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Pork: The Other White Meat

What do you call a whole pig that has taken a trip to see the butcher? A pork.

Matt got the call that there was one pork ready for pick up. Not a pork chop, mind you. A pork. I’ve never had to pick up a pork before. Yet, the boys and I are taking a trip with our lovely neighbor Tammy to do just that. We’re taking either Nancy P. or Hillary C. and putting her into our nearly empty freezer.

I am so excited! Wait . . .  that seems weird. But, alas, I am excited to have a freezer full of food. A freezer full of pork.

Our neighbors raised these two pigs. I remember when the girls came home. They were so cute. But how they did grow! And how they could eat! They ate like . . . pigs? Yes, like pigs. There is something very special about knowing where your food comes from. Usually, I focus on the fruits and vegetables, but meat is no less important. A lot of care, time, and compassion went into raising the pigs. We are grateful to be able to partake in this pork endeavor.

On arrival . . .

We paid for our pork and many boxes were loaded up into the vehicle. Many boxes of goodness.

Thankfully, our freezer had room to spare. We had a few things that needed to be consolidated or relegated to another shelf (a.k.a. smashed together to make room for the good stuff).

Sausage – Bacon – Ham Steaks – Ham Hocks – Pork Chops – Ham – And other delicious cuts of Porky Pig

I will say, that we have had some bacon, sausage, and pork chops. Those were the best pork chops I’ve ever eaten. Scrumptious.

*Please note that the packages say “Not For Sale.” I’m pretty sure that means “Don’t share.” I wouldn’t want to break the rules.

GBark

 

 


Market on the Move

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Matt and I braved the wind this morning to stock up on veggies. We recently discovered that the Market on the Move comes to our area. What a great opportunity to stock up on fresh vegetables at a low, low, low price. A semi truck unloads boxes upon boxes of vegetables. I mean boxes! Then many workers help direct you through an assembly-line. We stood in line and were handed two boxes. Then we paid $10 to have a go-around. You can pay $20, $30, etc. and then receive the […]


Lettuce Turnip the Beet

I just wanted to share something with you.

I like fresh fruits and veggies. I do. Matt does. And so do our little tough guys. We have been receiving a Farm Box weekly from Sunizona Farms.

What is a Farm Box?

A Farm Box is also called a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Basically, the wonderful farmers put together a mix of seasonally available foods and drop them off somewhere for you. Sometimes you can pick and choose from foods that are available, but we are wild and crazy kids and we like them to pick for us. I know . . . WILD and CRAZY.

So far we’ve had:

  • kohlrabi
  • micro greens
  • baby lettuce
  • tomatoes
  • cherry tomatoes
  • apples
  • oranges
  • grapefruit
  • bok choy
  • turnips
  • beets
  • radishes
  • pizza crusts
  • eggplant

And that’s just for winter. I can’t wait until spring and summer.

 

 


Hereford Style Bagels

These are not NY Bagels.

They are not grocery store, gummy texture, never grow mold bagels.

They are not . . . english muffins, either.

These are Hereford Style Bagels, baby!

 bagel_Snapseed

I was going to show you a photo of the bagel I ate for breakfast. Instead, I offer you the photo of where the bagel was last seen.

I started making bagels when my family lived in Crete. We couldn’t reliably get bagels from our commissary. Either someone would fail to order them, people would buy them in bulk when the shipment came in, or maybe there was a bagel strike somewhere. Regardless of the reason, I realized that if I wanted a bagel, I was going to have to make it myself.

Bagels are easy to make and they are so much tastier than store bought ones. Please do not be intimidated by the making of bagels. Essentially, they are bread rolls that are boiled first. Not a big deal. If you have ever made any kind of dough, including play dough, you can do this.  In fact, I think you may be qualified if you’ve ever made Mud Pies.

Hereford Style Bagels

Ingredients

  1. 4 c. flour (I use bread flour)
  2. 1 T. sugar
  3. 1 1/2 t. salt
  4. 1 T. oil (I use coconut oil)
  5. 2 t. instant yeast
  6. 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 c. of warm water

Instructions

  1. Fill a measuring cup with 1 1/4 of warm water and sprinkle in the yeast. (This step isn't necessary, but I like to make sure that the yeast is activated before adding it into flour mixture.)
  2. In a large bowl, mix the first 4 ingredients: flour, sugar, salt, & oil.
  3. Add your water/yeast mixture to the flour mixture. If the mixture is too dry, add a little bit of water and mix well.
  4. Take the dough out of the bowl and knead it on the counter for a few minutes. We're looking for a smooth and uniform texture.
  5. Cut the dough into 8 equal sized pieces. Let them rest on the counter for about 15 minutes.
  6. After they have rested, take a ball and roll it into a rope. Do this by using two hands side-by-side to roll the dough back and forth. The rope should just be a tad longer that the width of both hands. Basically, it should stick out about an inch from both hands.
  7. Take both ends of a rope into one hand so that they overlap. Then you roll the rope back and forth on the counter to join the seams. You end up with your hand in the middle of a bagel. Be sure not to press too hard or one side of your bagel with be thinner than the other. Try for a uniform shape. (Don't worry, this part takes practice.)
  8. Let your bagel babies rest for about 20 minutes. While you're waiting: Preheat your oven to 425 F, bring a large pot of water to a boil, and grease a large baking sheet.
  9. After 20 minutes take your puffy bagels-to-be over to the boiling water. Gently place a few in the water, careful not to crowd them. Boil 1 minute on each side. Place them on a wire rack to drip dry. At this point you can place your bagels face down on a shallow plate sprinkled with a topping of your choice (i.e. sesame seeds, poppy seeds). I let them dry & cool down, about a minute or so, before adding a topping.
  10. Next, place them on the baking sheet. They don't have to be completely dry and you will find they that dry quickly, anyway. Bake for at least 10 minutes on each side (you may adjust this time according to your preference).
  11. Let them cool. And enjoy.
http://www.justusbarkers.com/2013/10/hereford-style-bagels/


Spaghetti and Pesto Trapanese

We just made this delicious dish last night and were very impressed. Ginger made some homemade whole wheat spaghetti noodles to go with this and they helped to bring out the delicious flavors of this very easy to prepare dish. We’ll definitely be making this again – and VERY soon!

Spaghetti and Pesto Trapanese

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

  1. ¾ pound cherry tomatoes, very ripe and sweet
  2. 12 leaves fresh basil
  3. ⅓ cup whole almonds, lightly toasted
  4. 1 garlic clove, crushed and peeled
  5. ¼ teaspoon peperoncino
  6. ½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for cooking the pasta
  7. ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  8. 1 pound spaghetti
  9. ½ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, freshly grated

Instructions

  1. Rinse the cherry tomatoes and pat them dry. Rinse the basil leaves and pat dry.
  2. Drop the tomatoes into the blender jar or food processor bowl followed by the garlic clove, the almonds, basil leaves, peperoncino and 1/2 tsp salt. Blend for a minute or more to a fine purée; scrape down the bowl and blend again if any large bits or pieces have survived.
  3. With the machine still running, pour in the olive oil in a steady stream, emulsifying the purée into a thick pesto. Taste and adjust seasoning. (If you're going to dress the pasta within a couple of hours, leave the pesto at room temperature. Refrigerate for longer storage, up to 2 days, but let it return to room temperature before cooking the pasta.)
  4. To cook the spaghetti, heat 6 quarts of water, with 1 tablespoon salt to the boil in the large pot. Scrape all the pesto into a big warm bowl.
  5. Cook the spaghetti al dente, lift it from the cooking pot, drain briefly, and drop onto the pesto. Toss quickly to coat the spaghetti, sprinkle the cheese all over, and toss again. Serve immediately in warm bowls.

Notes

This delicious recipe is courtesy of Lidia's Italy

http://www.justusbarkers.com/2012/03/spaghetti-and-pesto-trapanese/


Laiki Time

This past Saturday, we went to downtown Chania to check out the laiki. This is THE place to go for the freshest of fruits and vegetables, not to mention cheeses, rabbits, clothes, and whatever else you may need. The smells are just wonderful! This time we went with our friends Melania and Richard, who afterwords took us to a wonderful bakery. Click on the photo below to enjoy the rest of the photos!

Morning at the Laiki


Chili Corn Bread Salad

I’ve been looking for a way to share recipes for some time now and finally think I’ve got it figured out. So, here’s my first recipe that I think you all will love.  I have made this a few times now and it has been a hit every time.

Recipe: Chili Corn Brean Salad

Summary: Easy to make and extremely delicious salad. This will be a hit at any potluck!

Ingredients

  1. 1 (8 1/2 ounce) package corn muffin mix
  2. 1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chilies, undrained
  3. 1/8 teaspoon cumin
  4. 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
  5. Pinch of rubbed sage
  6. 1 cup mayonnaise
  7. 1 cup sour cream
  8. 1 envelope ranch dressing mix
  9. 2 (15 ounce each) cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  10. 2 (15 1/4 ounce each) cans whole kernel corn, drained
  11. 3 medium tomatoes, chopped
  12. 1 cup chopped green pepper
  13. 1 cup chopped green onions
  14. 10 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
  15. 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 400.
  2. Prepare corn bread batter per instructions on package.
  3. Stir in the chilies, cumin, oregano and sage.
  4. Spread into 8×8 greased baking pan.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes (or until an toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean); cool.
  6. Mix mayonnaise, sour cream and dressing mix; set aside.
  7. Crumble half the corn bread into a 13x9x2 dish.
  8. Layer with half the beans, mayonnaise mixture, corn, tomatoes, green pepper, onions, bacon, and cheese.
  9. Repeat layer.
  10. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.

CulinaryTradition: USA (Southwestern)

My rating: 5.0 stars
*****


Debbie Meyer Green Bags

Debbie Meyer Green BagsToday I came across a post on one of my favorite recipe sites that talks about a product called Debbie Meyer Green Bags.  Now, Ginger will probably tell you that I am a sucker for gadgets like this.  As a side note, I think I get that from my mom, who always has tons of catalogs around full of cool little gadgets!  Anyways, the Green Bags are supposed to help significantly extend the life of your produce.  For those of us that like to have fresh fruits and vegetables around, but find their lives draining away before we get a chance to eat them, these look to be a big help.  Take a look at the original article here:

http://simpledailyrecipes.com/debbie-meyer-green-bags-really-work/

It gives a really good review of the bags; in other words, no snake oil here!  You can find them just about anywhere, to include Amazon.com.  Anyways, just a tip that I thought I’d pass on to anyone interested!