Food & Swine. Literally.
I’m making a valiant effort to swing back the roots of this blog and what it was made for.
#1: Me forgetting recipes I make frequently that I never write down. And #2: to have a place to keep special memories for our family, most of which involve pigs in some capacity. I confess regularly to be horrible at both of these actions, and Food & Swine is merely a place for me to be somewhat accountable to my family in preserving these memorable events we incur every so often.
Stay tuned for this recipe, once I trip over telling you about the significance of cinnamon the ingredient, and the “Cinnamon” pigs on our farm.
Back long ago when I was still hammering away in baking competitions, I won a good fistful of cash (and then some) in the Tone’s Cinnamon Roll Contest at the Iowa State Fair. My daughter was almost two and we only had one crossbred sow named… wait for it… “Oink”. After winning the contest, I came to Mike with an idea.
Me: “Mike, with my cinnamon roll money I want to buy a Duroc gilt and name her Cinnamon.”
In true Mike fashion, within a week we’d traveled through the northeast countryside of Iowa up to Huinker Durocs in Calmar and picked out a gilt from John and Ruth, brought her home, and named her “Cinnamon”. Her name on her pedigree was “Red Draw Lady”, but we didn’t call her that. Afterall, she existed only to us because of a blue ribbon stapled to this recipe:
Halle was in love with “Cinnamon” and so was I. She met her demise when she tangled with “Oink” outside of the barn after she had weaned her first litter of babies. I was crushed. I am embarrassed to say I sobbed on the bed for the better part of an hour until I ‘got it together’ enough to inform my daughter about it. She blankly looked at me and said something to the effect of “Mom, there are more pigs.” And yes there were, and continue to be.
A while went by and printed on the next pedigrees that came out, all of the “Red Draw Lady” names had been changed to “Cinnamon”. Mike has a way of quietly doing meaningful things that I appreciate very much. Now all of the red female pigs with the exception of the lineage of “Cherry D” (Cherry Danish prize winnings bought her), and “Erin” (the litter my friend Erin came to farrow and saved) carry the name “Cinnamon”.
The most recent “Cinnamon” to write home about is CFY7 Cinnamon 15-3, the 2017 National Barrow Show Hog College Duroc Gilt that we raised out of a boar who was also a “Cinnamon” baby, we sold to “Stoney Creek Genetics” (they named him “Gretzky 016”). She will show in the National Barrow Show Hog College Home Run Drive next Monday and we will sell her at the sale on Wednesday. We’re so proud and humbled to have an animal selected for this honor. I believe this is a bucket list item for Mike and I’m really happy for him.
The kids aren’t wild about selling her, and I can understand why. Each of these animals provides a learning experience for them. Some more than others, but we hope it teaches them to care a little more and analyze the details in situations. Regardless of the size of the farm, animal care is a top priority and watching kids pick up on this at a young age is so rewarding.
It is even better when they share it with their friends.
In celebration of all things cinnamon in my life, I want to share the EASIEST decadent 4 ingredient recipe with you. Puff pastry is a new pantry staple for me lately. I take a couple sheets and sandwich ham, swiss and a smear of mustard inside and bake, then cut into squares and serve with a salad… OR make these cute little pillows smothered in CINNAMON and sugar. If you want to go over the top you can make a simple powdered sugar frosting to drizzle over the top!
Cinnamon Sugar Puff Pillows
Makes 18 puff pillows
By: Cristen foodandswine.com
1 sheet of puff pastry, thawed slighly
1 TBSP milk
1/3 cup sugar
1-2 tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Unfold puff pastry, roll out slightly to flatten. Cut into 18 pieces. (Cut 6 strips, then each strip into thirds.)
Lay strips on a lightly greased or silicon mat covered sheet pan. Brush with milk.
Sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top.
*If you have taken a while to complete these steps (say the kids have been SUPER helpful, haha) place sheet pan in freezer for 10 minutes so the puff pastry will hold its shape during baking.
Bake at 400 degrees F for 8-12 minutes or until puff pastry is puffed and golden. Cool a minute or two and serve warm or at room temperature. *Optional: Drizzle with powdered sugar glaze for extra sweetness!
For more info on our show pig operation check out: https://www.facebook.com/theclarkfamilies/.