Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Spring Form Pie

The Farmers Wife is a Coronation St. Fan.
While watching the show,
The Farmer noticed a pie in a display case.
Not just any pie. This pie is tall with a crown-like top.
Its golden colour makes The Farmer hungry every time he sees it.
Coronation St. is on every weeknight so The Farmer gets hungry a lot.

So when The Farmer saw this for $3 at Winners he had to give it a go.

Carrots need a little head start so they go in first.

Then cauliflower, broccoli and some chopped nappa cabbage.

The Farmer has made mushroom soup from scratch before.
That would not have fit into today's time frame.

The soup makes the veggies nice and creamy.

Now for the onion and mushroom mix that will be mixed with the ground beef.

Even mushrooms can use the punch of a can of soup.

These will sit now while the beef is cooked.

That is a lot of ground.

The addition of this years hot pepper mix is a must.
The Farmer got into a groove and forgot to take photos.
So imagine this, A pan of beautifully cooked ground beef.
Now add a creamy mix of mushrooms and onions aided by the Campbell's soup co.

Now its off to see the doctor.
DR. Oetker to be exact.
These mixes are nice to have on hand.
The Farmer uses them on occasions when he gets bored.

All you do is add a little butter and cold water to the mix

It gets cut in and kneaded onto a ball.
Of course dirty hands don't take pictures. 

Not to worry this is not Narcos, Pablo Escobar is in prison.
This is just a bit of flour so the crust can be rolled out.

The Farmers Wife was walking past the kitchen.
 Presto a new camera person!

The phone rang argh!
So The Farmer has filled the form to the half way mark unseen.

Yesterdays fermented lemon jalapeno mashed potatoes separate the layers.

There wasn't enough room to add the mashed to the top layer.

A piece of dough was set aside in the fridge to make the top.

This looks larger in the pic. than it was.

See it fits nice.

A mix of a little water and egg gets brushed onto the top.

 You have to cut a vent hole of some kind in the top.

The Doctor prescribed a 25 minute stint in the 450 degree oven. 

Now a 15 minute rest before attempting to open the form.


Fast forward.
One night of refrigeration has hopefully set it up for a clean cut. 

That's one!

That's two!

The Farmer is thrilled with the result.
Two pieces have been wrapped up and put in the freezer.
Two more are wrapped and waiting in the fridge for tonight's dinner.

There is a side story to this odyssey.
What to do with left over egg wash?
 The farmer hates to waste anything.

Break out the cast iron.

Luckily for The Farmer, there is still lots of filling in the fridge.


Sunday, January 20, 2019


It all started with a walk.
The Farmer and The Farmer's Friend Mike walk the community centre track.
Its a new initiative so far, three times per week.
They do one hour walks so there are many conversations to be had.
Kombucha was one of them.
 The Farmer's Friend Mike's Daughter Kara got him making it.
The Farmer traded a jar of his kimchi for a SCOBY.
You will meet SCOBY later.
First The Farmers gallon jar.
It was sourced from Kitchen Stuff Plus for $11.99

All the ingredients ready to go.
Distilled water, sugar, tea and SCOBY in 2 cups kombucha.
A bowl and wooden spoon.
The bowl pictured was way to big.
The Farmer swapped it out for a much smaller version.

8 cups of distilled water goes into the jar at room temperature.

3/4 cup of sugar is added to 4 cups of hot water.
Notice smaller bowl mentioned earlier.
No need to boil the water as long as the sugar can dissolve.
4 minutes in the microwave did the trick.

Now while the sugar water is still hot, add the tea.

The Farmer has chosen Red Rose.
You must use real tea.
It has ingredients required to feed the organic reaction.

The Farmer used 5 bags for this batch.

No The Farmer's kitchen light is not floating in the tea.

Once steeped for 10 minutes or more, the sweet tea concentrate is poured into the jar.

Now we meet SCOBY or Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast.
With this and 2 cups of Kombucha you start the process.
Make sure the new mixture is at room temperature so you don't kill SCOBY.
Now add it all to the jar.

The SCOBY, The Farmer's Friend Mike supplied, is to large to float on top.
The Farmer's research tells him this doesn't matter.

Day 1 shows no change.

Day 2 shows lots of new growth in the mix.
The Farmer is expecting a new SCOBY to form on top.
 As of this day, nothing.

Day 3 shows a bit of gel forming on top.

Day 4 there is a skin covering the liquid now.
The Farmers research tells him that the dark matter is yeast.
It is perfectly normal.

Day 5 the dark mass under the surface is bigger today.
It's covered in gel and has no fir growing so mold is not forming.
Still it looks nasty considering it will be a drink.

Day 6 as ugly as ever.
The Farmer read that you can eat SCOBY.
He doesn't think he'll go that rout.

Day 7 there was quite a change this morning.
The purple in the upper left is a reflection not mold.

Day 8 SCOBY is looking healthy.
The Farmers Wife was thinking,
 dehydrated SCOBY powder might be good on popcorn.

Day 9 The Farmer is amazed at how fast a SCOBY  forms.

A small sample was drawn off to taste.
It was still sweet and tea like.
The Farmer and The Farmers Wife are looking for a bit more bite.
Bubbles are starting to come up around the edges.
They hope this is a sign that things are working toward a more sharp feel on the pallet.

Day 10 There is a slight change in coverage today.

The tea is smelling wonderful and looks appealing.

Day 11 Smooth

The top view isn't changing much so here is the edge of the SCOBY.
We'll see how it grows.

Day 12

The aroma today is a bit less tea like.

Day 13

Nice aroma today and more bubbles visible.
Tomorrow we taste again.

Day 14

 The taste today was slightly bubbly and less tea like
Quite nice but we'll leave it a bit longer.

Day 15

A little thicker every day.
The Farmer and The Farmers Wife were talking.
Yes after 35 years of marriage they still talk.
Most of the time they listen as well.
The Farmers wife is pleased with the flavour at this stage.
Therefore day 16 will be harvest day.

 Day 16
The Farmer is going at this a bit differently this time.
8 cups of room temperature water.
1/2 cup sugar
4 tea bags

The Farmer suggests you listen to Stir it up while you Stir it up.

This will cold steep for most of the day.

The Farmer squeezed the tea bags twice during the day.
The cold steeping process took 5 hrs and looks wonderful.
No carbon footprint required.

The liquid poured out of the fermenting container cleanly.
The yeast strands and original SCOBY didn't interfere with the drain spout.  

The new tea mix didn't sink the SCOBY when poured in.
This is referred to as continuous fermentation.
Eventually the SCOBY will have to be divided.
The Farmer hopes to get a few more batches before having to dump it all.  

The product is nice at room temperature.
Tomorrow will be the cold test.