I found this on YouTube, filmed by someone ten years ago. It was a fun surprise for me! I hope you enjoy it too.
So, it’s been a long long time since I’ve acted like a farmer’s wife and posted to this blog. Too busy cooking the good farmer’s food, doing his and the boys’ laundry… excuses, excuses…. Actually I’ve been pouring my creative juice into learning art. But Jesse and Eli (flower farmer Elizabeth’s son and Jesse’s good friend) have decided to start working at the farm on Fridays, which means I get to be there with them. I’ll now have ample opportunity to cut a few flowers with Elizabeth and take pictures of the farm. I’m even going to fix my good camera so you won’t have to look at anymore blurry shots from my farm dirty-iphone. But in the meantime, here are a few from this past Friday:
Right now, for me, it is all about the flowers. A beautiful dewy Peony. Isn’t it just screaming to be painted? I thought so. I’m afraid the peonies didn’t make it to market today. They are being well loved in my art room.
The woman behind the flowers – Elizabeth, here with the Larkspur.
Asparagus, the headliner (in my humble opinion) of spring. We’ve eaten it several times in risotto, but it’s also so good roasted on a cookie sheet with olive oil and salt, at 350, until it’s really toasted.
Swiss Chard, a family favorite. I slice it up into strips, the colorful stems too, and sautee it in a big cast iron wok with garlic and olive oil. I add bragg’s or tamari to it in the last few minutes of cooking.
Nicolas showing Eli how to efficiently package the berries. Here’s a tip. If you’re freezing berries, you can freeze them spread out on a cookie sheet and then when you put them frozen into bags or glass containers, they won’t stick together so badly.
March 20th 2013. Jesse and Nicolas will be posting more videos soon.
I got to help pick flowers for the past two Fridays. I was lucky to witness the beauty and bounty of our farm more intimately than usual. So much back-breaking work by the farmers has really paid off. The flowers have never looked so good nor been so abundant. And the rest of the farm is bursting with delicious vine-ripening goodness, wherever you look. The coolest thing I got to see this morning was hidden within the yellowing leaves of a used-up tomato plant –
Can you see it? The tiny nest?
Here is a close-up of what must have only recently made its way out of the shell:
Two wee cardinals. Pretty cool.
Here are a few shots of the flowers:
Part of the reason I’ve been so missing in action on this blog is that my good camera is broken. These above were taken with my iphone. They are just fine, eh? No more excuses. : ) A farm tutorial will be here in the next few weeks.
Two friends of mine, Theresa Rogers and Tika Altemoeller, have written an inspiring vegetarian cookbook called Dharma Feast Cookbook – Recipes for a Fresh Start. It is going to be available in February. I am honored to say that my photographs are in it.
I own the first edition of Dharma Feast and use it all the time.What I love about it is the emphasis on simple ways in which we can cook and eat more consciously, as opposed to just getting another meal checked off the to-do list. When you pay real attention, the way Tika and Theresa do, to the way in which you choose, prepare and serve your meals, the food is more nurturing and delicious.
There are wonderful Indian recipes, many tips for cooking the staples of a vegetarian diet and lots of information about how to change your habitual ways of eating. There is also a chapter about making healthy school lunches.
Periodically, I am going to include some of the recipes here. I’ll start with a simple one that uses our most loved vegetable at the Morningside Market – Arugula.
Fussili Rice Noodles
1/2 cup olive oil
1 Tbls. minced garlic (2 cloves)
1 lemon, zest and juice
2 tsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. black pepper
1 pound rice fusilli noodles (or regular pasta if you prefer)
1/2 pound baby arugula ( I even use more)
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
Heat olive oil in medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Then add the zest and juice of lemon, salt, and pepper.
Cook rice noodles according to instructions on package. [I think they are best when rinsed and then reheated. Then you can't really tell the difference from regular pasta. We like Tinkyada brand rice pasta.]Drain and return to pot.
Immediately add olive oil mixture to pasta and cook over medium low heat for 3 minutes. Pour hot pasta into large bowl. Add arugula and tomatoes. Toss well. Season to taste and serve hot.
Variations - Substitute whole grain pasta for rice noodles.
Or add finely grated raw cheese to top of pasta after tossing or serve in a small bowl on the side.
We had it the other night:
This blog post was supposed to be about endive mix. Many of the vegetables in the following pictures are from the endive family – sugarloaf endive, radicchio, I think there may be some frisee and/or escarole that made it in here. But while reviewing the pictures that I took of Nicolas and his endive heads, all I could see were his hands; how hard-working and rugged they are, how masculine – but mostly – how covered in rubber bands. The many rubber bands in the first shot have nothing to do with the task at hand. They are there, as rubber bands always seem to be on Nicolas, for some upcoming picking job where they will be vitally necessary. I have even seen several of them lined up on his wrist, many times, while he is sleeping. I love that.
So, in case you are more interested in the vegetables, that large icy green wonder above and directly below is called sugarloaf endive.
Back to the endive family. Below is part of a row of escarole endive. We use these a lot to make a favorite salad. We chop them into strips and mix them with dulce (a seasoning), olive oil, mulkasan (a vinegar), some salt, minced garlic and chopped walnuts. You can make this with any of the endive heads. So good!
Jesse has made two farm tutorials with Nicolas this month. I’ll post them both at the bottom.
This was taken right after Jesse filmed Nicolas talking about Swiss Chard. The filmmaker is ready to leave the farm and go edit his new tutorial. The farmer is getting geared up for many more hours of labor. He and his crew are heroic. It is busier at the farm right now than it has been all year. We’re all getting more energy by turning all these beautiful vegetables into green smoothies. We’ve been drinking one every morning, even the kids most days. They make a huge difference in our ability to get it all done, and to help cut our cravings for chocolate and cheese, part of the day anyway
Lots of Swiss Chard, collards and other greens make their way into the green smoothie as well. Nicolas also adds flax oil and mulkasan and sometimes some coconut oil.
Three random pictures from a beautiful fall farm day:
One more, and then I will relinquish this space to the farmer’s wisdom on my son’s tutorials.
Finally, the videos: