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 [...]

Our New Tomato System and Linguine with Roast Heirloom Tomatoes

Tomato_Pasta

What a difference a year makes. Twelve months ago we were struggling through the most horrible tomato season imaginable. (It’s here: My first ever post!) This year it’s a whole new story. Now we’re swimming in tomatoes, like Scrooge McDuck backstroking through his big vault of money. I can’t believe how well they’re coming and how good they taste. What’s more, we’re selling out every week at market. It’s great.

I’d like to take all the credit for our turnaround. And I’d like to blame all of last year’s crappiness  on environmental conditions. It’s been a long season. I deserve the props and could use the validation. So I’m tempted. But that wouldn’t be true. We made plenty of mistakes last year. We deserve as much blame as does the weather. And this year the conditions have been much better, granting us a natural advantage. That being said, this year we’ve done a lot to influence the outcome and improve our results.

Tomato_Heirloom

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Spring Radishes

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Give this post a quick once over and you’ll probably notice that despite its title, it’s not really about radishes. Instead, at least on the surface, (and to the deep consternation of the Google search algorithm I’m sure) it’s about broccoli rabe and a cool pasta recipe. But, it’s not really about broccoli rabe either. It’s really about surrender.

For a while now, radishes and I have been fighting. Last week we harvested the first of our season and they were fantastic; the best I’d ever had. They were easily good enough to cloud my reason. Maybe once or twice a year I eat something really memorable, something that changes how I think about food. These radishes fit that bill. They were fresh and yummy and satisfying, like none I’d ever had before. They were so good, I fell instantly and deeply in love with home-grown radishes. But as is often the case with impetuous love, it’s brought nothing but trouble.

rabe-garden

It began in a particularly damp and gungy corner of my sub-conscious where I decided I’d rather possess (eat) the radishes than sell them.  As a result, I sent them to market with an absurdly high price. Of course, just as my grungy sub-conscious had intended, we brought most of them home. They filled my fridge for a week and on some level I’m sure I was thrilled. Then the real trouble began. Over the next week, I nibbled radishes. I pickled them. I ate them on salad. And I tried and tried to post about them. But it just wasn’t happening. Nothing I tried was working. The pictures were bad. The text was worse. Radishes just wouldn’t give me a break. I fought it for more than a week before giving in and changing course. And it was there, awash in the calming waves of surrender, that I found broccoli rabe.

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A Hard Year for Yummy

It’s been a terrible year for tomatoes. Right from the start the weather was awful. We had weeks and weeks of drought followed by weeks of heavy, monsoon like rain. I’ve never seen anything like it. Over and over again, there would be no rain for weeks, forcing us to irrigate, then [...]