Sunday, March 27, 2011

Spinach Tortilla

Looking for something to do with 'dem eggs, spinach and onions? This recipe might be just what you're looking for. I was wary to try it, but it is REALLY good! You will need:

2 tsp olive oil
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 cup fresh spinach leaves
3 eggs, beaten
1 ounce grated cheese (cheddar, goat, or feta)

First, turn on oven's broiler. Using an iron skillet, saute the onion in olive oil until lightly golden in color. Add the spinach and stir until wilted. Stir the egges into the spinach and onion and cook until almost set. Sprinkle grated cheese on top and put the pan under the broiler for 2 minutes, or until the top is bubbling and brown. Remove from heat and allow to cool a bit before cutting into slices. (recipe from "The Gorgeously Green Diet" by Sophie Uliano)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

How About 'Dem Eggs!

Pictured here are a few hens from Starrlight Farm in Wayne County. These lovely ladies produce 'dem eggs that are packed in our CSA produce boxes. Robin Creech, owner of Starrlight Farm, wrote this about her hens:

"My "girls" are a big part of our farm life! We started shortly after we moved here in 2002, with 2 hens that were a gift from our neighbor. We have been so impressed with fresh eggs, we no longer buy from the store, preferring to do without rather than use a lesser egg (well, we did buy a couple of dozen over the holidays, we just couldn't skip the baking!) We believe in a modified free range operation - without fences, the "girls" would quickly fall to predation. We have an open style of coop, for great ventilation, and a large fenced yard for them to forage. The yard is switched a couple of times per year to give them fresh ground to work, and the previous yard is planted in produce to our table. Then at the end of the season, the hens go through and clean up the spent plants, and weeds and bugs, all while laying in a layer of fresh fertilizer! We currently have around 50 layers, probably 30 of them in the first year of laying. At peak, we expect to produce +3 dozen eggs per day. We feed a commercial layers mash, supplemented with lots of fresh greens, fruit and vegetable scraps, and healthy bugs. We strongly believe that we need to know where our food comes from, that we have a responsibility to see that feed animals are treated fairly and humanely, and a desire to be more self sufficient. Personally, I think everyone should keep a few hens in the back yard - they provide entertainment and comic relief as they help amend the soil and provide us with the very best food! I am glad my eggs have been included in your business, and hope we can help stimulate a healthy economy!"



Sunday, March 20, 2011

Grandparents

Here are my grandparents, Ivey and Letha Wise, at Christmas, 1996. Together for over 50 years they married young, raised 4 children, were faithful to church and community, and were an ever-present force in the lives of those they loved.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Perfect Blueberry Muffins

Emily loves to bake, and she loves to change up recipes and experiment with what we have in the kitchen to make creations all her own. Pictured here are the most moist muffins I've ever tasted! I call them "Perfect Blueberry Muffins." Here's how she did it.

1 cup vanilla yogurt
1 cup strawberry yogurt (yes, strawberry, because I only had 1 cup vanilla in the house...you could probably use blueberry yogurt, too)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cups blueberries

Mix yogurt, egg, oil, and vanilla.

In separate mixing bowl, mix flour, sugar, and baking soda. Remove 1 tablespoon of dry mix and mix well with blueberries.

Stir yogurt mixture into dry mix. Slowly fold in blueberries.

Pour into cupcake pan and bake at 350 15-20 minutes.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Honey to Fight Allergies?

Can eating locally grown honey combat those spring allergies? I decided to research this question and found a variety of answers from those who swear by it to those who say it's only a myth. Couldn't find any results from a scientific study. For now it seems to be just a theory, not a scientific fact.

According to this post at Mother Nature Network - "Your local bees are most likely to collect pollen from the local flowers in your area. That pollen will end up in small amounts in the honey produced. By ingesting that honey on a regular basis, the person eating the honey will build up immunity to the pollens from the flowers in their local region. It’s sort of like a vaccine taken little by little."
(Source: http://www.mnn.com/health/allergies/blogs/does-local-honey-diminish-allergies)

Sounds logical to me.

Of course those who disagree are those who have something to gain by promoting vaccines and selling antihistamines in tablet form.

What do you think? Do you suffer from allergies? Have you ever tried locally grown honey as a remedy? 2 teaspoons a day just might keep the allergies away. Worth a shot (no pun intended)...don't you think?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

In Memory of Mallory

Mallory, beloved family pet, passed away this past week. She had a good life living on the farm and survived many close calls including a snake bite, a bite from a rabid animal, and being struck by a car. She was 12 years old and suffered from cancer but died peacefully in her sleep. We will miss her greeting us when we visit. Here's to you, Mallory! Rest in peace.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Grilled Sweet Potatoes

Grilled sweet potatoes - what a treat! And oh, so simple! These potatoes were baked at 350 for about 40 minutes. When they had cooled, I sliced them into 1/2" slices. Didn't even bother to peel the skins. Then, Gary grilled them for about 12-15 minutes more and basted them with honey moments before taking them off the grill.

If grilling raw sweet potatoes it takes about an hour to get them to desired doneness, and they need to be brushed with olive oil to keep them from cooking too dry.

We served these at the annual St. Patty's Run today in downtown Raleigh. Bagpipes. Lots of green. Men in kilts. Band music. Runners. Children dancing. Sights and sounds of vendors promoting sustainable living. Charitable event to raise funds for multiple sclerosis. All that and sweet potatoes too! 

Friday, March 4, 2011

St. Patty's Run

If you're looking for something fun to do this weekend, why not head downtown to the annual St. Patty's Run at Moore Square from 1:00-5:00. The Wise Choice will be joining others in this event to promote green living. We will have free samples of Gary's grilled sweet potatoes and information about our CSA program. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Barning Baccer

Pictured here is the tobacco barn that still stands on what was once my grandfather's farm. Housed under the shelter is the old harvester parked by my grandfather about 25 years ago. This stands in reminder of days gone by, those good old days of barning baccer. Now, just in case you don't about barning baccer, allow me to enlighten you. It's southern slang for barning tobacco - a process in which tobacco is cropped from the fields, tied to sticks, and hung in the barn to cure. The harvester was pulled by a tractor with the croppers on the lower level. The tobacco leaves were sent up on the big wheels where it was tied to sticks. There was a big pallet on the backside of the harvester where the tied tobacco was stacked. When the pallet was full it was lowered onto a truck and carried from the field to the barn where the tobacco was hung and cured under extreme high heat. When completely dry it was removed from the barn and packed for market. It was a hot, sticky job, but for me it was a family affair. Grandpa was gracious enough to make sure that each grandchild who wanted a summer job had a part in barning baccer. Gotta love him for that!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Grandma's Garden

 
Pictured here are flowers in full bloom last Mother's Day in Grandma's garden. March is the anniversary month of her death 10 years ago. We miss her but still have the fruits of her labor. She was an avid gardener and had flowers blooming all year round, from the daffodils of spring to the pansies of winter. Here's to you, Grandma! We know you're in the garden of God's love where the petals never die!