Friday, July 18, 2008

City Mom Country Farm Hand

Yesterday, I completed the first of my 2 two hour work sessions at the farm. It was one of the hotter days this summer, but I felt more comfortable than most days. Something about the people, the plants -prickly pigweed and all, and having a simple focus kept me feeling cool inside and out, body and mind. Ari, "head" farmer and owner of Lindentree was so gracious and appreciative of my help. I, on the other hand, constantly feel that I should/could do so much more for the farm that provides my family with such a fabulous, fresh, cornucopia of vegetables and berries. If we lived closer, I think I would be there every day.

The time flew by. If it weren't for feeding my children and taking them to cool off at the watering hole I could have stayed another two hours.

I searched between the pig weed, which was a gentle reminder of how contaminant-free and "non-toxic" an environment our dinner was growing in for turnips and beets. I pulled off the dead or yellowed leaves and wound the rubber bands at the stem of each bunch making small vegetable bouquets to be picked up later that day. After a short ride in the back of the truck with some farmers and fellow members, we weighed the vegetables: chard, turnips, and beets and dumped them in the wash bins. My kids joined in, standing on some crates to help gently release some of the dirt.

At home as I prepared the beets for dinner, I was upset as I peeled the deep red and sunset orange to red skins off of the beets. I also need to learn how to use my beet greens. I've always thought that I should live on a farm so I could feed the pigs the scraps (I think it's a romantic idea from Charlotte's Web). I don't actually want to take care of farm animals -at most I could handle a vegetable patch.

I'm going to share two more favourite recipes from Patricia Wells. Perfect for this extremely hot humid weather.

From: Vegetable Harvest by Patricia Wells

The Red and The Gold : Grated Beet Salad
salade de betterave: le rouge et l'or

Make the dressing:

1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons of imported French mustard ( I used 1/2 dijon and 1/2 grainy dijon-country)
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
pinch of sea salt

Separate the dressing into two bowls:

Grate the red beets into one bowl - Use the large holes of the box grater.
Grate the gold beets into the other bowl.

Mix and serve side by side.
Zucchini La Ponche

using a mandoline slice 4 small zucchini
using a vegetable peeler peel some Parmesan over the zukes
drizzle with balsamic vinegar
sprinkle with fleur de sel and pepper.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Salads not soup

It's been salad weather or at most chilled soup weather. I've been too busy/tired/frazzled/fried to make soups so for me it's salad weather.

We have some beautiful red cabbage from the farm and the 4th of July always brings the need for a barbecue with classic sides (at least for my American husband). We are not a fan of mayo so we usually go for the vinaigrette dressings, but sometimes you need a little more.

My favourite quick and easy dressing is from Patricia Wells. It's a dressing made with light cream and chives. I'm sure it could be made with other light, fresh herbs, but I love chives so I have no need to change it. It's a light creamy dressing that coats the veggies so perfectly without making anything heavy. Once you try it, it will become a staple in your fridge!

I'm not sure what the rules are for posting recipes so I'll just direct you to Martha Stewart's site that has permission, I'm sure to post the recipe.