Yes, yet another thing to do with KALE! In a small fit of inspiration, I tore up a few fistfuls of baby Red Russian, and tossed ’em into the pot with carrots, onions, grass-fed beef shank, salt, pepper, garlic and water, slow-cooked for quite a while, six hours or more, adding brown rice towards the end. Voila, Beef and Kale Stew. The kale contributes just a hint of seaweed taste, but maybe that’s just me. Anyhow, excellent. Will do again.
Another in my series of possibly-not-so-appetizing photos of oh-so-delicious food. Local food. Ingredients either grown by me or gotten from those who did. I still find knowing where your food comes from endlessly satisfying, it doesn’t get old. Anyhow, without further ado, on to the one-pot, no-culinary-skills-required Beef and Eggplant Stew. [Read more…] about Beef and eggplant stew!
OK, perhaps not the MOST appetizing of food photos, but the point is, that’s how it looked, and it tasted great—more all-local, dead-simple cookery! Here we have my first time with this grass-feed beef honey garlic sausage from a few miles down the road—I could actually taste…honey; unusual and good! Alongside in the cast iron pan, sweet orange pepper (Orange Sun), the very last, slightly green zucchini (Golden Dawn III), and a mess of yellow cooking onion, all from the field. A little imported olive oil, salt and fresh ground black pepper, let braise-simmer for a while—an hour or so, with the zucchini added near the end—and…Bob’s yer uncle! Delicious, nutritious (I’m pretty sure), fun. :)
In the end, this is all about food and eating. Tonight, back to basics: heat applied to simple, locally grown ingredients, no culinary art or even a favorite recipe, just some mellow cooking. In the pot: grass-fed beef from a few miles down the road, plus, from our harvest, onions, carrots, potatoes, garlic, and green beans, well water, and a little store-bought salt and pepper. Simmered, covered for a while, for a couple of hours. The Yukon Gold potatoes, medium starchy, added thickness without melting away to mush. The beans, teaming up with the carrots, contributed a little veg lightness to the…stew. Dinner! (Fall must be in the air…)
Today, it’s a warmish (57°F/14°C), overcast, gray day, with a light breeze. In the next week or so, the unheated greenhouse is to be relocated, set up, and outfitted to house hardier seedlings. All things considered, right now is a fine time to start this season’s hardening off… In early afternoon, we set outside trays of onion, cauliflower and broccoli, preparing them to head out from the cosy shelter of the seedling room to the real world. They’ll stay out till early evening, then it’s back in for a few more hours under the lights, and more of the same for the next few days. These first acts and sights of spring on a tiny farm never fail to excite (I think it’s the gambler in all of us)…
The more things change, the more they stay the same, right? That’s how it seems, in a soothingly familiar way, as seed starting 2010 really gets in gear at this new farm location. A little over two weeks since we set up the seedling room, and the fairly intricate task of managing dozens of crops and varieties and thousands of seedlings is on!
It can be a little complicated, keeping track of all the details, but it’s also…simple. Kendall, trying her hand at tiny farming-style veggie production for the first time, shows no fear with the sharp, little snips, as she learns about thinning onions (above). We’re multiplanting this set of onions, aiming for four per plug sheet cell. Since I used seed from last year—a common rule is that you should get allium (onion family) seed fresh each year to ensure good germination, but why waste?!—we went a little generous in the seeding. Germination was great, and now we need to remove the extras.
Next, Kendall’s on to another kinda critical seed-starting task: taking inventory of what exactly we’ve got going. That means a lot of counting and note-taking, and making sure the markers in the trays don’t get pulled out. Below, she tallies some of the 20 or so varieties of sweet and hot peppers that’re on for this season. For the new girl, it’s business as usual!