Nestled into the curves of the Vermillion River, Bellwether Farm is a camp, retreat, and education center dedicated to exposing the wider community to the creation that sustains all of life. As a working farm, its life focuses on four primary activities.
Facilities & Grounds
Bellwether Farm is a unique and affordable option for your next gathering. The center offers brand new facilities featuring a green technology, renewable energy, and water reclamation systems.
I had a late entry into the world of Culinary Arts. The reality is that I could not cook and had no interest in cooking until I had an opportunity to volunteer at St. Malachi Catholic Church’s Back Door Food Ministry in Cleveland. I made soups from donated foods and they began referring to me as “souper man." When I served a guest a hot cup of soup and a pastry, I looked in his eyes and saw hunger and gratitude. At that point, I understood the meaning of call and enrolled in the Tri-C Culinary Program. That was 10 years ago, and I still love cooking because food touches people personally and helps create community among us when we share meals together.
I tell this story because baking is a more recent breakthrough which resulted in this Bellwether Lemon-Lime Pound Cake. My mother was known for her pound cakes, but until now I never appreciated how they were made. Adding homemade cakes to the Bellwether menu has been a huge hit with our guests because they are able to enjoy them over the course of a retreat weekend.
It is appropriately named a pound cake because as you can see, the recipe calls for a pound of butter. The trick to making the cake light is to thoroughly cream the butter, vegetable oil, and sugar. And while 7UP is not a fresh, inherently healthy ingredient, it is one of the secrets to this delicious cake. However, the most special ingredients are the Bellwether eggs and maple syrup. I often refer to this cake as the Bellwether Bundt.
If you have spent some time with us at Bellwether recently, hopefully you had an opportunity to taste our bundt cake. Please feel free to try this recipe. I welcome your feedback.
|1 lb.||softened butter|
|2 tbsp.||vegetable oil|
|1 tbsp.||vanilla extract|
|2 tbsp.||Bellwether Farm maple syrup|
|3 cups||all-purpose flour|
|¼ tsp.||baking soda|
|¼ tsp.||baking powder|
Cream butter, vegetable oil, and sugar pushing down frequently.
Blend eggs, vanilla extract, and maple syrup together.
Add the egg, vanilla, and syrup mixture to the creamed butter and sugar in six increments.
Add 7UP in three increments.
Sift dry ingredients together (flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda). Then mix with a hand whisk.
Stir in combined dry ingredients in three increments. Mix only until smooth. Overbeating will increase gluten formation and produce a heavy and tough cake.
|Step 7||Spray a bundt cake pan with floured spray and bake at 325 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until test stick pulls out dry.|
|Step 1||Zest ½ lemon and ½ lime|
|Step 2||Juice ½ lemon and ½ lime as well|
|Step 3||Add vanilla extract to taste and whisk in powdered sugar to desired consistency|
|Step 4||Pour over cooled cake|
Bellwether Farm is a model of green technology featuring passive buildings, renewable energy, and more. It is a vehicle through which we can teach the wider community about fidelity to the environment, nutrition, physical and spiritual wellness, local food sourcing, food justice, and sustainable living.
Volunteer around Bellwether Farm. Opportunities are posted as they become available.