Simmering Stock


Did you have a Christmas turkey? Or duck? Or goose? We had Christmas goose here. And not THAT goose!
This goose. A goose we didn’t know personally.
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.
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.
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


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.
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.
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.
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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