What did Kandan have for dinner?

Raw Fish, Rice, and Seaweed.
April 8, 2011, 8:23 pm
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This is what Andi Griffith used to call “bait” and damn was it good, even from a mediocre restaurant.  It was fish, rice, and seaweed, with a little ginger and wasabi and a little cream and avacado.  It made an excellent lunch on a rather warm day.  Delivered to me by a rather lovely young lady right where I was working, and very very fresh.


Baked Breaded Pork Chops
April 5, 2011, 5:18 pm
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The photo here isn’t very good.  The chops are going into the oven.  This was very good, and my daughter loved them.

I was thinking of how greasy fried chops can get, and I wanted an option, but still wanted the breading.  It was a little cool out, and I wanted to use the oven, so we made German Chocolate Cake, and I wanted to cook dinner in the oven too.  I read a bunch of recipes and was very dissatisfied with all I read, so I made one up and it worked brilliantly.

Our pork is grown out doors without hormones and very little supplemental feed.  Our pigs mostly live off of garden waste, fruit, acorns and grass.  I do worm them when they arrive, but that is it on medicines.  So the pork is extremely high quality, and no, I don’t sell it.  If you want to eat some of it, you have to come to the cabin.  (I make an exception for when I visit my moms.)

Here is what I did:

First, when I defrost pork I figure I may as well brine it, so about a cup of sugar and a cup of salt went into about a gallon of water.  The brine helps the pork maintain moisture, and that is especially important with loin cuts, which dry out easily.  I brined them for several hours.

Then I made a first coat wash with a couple of eggs, some milk, about a half cup of corn starch, and about a cup of flour, so that the wash really stuck to the chops.  Then I dredged them in seasoned bread crumbs, just the crumbs from the store.  If you were to make your own, then you would want to add a little bit of salt, but not much because they were in the brine, pepper, and some good dried herbs.  So the chops were very thickly coated in the wash and the crumbs.

Then I put them in the oven and baked them until they were done.  They were very good.  Some gravy would be good with this, but it was late when I made them, so it was lazy food.  Not bad for a few minutes of work.

Spaghetti con Gamberetti, Funghi e Spinaci in Salsa di Panna
March 29, 2011, 7:13 pm
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Left overs from last night for breakfast.  This is pasta with portabellos, fresh spinach and shrimp in a cream sauce with Parmesan cheese.

King Cake
February 10, 2011, 6:57 pm
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King Cake I want to warn before I start that I have experienced help when I make this and we have a large commercial quality mixer and very large bowls.  This recipe should be cut in half for most of you.  This is not easy to make and takes a long time. I suggest that someone who really knows what she is doing help you the first time.  Important notes: The measures are given in volume and not weight, which means you have to be careful about the amounts; the dough is fairly sticky but should still be manageable.  Use the very best flour you can get your hands on; we use King Arthur unbleached all-purpose; do not use any horse feed flour like you would make muffins for hippys with.  This recipe was developed at about 330 ft. above sea level; that makes a difference.



1 C warm water

2 t sugar

2 T yeast

1 C flour


9 to 11 C flour (start with 9 cups and add flour to desired consistency later. It will require about 10C.)

4 eggs, then enough scalded milk to fill 3 C total (do not add the milk to the eggs, measure the eggs then measure the milk to make up the difference. Scald the milk keeping eggs separate at all times.)

1 1/2 C sugar

2 sticks butter

2 T salt

1 T mace

1 1/2 t lemon extract

1 1/2 t vanilla


2 sticks butter

2 eggs (to be smeared on outside)

Small amount of vegetable oil (we use Canola oil)


About 3/4 cup of sugar in thirds and colored with food coloring to make purple, green, and yellow (gold) for final garnish.

1 to 2 cups of confectioners sugar mixed with a few tablespoons of milk to get desired consistency for glaze.



Start the sponge.  Put the water in a fair sized bowl, gallon sized.  Add flour, sugar, yeast and stir until mixed.  Place in a warm space that you can see.  You may have to stir it down a few times.  This will also show you that your yeast is good.  If it isn’t, go get some yeast that is because you don’t want to work all day for something that isn’t going to work.


Crack eggs into a measuring cup to see volume (about 7/8 C).  Using a separate measuring cup measure the difference in milk to make up the 3 C (about 2 1/8 C).  Scald the milk, don’t boil it.  Add the 2 sticks of butter to the milk after it has scalded.  This cools down the milk and melts the butter.  Add the milk to the mixer.  Use hook on mixer.

Add flavorings to eggs and beat until blended.

Lightly mix sugar and 9 C flour in a large bowl.  Add some flour and sugar to mixer, mix a little, and add sponge if sponge is ready and eggs.  Add remainder of flour and sugar.  Hook mix on slow until dough is formed.  You will have to scrape the bowl a few times.  If the dough is too sticky, add more flour, up to two cups.  The dough should be a little sticky.

Place dough in warm location and cover with a warm damp cloth.  Let rise, takes about 2 hours.


Separate dough into 3 sections, shape into rectangular loaf shapes, and place on lightly oiled plates. Immediately refrigerate.

Cut two sticks of butter lengthwise, each into thirds.  Using wax paper, roll butter into rectangular sheets and refrigerate.

Roll one loaf of dough into a flat rectangle, place a flat of butter in the middle, fold over a third, place another flat of butter on top of the folded section and fold the final section over. Place loaf on plate and return to fridge.  Repeat for remaining loaves.

Take each loaf out of fridge individually and roll into a rectangle, fold into thirds, roll again, fold into thirds again and return to fridge.

One at a time, take each loaf out, roll, fold into thirds, roll again this time using hard pressure but not so hard as to damage more than the outer most layer.  (Brief note: this is not easy to do. You want it as flat as you can get it and as well formed as you can get it without tearing it up too much.)  Cut into 6 equal strips.  Lightly stretch the strips as much as you can without substantially damaging them, gently turning them into extremely elongated rectangles, maybe like planks on the back of a chair.  Braid three strips at a time into 2 loaves per single previous loaf. Place loaves on a lightly oiled baking sheet.  Repeat for remaining loaves.

(Important note here:  If you want to curve the loaves into a ring then now is when to do it.  The strips can be pinched together and the braid continued to make the traditional crown shape.  I don’t do that because it takes up too much oven space.)

Cover loaves and allow to rise, 2 hours or so, or over night for breakfast cake.

Mix two eggs together and rub on the outside of the loaves. Bake at about 400 F for about 20 min.


Put confectioners sugar in a small bowl and add extremely small amounts of milk until desired consistency is reached.  Drizzle over loaves.  Sprinkle colored sugar in splotches over glaze.

Sunday Morning Breakfast
November 29, 2010, 6:22 pm
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Sunday Breakfast



This is freshly killed pork, homemade wheat pancakes, and fresh farm eggs with little bubbly on a cold Sunday morning.  The chickens slack off laying in the winter, but I feed them rye grass, and the eggs are a very dark orange and extremely delicious this time of year.



Bowl of chops



This is a bowl of chops, waiting to be packed and frozen.  I use a large meat cleaver to make them.  They are best from a freshly killed animal.  Meat like this isn’t available to many people.  Like the chickens, only the very best of feeds are given to the pigs.  I feed them plenty of fresh hay, acorns, pears, winter vegetables like carrots and brassicas, and fresh grass.  We plant rye every year, and sometimes clover, so we have very high quality feed, even through winter.



Butchering isn’t easy, and we sometimes bring the animals to a professional, but it takes some time to do that, it is not cheap, and no one can cut an animal up the way I like it except me.  With the time I have spent preparing the animals and driving to the butcher, then again to pick up the meat, I could have done the job myself.


This was a very young castrated male.  I had intended to kill him earlier, but work has been extensive and my helpers had been away.  Killing even a small pig is a bit of an undertaking, and is best done in the cold parts of the year.  Butchers have meat lockers, but I do not.  Cool temperatures really help.


The vast majority of my guests very much enjoy sitting at my table, or even walking around the yard with greasy hands, feasting on the bounty of the land.


A quote my sister found about sums this up.  “Meat is murder, tasty, tasty murder.”  These animals are raised in large outdoor yards, with plenty of access to sun and fresh air, as well as protection from the elements.  They eat only the very best, and these things really show up in their quality.

Racks of Venison, Escargots, Lightly Seared and Marinaded Venison Medallions Wrapped in Bacon, and Champagne with Baroque Music on a Sunday Morning
November 7, 2010, 4:41 pm
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Sunday mornings are like heaven.  This morning we are having escargots, racks of venison, venison loin marinaded overnight wrapped in bacon and lightly seared on an open wood fire, and champagne to wash it down.  Baroque music, good friends, and a wonderful sun lightens the morning.


The loin is not pictured here, nor is the wood fire.  The racks and the escargots were cooked on the gas grill.

Lasagna and Fresh Salad with Arkansas Wine
November 1, 2010, 12:24 am
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Lasagna and Fresh Salad with Arkansas Wine


I am back, for those of you that have missed me for the passed couple of years.

On the menu this evening is lasagna, made with pork and tomatoes from right out my back door. We have discovered a few things making this dish as many times as we have. It is very important to have good tomato sauce. Pork tastes better than beef in this. You don’t have to use only mozzarella and ricotta cheeses.  Frequently we add bits of other cheese to clean up the fridge and we add cottage cheese to add creaminess. We also make this in large amounts and freeze pans of it for evenings when we don’t care to cook. If we have already made a mess of the kitchen, we may as well eat several times with this. It is excellent as left overs for lunches too.

The fresh salad is a mixture of what we had around. Some of it came from here, the tomatoes, cucumbers and onions. Romaine, broccoli, carrots and the rest came from the grocery. I am having it with chunky blue cheese dressing.

The wine is from Arkansas, and we like to support our local wineries. This one is from Mount Bethel and is labeled “Red”. It is made with Arkansas grapes. It has a very fruity scent, and has full body and is flavorful. It is sweet for our tastes. Georgiaberry and I usually like Merlots for red wine, but blends are sometimes surprising and we like that it is made from Arkansas grapes.