bradtheado – making the change to a local lifestyle

Making Butter at Home
May 8, 2012, 6:38 pm
Filed under: Dairy, Homemade

We used our new heard share raw milk to make butter at home. I poured off the cream from the top of the milk jug into my kitchen aid mixer and turned it on with the whisk attachment. I just let it spin.

It first forms whipped cream but after a bit it completely breaks down into whey and butter fat. The butter separates from what looks like water and you pour that off. Then I formed the butter into a single unit that I waned off a few times. If you don’t wash it off it will go rancid in a few days. Took about 10 minutes total.


Local on the Road
May 1, 2012, 8:18 pm
Filed under: Local Vendors

So this week, I am on the road for work and while in Pulaski I am have a really hard time finding local foods to eat.  I had to go out on a limb and I drank a Starr Hill Jomo Lager.  Typically I am a Budweiser or Bud Light guy but I really enjoyed this Charlottesville beer.

I can’t wait to get home to eat better food again.


Reynolds Grasslands Natural – Duck
April 29, 2012, 7:18 pm
Filed under: Local Vendors

Yesterday while we were at the Charlottesville Farmer’s Market, my wife said, “Hey lets get a duck for dinner tomorrow.” Because we had bought one from them in the past, we walked over to the Reynolds Grasslands Natural booth and got a 3.5 duck.  We knew from buying one there before, that the ducks were raised naturally without chemicals so I eagerly agreed with her.

Today at lunch time, I threw it in a clay cooker after stuffing it with oranges and carrots and layering more orange slices over it along with some bay leaf, sea salt and cracked black pepper.  We cooked it for two hours at a low temperature giving the fat time to cook down into the meat.

My wife pitted some cherries that we picked from Chiles Orchard and froze whole last year and made a cherry glaze with sugar, almond extract, and lemon juice that we poured over the duck breast. It was really good.  The cherry sauce also doubled for a topping to put over top of a homemade angel food cake.

I took the duck carcass and boiled it for an hour and later this week we are going to make a batch of duck and noodles.  Of course we will make our noodles with flour from Wade’s Mill and eggs from a local chicken.  Green eggs from Americanas to be exact!

if you are looking for a great duck, here is more information on Reynolds Grasslands Natural,

Raw Milk the Legal Way
April 28, 2012, 7:30 pm
Filed under: Dairy

In our pursuit of going local we decided we wanted to start drinking local, raw milk.  As you may or may not know, its illegal to sell raw, unpasteurized milk.  Thank goodness our government is watching out for us, he says sarcastically.

There is a new loophole around the law in the form of a milk share.  If you own your own dairy cow, you can legally drink the milk that you cow produces.  Dairy farms are now selling a share in a cow.

For an $80 setup fee and $36 a month, we now own a portion of a dairy cow! At Creambrook Farms, our cow lives an idyllic life style eating grass and gets gently milked daily.  Once a week, our milk is delivered right to our house.

Now why are we doing this?  Because raw milk is a natural product untouched by processes that destroys most of its nutritive value. For more details, read here.

Picking berries for jam
April 28, 2012, 7:07 pm
Filed under: Local Vendors

Picking berries for jam

The Quest for Bacon
December 30, 2011, 5:34 pm
Filed under: Local Vendors

While we are very fond of the meats from Sunrise Farms, overall we have been disappointed with their bacon and ham.  Its a natural pork flavor but the meat is too salty and at times has tasted just on the edge of rancid.  We love bacon so its going to be important to find a good one to keep us in morning pork for the next year.

Our Source for Meat
December 16, 2011, 9:08 pm
Filed under: Local Vendors

We recently started by all of our meats at Sunrise Farms in Stuarts Draft and we couldn’t be happier. Sunrise Farms sells their own beef, pork, chicken, and turkeys along with eggs and a few baked goods. The meats are grass-fed, humanely treated animals that live in the outdoors eating grass rather than a commercial feed lot.

Because the meat is not ingested with nitrates and nitrites, Barbi is able to eat the meat without fear of migraines and allergies. The meat just tastes natural and one positive upside is that because it is protein dense meat rather than chemical ingested crap, we need less to fill us up.

The shopping experience is an interesting one.  You drive onto their farm where they have an unmanned shop.  You pick out your purchases from their refrigerated cases, add it up using posted pricing and a calculator, and drop a check in the box.  100% on the honor system.  Incredible in this day and age.