Real Alfredo to End the Year

The year’s done! The holidays are done! It’s all over and I’m tired. So tonight I’m making Alfredo, the easiest and best pasta dish I know. Way back in our primordial darkness, before our milk was full of sugar and our meat was full of corn, before everything got all cluttered up with cream and roux, Alfredo [...]

Seed Season Pt. 1

Red Leaf Lettuce

We’re deep in December and I’m dreaming of seeds. Not a feet-up, coffee, waste the morning sort of dream. Because I’m still really busy, and because I also work in a natural foods grocery, and because the holiday business there is exhausting and consuming, I’m dreaming in fits. Yesterday, with the sun beaming in on yet another unseasonably warm morning, I contemplated lettuce over a hurried oatmeal breakfast. Today I considered carrots and fed peanut butter to the boy. Lately, shower time has been for tomatoes, broccoli and herbs.

The seed order is easily one of the most enjoyable tasks on a tiny farm. Seen from the middle of winter, next year is fresh and plump with potential. Last year’s mistakes are faded and all but forgotten. Next year’s disasters are no more than a twinkle in my bumbling eye. Looking forward everything is rosy and the seed order captures that. The seed order is our chance for an unblemished start, to get organized, to finally realize our potential.

Mache - My favorite winter green

Continue reading Seed Season Pt. 1

Potatoes and Latkes

I’m two weeks late with this post, just like I was with almost everything else on the farm this year. Maybe I should give it up, shutter the farm and start a defense contracting firm instead. Over-budget and behind schedule; my laxitude would probably play better there.

Potato latkes are as seasonally appropriate to December as peaches are to August or roast green chilies are to September. Religious tradition aside, it’s just a matter of food availability. For millennia potatoes have been among our staple storage crops. In the winter, from December through March, when it’s very difficult to grow fresh food, we’ve relied on them. We’ve pulled them from deep, dark root cellars, cooked them a thousand different ways and eaten. So,  it makes perfect sense that latkes would be at home in December. They were what was available.

Continue reading Potatoes and Latkes

On Food Safety and Cut Cabbage

You know it’s time to go when the conversation turns to food safety. Even without fantastically-horrible, emotionally-crippling stories of e-coli fatalities, it’s a troubling subject. At the very least, with all the associated cramping, vomiting and loose stool, it’s disgusting. Once, to earn a food safety certification for my job at the natural foods store I [...]