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We do enjoy our farm-raised meats and eggs on Shaltz Farm--and so do our many customers. They have found that Shetland lamb is exceedingly tender and mild; our pork wonderfully flavored, particularly when smoked; and our eggs have yolks that truly stand at attention.
Visit the lamb, pork, and eggs pages for more information about quality, cost, availability, and how to order. Also some delicious recipes, all family favorites:
Fresh-picked spring, summer, and fall vegetables simply can't be beat for quality and flavor. I really don't like buying vegetables from the grocery store, and am working toward growing and putting up all the veggies we can east in a year. Here are some wonderful vegetable recipes I've developed, to showcase their freshness and flavor:
Zephyr Summer Squash
Fresh Green Shelling Peas with Herbed Butter
If you have tried and don't like peas, try again! The peas you shell yourself just minutes after they are picked are so different from the little starchy green balls sold in the freezer section of the grocery store that you won't believe they both come from the same type of plant. Like sweet corn, the sugars in peas begin to turn to starch as soon as they are picked. If you absolutely cannot pick then immediately shell and cook, hold them just above freezing--but cook them just as soon as you can.
- A few hours before picking and cooking your peas, soften a stick of butter (real butter, not margarine, if possible) in a small bowl.
- When the butter is soft, pick and wash 1/4 cup fresh herbs. You can choose almost any type of herb, but fresh lemon basil or lemon thyme may be the very best with peas. Mix and match if you like.
- Blot the herbs dry and snip them over the butter. I use kitchen shears, they are much faster to use than chopping with a knife.
- Mix thoroughly and place in refrigerator.
- Pick desired quantity of peas. Choose pods that are full and plump, like puffy pillows, and ever so slightly more bumpy and yellow than their neighbors. About 1 quart of pods will yield about 1 cup of shelled peas.
- Shell quickly. Twist and pull off the stem end. Use your thumbnails to pull open the 'seam' along one side. Hold pod over a bowl, and open it, pushing peas out and into the bowl. The pods are great for sheep, chickens, and pigs to eat.
- Place 1 tablespoon of herbed butter in a pan for every cup of shelled peas. Melt over low heat.
- Mix peas with the butter, raise heat to medium, and stir frequently as the peas cook. This won't take long, maybe 4 minutes or so. Don't overcook! You want the peas to retain some crunch.
- Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste, serve, and enjoy!
Baby Squash Sauteed in Herbed Butter
You still have some herbed butter after cooking the peas, right? Let's put it to good use! Baby summer squash, picked when only 4-5 inches long, is a superb summer treat.
- Pick some baby squash carefully, by cutting from the vine. Knock off the flower if it's still attached to the squash. Two-three squash is about one serving.
- Melt about 1 teaspoon of herbed butter for each squash in a pan over low heat.
- Rinse the squash, pat dry, and slice into 1/2 inch sections. You can halve or quarter larger sections if desired.
- Place squash pieces in pan and stir to coat with butter. Cook over medium heat 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Remove from heat, add salt and freshly ground peper to taste, and serve.
Grilled Summer Squash
In spite of our best efforts to keep the squash picked, there's always a few that get a bit bigger than the ideal 4-5 inches in length. Grilling is a wonderfully tasty way to prepare these squashes. Make sure they are no thicker than about 2 inches at the thickest part. One squash per person unless you're super summer squash lovers!
- If using a charcoal grill, get your coals started. If you are cooking over a campfire, let the flames die down. For gas or electric grills, follow the instructions that came with your grill.
- Pick your squash and rinse--about one squash per person.
- Just before time to cook, cut each in half lengthwise and brush cut surfaces with olive or other vegetable oil. If desired, the oil may be flavored with herbs and spices.
- Spread out coals and lay squash on grill, cut side down.
- Grill about 3-4 minutes, making sure that the fire isn't so hot it burns the squash. If they are more than about 3/4 inch thick, turn once and grill the other side for a few minutes.
- Squash are done when tender but still offering some resistance to a fork. Season as desired, and serve immediately.
Herbed Spaghetti SquashIf you haven't tried spaghetti squash, you're in for a fun treat! It's halfway between true summer squashes, eaten as immature fruits, and hard-shelled winter squashes. This version uses fresh herbs from the garden for color and flavor. One small spaghetti squash will feed two people.
- Cut spaghetti squash in half. Scoop out and discard seeds.
- Place cut side down on a plate and microwave until flesh is soft and separates into strands easily--about 10 minutes. Or steam, if preferred.
- Use a fork to lift out strands of squash flesh.
- Cut your choice of fresh herbs, and snip over bowl of squash. Add 1-2 tablespoons butter and a little salt and pepper if desired.
- Serve hot, and expect requests for seconds!