Sunday, September 10, 2006

Rainy Sunday = food thoughts

Our digital camera has been causing us some woe lately. Considering it is a rather spendy model and my husband is a photographer, I have a feeling my posts are going to be filled with archived photos as opposed to the new and noteworthy until we can either replace the camera or have it fixed.

The butter is fabulous. I put the raw milk in a quart mason jar and shook it into butter: a process that took about an hour and a half. The buttermilk was used in whole-grain pancakes this morning, with the butter, eggs and blackberry syrup from the farm. We have M's great-great-grandmother's butter churn at my mother in law's house, just waiting for us to come and pick it up to use next time.

Yesterday we did a local scavenger hunt for produce and other goodies. We hit a farmer's market two towns over to get some things I have had little success in growing here, namely, cabbage and melons. We sampled some baked goodies and got a couple of names of grass-fed meat producers for Tom's upcoming fall and winter meat eating. Our milk supplier is also a pastured chicken/turkey farmer, so Tom picked up a few whole birds, one of which he slow roasted on the grill with sage, rosemary and thyme stuck under its skin and whole garlic in its cavity. I even tasted a tiny bite and it was indeed divine, or near enough.

I put a lot of food up for winter raids, too, having rescued the pressure cooker from the basement. For the first time in a long time, you can actually see the ground in parts of the garden: I cleared a lot of the beds of their drying beans and have planted cooler-season crops like lettuces, spinach, and lots of Asian greens like pak choy, mizuna, tatsoi and mustard. I also planted fall peas and favas. Things are poking up from the ground now and it is like spring all over again.

Some of my favorites are ripe for the harvest, though won't be saved for later: enjoy me now, those lima beans are saying; savor my taste and remember me, says the basil. The beets miraculously taste just as wonderful after being canned, a fact which has me thanking the gods of Beta Vulgaris. And the eating tomatoes: Wow. And the carrots. Sigh.

But this cold rainy day makes me think BREAD and SOUP so I may actually recon the pantry and see what I can clean out. A nice minestrone? Some potato/leek? How about a lentil/kale? And that butter, of course, needs something hot and steamy to be put on.

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