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Simmering Stock

Dec
29

Did you have a Christmas turkey? Or duck? Or goose? We had Christmas goose here. And not THAT goose!
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This goose. A goose we didn’t know personally.
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Then! Because the goose was so expensive to begin with, and because I have heard the wondrous tales of goose fat, and because making stock is just the thing to do anyway, I simmered the carcass in enough water to cover, until the remaining bits of meat were falling off the bones.

I removed the meat and bones, straining the liquid, then added back more liquid along with several carrots, onions, and celery stalks plus some herbs, salt, and pepper. I simmered that down by about half then removed the vegetables.
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The vegetables were then pureed in my blender. It came out very orangey because the vegetable mix was high on carrots. I tucked the puree away in the freezer for now. Sometime this winter, I’ll take it back out, add stock and some milk and make a cream of carrot soup. Yum. It made about a cup and a half of puree, which will make a good base for a pot of soup.
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Meanwhile, I set the stock in the fridge overnight to set the fat. Fat rises to the top so I was able to easily skim the fat off the top the next day. Goose fat can be cooked at a high temperature without smoking/burning, and I’m going to save it for frying potatoes, I think. For now, I froze the fat, then measured out the stock in two-cup batches and also froze that–to take out for sauces and gravies and soups and rice-cooking liquid, etc.

The whole process took a few days, but the simmering stock made my house smell delicious, and it’s the best way to get the most out of your meat. And really, it’s easy!

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Making King’s Hawaiian Rolls

Dec
9

Being a curious bear, I was recently fascinated with the notion of creating the perfect sandwich roll. Substantial yet tender, and of course, it had to be delicious. King’s Hawaiian is a brand of rolls that is very popular–for a reason. They’re substantial yet tender….and delicious. What is the secret of these rolls?

I embarked upon a bit of research and hit upon a number of copycat recipes. I analyzed the recipes for the components that made up the distinctive flavor and texture of the rolls. Pineapple juice, milk, egg, oil, ginger, vanilla, sugar. These are sweet rolls with a subtle depth of fruitiness and a delicate hint of spice. But how to get that combination just right? I do know a perfect bread recipe…. So I went back to Grandmother Bread to rock the boat with some Don Ho.

Here’s what I came up with. And I do believe these are the best, most tender rolls I’ve ever made.
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How to make Hawaiian Rolls:

1 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon yeast
1 egg
1/3 cup melted butter or oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
4 cups flour*

*The flour measure is approximate–you may need slightly more or less. Use enough flour to make a good, pliable dough.

Heat the pineapple juice and milk, either in a small sauce pot on the stove or in the microwave. In a large bowl, combine juice, milk, yeast, and sugar. Let sit five minutes.
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Stir in egg, melted butter, salt, vanilla, and ginger. Add the first two cups of flour with a heavy spoon. Add the next cup of flour a little at a time as needed, stirring until dough becomes too stiff to continue stirring easily. Keep adding flour a little at a time and begin kneading. The amount of flour is approximate–your mileage may vary! Continue adding flour and kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic. Let dough rise in a greased, covered bowl until doubled. (Usually, about an hour. You can let it rise longer if you’re busy! Won’t hurt a thing.)

Uncover bowl; sprinkle in a little more flour and knead again before dividing into rolls. With floured hands, shape dough into rolls and place in a 9 x 12 greased pan. Cover and let rise until doubled. Brush tops with a couple tablespoons of melted butter and an egg, whisked together, for a glossy browned finish. Bake in a 350-degree oven.
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This dough can be shaped into dinner rolls, sandwich rolls, sub buns, or even baked whole in a loaf pan. I made a dozen sandwich-size rolls and baked them for about 25 minutes. Your baking time will depend on the size of your rolls.

Look at the tender crumb on these rolls. Seriously.
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Hawaiian rolls–at home!

See this recipe at Farm Bell Recipes and save it to your recipe box.
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The Slanted Little House

"It was a cold wintry day when I brought my children to live in rural West Virginia. The farmhouse was one hundred years old, there was already snow on the ground, and the heat was sparse-—as was the insulation. The floors weren’t even, either. My then-twelve-year-old son walked in the door and said, “You’ve brought us to this slanted little house to die." Keep reading our story....



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