Thursday, September 13, 2012

Oatmeal Flax Crisps

Here is a simply wonderful dessert that is full of healthy ingredients. It is actually closer to a candy bar than anything. These are our family's favorite treat now that Cindy's made them a few times. Incredible tasting according to all who've tried! Enjoy.

1/2 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1-1/2 cups Gold Forest Rolled Oats
1/2 cup Gold Forest Golden Flax seeds
1/2 tsp. baking powder

In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat; stir in sugar and vanilla and cook for about 2 minutes or until bubbly. Remove from heat. Stir in oats, flax seeds and baking powder; mix well. Press firmly into greased 12x8 baking dish. Bake at 375 degrees for 7-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cool; cut into bars. Voila.

This is a highly addictive treat that will win you much adulation at the next church or school bake sale...guaranteed.

On a note, Cindy thought that the flax and butter made these "greasy" so she tried it with 2 cups of oats...it just turned into a granola...good, but not a bar. I didn't mind the buttery appearance at all. She wants to try it with Organic Agave syrup and then add some more oats, but to me, it works just fine as is.

Cindy got this recipe from the Canadian Living Cooking Collection recipe book titled "Muffins and Cookies". The 65 tastiest recipes for muffins, cookies, bars and squares.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Harvest Time 2012

Harvest is always a sort of year end for me. It is always a time to reflect back on the year past and take inventory of what we've accomplished and what is left to do. All of this is of course in between actual harvest activities. The busiest time of year by far. 

The farm is beginning to take shape more and more. Since I've started farming full-time (along with operating the milling business) I have had the chance to spend some time with landscaping and some construction projects, but nothing major. The back deck went from just that to basically a full fledged addition. I've got it about 1/3 finished, but my goal was to simply have a deck and a roof this year and finish the rest next year. 

All in all, the farm has gone from completely rough to marginally functional...hows that for a description? Some of the yard work, gravel and grading have been accomplished and new bins and buildings have been ordered and are on their way. 

The business itself has undergone a transformation too. Once again, there are two families who own and operate Gold Forest Grains. The Schneider's and The Bennett's. Chris and I are partners now in the farm and milling business. It is a tremendous help to have another person involved with a vested interest in the business. Chris is as passionate about organic food and farming as I am and together we are growing Gold Forest steadily and rather quickly.

The Market sales have increased for us and being in the three largest markets in Edmonton has really helped to get the word out about our fresh flour and grain products. Old Strathcona Farmers Market is still our best performing market, we simply love being involved with such a tremendous market. It is professionally managed and the customers are there to purchase food. Unlike other markets in town where entertainment is the focus, as a vendor I appreciate the focus on local food at Strathcona. Our sales at that market are more than all other markets combined weekly. 

The grain harvest is ongoing. We have purchased a new combine and it is being delivered today. It is newer and in better condition than our old L combines...it is an L2 by Allis Chalmers. Not new for sure, but in prime condition for its age and we are looking forward to less mechanics and more harvesting. 

This past summer has been trying from a weather standpoint. The fields around home are still water logged and swathing has been a nightmare. Stuck every 3 minutes. Our flax will simply have to wait until freeze up when we can go into the frozen fields with the straight cut combine. Other crops have been damaged by excessive storms, but it could have been worse. We avoided hail for the most part. Next year will be better...that is always the promise of "next year".