1. How did you become a farmer?
It is in my blood. I’m the third generation farmer in my family. My grandparents emigrated from Germany and started out as potato farmers on Long Island. They moved to a small hilltop dairy farm in western New Jersey where my siblings and I were born. I grew up on dairy farms, milked lots of cows, showed them at county fairs and was even a Dairy Princess. I have a B.S in Agricultural Science from Rutgers University where I met my husband. In 1989 we bought a small dairy farm that had not seen any animals in many years and have been fixing it up ever since.
2. What kind of farming do you do?
We raise Jacob sheep, which are a primitive breed (they almost became extinct). They are a small breed, spotted, and can have two sets of horns. They are beautiful and very unusual. I use their wool for yarn, mittens, and hand-spinning. And yes, they are also delicious.
3. What gets you up in the morning?
Right now it's lambing season, so seeing what’s new in the barn is very exciting. It’s like Christmas morning every day!
4. What keeps you up at night?
I worry about whether the sheep are warm enough, especially when they lamb in this cold weather. The sweaters help!
5. Do you have a favorite recipe to share?
I love cooking things that take hours when it is so cold out! Here’s my favorite leg of lamb which is also a one-dish meal. The lamb is braised in the oven for several hours with fresh herbs and potatoes and carrots. It’s very easy, and promises to keep both you and the house warm!
Braised Leg of Lamb
INGREDIENTS: SERVES 6–8
- 1 6–8-lb. semiboneless leg of lamb
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 3 lbs. small red potatoes, scrubbed clean
- 15 cloves garlic, crushed
- 6 large carrots, peeled and cut into 3" pieces
- 6 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 large yellow onion, cut lengthwise into eight wedges
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup white wine
- Minced flat-leaf parsley, to garnish
- Arrange a rack 8" from broiler element and heat broiler to high. Put lamb in a large roasting pan, season generously with salt and pepper, and broil, flipping once, until browned, about 25 minutes. Remove lamb from oven and heat oven to 325°.
- Arrange potatoes, garlic, carrots, rosemary, bay leaves, and onions around lamb; pour in chicken stock and wine. Season wine mixture with salt and pepper and cover pan tightly with aluminum foil. Place roasting pan in oven and cook, turning lamb once, until fork tender, 4–5 hours.
- Transfer to a wire rack and let cool 20 minutes. Transfer lamb and vegetables to a large serving platter and sprinkle with minced parsley; serve pan juices on the side. Serve with the potatoes and carrots that are cooked in the braise.
This recipe was printed in SAVEUR Magazine, 2010.