Once again, an unimaginable amount of time has flown by since our last blog post. What can we say? It’s harvest time!

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Our top headline this week is some very big news indeed: THE CHICKENS ARE LAYING!!! Clearly our little hens have been very content with their steady diet of garden kale, corn, salmon and other wedding catering leftovers because we were not expecting eggs for another 2 months. These ladies are just 4 months old. What started out as just two eggs a day buried in their little dirt nests has turned into 10-12 eggs a day by the end of the week! Nothing quite like laying hens to fast track the coop-building plans. “GO GO GADGET COOP!”

In other news, I GOT ATTACKED BY A DEER! No joke. The meek and gentle deer proves to be ferocious when one naïve human is herding it out of the orchard. It came right at me, head first. Put a hole in my pants, broke skin  and left a nasty bruise. Next time, I won’t hesitate to close all the gates and call the nearest neighbour who is interested in a little wild game for the freezer. Easy pickin’s.

Coming out of the canner this week: dilly beans, garlic pickles, prune plums, peaches,yellow plum jam, sauce and butter and apple butter. Dehydrating plums, pears and apples. Upcoming will be pear-pumpkin butter, my absolute fave.

Despite the damage done by the aforementioned bratty deer, the fruit trees we put in less then two years ago are heavily weighted down with fruit. I’m not sure I could be more proud of those little trees.

Another exciting development this week (or rather, the fruition of something that’s been incubating for a while), we both started cooking at a local café this week. We had been asked by the new owner to run the kitchen at Café Aroma (a local coffee hot spot). It’s going to be some time before it’s up to our standards but the possibilities are quite dreamy. Speaking of dreaming, the 5:30am wakeups for baking are proving to be an adjustment. Stay tuned ….

And any of you Vancouver folk out there, you can find us at Banyen Books on September 26th for a food demo and book signing, as part of the Word Vancouver.  Come check it out!

Honey Yogurt Pear Cake

Makes 1 loaf

After the circus act of picking fruit from the tall trees around here (picture truck parked on uneven ground and 8ft ladder precariously balanced in the back of said truck) we are so grateful for the pears. Pears, it seems, simply FALL when they are perfectly ripe. And a bed of lily of the valley at the base of this particular tree breaks their fall. Then, as if the whole thing is in some kind of odd symbiosis, the dog barks at the sound of something in the bush and we go out to collect the fallen pears before the deer, horses and bears get them. The ravens are getting their fair share.

This cake celebrates this particular harmony. All the while humming “gimme spots on my apples, but leave me the birds and the bees ….”

Honey-spice butter

¼ cup honey

2 tbsp melted butter

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

Cake

1/3 cup soft butter

¼ cup cane sugar

¼ cup honey

2 eggs

¾ cup whole milk yogurt

zest of one orange

½ tsp vanilla extract

½ tsp almond extract

¾ cup whole wheat flour

½ cup unbleached white flour

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

¼ tsp salt

3 small pears (1 ½ cups chopped)

Combine the ingredients for the honey-spice butter and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Cut a single large piece of parchment and line a loaf pan with it.

In a mixer or bowl with a wooden spoon, cream together the butter, sugar and honey. Add the two eggs and continue to cream. Add the yogurt, zest and extracts and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Quarter the unpeeled pears lengthwise. Core and dice. Cut the last remaining pear quarter into long wedges for garnish.

Add the pear to the wet mixture and then fold in the dry mix. Fold just until any bits of flour disappear. Pour half the batter into the loaf pan. Drizzle half the honey-spice butter onto this. Pour the remaining batter on top and then the remaining honey-spice butter. Arrange a few long wedges of pear on top.

Bake for 50-60 minute, until a testing stick comes out clean.

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