No rest

I love Sundays. The end and the beginning of the week. I’ve had a chance to mull over our farm share and start cooking: bagels; chicken pot pie; and brussel sprouts to freeze. There’s a rhythm to working with a weekly bounty.




Next I hit the books. You will be happy to know I had to answer this question to remain Board Certified:

I answered it correctly and only have four more articles to read. Most of the articles are relevant and interesting but the questions? Not so much.

So I took a break and wound the Malabrigo worsted yarn on my nostespinne. Luscious.


Memorial Day like November

This is why I am still eating root vegetables in May.  There was snow in the mountains today!

So while those of you downstate are munching on fresh lettuce and tomatoes, I am still eating the remains of cold storage.  Potatoes and kale are finished but beets, carrots and parsnips abound.  I started a hydroponic garden about a month ago and this weekend, we shared about 8 pieces of arugula, mustard greens and lettuce among four people.  And it was good.

image  There comes a time in mid spring, where I have to have fresh greens and fruit after a long winter of root vegetables.  I threw slow food to the wind and bought mangos, pineapples, oranges and cherries.  Don’t judge me.


My northern CSA provides international experiences

Our farm share continues all year. During the winter months, we eat food I imagine Russian peasants have always eaten – beets, cabbage, onions, carrots, potatoes, parsnips, turnips and rutabaga with some kohlrabi and celeriac tossed in.

I make borscht, stuffed cabbage, roasted vegetables, soups and stews.

This week hominy, or dried corn, was added to the share with suggestions to make tortillas. I gathered my corn and culinary lime and headed south of the border.

Lime is calcium hydroxide and is called “cal” in Mexican recipes. It softens the corn, boosting its nutritional value and helps remove the husks. Water, hominy and cal are heated and then left to soak overnight. Next the corn is ground into masa, traditionally between two stones. Since I live on an old sand quarry, I opted for my food processor.

I may have been better off with two stones. I ground the masa as fine as I could then made a dough with some salt and water. Next I flattened the dough with a spatula and peeled them off the board and tossed them in the hot griddle. The flavor was perfect but they were too thick and a little soft. I tried to pass some dough through my new pasta maker but that was too cross cultural and didn’t work.

Next time…

My knitting is well under way for the year. I already knit three mittens, a hat and wove a scarf. Next is to start a quilt and weave some new placemats.

These are the thrummed mittens waiting to get felted by the wearer.


This is one of my new mittens. I made a pair last year for one of my daughter’s friends a coveted a pair for myself.


Next up is a scarf I wove with alpaca, my handspun merino and silk and a little novelty boucle alpaca and silk. Sweet.


I can


Well actually, I jar. Why isn’t it jarring? I made a batch of sour dill pickles, watermelon rind pickles and pickled beets.

The dill pickle recipe is from a book, The complete book of small batch preserving, which I think will be useful to help me preserve the farm produce. We generally pick up all we need for a week, but when the crop is in we can take more to preserve. I have been blanching and sealing some veggies but our freezer is pretty small and I will quickly fill it.

Our growing season is about two weeks later than downstate. In fact we just celebrated the 4th of July on Sunday.


Fifteen minutes of stupendous fireworks seen up close. We heard the first blast at 9 and headed to town and had a front row seat. We came home to find Loki the cat cowering under a bed.

Up to my elbows in strawberries


Our farm CSA was at the end of strawberry season and offered each family the opportunity to pick your own 10 qts.

I went on one of the warmer days of the year and had the whole field to myself.


I put 10 qts in the bags but probably ate a pint while working.


Then what to do with the rest of them?

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I canned a batch of strawberry jam and froze the rest. I look forward to them this winter.


When life deals you lemons…

Make lemonade. Or in my case, when the sweater you made your son six years ago is too big, it’s been felted and is still too big, repurpose it. The body of the sweater has become a cat bed, it just awaits some sort of pillow stuffing. I cut off the sleeves and lo and behold they make nice legwarmers, especially since it was 3 degrees F this morning.

Repurposed sleeve

In the case of the CSA,when the farm deals you kale, make kale chips. It’s our new, favorite snack food thanks to a suggestion from a friend. Rip it into little pieces, spray it with oil, salt it and roast it in a 400 F oven until crisp. Delish!

Baby sweater

And I needed to make a few baby sweaters and found some baby yarn in my stash.

Hopping along

For those of you who have never needed crutches, I hope you stay that way. Whenever I meet someone who has already used them we are instantly bound by a common ground of resourcefulness. Everyone remembers how hard it is to carry a drink from one place to another. People have devised various bags and even carts to help them along. Ice is treacherous. I grow tired of being dependent so I am trying to do more and more on my own. I even went back to work yesterday for a day.

There’s an advantage to a small kitchen. I can cook by keeping a chair in the middle of the work area to rest ingredients or myself on, while I hop around using the counters on the perimeter as support. Oddly enough, I can’t clean up! So far I have tried two batches of mozzarella cheese, much easier than expected. The night nurse in the hospital shared his fascination with it and I found an easy recipe on the internet. Ingredients are simple: a gallon of milk; two teaspoons of citric acid; and a rennet tablet. You also need a thermometer and the whole process only takes about 90 minutes. Somehow both batches were eaten or used before I took a final picture, but the last step is magical. You heat and knead the lumpy mess a few times and it becomes silky, stretchy delicious mozzarella cheese. One gallon of milk makes about a softball size ball of cheese.

Mozzarella 1

Mozzarella 2

Mozzarella 2

My view from the house has improved because Tim’s project to remove the overhead wires was completed this week. The wires are down, we still have phone service and electricity and all went well. I have a video of a very cool piece of machinery yanking the pole out of the ground and may include it at some point.

Getting ready to take down the pole

Our unobstructed view of Jay Mountain today. I hope the birds don’t mind in the spring.

We continue to eat well and colorfully. A couple of days ago, I made a batch of mashed potatoes from blue potatoes from the farm. They were very an interesting shade of blue but not as creamy as the white ones.

Blue potatoes

Tonight I made a chicken pot pie entirely with farm ingredients. This is the way to eat.

Chicken pot pie

Pot pie minus one

I’m knitting and weaving and plan a big adventure tonight – I’m going to go downstairs for the first time in almost a month to be near the wood stove, my weaving and quilting. The temperature is going to go below 0 degrees F tonight and it should be cozy there. If it wasn’t for the kitchen, I might never come back upstairs.

Brussel sprouts grow on a tree?

I’m on a new food quest. We joined a local farm, a year round Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), two weeks ago and have embarked on new adventures in dining. Yesterday I butchered a chicken. Well not exactly, but dismembered it. I also made rye crackers from flour, which were delicious with smoked salmon. And cut the brussel sprouts off the branch so I could store them in the refrigerator. Today I julienned beets and carrots and made gnocchi, from potatoes and milk from the farm. Next I will figure out what to do with wheat berries and these brussel sprouts.

Brussel sprout tree