Friday, February 17, 2012

Friday's Favorite Farm Recipe

Suzy, this week's recipe contributor, in a kindred farm mom.  We wave to each other every day - often two or three times a day - as we meet each other delivering kids to and from school, church, and 4H activities.  Suzy is a dairy farm wife and the mother of four very busy kids. 

Dairy farm wives are amazing ladies.  If you don't know a dairy farm wife you need to meet one.  She (Meaning any dairy farm wife I have met) is busy working in the barn or at least helping out her husband in the barn or wherever necessary, keeping the kids going to all of their activities, and doing record and book keeping because dairy farming adds another dimension to accountability.  She is also one of the best cooks in the county. And, she does all of this without a set schedule because when you work with animals and they are your livelihood the animals take priority over having supper every evening at 6:30.  This pretty much sums up Suzy but then I also need to add in the three off the farm part time jobs!  Yes, Suzy is busy but I don't think she would have it any other way.

Suzy grew up on a farm that included beef, hogs and poultry.  When she married Scott she was introduced into the life of a dairy farmer.  Suzy says it took a little getting used to but dairy farming is a great way of life.  Suzy and Scott like the fact that their kids are learning to be responsible for another life.  The kids know that they need to do their chores because the cows and calves are relying on them.  If the chores aren't done or aren't done properly the animals may not produce well or even get sick.  Suzy and Scott also like the fact that their kids understand where their food comes from and can appreciate how it gets from the farm to the table.

Suzy & Scott's oldest daughter setting up her Register Holstein
heifer at the Clayton County Fair.

All four of the kids are budding cooks.  The oldest has a couple of Iowa State Fair blue ribbons under his belt for a tea ring and a peach pie, next in line can make a mean batch of potato rolls, the youngest son can make an angel food cake to die for and the youngest daughter has mastered a very good apple cake.  Suzy says that every one of her kids is going to know how to cook before they leave home!

Suzy with three of her budding cooks.

Suzy let the kids pick out the recipe to put on this blog.  Apparently it wasn't a very difficult decision - The Hamburger Soup won hands down.

Hamburger Soup
    1 lb Hamburger
    1/2 cup chopped Onion
    2 cups Tomato juice
    2 cups Water
    1 cup diced Carrots
    1 cup cubed Potatoes
    1 cup diced Celery
    1/4 cup Rice
    2 Beef bouillon cubes
    Salt & Pepper to taste

Brown hamburger with onion.  Transfer to stock pot and add rest of ingredients.  Simmer for 1 hour or until vegetable are tender.  If using minute rice, wait to add near end of cooking.  This recipe can be adjusted to suit - adding more or less of the vegetables or different kinds of vegetables.  I (Suzy) use my canned whole tomatoes instead of juice.  This makes a thicker soup and one we are able to eat out of homemade bread bowls. 

The neat thing about this recipe is that when Suzy makes this the hamburger, onion, tomatoes, potatoes, and carrots all come from Suzy and Scott's farm. 

Now I would be happy with the homemade soup but nooooo Suzy goes the extra mile and makes homemade bread bowls.  This is what puts Suzy to the next level of cooking that I can only admire from afar. :-)

Bread Bowls
     2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry Yeast
     2 1/2 cups warm water (110F or 45C)
     2 teaspoons Salt
     2 tablespoons Vegetable oil
     7 cups all-purpose Flour
     1 tablespoon Cornmeal
     1 Egg white
     1 tablespoon Water

1.  In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water.  Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
2.  Add salt, oil, and 4 cups flour to the yeast; beat well.  Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well with an electric mixer at medium speed after each addition.
3.  When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a light floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6 minutes.  Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil.  Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes. 
4.  Punch dough down and divide into 8 equal portions.  Shape each portion into a 4 inch round loaf.  Place loaves on lightly greased baking sheets sprinkled with cornmeal.  Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, until doubled in bulk, about 35 minutes.
5.  Preheat oven to 400F (200 C).  In a small bowl beat together egg white and 1 tablespoon water; lightly brush the loaves with half of this egg wash.
6.  Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes.  Brush remaining egg mixture and bake 10 to 15 minutes more or until golden.  Cool on wire racks.
7.  To make bowls:  Cut a 1/2 inch thick slice from top of each loaf; scoop out centers, leaving 3/4 inch thick shells.  Fill bread bowls with hot soup and serve immediately. 

Yum!  Thank you Suzy for sharing these recipes with us.

Suzy's youngest trying to give my #3 son pointers before showing
his kiddie calf at the Clayton County Fair.  Gosh, 4H is great.

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