Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Sweet Rice!!!! Arkansas Grown!

With the hustle and bustle of school back in full swing, I thought I would share with you one of my go-to breakfast "treats" for the kiddos.  They are rice lovers and as some of you already know, Arkansas is the nation's largest rice growing state and we love to support local!!!!! GO ARKANSAS!!!!!!! Arkansas Grown!!!!

Anyhow, back on topic.  To make this recipe easy peasy, I simply make a double batch of rice for dinner the night before and set half of it in the refrigerator.  So this is great on taco night, just remember to set aside the rice ahead of time or your vermin kids will eat the rice and this plan won't work.

I usually set aside about 3-4 cups cooked rice.  We usually use brown rice, but on this particular occasion, we had white rice for whatever reason.  Either is fine.  Don't kill over with the details here.

When I sleepily awake, I preheat the oven to 350 degrees

I then generously butter a 9x9 Pyrex pan. A round glass pan works fine too. Don't get caught up in the details here.  Use what you have on hand.  If you are anti-butter, use non-stick spray.

At this point, I again get creative. Depending on what you have on hand and what you prefer in taste is what you can use.  We are sugar-free around here, so our mix is a bit different.  If you aren't, then tweak it a bit with milk and a bit of sugar.  (I didn't die growing up and that was what my mom used.)  The combo we use is as follows - 1 cup coconut milk, 1 cup whole milk, 2-4 tablespoons honey depending on if you like sweet or not, 1 tablespoon good vanilla, 1 good dash of cinnamon and a sprinkle of nutmeg and cloves.  Stir it together.  It will be a bit soupy.  Rice is starchy so it will absorb more of the liquids as it bakes and thicken slightly.

Pour into your baking dish.  Add a few dollops of butter (or not if you aren't into that kind of thing).  It just kind of melts into the sauce and makes it a bit richer.  Bake for about 20-25 minutes till it starts to get bubbly around the edges.  If you want to hurry this process along a bit more, you can raise the oven temp to 375 degrees during the last 10 minutes of baking for a more golden brown topping on the rice.  Just be warned, the edges will also brown a bit more.

Dish into bowls and watch your kiddos lap up like little kittens.  I serve this with scrambled eggs and toast to round out the meal.  This is such a treat.

PS - all the prep work for this can be done the night before and simply placed in the oven while you are scurrying around getting the kiddos ready for school.  Seriously, it's that easy.  Just be warned, your kids might love you a little more and think you are a super fab mom after this and you might get morning kisses with bad kid breath!

Sweet Rice Recipe
3-4 Cups Rice (brown or white)
2 cups milk type liquid (we use 1 cup coconut milk & 1 cup whole milk)
2-4 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon good vanilla
1 good dash cinnamon
sprinkle of nutmeg & cloves
Few dollops of butter for top

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter 9x9 dish. Mix all ingredients.  Pour ingredients into pan. Place dollops of butter on top.  Bake 20-25 minutes till bubbly around edges. Serve in bowls.  Accept hugs gratefully.

Thoughts from the farm 8.30.16 NEVER GIVE UP

Thoughts from the farm this morning. Sometimes it takes someone showing us how much they care for us for us to recognize that it is ok to love ourselves. Loving ourselves despite our weaknesses and failures is tough, sometimes impossible. It's like trying to cook the perfect fried egg on a rusted out old, unseasoned cast iron skillet. It's near impossible, but with some ingenuity it might happen. I saw a friend of mine turn one upside down, coat it in aluminum foil and problem solved, while camping one time. 

Yesterday was full of little reminders of how full my life is of people who have loved me and still love me and that giving up is never an option. Just look at that pie pan. I wonder how many pies my grandma made in that and how many of life's problems were solved sitting around that very pie plate eating every crumb of those delicious pies she baked. I know Adam's world felt right last night. At least his 23rd thank you might have indicated that lol. 

Have a great day ya'll and remember NEVER GIVE UP! I know at least two people who love and care about you...me and God!

Monday, August 29, 2016

The Jam Junkie Alert!

I just wanted to take a quick minute to say THANK YOU for giving Bald Knob Farm a GREAT YEAR thus far!  YOU my farm friends have been great and inspiring support for our farm.  Just yesterday we had a couple stop by the farm and remind us that they are expecting to see us again at Easter and that is "their families tradition" to visit our farm.  It is interesting to hear all the stories from all of our farm friends through the years.  Keep them coming.  They put a smile on our face.  Well, our season is nearing a close, and it's hard to believe.  We are only 7-8 weeks away from season's end and that means NO MORE fresh veggies from the farm and NO MORE jams or jellies at farmer's market!  That's right!!!!  You should know, we HATE season's end.  It means we go for months without seeing your smiling faces and it also means that if I don't sell all these little beautiful jars of goodness, they will sit on my shelves and nobody will get to enjoy them quite like they should be enjoyed.  So, over the next few weeks, I am going to be doing something I've never done before.  I am going to be offering these once a week in special and unique packages like these here.  I will post them with a link and you can simply go in, select what you might like and make arrangements for either pickup here at the farm or directly from farmer's market.  The packages are a SUPER fab way to try new and exciting flavors that you might otherwise shy away from OR a great way to buy ahead for Christmas gifts.  I appreciate you supporting our FARM and our FAMILY and most importantly keeping your money LOCAL!!!!

So, here is the link for this week's Jam Junkie Alert . . .  Click Here for The Jam Junkie's LIMITED EDITION Specials for August 29th!

Monday, February 1, 2016

on the farm February 1st

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A few highlights from this week's newsletter . . .

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The newest farm flavor…
This week’s FEATURED farm flavor
Adam’s Salted Caramel Apple Jam
This amazing jam features Arkansas Black Apples ripened to perfection with an undertone of salty, sweet caramel.  This would be fantastic spread on toast, used as a dessert topper or simply eaten with a spoon.  Click Here to Order a Jar Today! 

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Vegetable Venison Stew

Let me start by saying, I was a bit skeptical during my first tasting of venison aka deer meat. It's now a flavor which I thoroughly enjoy. If you don't have any available, an inexpensive cut of beef will work just fine. You will also note that this recipe is so flexible on measurements, ingredients and makes quite a bit. I usually freeze half of it for a later meal.

1-2 lbs venison loin or tenders cut into 1 inch cubes
1 tablespoon oil (I used olive oil)
1 cup chopped onions (not exact, just a medium onion)
Cavender's Greek Seasoning
Sea Salt
Italian seasoning
1 can tomato paste (optional)
About 4-8 cups peeled and chopped veggies
In this stew I used about 1 cup each of frozen corn, frozen green beans, turnips, potatoes, frozen Italian roasted tomatoes, carrots, frozen peas, bok choy

In a skillet, drizzle oil into pan, add deer meat, chopped onions and generously sprinkle with Cavender's, italian seasoning and sea salt. Cook till meat has browned, about 6 minutes.

While meat is cooking, add the remainder of the ingredients into a large crockpot or stockpot.  Then add the cooked meat to the stockpot and additional seasoning if desired. Cover all with water or chicken stock for additional flavor.

Cook on low 6-8 hrs. I usually test broth after about an hour of cooking to see what additional seasonings might be needed.

On this particular night we enjoyed this stew served in big bread bowls, but a great way to serve is in a bowl with cornbread on the side.


Thursday, December 31, 2015

No Frills or Bows 2015

As I sit here this morning, still in my pj's, drinking coffee and refusing to move forward with my day, I am reflecting upon 2015.  Last year at this time I imagined I would be sitting here with a smile upon my face with eager anticipation for 2016.  This year was supposed to be a year of positive changes, exciting new adventures and moving forward in a big way.  I had such great visions in my head and knew "this would be the year" for our farm and our family.  I just knew it.

You know what happened?  Our farm was flooded over and over again causing us to lose 80% of the crops planted.  We faced bug challenges, like the kind you read about in the Bible. Seriously.  We endured intense heat partnered with wet conditions which promoted plant diseases like blight. The bird flu hit an area farm which then shut down our egg sales for a while. Every piece of equipment we owned which aided in our gardening, broke.  I swear this.  This was the year we introduced a CSA program to our community.  Trying to ensure we provided quantity and quality to each and every member through these trials almost killed this farm girl.  

In addition, we faced some personal trials.  The kind that you can't hide or put in a box and pretend they don't exist.  The kind that deplete you and leave you feeling desperate and afraid.  The kind of trials that can break a person.  I struggled. I mean I really struggled to even get out of bed and face the day.  My feet felt heavy, my heart was empty and I felt my prayers weren't being heard.

I was reminded of how desperate I felt this summer as I talked to our youngest daughter, Aggie.  You see, we have a cross in the middle of our gardens to always remind us that God is the reason any of this life is possible. I made mention that it was time for another coat of weather protectant on the wood.  Aggie said "Yep, you can't let that cross get rotten mama.  That's your strong place.  That's where you went to cry about the beans and corn this summer. Remember how God met you there?"  I distinctly remember that day well.  It was the day I couldn't stand on my own two feet anymore.  I fell to my knees at the cross and cried out, no, SCREAMED to God "why?" I couldn't understand why any of this was happening.  

It was following my screaming fit, as I sat in the heat at the foot of the cross, that God did meet me there. He has always met me "there", wherever "there" might be. His love and provisions never stop. I was reminded of the new friendships forged this year with members of our community, other farmers and visionaries.  Individuals who supported us in word, prayers and actions.  I was reminded of Proverbs 27:17 "As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another". The expectations of our farm customers forced us to keep moving forward, learning new techniques and striving for a better way of production.  Other farmers pushed us to implement processes to better our farm.

John 12:24 says it all, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit."  

We were stripped of all and stretched beyond what we thought possible and it forced us to acknowledge God in the most pure and simple way.  He is our protector, our keeper, our friend, our provider.  I do not understand it all and don't claim to "get it", but I do understand this, all things work together.

I am grateful for every single person in our lives.  My thank you's are endless. This I know, my life is full of good people and a good God.  Many good things and fun times have happened this year as well.

As we enter into 2016, my expectations and plans are different.  Things have changed at our farm, within our family and inside of me.  I look forward to 2016 and all it brings.  This is the life of a farmer . . . planning, expecting, modifying, praying, changing, growing.  

Goodbye 2015.  

Farmer Carrie
and the gang


Monday, December 14, 2015

Bald Knob Farm Holiday Goodie Guide

To order any of the following items, please call Carrie @ 870.204.0216.  Thank you!

Grandma Lucille's Chocolate Covered Coconut Balls
  5 /  $   7.00
  10 /  $ 12.00
  15 /  $ 15.00
Sticky Fingers Peanutty Cornflake Cookies   5 /  $   7.00
  10 /  $ 12.00
  15 /  $ 15.00
Chocolate Pecan Pretzel Thumbprints   10 /  $   7.00
  20 /  $ 12.00
  30 /  $ 15.00
Thyme for Lemon Bars   5 /  $   7.00
  10 /  $ 12.00
  15 /  $ 15.00
Cranberry White Chocolate Crunch   5 /  $   7.00
  10 /  $ 12.00
  15 /  $ 15.00
Southern Bell Bourbon Balls   5 /  $   7.00
  10 /  $ 12.00
  15 /  $ 15.00
Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Stuffed Ritzy Cookies   5 /  $   7.00
  10 /  $ 12.00
  15 /  $ 15.00
Mama's Favorite Ever Pistachio Bites   10 /  $   7.00
  20 /  $ 12.00
  30 /  $ 15.00
Grammy's Favorite Fudge   5 /  $   7.00
Plain or with nuts   10 /  $ 12.00
  15 /  $ 15.00
Bald Knob Farm Sampler
Includes 2 each of items 1-9 (18 total pieces)   18 pcs /  $ 20.00
Includes 3 each of items 1-9 (27 total pieces)   27 pcs /  $ 25.00
Includes 4 each of items 1-9 (36 total pieces)   36 pcs /  $ 32.00
Includes 5 each of items 1-9 (45 total pieces)   45 pcs /  $ 40.00