Thursday, December 26, 2013

Buche de Noel

Buche de Noel and Krumkakes

Oh SmittenKitchen, I am smitten with thee.  I used your chocolate roll cake recipe for this year's Buche de Noel.  It was divine. Served with a dear friend's Krumkakes, it was the perfect end to an epic christmas meal of roasted duck.  I do believe that a Buche de Noel on Christmas Day just may become a new tradition on the Homestead.

**"Noel" is written in lingonberries I harvested :-)

(if you use the recipe, PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT SHE SAYS ABOUT USING WAX PAPER WHEN YOU UNROLL THE CAKE.  it will make a world of difference, and save many expletives.)

Monday, December 16, 2013

Minced Moose Heart : Homestead Eating

Maple went moose hunting in Minto Flats last week...  which means, of course that a moose heart appeared in my refrigerator the other day.  (I castigated him soundly for leaving the liver to feed the ravens and wolves.  Next time!  Ha!  I'm such a gracious and grateful friend who not only gets wild meat that I did not have to hunt, but who also goes on to complain about the bits she did not get!  Oh my.  My astrologer though, says I should be eating moose/game liver two or three times a year.  Let me know if you happen to come into any.)  THANK YOU MAPLE!!!!

Heart.  I've written about heart before.  Heart is delicious.  I did not take the time to brine it this year, admittedly more due to negligence and forgetfulness than to plan.  But it still makes a great stew!  The heart its self was probably as big as my head.  Not quite.  But nearly. Cutting into it, I was as always, full of awe over organ and muscle and tissue.  Ventricle, chamber, heartstrings.

The husky enjoyed her wolf-food of heart trimmings, as did the not-so-little kitten: they were pretty cute begging in the kitchen together. The lady cat preferred to nap thank-you-very-much.

The human heart is a third or more neuro-cells (vs. muscle cells), and holds its own intelligence.  The heart is also an endocrine gland in itself, generating the hormones to regulate the system, not just responding to those released by the thymus.  Amazing. In the same way that eating fish head soup is good for hypo-thyroidism, and eating brains is good for growing infants and children, eating of this intelligence and beauty and pure awe I imagine is likewise good for heart and mind and hormones.  Not to mention that its chock full of nutrition.

Anyhow, last nights dinner (and tomorrow's too, no doubt) was a stew of minced minto moose heart, with Snowbasin chicken stock and zuccini, cauliflower and peas from the summer's CSA.  This is what eating is meant to be.  I used half the heart in this meal, and froze the rest for another crockpot later this winter.

For those interested in the brass tacks:

Saute onion and lots of garlic in a VERY GENEROUS pool of olive oil.
Add chopped carrots, bay, paprika, basil, marjoram, savory, oregano, parsley and saute a few minutes.
Add flour, like you're making a roux.
Then stir in homemade bone broth/chicken stock.
Pour in some balsamic vinagre and add a rind of parmesean cheese.
Add some water to preferred volume.
Put in frozen zuccini, frozen cauliflower and chopped heart.
Simmer for 40 + minutes.
Add peas.
Top with grated parmesean and add salt/pepper to taste.

Enjoy in front of the fire.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Midwinter tidings

Midwinter holy days have a special place in my heart.  Here in Alaska, the months of December and January roll into one another, days so short and nights so long. 
Celebrating this time of sun return is so important to me and to
This (sub) arctic land we live in. 
Growing up I was always appalled at the crazy blatant commercialism surrounding Christmas (and even Hannukah). The idea of Christmas season starting directly after thanksgiving appalled me. I still think that the simultaneous Halloween and Christmas displays are a bit appalling. 
But anymore, living so far north, when we see twenty below at Halloween, I yearn for the tree as soon as thankful feasting is done. 

The dark and the cold is so very long in duration, and the celebration of interior and internal warmth, light and live is so very necessary at this time of year, that I find myself becoming "that person" who decorates their heart out in the first few days of December. And I enjoy it. It nourishes me.