Journal Entry: Random Food Notes
Last night enjoyed the first yellow crookneck squash from the garden. Sliced and sauteed it with lots of onion and extra-virgin olive oil and some freshly ground pepper. Delicious!
Discovered the "chicken of the woods" wild mushroom during one of our foraging expeditions last week--it's like finding five pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breast just sitting next to a tree. Even the texture is nearly identical to chicken. Have been feasting on it in all sorts of ways: sliced it up and put it on a pizza; sauteed it with olive oil and several cloves of garlic, sopping everything up with hunks of homemade crusty bread; even marinated it in teriyaki and grilled it.
Put up seven more quarts of pickles (total now 27) using the first of the fresh dill from the garden. Didn't expect to get any more cucumbers, as the plants were looking pretty wiped out after a month of temperatures in the 90s and hardly any rain, but they perked up after two back-to-back storms last week and surprised me with several more pounds of pickles-to-be.
Baskets of colorful garden bounty occupy every flat space in the kitchen--melons, tomatoes, sweet red peppers, bush beans, squash.
Baked banana walnut bread last night. Had pesto pizza topped with lots of thick slices of golden tomatoes for dinner. Made five cups of pesto with overflowing basil from the garden--barely put a dent in the plants. Froze extra so we can instantly flavor sauces, etc. this winter.
Ate the last garden cantaloupe for breakfast. The rest are neatly cubed and in the deep freeze for smoothies--a welcome burst of sunshine some snowy morning. Gave a big bucket of rinds to the sheep--most of them snubbed their noses, but a few (including Gertie of course) smacked their lips and sucked them right up--I don't even think they stopped to chew.
Later made some potato salad and nibbled on that (mayonnaise, sour cream, splash balsamic vinegar, dijon, salt, pepper, paprika, lots of fresh chives) along with rest of last night's marinated green bean and cherry tomato salad.
Harvested three huge turnips today--beautiful! Washed greens and put in refrigerator for later. Gave stems to the sheep. Picked several pounds of purple and yellow bush beans. Placed them in a tub of cool water until tomorrow when I will blanch and freeze them.
Dinner: English pasties with ground beef, new potatoes, and one of the turnips. Also tossed in some of the wild mushrooms we found a few months ago and dried--very tasty. Baked an apple cobbler for dessert--ate it warm with scoops of French vanilla ice cream.
Note To Newsletter Readers, Jan/Feb 1997 issue:
The first real snowfall of the season is wrapping Windridge in a thick blanket of white as I write this. The barn is suddenly stark without its bright red roof, and the snowflake-covered woollies are vanishing into the landscape. The mailbox will be unreachable by morning. But the cats are safely snuggled into a furry jumble inside the greenhouse, the woodstove is exuding warmth and reassurance, and an unexpected change of scenery is always welcome. Silence envelops the farm. Peacefulness and snow seem invariably intertwined.
To be continued. . .
I'll make an announcement on Farmgirl Fare when the next Writings From Windridge Farm post is up.
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