Roasted Pear Salad with Pumpkin Seeds & Chèvre

IMG_8956A robust winter salad can break the monotony of root vegetables and mash. This roasted pear over crisp greens salad with a sprinkling of seeds makes a lovely starter. We recently served this salad to a group of sixty, and it was so simple to do for a large group, but its taste and presentation make it special.

It is shown here with a light Crème Fraîche dressing, but is also very good served with a Balsamic Maple Dressing. Continue reading

A Very Basic Pancake Recipe

IMG_8829Pancakes are usually made when we have the time to linger over breakfast (a rarity on a farm), have houseguests, or if it just happens to be a rainy Saturday. We’ll make extra, to be enjoyed cold with a bit of jam, as a mid-afternoon treat. My pleasure in making these is the fact that they are so very basic. Eggs, milk, flour. They are never too thick, or gummy, just completely enjoyable. No leavening agent required, as the eggs do the work.

Next time you awake to a lazy, rainy morning, give them a try with a knob of butter and a drizzle of real maple syrup. Continue reading

Butternut Cottage Pie

IMG_5614The feeling of sitting down to a meal of “comfort food” is exactly that, comfort.  The senses drag up old, comfy memories, of different times and places, but all of them bring us comfort.  In our childhood home, if we ever had a roast beef or pot roast for dinner, the next day one of us kids would be sitting at the kitchen table, grinding up the leftovers, along with onions and carrots so Mom could make her Shepherd’s Pie (truly a Cottage Pie).

Move ahead 50 years, and I still love the mashed potato crust, leading through to a rich filling.   So, even though I enjoy a meat version, thought that maybe I could use my leading lady, Butternut Squash, to take on the role.  BBC Good Food suggested shallots & pecans for her supporting actors.

I invited my sister to opening night.  We swooned over the performance.  Hope you enjoy it.  I’m ready for an encore. Continue reading

Butternut Squash Spoon Bread

IMG_5541Spoon bread seems to be in every magazine right now, and I figured it was about time I found out just what it is!  Trolling online and through cookbooks, I found out just a couple of essentials.  Firstly, it is made with cornmeal, secondly it has eggs in it, and thirdly, no self respecting American southerner would ever whip the egg whites, folding them into the batter.

I finally found an old James Beard recipe from 1965 in one of my books.  I had seen pumpkin & sweet potato versions, so thought I could use up some leftover butternut squash.  When cooking it, the fragrance of the spices reminded me of bread pudding, and likewise, when eating it, the texture was very similar.   Savory with just a hint of sweetness, it’s definitely meant to be served as a side dish, much like a stuffing or dressing would be.  It’s easy to imagine it sopping up gravy.  This would be a welcome addition to the holiday feast for everybody, including anyone who is gluten intolerant.

Alongside the original Beard recipe, it was written that slices of it are to be enjoyed the following day for breakfast, after being fried in butter, and drizzled with honey or maple syrup. I didn’t fry it, but I did take a slice, warmed it up in the microwave for a bit, and then did enjoy it with maple syrup.  Amazingly good! Continue reading