In a world filled with fast food, pre-packaged meals, and hectic schedules, the allure of farm-style cooking and its simplicity has captivated many. As people yearn for a return to wholesome, nourishing meals and a connection to their food, the appeal of simplifying and embracing farm-style cooking grows stronger. Farm-style cooking often incorporates ingredients commonly found on local farms, such as fresh vegetables, fruits, herbs, grains, dairy products, and proteins like poultry, beef, lamb and pork. In this blog post, we delve into the reasons why more and more individuals are drawn to this cooking style and explore the benefits it brings to our lives.
Health and Well-being: Farm-style cooking emphasizes using fresh, whole ingredients, which are often richer in nutrients compared to processed foods. By simplifying our meals and focusing on natural, farm-fresh produce, we can nourish our bodies with real, wholesome food that contributes to our overall health and well-being. Additionally, knowing where our food comes from allows us to make informed choices and prioritize locally sourced options.
Flavorful Fare: When we simplify our cooking and let the natural flavors of high-quality ingredients shine, we unlock a world of delicious possibilities. Farm-style cooking embraces the beauty of simplicity, allowing the true essence of the ingredients to take center stage. Whether it's the burst of sweetness in a sun-ripened tomato or the rich earthiness of freshly harvested herbs, each bite becomes a celebration of flavors that can't be replicated in overly processed meals. Try skipping the margarine and opt for real butter (this will make a huge impact in flavor, too!) Ditch the vegetable shortening and use lard (or even coconut oil.)
Connection to Nature and the Seasons: Engaging in farm-style cooking fosters a deeper connection to nature and the seasons. By embracing seasonal produce, we become more attuned to the rhythms of nature and the bounties it offers throughout the year. Harvesting herbs from our own garden, shopping at the local farmers' markets, or participating in community-supported agriculture (CSA) programs brings us closer to the source of our food, fostering a sense of appreciation and gratitude.
Mindfulness and Relaxation: Preparing meals in a farm-style manner encourages mindfulness and relaxation in the kitchen. Taking the time to peel, chop, and stir can be a therapeutic experience that helps us unwind from the stresses of the day. The process of creating a meal from scratch, using simple techniques and basic tools, allows us to slow down, be present, and find joy in the act of cooking.
Chicken-Fried Steak & Gravy
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
2 large eggs
1-1/2 cups 2% milk, divided
4 Back Home Farms beef round steaks - pounded to 1/4# thickness with meat mallet
1-1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
1 teaspoon pepper, divided
Oil for frying
1 cup water
Place 1 cup flour in a shallow bowl. In a separate shallow bowl, whisk eggs and 1/2 cup milk until blended. Sprinkle steaks with 3/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Dip in flour to coat both sides; shake off excess. Dip in egg mixture, then again in flour.
In a large cast-iron or other heavy skillet, heat 1/4 in. oil over medium heat. Add steaks; cook until golden brown and a thermometer reads 160°, 4-6 minutes on each side. Remove from pan; drain on paper towels. Keep warm.
Remove all but 2 tablespoons oil from pan. Stir in the remaining 1/4 cup flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper until smooth; cook and stir over medium heat until golden brown, 3-4 minutes. Gradually whisk in water and remaining 1 cup milk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; cook and stir until thickened, 1-2 minutes. Serve with steaks.
Country-Style Scrambled Eggs
8 Back Home Farms bacon strips, diced
2 cups diced red potatoes
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
8 large Back Home Farms eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
In a 9-in. cast-iron or other ovenproof skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove to paper towels to drain. Cook and stir potatoes in drippings over medium heat for 12 minutes or until tender. Add onion and green pepper. Cook and stir for 3-4 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain. Stir in bacon.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, salt and pepper; add to skillet. Cook and stir until eggs are completely set. Sprinkle with cheese; stir it in or let stand until melted.
So, in a world that often values convenience over connection, embracing farm-style cooking offers a pathway back to simplicity, nourishment, and a deeper appreciation for the food we consume. From the health benefits and the explosion of flavors to the connection with local farmers and the joy of mindful cooking, the reasons to simplify and embrace this cooking style are plentiful. Step into the world of farm-style cooking and experience the fulfillment and satisfaction it brings to your plate and your life.
Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food!