Darlene Rose didn’t grow up in the country. She grew up in the Albany, New York, area and moved to Connecticut, where she raised three of four daughters to adulthood.
But she says she’s always been “a country girl at heart,” so she and her girls “decided we were going to…start a new adventure.” From 2005-2007, she searched for properties to pursue a lifelong dream of running a bed and breakfast.
After buying 141 acres, six outbuildings, and a house from an Amish farmer in Hart County, Darlene spent 18 months renovating and adding onto the house to construct her Country Girl At Heart Farm Bed and Breakfast. A Farmers Rural Electric Co-op member, it was a process that required installing electricity as well as adding bedrooms with private baths.
On the farm, Darlene’s chickens produce eggs used for many of her breakfasts. There are goats, rabbits, ducks, cats, dogs, and horses. Since the Country Girl At Heart Farm Bed and Breakfast experience is an interactive farm stay, she invites guests to go with her as she tends to livestock, to help her feed the rabbits, collect eggs, and give carrots to the horses.
While Darlene loves cooking breakfast foods of all kinds, her family’s favorite is Dutch babies, the dramatically puffy pastry/pancake that tastes “like a cross between French toast and scrambled eggs,” says Darlene.
Though the recipe has various permutations, Darlene keeps it simple—three ingredients baked until puffed and browned, served with sides like bacon and tomatoes, or potatoes.
3/4 C milk
3/4 C flour
2 tsp butter
Heat oven to 425° (using an oven thermometer is best). Beat eggs with milk and flour. Batter will be thin. When oven is hot, add cold butter to 8×8-inch pan or a 9-inch cast-iron skillet and put it in the oven for 2 minutes. Remove pan, tipping it to coat the bottom with melted butter. Pour in batter and bake 14 minutes, or until the edges are puffed and golden brown. Remove from oven and serve immediately with maple syrup. Serves 2.
CUCKOO FOR COCONUT
Recipe by Sarah Fritschner
2 C all-purpose flour
1 1⁄3 C (loosely packed) sweetened, flaked coconut
1 tsp baking soda
1⁄2 tsp salt
2 C sugar
1 C butter, room temperature
5 large eggs, separated
1 C buttermilk
1⁄4 tsp almond extract
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1⁄2 C butter, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
3 1⁄3 C powdered sugar
1 C flaked coconut, toasted
Preheat oven to 350°. Spray two 9-inch cake pans with nonstick spray; line bottom of pans with wax paper or parchment rounds.
Combine flour, coconut, soda, and salt and set aside. In a large bowl, beat sugar and butter until well-blended. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating and scraping the bowl after each addition. Combine buttermilk and extract. Add flour mixture to butter mixture in three additions alternately with buttermilk in two additions, beating just to blend after adding each. With clean beaters, beat egg whites in a chilled, medium bowl until peaks form. Add 1/3 egg white mixture to batter; fold into batter just to blend. Fold in remaining egg whites. Divide batter between pans.
Bake 35 minutes, or until cake tests done. Cool 5 minutes. Run a knife around sides of cake and invert onto racks. Peel off paper and cool cakes completely.
Beat cream cheese and butter until blended. Add vanilla and a cup of powdered sugar and beat again. Add remaining sugar and beat until well-blended. Ice cake between layers, and on sides and top. Sprinkle coconut over top and press into sides of cake. Serves 12.
SARAH FRITSCHNER coordinates Louisville Farm to Table, a program bringing more Kentucky-grown food into local homes, restaurants, and institutions.