Thanks to the farmers who come in to town, I know the people who gather the eggs and milk the goats to make cheese. Thanks to my friend Jess, who left a tub of sourdough starter on my porch Friday morning, and my inspiration to make dough to rise overnight between dinner with neighbors and going to bed, I have homemade sourdough bread. With such a fairly wet and very active chef, it was pretty successful to do a sort of hybrid of the New York Times’ no knead bread, which I kneaded, but not for 10-15 minutes, and Martha Rose Shulman’s no-yeast sourdough country bread (in Great Breads).
What I harvested between a morning thunderstorm and starting my day’s work. Pesto for dinner was not optional. Along with the basil, I used leaves from the celery and some of the scallion greens, along with garlic from a friend’s garden. Instead of pine nuts, I used a combination of hemp hearts and walnuts, which together give a similar smoothness as pine nuts, but nutritionally richer and much less expensive.
This morning, after I stretched and then sat for meditation, I went out in the garden. I watered and weeded. I picked greens and herbs and cherry tomatoes to bring to work as part of my lunch.
I usually work from home on Friday, but had to go in for an intense series of meetings.
I picked these glorious turnips for our office administrative assistant. She is now the only support person in our office, and she is thus unsupported herself. She enjoys when I share edibles from the garden.
Garden greens with baby carrots and sprouted beluga lentils, with Dijon mustard vinaigrette; spring onion and quinoa torte with eggs from my friend’s hens. Black olives, roasted soy nuts for salad as diners choose, tarragon and mint to refresh palate. Cool herbal infusion (peppermint, spearmint, anise hyssop, and lemon balm). Wine and dessert not shown.
To make room to plant seeds and seedlings of the cool weather greens, today I pulled most of the kale that overwintered. I’m not quite sure how it survived even the visitation of the polar vortices, but my garden is its own private mystery.
Uma’s not sure whether the kale is any good, but it is actually neither too bitter, nor too tough to be edible, though it will need to be picked over well and would be best cooked thoroughly.
To go with the kale, keeping in mind the next wintry front coming through, I am soaking chickpeas overnight. Tomorrow I will braise the kale with wine, garlic, rosemary, and onions, and then stew it together with the chickpeas. The combination of braising and stewing will make tenderize the kale, but still keep it flavorful.
With what I planted new today, the next time it is feeling spring-like, there should be some tender new greens to pick and taste.
First too hot, now cool.
It wasn’t until the weather cooled and the reality of a second week of work not being done that needs to be done to meet deadlines that the impulse arose to make the first batch of homemade granola of the season. This batch could be called maple nut granola with raisins.
Harvested last of the sweet banana peppers and a fire engine red cayenne pepper. Also picked as a baby one last eggplant before pulling the plant to make way for tat soi.
Most of the tomatoes I found on the ground still unripe. With a generous portion of red wine and nice herbs, and the traditional way of cooking them for hours and then running through a food mill, and then reducing until reaching the desired thickness, it won’t matter that the tomatoes ripened on the counter.
Assorted apples from the farmer’s market. Dried fruit is different when it goes into the dehydrator within a couple of days of having been picked and early in the season when the apples are best. An upside of being required to stay around home is that I have been able to experiment with the dehydrator that was a most generous birthday gift.
There’s a bunch of difficult stuff going on, but there is no need to write about it anywhere except possibly in my journal, for much of it. And as for the shutdown and its impact on real people around the globe (and all that interconnectedness stuff), I prefer today to write about granola and stuff from the garden.
Anyway, I’m thinking I would just be preaching to the choir if I wrote another blog post about the importance of trying to keep up and understand as much as possible, speaking with others to shape your understanding and your voice, being in contact with your elected officials and signing petitions, and reaching out to friends and family open to such discussions to invite them to be engaged.
It is times like these when I think of Patanjali’s sutra: heyam duhkham anagatam (the pain that has yet to come can be avoided.) I have contemplated this sutra much over a long period. It is a good one for when I am reaching into the yoga teachings for insight into how I might respond more optimally under the circumstances at hand, especially that which is entirely out of my control.