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Fun With the Wood Stove!

In the hot days of summer, sometimes it is easier to just throw something quick, like pasta, on our single-burner efficient “Rocket Stove,” and make a salad from our garden’s diverse mix of greens.

Other days, we interns get excited about various projects or treats that inspire us to fire up the big, antique wood-burning stove, which requires an investment of time and chopping wood.

We’ve recently begun purchasing green coffee beans from Sweet Maria’s, an online coffee distributor.  Sean looked for a “local” distributor of green coffee, but couldn’t beat the price of $6/lb. for green coffee that we found online.  Not only are we saving money by roasting our own coffee, but also having fun experimenting with different roasts.

Another recent intern project was making tortillas.  Wade ordered a 25 pound bag of flint corn online from Great River Organic Milling.  He had sought a more local source, but by purchasing the corn online through Amazon (blush of embarrassment here) we qualified for free shipping & big savings.  This fall, we will have our own Cascade Ruby-Gold Flint Corn, which we ordered from Carol Deppe.  In the meantime, we got to enjoy some homemade tortillas, similar to those that Wade and I enjoyed while visiting Central America in 2010-2011.  Although, I can envision many a Guatemalan and Nicaraguan woman having a hearty laugh at the expense of our too-fat, misshapen (but delicious) tortillas!

It’s a bit of a process to make tortillas from scratch.  We first had to learn the Spanish word for food-grade lime (cal).  Once it was purchased, we boiled the corn with the cal.  It then had to soak overnight (some recipes suggest up to 48 hours).  The corn was rinsed, then hand-ground.  Wood was chopped, and the stove fired up.  Tortillas were hand-patted and pressed, and finally, eaten and enjoyed!

May you enjoy the abundance & beauty of the season,
Kate

 

 Our antique wood-burning stove

Our antique wood-burning stove

 Rocket stove, with our first chanterelle in the tiny frying pan

Rocket stove, with our first chanterelle in the tiny frying pan

 Geoff's Amazing skillet pizza, with fresh Mountain Gardens basil

Geoff's Amazing skillet pizza, with fresh Mountain Gardens basil

 Final Roast

Final Roast

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There was a bit of charcoal that mixed in with the cookies, though the black dots are fresh-roasted cacao.

 

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Sean surprised us with Coconut ice cream to accompany the cookies!

 

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We got to visit a local Mexican store and practice our Spanish while purchasing our cal.

 Corn rinsing after boiling

Corn rinsing after boiling

 Fresh-washed, de-skinned corn

Fresh-washed, de-skinned corn

 Corn in the grinder

Corn in the grinder

 Corn in the hand-crank grinder

Corn in the hand-crank grinder

 Tortillas on the wood stove griddle

Tortillas on the wood stove griddle

 The tortillas turn out uniformly flat and round, but it's less fun than hand-patting them!

The tortillas turn out uniformly flat and round, but it's less fun than hand-patting them!

 Finished tortillas!

Finished tortillas!

The tortillas turn out uniformly flat and round, but it’s less fun than hand-patting them!

 

Joe Hollis