top of our page we now have a link to:

  • Our 2017 Events on the farm this summer
  • Our 2017 Newsletter if you missed it
  • A Survey to help us get to know you, a chance for you to tell us what you’d like us to share or give to you via email and a request for information for those who don’t want to miss out on news from the farm.
  • An updated Volunteer Opportunities page if you’d like to get involved on the farm this year.

Check out the changes and let us know what you think! We really would love to hear from you.

Enjoy the Spring weather to come,

Katie

A Little of Our Story

There are so many reasons we came north to farm. Actually, not long before we made the move we thought we were to be missionaries in Cambodia, working alongside church planters to help others care for creation rather than continue the careless exploitation of the land that many have adopted. Why in the world are we here in rural Minnesota?

Well, maybe we needed to make the agricultural mistakes here first and learn a lot ourselves still. Maybe our boys will take over and we’ll still head out, maybe not. We have continually learned that we cannot determine our future in many aspects. Sickness happens, poverty happens, and good things happen too. We do know that we are to be faithful wherever God has us and in many ways we are doing exactly what we would be doing in Cambodia, but here among the rural people of Minnesota.

As we lived in the city we had worked with many over the years that had little knowledge of how to work and where food came from, so we started Gardens of Praise, an urban agricultural development project that strives to go beyond reconnecting urban people with nature to reconnecting them with their Creator and to bring the knowledge of how to produce their own food into the city through holistic farming experiences.

As that moved forward, we also sought to be part of a farm school project here on our farm. However, the community was quite against it since we failed to accurately portray who we were bringing to the farm. They thought inner city youth = thugs, druggies, etc. None of the youth we were thinking of were involved with drugs or had been in trouble with the law. Yes, their parents had, but these youth were trying to get out of the cycle.

As that was shot down, we still had the desire to bring young men and women that had been discipled in Christ, but were still in a hard spot, up to the farm to continue to be discipled and learn the value of work and where our food comes from. What about inviting mentors and youth up to a working farm to share a weekend working together, furthering relationship, and learning the amazing intricacies of how God has ordered this world? What about internships to teach young men and women the value of working as unto the Lord even when the work is tough and smelly? What about retreats where people can just get out of the city and find joy in God’s creation and those they retreat with?

Others came alongside us and pushed us this way. And now we’re here working out what it means to glorify God in farming day to day. We started with savings and the conviction to stay debt free. Mat’s family already had the land and some equipment that was necessary. Our objective was to become profitable within five years in order that we could then focus on our other goals of internships. We do have people up for retreats and such, but hope that with an established farm we would have more time and resources to devote to such things, such as building a larger housing area for groups or being able to spend more time teaching. Though we knew it would be a lot of work, I was surprised at the constant need to always be working. Our animals needed to be fed and cared for or they would not survive. Problems and equipment needed to be fixed or something would die, etc. We also had young children, so having people come actually set us back for the first few years. Also, with the constant work, it became a high stress job. A stressed out host isn’t much fun to be around.

Our story isn’t over, but we’ve come a long way in this farming endeavor. March 2017 will mark our fourth year on the farm. We started in March 2013. We have been so happy to host those interested in farming and to share what we can with them and our immediate community. Mathew is an amazing resource to myself, others and the church. What God has done through him here in Northern Minnesota has been a joy to see. Endurance is not always easy, but the fruit of endurance is so satisfying. Our practices are improving, our product has definitely become quality, and we’ve learned so much from our previous mistakes. Slowly we move forward.

So what am I getting at by telling you our story? Well, when you buy anything, you are supporting the farmers and producers and the practices of production behind that product. In buying our food you are supporting what we are trying to do here on the farm. We are in the business of practicing careful dominion over creation – land, animals, and people. Consider purchasing a portion of your meat supply from us this year.

How do you order from us? Visit our Ordering Information page (link also in top bar menu).

Keep up to date with what we’re doing through our regular Facebook or Instagram posts.