The Entertaining Farmgirl

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People often think of homesteaders as those who go out and survive on their own away from society and civilization.  Most homesteaders know that one cannot become a hermit.  A better term than “self sufficient” would be “community sufficient”.  I could not possibly make and provide everything my family needs.  So, I depend on Miller Farms to help me out when I fall a little short on my gardening goals.  When I need goat cheese for a recipe (like the one  below) I call on Nancy who has goats.  When she needs herbal medicines, she calls on me even though she took my classes and knows how to make them, time catches us all at the end of the day and sadly, we cannot do everything!  I get honey from someone else until I get my hives in the spring.  I provide a lot of preserved food and fresh eggs and physical labor to my mini-homestead.  Even when I get the whole farm and can grow enough animal feed, peeople feed, legumes, eggs, fruit, honey, and can mostly take care of myself, we might fall short on wood one year, or need someone to help us sheer the alpacas.  God didn’t design us to walk it alone!  We can have our little haven but we’ll always seek out the company of like minded people.  Here’s some ideas when you invite them to supper!

Candles and twinkly lights are my arsenol all year long.  The rooms look so beautiful softly lit with candles, oil lamps, and Christmas lights.  I understand once I go off grid, I will have to find a source for solar twinkly lights!  In the meantime, I buy a year’s worth in season.  It is my downfall and my vice, but they make me so darn happy!  Tons of candles (that the cats can’t reach) and oil lamps light up the dark corners and everyone looks fabulous after a hard day working on the farm in the glow of flame (small, not out of control flame).

Inexpensive gold chargers make each place at the table special.  The candlelight bounces off the luster and the table seems to sparkle.  I will one day, when the children move out, buy some crystal wine glasses that will really sparkle!  In the meantime I have mix-matched glassware and small canning jars.  Luckily if you keep pouring the wine, no one cares.  I use my Christmas dishes or fine china.  No use keeping everything locked up.  You’ll never enjoy them in the attic.

This meal is super easy to prepare and oh so delicious!  Serve a bold red wine to balance the goat cheese.  We had a great Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, and Syrah blend from Argentina.  One day the wine will come out of my own cellar!

Oyster Mushroom and Truffle Goat Cheese Pasta

2 oz of dried oyster mushrooms reconstituted (I get mine from Savory Spice Shop)

Marinate mushrooms in 3/4 cup of marsala wine for 30 minutes

In the meantime mince 3 cloves of garlic and saute in 1 Tablespoon of butter

Add mushrooms and wine plus 2 more Tablespoons of butter and cook for 5 minutes.

Add 1 Tablespoon each of fresh parsley and thyme plus a pinch of cayenne

Add 3 shakes of liquid smoke, 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and paprika

Stir in 2 cups of fresh goat cheese, 3/4 cup of cream, 1 teaspoon of maple syrup and heat on low for 10 minutes stirring to blend

Whisk in 1 Tablespoon of flour to thicken. Cook for 5 more minutes or so.

Serve over 16 oz of pasta.

A great big salad drizzled with sesame oil, a bit of rice wine vinegar, a handful of sesame seeds makes a great side dish.  Place salt and pepper at table so everyone can season.