Decorating a Cake Using Fondant
Fondant is a popular way to decorate cakes for many occasions. It’s almost like working with play dough, only it’s sweet! Robin Hassett of The Dessert Tray demonstrates how to prepare a cake for fondant, how to create fondant colors, and how to work with fondant. Hassett has been baking and working with fondant for years, and you can learn more about how she became a baker by watching this related video: Cake Decorating: Fun with Fondant.
Corn Maze and Pumpkins at Harvest Time
Fall is a busy time of year on Bi-Zi Farms in Vancouver, Washington, and is marked by their annual Fall harvest festival they call “The Pumpkin Patch” designed to entertain families with kids of all ages. In addition to the 7-acre corn maze that Bill Zimmerman says can take up to 2 hours to walk through, there’s a pumpkin shooting contest, a hay bale maze for younger kids, a petting zoo, and live blue grass music. In this video, Bill Zimmerman shares his story, and what the Fall season means to him.
As the Urban Growth Boundary Approaches: A Wary Farmer Notices
Bill Zimmerman talks about the approaching urban growth boundary (UGB) that may soon encompass his farm. Every five years, the UGB in Washington State is up for review by the county (his is in Clark county), and the UGB line keeps expanding as development pressures, and highest use principles are applied to agricultural lands that lie close to urban areas. As Zimmerman explains, to end up inside the UGB line means tighter regulations, and greater vulnerability to neighbor complaints that can end up putting farms like his out of business.
Coming Next: Corn
Kelly Myers, of Xico (pronounced “chee-ko”) in Portland, demonstrates how to make a quick variation of enchiladas that she refers to as ‘street style’. In addition, Meyers shows us how to make an adobo sauce from scratch using dried chilies.
Anthony Boutard is both a mischievous character, and a serious farmer who methodically indulges his personal culinary tastes in what he chooses to grow. His life-long love of corn led Boutard to seek out a superior corn to grow in order to produce an excellent (not just good) cornbread. In turn, that effort took a surprising turn as he became more engrossed in selecting new varieties of corn to plant each year in his field. His field work, and ongoing research on the subject of corn also led to a book he wrote, and that has just been published: Beautiful Corn. One of the chapters from his book will be posted Monday, November 5 on Cooking Up a Story.
After harvest, farmers often disk under the crops for the winter, and leave them undisturbed until Spring. Not so, at Boutard’s Ayers Creek farm- at least not in the cornfield. The corn is left standing, their long stalks dried and yellowing, continue to rustle in the wind. Among the leaves, and the rows of remaining stalks, an abundance of life is both below and above the ground’s surface. The birds fly in over winter, the occasional fox, and the spiders too come by-that is precisely the point of letting the corn stalks remain just in their place.
The Weekly Roundup
- Our bees, our loss, our firm resolve (Brooklyn Grange)
Heartbreaking blog and photos track how these urban bees were battered by Hurricane Sandy.
- Right to Know: Vote Yes on Prop. 37 (Food and Water Watch)
Sarcastic video featuring Hollywood stars asks why you have the nerve to think you deserve to know what’s going into your body.
- A Plan for Food Self-Sufficiency (Mother Earth News)
Planning a garden in advance can help you enjoy local, homegrown food year-round! Estimate how much to grow or buy and learn how to achieve food security with these guidelines.
- Pressing apple cider (Cooking Up a Story on YouTube)
- Seven things to tell your friends about GMOs (Food Mythbusters)
- All about vanilla (Food52)
What’s paste? What’s powder? Why is vanilla so expensive? Your questions answered.
- An oyster in the storm (NY Times)
The NY Times explains how oysters help protect our waterways, and their lack in NY harbor may have contributed to flood surge.
- Great Pumpkin Soup Recipe (Homegrown)
A recipe that actually requires a fresh pumpkin, not canned puree.
- Making a good farm bill better with specialty crop grants in California (Civil Eats)
- A 300-year-old food forest in Vietnam (EcoFilms on YouTube)
This forest has been feeding people for 28 generations.
- Cooking in and caring for copper (Food52)
- Harvesting and saving seeds (Cooking Up a Story)