Fermenting

There needs to be a very strong reason to put something in my mouth if it insults my tastebuds. The common thought that nutritious food is inherently bad tasting only shows the ignorance of the cook….well then? That’s been my challenge, to create interesting recipes that utilize local produce and move us away from blandness to appreciate the goodness in real food. It takes many attempts; some concoctions fail royally but others join the ranks of recipes that should be in a cookbook – haha

Fermented dilly carrots are my latest adventure. I had to take several runs of antibiotics to clear up an infection and wanted to replenish the friendly bacteria zoo that lives with me. Antibiotics are overused in all aspects of life from dish soap to animal feed-additives, the later may account for 40% of antibiotic production. Hmmmm

I was offered to get a prescription for probiotics along with the antibiotics. I rigged up my own ‘prolife’ with quarts of homemade yogurt and live fermented ends and odds. That’s where the carrots and dill fit in with a bit of salt and garlic – most delish after a week on the counter!

Farm share folks will all get a chance to partake of the above ‘prolife’ dilly carrots. They should sit out for a few more days until the taste is right. The carrots should be pushed beneath the liquid to keep everything working correctly. There will also be a salad mix, choices of carrots/potatoes and beets, granola or bread and a salsa choice for regular shares.

Pasta vs Noodles

To show off some of my wealth of ignorance, I thought ‘pasta’ was the foodie’s term for what I grew up calling ‘noodles’. I ate noodles of all types: long and flat with broccoli and oyster sauce; transparent, skinny ones that slipped off my chop sticks; yellow round noodles in khao soi – my favorite spicy chicken soup; tapioca noodles in a coconut drink and then the rare occasion of a plate of spaghetti.

A 4,000 year-old bowl of noodles was found in China which gives historical weight to the thought that all things noodly began there. Imagine jumping  up from the supper table, knocking over the soup pot and it staying put for centuries! There’s a story in the making…..

I made pasta for farm share members this week….out of semolina and eggs. I have a few noodles made from a gluten free mixture. Note the change of words – nothing to do with being a gourmand. There is an Italian law describing what pasta is – which is one type of noodle made from durum wheat flour.

The next Make and Take class is to be an exercise of our noodle skills – haha! Come join the fun – if all goes awry – we will have spaezle!

Farm shares this week will get long pasta which are believed to bring long life…..maybe? or a choice of bierrocks. Along with the choice of added years there will be a salad mix, a frozen choice, jam or pickle and carrots. Noodles are NOT easy to make so it is a small sample. Fresh or frozen noodles take only minutes to boil.

Traveling the ruts

I run following the car ruts through drifts of snow this time of year. When horizon, landscape and surroundings are the same absence of color….white….I lose depth perception and almost ran into a 5 foot drift earlier this week!

Water buffalo….I’m thinking warm thoughts, travel much the same way, step by step they follow each other through the mud. A corduroy path remains with slippery hillocks squooching into the chocolate (poopy) channels where the hooves followed in unison. When a buffalo herd had shared our hiking path – what a mess!

Ruts of deep mud often saved our power wagon from careening off the mountain side around the tight curves. It was tricky trying to gauge if a mine truck was coming in the opposite direction in the same rut. I always sat in back, feet dangling off the endgate, seeing the world backwards after everything had occurred.

Ruts are the comfort zone, the cozy snuggle, necessary at times but….. their ending is often routine and predictable. If our dollars flow to the big places for food, entertainment and other life’s choices the little spots ……….

We had a fun Make & Take cooking class last night – all about carrots: Carrot Cake Jam, Carrot Lemon Jam, Maple Carrot Smoothie and Super Take 10 Cookies. The carrot and winter squash in the smoothie was a great surprise to the tastebuds – delish! I love the jams.

Following in the footsteps of good eats, farm share members will be the only ones to get a salad mix this week as well as: Jubilee pizza sauce and shells, choice of hummus or savory sauce, carrots or beets, and the regular shares – herbs, and a frozen choice.

Surrounded by witnesses

Am I who I say I am? Is there a witness that can come forward? Hmmm

Returning to Minnesota, this past weekend from sunnier parts, I was prepared for the blizzard that greeted me since my departing plane, 4 days earlier, had been the last one permitted to leave the runway in that blizzard. At the security in Philadelphia, I created a large stir….the xray could not penetrate my sweatshirt, vest and blouse (MN wear) so the protocol was to get a full body pat down. Hmmm Two women had to be found, the lunch room cleared out and more isometrics on my part. Goodness! Is there a witness?

Air travel causes a greater impact on our fragile climate; the atmospheric envelope that sustains us is being injected with gas emissions at higher altitudes and at worsening levels. Who is my witness?

Community is a group of folks choosing to be in proximity to each other. It is well-known what is good for the body and soul in terms of nutrition, exercise, and spiritual aspects or raison d’etre. High blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes are closely aligned with personal life choices. So…..I keep running (trotting) through the bleak days of winter to keep up my part of the community bargain….and of course eating my fruits and veggies. Is there a witness?

The puppets that are gazing down from their high shelves in the market are my “crowd of witnesses” to encourage me to think of the children and the generations to come…am I being faithful to the calling?

Farm shares are minus a salad mix this week – sorry. Instead, there will be potatoes, dancing carrots, frozen veggies and fruit from summer past, salad dressing or hummus, beets – onions – frozen cookies 😉 , fresh cilantro or kale.

Be a witness to good eats!

It is soup time

Let it be known that Potato Leek Soup is again available! Our leek crop was a failure this past year …….since “Singing in the Rain” does not pertain to vegetables with umbrellas over their heads. I could practice Sinatra’s outlook on life and love in a downpour and see if my feet can keep up – haha.

Back to soup – this month we will be matching up to $1,000 of soup sales and give the proceeds to a local cause. Both resurrecting a community garden that was plowed up with much sadness from the onlookers and more bikes for commuting did not work out. My current endeavor for the grant is to work with the Plum Creek Library system to purchase eaudio books that help us grasp the magnitude of the situation we are in and to find hope for the journey ahead. Hmmm

Our farm dinner next Friday, February 15, with Brian DeVore, is looking to be a worthwhile evening. Yay! Join us for the meal or come later to hear his stories from his new book, “Wildly Successful Farming.” We are all pieces in this puzzle and when one piece is missing – yoikes do I have a conniption!

As to farm shares: there will be salad mix with plenty extra to purchase, onions/carrots, frozen veggies or roasted garlic(yum), fresh cilantro/dried herbs, frozen berries, jam and a sample of a new carrot salad that I hope to have for everyone to try.

Soup shares are on – purchase a share for the month at a discount and pick up a quart each week.The soup will be fresh and handed off to you in a glass bottle for you to return on the following week. What could be better?                                   I am waiting……;)