March 23, 2017

Spring-Cleaning: Windows

Now that spring is officially here, everyone at the farm is busy with many spring-cleaning projects, including cleaning the woodlands, pruning various trees, and washing all the windows of all the houses - inside and out.

During the year, debris and film can build-up on windows, sills and tracks. Windows should be dusted and washed regularly to keep them sparkling clean. For my windows, I like to use a white vinegar and water solution. Vinegar safely kills germs and is much more economical than chemical cleaners - plus, it’s completely non-toxic and anti-bacterial.

My housekeeping crew has made a lot of progress with this time-consuming chore. Here are some photos. What spring-cleaning projects are underway in your home? Share your comments below.

March 22, 2017

Pruning the Osage Orange Trees

Many pruning chores are underway at my Bedford, New York farm.

Yesterday's temperatures were relatively mild here in the Northeast - the bright sun melted more of the snow from last week's Winter Storm Stella. It was a good time to prune the row of Osage orange trees that line a fence near my tennis court. The Osage orange, Macular pomifera, is not an orange at all, and is more commonly known as hedge apple, bowwood, or bodark. The fruit is wrinkly and bumpy in appearance, and considered inedible because of the texture and taste, but they're very interesting and fun to grow. 

Enjoy these photos.

 

March 21, 2017

A St. Patrick's Day Luncheon at the Office

I hope you all had a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day.

This year, because my busy calendar called for several meetings at our New York City headquarters, I decided to host a fun holiday luncheon for our entire staff - complete with corned beef, cabbage, potatoes and of course, our own version of the traditional Irish soda bread. I got a large beef brisket from Pat LaFrieda, and began preparing it about a week in advance, so it could corn for several days - the term comes from the ancient processes invented for preserving meat by packing it in salt or soaking it in a concentrated brine.

Our Irish soda bread contains currants and caraway - it’s absolutely delicious, and the recipe is from our newest book, "A New Way to Bake: Classic Recipes Updated with Better-for-You Ingredients from the Modern Pantry”. You can pre-order the book by clicking on the highlighted link. It was a fantastic meal and celebration. Enjoy my photos.