February 2016: Muddy Boots and Lacey Valentines



You know, as charming as the thought of a lacy Valentine is, we’re much more likely to give a jar of jam to our beloveds, when February the 14th rolls around. The story of St. Valentine is an old and a complicated one, interpreted by many storytellers, sects and card-makers over its long history. Although we believe in the examined life, it is not our task to parse the cracked texts of history in search of elusive truths about ancient saints; we leave that work to others. Ours is an earthier work; centered in the kitchen and the garden, and yes, the heart. We do this because we love it. Perhaps we have that much in common with St. Valentine, after all.

Bread, Beautiful Bread

Winter is the best time for bread making, isn’t it? We sure think so. It’s comfort food, pure and simple. Sourdough, particularly, has come to be an old friend, one that stops by on a drizzly morning and keeps us company around the breakfast table. Sometimes she stays for lunch, too. Sometimes all the way through to dinner. Next morning, sometimes there is French toast…

Here’s how we make our San Francisco Sourdough, in the old white Wedgewood. Nothing fancy, but hearty and wholesome, a worthy vehicle for pastured butter. Or marmalade….

Sourdough Bread Recipe

San Francisco Sourdough Starter

Winter Marmalade: Bright and Bold

Yes, Marmalade. Marmalade is medicine for winter grays and blues. Whether Valentine's Day has got you up or down, this recipe for Blood Orange Port Marmalade will win your heart. As complex as love itself, sweet and bitter, tart and succulent, and full of delicious contradictions, it encompasses a range of flavor and texture rarely found in a single bite.

Thinkin’ maybe we’re waxing a little too poetic? Thinking we're getting a little carried away with the verbiage? You might reconsider if you make it yourself. The recipe follows. You won’t be disappointed.

Blood Orange Port Marmalade Recipe

Orange Port Marmalade Recipe

And Cheese. Because Cheese.

You know, another thing that is crazy-good on that bread is homemade mozzarella. The Cheese Queen calls this quick version 30-Minute Mozzarella, but we think it takes a bit longer when you’re not using the microwave called for in her basic recipe. We like the stovetop method, and we present it here, for you to enjoy. Cheese is love. I think I’ve heard that somewhere, too…

Quick, Fresh Mozzarella Cheese

Fresh Mozzarella Cheese Recipe

Stay Warm, Stay Healthy

And still the skies are clouded outside, the earth is cool and damp. It’s easy to catch a chill, this time of year, or come down sick with a cold. Take care of yourself! It’s called self-love. 

It's for precisely this reason that we created this brilliant Immune-Boost Kraut. Like a jar of sunshine, like a golden fire, this recipe was designed with cold season in mind. It is also one of our favorites, in terms of flavor and appearance.

Immunity Boost Sauerkraut

Notes from the Shop - Classes, Updates and More

in store departments homestead supply ben lomond mountain feed and farm supply

Our winter series of classes is off to an awesome start. We’re seeing faces both familiar and new, all gathered together in the old schoolhouse, which was built in 1895. There’s old wooden chairs and new modern ones, depending on if the sitter prefers style or comfort. There's a crackling wood stove, and central heating, to warm both ways. Yes, again, with the convergence of old and new. It’s kind of a thing with us.

We’re loving this venue, as cozy and intimate a space for learning as you could ask for. There’s a giant schoolbell with a pullrope, friends; come for the learnin’, yes, but stay for the school bell! 

The cheese class was the first to fill up, so we’ve added another date to the roster; a second run of Simple Cheeses, Chevre, Lemon Cheese, and Mozzarella, will be held March 12, from 10-1pm. There’s still room in some of our other classes, too, so if you’ve been thinking about it, it’s not too late to sign up.

Another Probiotic Beverages class has also been added to keep up with popular demand. That new date is March 19 from 10-1pm at Alba Schoolhouse.

See our full schedule of classes here and register here.

PS package bees and nucs are now available for pre-order on our website for all you beekeeping folks!

Introducing The Homestead Review

There’s a new element in the journal this month; we’re calling it the Homestead Review. It’s intended as a catch-all place for things that don’t quite fit into the monthly journal, which is composed mainly of new recipes, current events, and seasonal happenings. Sometimes we’ll use it to call attention to recipes we may have published in seasons past, which are once again relevant. Sometimes we’ll use it to let you know what we’re planting in the demonstration garden, or what we are planning for in the months ahead. And sometimes we might just have something to say about the way light is hitting the land, or the way that last storm swept through the redwoods, or the changing landscape around us.

Like the leftovers in the fridge, that sometimes lead to the most delicious, creative meals, we hope that this will be a place to combine many different elements into new and delicious arrangements. We’ll be continuing to evolve and grow this and other elements of the website as the months pass, and look forward to discovering, and rediscovering, the best of the past, the present, and the future with you. In the spirit of new growth and old traditions, we proudly present the first installment of The Homestead Review.

Have a Wonderful February, Friends...

Well, February, you old rascal, you. We love you pretty good. We’re looking forward to more of you. We’re digging the rain and the mushrooms and the classes, and the jams and the cheeses and the breads, and the bareroot trees and the promise of spring, just around the corner. You’ve got 29 days this year, one more than last year, so that’s good. Keep it up, February. You’re going to be great.

February Staff Pick: Bread Making & Baking Supplies

bread making and baking supplies

Ready to get started on that sourdough recipe? Shop our collection of baking equipment and supplies for making homemade bread, flour and more. Turn wholesome grains into homemade breads, create heirloom sourdoughs and beautiful baguettes... the perfect rainy day project!

Over to You...

It’s part of our mission here at Mountain Feed to help you make delicious, sustainable, homemade food more often. Stop by and say hello on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest. Or, as always, you can do it the old fashioned way and come by the store to speak with one of our in-house experts.