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@LMR (the ranch blog)

Ted Hall
September 25, 2009 | Ted Hall

2009 Harvest Brings Promises

Time Posted: Sep 25, 2009 at 7:00 AM
Ted Hall
September 24, 2009 | Ted Hall


We harvested 10 tons of our own potatoes this week.

The potatoes were grown on our "dairy" property in Tomales, California, known as Tomales Farm & Dairy (about 35 miles from LMR on the California coast).  Can you imagine burgers and fries from the same farm?  We are producing beef and potatoes from the same ground.  True terroir.

One of my favorite memories from 1992 is vice presidential candidate Senator Dan Quayle telling a sixth grader that the proper spelling of potato had an "e" on the end (i.e., "potatoe").  How embarrassing!  The spelling of this wonderfully nutritious tuber may have
determined the outcome of a presidential election. Seventeen years later potatoes are helping provide an authentic foundation for our farm-to-table food proposition.

As you may recall, we own a 500-acre former dairy farm in Tomales, California, where we raise grass for our grass-finished Shorthorn beef cattle. Tomales was renowned about 120 years ago for its production of potatoes (properly spelled with an "e", if plural).  The intensive potato farming contributed to significant erosion of the area's extraordinary topsoils and the industry went into sharp decline. But, a few locations still have the historically ideal conditions - including our property. 

This week we harvested almost 10 tons of potatoes from about two acres that we carved out of our lush pasture lands.  We collaborated with a local "share cropper" farmer and together we established a new organic field of potatoes.  We split the crop in return for his labor and expertise  So, we now have 5 tons of fabulous potatoes ready to be served at our new Farmstead Restaurant.  

We harvested two varieties: Russets and German Butterballs.  The Russets will make amazing french fries ("pommes frites") and the Butterballs will be terrific as a side dish either boiled, baked, or sauteed.  Chef Sheamus Feeley is already exploring how we will present these extraordinary home-grown potatoes at the Farmstead Restaurant.  For sure we will pair our fries and beef produced from the same ground.  Where else can you have this experience?  

Posted by Ted Hall

September 22, 2009 |

Happy Birthday Ted!

Posted By Sheamus Feeley

LMR Sangiovese Cake

Harvest time is always an exciting and creative time for me.  This recipe was inspired by the unique Sangiovese grapes from Peter's vineyard.  I am happy to share it with you especially as we celebrate Ted's birthday today!






Ingredients for Sangiovese Cake

4 tablespoons butter, melted
¼ cup Napa Valley Select
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
2 large eggs
¾ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
¾ tsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt
1 lemon, zested
1 orange, zested
powdered sugar, for garnish
12 oz. Sangiovese grapes

Preparing the Sangiovese Cake

Preheat oven to 350°

Oil 9” spring form pan and dust with flour. 

Whisk eggs and sugar until light yellow in color.  Add all liquid ingredients and whisk to combine.

Sift dry ingredients into the wet mixture and stir with a wooden spoon.  Let rest for ten minutes.  Add ¾ of the grapes and transfer to pan.

Bake for 15 minutes, then add the remaining grapes to the top and continue to bake for around 40 minutes more.  Allow to cool for 5 minutes and dust with powdered sugar.

Posted by Sheamus Feeley

Time Posted: Sep 22, 2009 at 5:00 PM
September 9, 2009 |

Pepper Vinegar

Posted By Sheamus Feeley

Pepper VinegarBack home in Arkansas we always had a pepper vinegar on hand as a table condiment for beans, fried chicken and pork chops.

These days I also like to use it where a recipe calls for Tabasco, or another hot pepper sauce. I prefer my version, because it adds good acidity without too much heat that can destroy the balance of a nice simple dish. For example, I use it to finish classic my LMR grass-fed chili with Rancho Gordo Pinquito beans.


Ingredients for the Pepper Vinegar

1 quart distilled white vinegar
1 tbsp kosher salt
6-7 Serrano Chiles, pricked with a fork or knife

Preparing the Pepper Vinegar

Heat Vinegar and salt in a sauce pot until salt is dissolved. Pour over chilies and let cool to room temperature.

Place in a glass bottle, or jar with a lid and keep refrigerated. It should keep for at least one month.

Posted By Sheamus Feeley

Ted Hall
September 7, 2009 | Ted Hall

Grape Harvest Underway

Posted By Ted Hall

Sauvignon Blanc Grape Harvest Although today is just Labor Day, the grape harvest is well underway. We started on August 17th and have already harvested more than 200 tons of Sauvignon Blanc grapes from our San Mateo Ranch vineyard on the valley floor. And, we probably have another 25 to 30 tons still to go.
Sauvignon Blanc Grapes Sauvignon Blanc Grapes

Posted By Ted Hall

Ted Hall
September 4, 2009 | Ted Hall

Not Pregnant!

 Eve in farrowing penNo piglets! Drat. Now what?

The seemingly endless Red Wattle pig saga continues.  After constructing a clean and "baby friendly" farrowing pen for sow-to-be Eve, we are sad to report that she has no piglets.  

We waited patiently on her due date last week (August 24th).  Nothing.  Just Eve sleeping in the clean wood shavings that we had placed in her pen.

So, Dr. David Gold induced labor.  Again, we waited and watched.  Nothing.  Eve, of course, continued to eat and sleep with no apparent discomfort - aside from needing to be sprayed with water occasionally because of last weekend's hot weather.  Frustrating.  Dr. Gold speculates that she absorbed the embryos sometime early in her pregnancy. (Remember we saw them on the screen of the ultra sound machine.)  As best we can tell, we have a healthy pig.  Just no babies.

We are now contemplating our next steps.  We'll probably try the process again.  But, we are going to wait until we can determine whether Eve will come back into "heat."  She should resume her normal cycle 21 days after we induced her labor, which would be about September 14th.  

So, stay tuned.  We'll report on her status in another 10 days. 

 Post by Ted Hall

Time Posted: Sep 4, 2009 at 11:00 AM