June is Pride month, in recognition and support of LGBTQ+ community members and in remembrance of those who came before us and fought for our rights.

Unfortunately, most of the Pride events we would typically attend have been canceled as large gatherings are unsafe due to COVID-19.  Normally, we attend Boston and Providence Pride, and this year I was going to try making some rainbow roses to bring along!

Thank you, during Pride month and at all times of the year, for supporting a queer-owned business.

 –

Snap Pea Risotto with Garlic Scape Butter

An ode to late spring, this fresh risotto features snap peas and tender garlic scapes.
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Keyword 30 minutes, risotto, Snap Peas
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 4

Equipment

  • Large Skillet
  • Medium Saucepan

Ingredients

  • 3 C Chicken Broth
  • 1 C White Wine
  • 1 C Arborio Rice
  • 1/3 C Atwells Gold Cheese grated
  • 1 C Sugar Snap Peas trimmed and cut into ½” pieces
  • 1/4 C Scallions chopped
  • 1 T Olive Oil
  • 2 T Garlic Scape Butter

Instructions

  • Set out ingredients
  • In a medium saucepan, heat chicken broth to medium heat
  • In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat
  • Add scallions to skillet and cook for 3 minutes
  • Add rice, stir to combine ensuring rice is coated with oil. Cook for approximately 2 minutes.
  • Turn the heat on the pan to medium-high, add the wine, and cook, stirring constantly, until the wine is absorbed.
  • Add one soup ladle of stock from the saucepan to the pan at a time, stirring constantly until absorbed.
  • Along with the final ladle of stock, add the snap peas. After absorbing this final ladle, the rice should be tender, but still have a crisp exterior. This takes 20-25 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, and add garlic scape butter and Atwell’s Gold cheese.

Notes

To make Garlic Scape Butter, blend 1 stick of butter with 2-3 garlic scapes in a food processor until smooth.
Atwell's Gold cheese is available from Narragansett Creamery. If unavailable, you can substitute Asiago.
3 ducklings cuddled together on a heating pad in a cardboard box

Today we welcomed three new members to the Stargazer Hollow team — a trio of Indian Runner Ducklings!

3 ducklings cuddled together on a heating pad in a cardboard boxThey are just two days old today, and will live inside with the family until they grow enough of their adult feathers to be ready to swim in the duck pool with our three adults.  I expect this will be sometime around the end of August.

Living on a small farm with limited space for now, we are keeping to a maximum of 6 ducks.  In the future, when we have bought a larger property, we definitely want a big flock! The ducks are delightful to watch, and their eggs are our most popular product at the markets.

All three ducks are likely to lay blue or blue-tinted eggs, once they start laying.  I’d expect their first eggs around the end of September.

Without further ado…

Xena is a black runner duck, like Aurora.

Zelda is a blue runner duck, like Cinder.

Leia is a chocolate runner duck, our first one!

The ducklings took their first trip outside today as well, since it was a nice day.  They explored the herb garden and had a few snacks.

Prosciutto & Spring Greens Crustless Quiche

A farmers market take on the classic "ham and cheese" quiche.
Course Breakfast
Keyword keto, quiche, spring mix
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings 6

Equipment

  • Saucepan
  • Pie Pan
  • Mixing Bowl

Ingredients

  • 5 Duck Eggs
  • 1 C Spring Mix roughly chopped
  • 1 C Scallions thinly sliced
  • 1 clove Garlic minced
  • 1 C Prosciutto chopped
  • ½ C Milk
  • 2 C Gruyere grated
  • ½ C Romano Cheese grated
  • 1 T Butter

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375°
    Ingredients set out for quiche
  • In a large saucepan on medium heat, melt butter and sauté scallions and garlic for 5 minutes, until aromatic and softened
  • Add spring mix and prosciutto to saucepan, and cook for additional 3 minutes
  • Beat together eggs, milk, and cheese in a mixing bowl
  • Mix together vegetables and egg mixture
  • Pour into oiled pie pan
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes, test for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the center

Video

 

This quiche is a great make-ahead breakfast, as well as being a nice way to use up any extra salad greens at the end of the week.  

We get our milk from a local farm, Crescent Ridge Dairy. If you’re in the greater Boston area, I definitely recommend checking them out for that old-style “milkman” experience!

A basket full of colorful eggs with decorative daisy flowers. In the corner, text that says "National Egg Day".

Yesterday was National Egg Day, according to those fun “unusual holiday” calendars.  A basket full of colorful eggs with decorative daisy flowers.  In the corner, text that says "National Egg Day".

We celebrated by gathering up this week’s eggs in a basket to take a picture of their awesome variations.  Our ducks lay eggs with shells that are different colors from each other, which is pretty cool to see! This doesn’t impact the taste or color of the egg itself at all, and is mostly related to the bloom on the egg.

The eggs are also still coming out with some variation in size, since the ducks are young and only recently started laying.  Buttercup is the first duck to lay consistently — basically all “extra large” size white pretty eggs.

We also gave the ducks a bouquet of trimmed arugula flowers as a treat!

In honor of National Egg Day, I’d also like to pass along a recommendation for my ideal method of making scrambled eggs.  Such an easy food, but it’s so easy to make bad scrambled eggs.  Follow these instructions and it’ll be perfect.

 

Radish Risotto

Course Main Course
Keyword 30 minutes, radish, risotto
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 4

Equipment

  • Saucepan, large
  • Pan, large

Ingredients

  • 12 French Breakfast Radishes chopped
  • 1 C Radish Greens roughly chopped
  • 6 C Chicken Stock
  • 1 C White Wine
  • 2 C Arborio Rice
  • 1/2 C Parmesan cheese grated
  • 3 shallots diced
  • 1 clove garlic minced (about 3/4T)
  • 5 T butter (or olive oil)
  • 1 dash Lemon Pepper optional
  • Fresh Mint to garnish

Instructions

  • Prepare ingredients and set out so you will not need to step away from the risotto while it cooks.
  • In a large saucepan, heat the chicken stock to medium temperature. Do not remove from heat during cooking process.
  • In a large pan over medium heat, melt 3T butter and add the shallots and garlic. Cook until soft and aromatic, approximately 5 minutes.
  • Add radishes and cook for approximately 2 minutes.
  • Add rice, stir to combine ensuring rice is coated with butter. Cook for approximately 2 minutes.
  • Turn the heat on the pan to medium-high, add the wine, and cook, stirring constantly, until the wine is absorbed.
  • Add one soup ladle of stock from the saucepan to the pan at a time, stirring constantly until absorbed.
  • Along with the final ladle of stock, add the radish greens. After absorbing this final ladle, the rice should be tender, but still have a crisp exterior. This takes 20-25 minutes.
  • Remove pan from heat, and stir in parmesan cheese, remaining butter, and 1 dash of lemon pepper.
  • Serve, adding a few fresh mint leaves on top for garnish.

 

Some quick additional tips for making great risotto:

  1. Have patience! When you are adding each ladle of broth, it’s important to make sure the previous ladle has fully absorbed.
  2. Use tools that work for you.  I really like using a pasta spoon for all this mixing!
  3. Remove the risotto completely from heat before adding final ingredients, particularly cheeses.

Spring Greens Flatbread

A quick tasty dinner option using spring mix as the main feature!
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Keyword 30 minutes, easy, flatbread, spring mix
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Servings 2

Equipment

  • Frying pan
  • Pizza stone

Ingredients

  • 1 pre-made pizza crust
  • 3 C spring mix salad greens
  • 1 scallion finely chopped
  • ¾ C romano cheese grated
  • 3 T olive oil
  • flour or cornmeal for work surface

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425°
  • In a frying pan over medium heat, add 1T olive oil, scallions, and spring mix
  • Stirring occasionally, heat for about 5 minutes to wilt greens
  • Add flour or cornmeal to your work surface to prevent dough from sticking
  • Roll out dough to approximately ¼" thickness -- imperfection is fine!
  • Spread remaining olive oil over crust, and add wilted greens + scallion mix and the romano cheese
  • Bake, ideally on a pizza stone, for 11-12 minutes
  • Serve immediately for best taste

Video

Notes

 
As a note, when we took these photos, we only used 2C greens -- we upped the greens to 3C in the recipe since it wasn't enough!

 

If you’d prefer not to use pre-made dough, a great easy one to make at home is King Arthur’s!

Meghan and her sister Hannah are at a farmers market, in front of the sign. They are wearing masks.

Yesterday, my little sister Hannah and I had a booth at the Hingham Farmers Market, officially marking our very first day at market for Stargazer Hollow!Meghan and her sister Hannah are at a farmers market, in front of the sign. They are wearing masks.

Due to COVID-19 and state precautions, the market is running as a pre-order, pre-paid market.  We had all the customer orders pre-bagged and labeled, and the customers drove up to pick up their orders.

This meant our table was pretty bare (just gloves and sanitizer) and we were wearing face masks, making for a pretty unusual-looking market day!

I am so happy that we got to start at market, and so grateful to everyone who decided to try out our food — I hope everything was great! Our very first order ever was for 6 duck eggs, on the same day that we finally woke up in the morning to have 1 egg from each duck in the coop!

The Hingham Farmers Market runs 9AM-12PM every Saturday, and is currently at the Station Street Lot at 95 Station Street in Hingham.  

Radish & Arugula Quiche

An easy, delicious quiche that tastes like early spring!
Course Breakfast
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 288kcal

Equipment

  • Large saucepan

Ingredients

  • 1 Pie Crust, frozen
  • 6 Radishes thinly sliced
  • 2 C Arugula fresh, chopped
  • 6 Duck Eggs
  • ¼ C Milk
  • ½ C Feta Cheese
  • 2 T Cream Cheese
  • 1 T Herbes de Provence Seasoning

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375°F
    Ingredients of Quiche
  • Set aside ¼C feta cheese, and a few pieces of arugula and radish, for garnish
  • In a large saucepan, melt butter and sauté radish and arugula for 8 minutes and remove from heat
  • Beat together eggs, milk, cream cheese, feta cheese, and herbes de provence
  • Mix together vegetables and egg mixture
  • Pour into frozen pie crust
  • Top with remaining feta, arugula, and radish
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes
  • Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the center

Video

Meghan feeding the bees sugar syrup

Happy news on our little farm: the bees have moved in!

Jay carrying a package of bees

On Saturday the 2nd, we picked up our package of bees from Barker’s Beehives & Supplies in Oxford.  A package of bees is a queen bee, plus about 10,000 worker bees, in a screened box with some sugar syrup — the start to our bee colony!

Picking up our package in these unusual times of social distancing was very strange, but worked efficiently.  We had a specific time to come by, and stood among a carefully spaced out line of dozens of other beekeepers, both new and expanding.  It was a great day to do the install (sunny and 65 degrees), and though we were disappointed not to be able to invite people over to watch the installation as planned, we did live stream it on Facebook and Instagram; thank you to everyone who joined us! A link to a video of our package installation is below.

Bee Package Install Video

Meghan in a beekeeping outfit hold a jar with a few honeybees on topSince the installation, we’ve been keeping up on feeding our bees.  Until new hives of bees have built up enough honeycomb to start storing nectar to feed themselves, you provide a sugar syrup for them to eat.  Per the recommendation of our bee school (more praise for bee school coming later in this post!), we also add the supplement Honey B Healthy for our bees — a natural supplement that includes lemongrass oil and spearmint, to make the syrup extra appealing to the bees. They are very active and hungry bees, so we are giving them more food every several days so far!

Jay in a bee veil, inspecting the bee hiveWe also did our first inspection, and though we couldn’t find the queen, we found the bees making great progress on building out comb.  The weather has been a little up and down here, so our next big inspection is on Thursday, and I hope we’ll be able to find her then! If we can’t find her, we’ll make sure to find some baby bees growing so that we’ll know she is settled in well and healthy.  Even though our queen is marked with a big blue dot, it can be harder to find the queen than you might think, since there are thousands of other bees crawling all around!

It’s common for first-year beekeepers not to be able to extract any honey, because the bees have to spend a lot of time originally building out the honeycomb that they will then use year after year.  But we are making sure we set up the best possible conditions to make this happen: We planted a bunch of native pollinator flowers around, including late-season goldenrod, and are going to be regularly checking in to make sure our bees are strong and healthy and don’t need anything from us.

I know that I already sung the praises of bee school in my last post, but now that I have my bees, I wanted to just talk again about how great my bee school experience was.  None of us were expecting that suddenly COVID-19 would hit and that our bee school would no longer be able to meet, but the Norfolk County Beekeepers Association very easily pivoted to teaching fully remote through Zoom.  We also had an extra Q&A class at the end, and were offered mentorship. I got our diplomas printed out for fun as well, at Walpole Printworks.