zeus is five. garden’s alive.

Happy birthday, big guy. You’re getting a pork chop for dinner, then another play date with your buddy, Jet. And pupcakes for everyone!

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It’s getting to be quite a jungle out there. The natives are getting established in the hugelkulture mounds, and the amaranth, lambsquarters, and self-sown tomatoes in the backyard raised bed are head-high. I’ve built up some good soil here over the past three years. I still can’t believe I have to walk away from it all in just a few short weeks. I’m eager to make a fresh start in a new place, without all the memories and dreams I had for this one. I’ve been pretty hands-off with the garden here this year- because it and I don’t share a future, it’s hard. And it hurts. But it’s still beautiful, if a little wild… which frankly, is how I prefer it… like me, independently abundant, pretty, sure, but tough and a little rough around the edges, more fierce than fancy.

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But it still grew these. And feeds these:

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Welcome to the jungle, it gets worse here every day… well,  it will if I don’t hack down this burdock before those seedheads harden… but it’s pretty in bloom, if thorny. But so are roses.

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Wild garlic and squash in containers.

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And the first tomato!

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So I’m putting as much as I can this year in pots and taking my oasis with me. I’m not going far- it’s a two minute walk. Next door I’ll have goats and pigs and a pergola and a waterfall, and I can bring my chickens along and the dog, of course, and, and, and… so many good things,  and I’m so grateful this spot came my way.  It will be a lot of work, but I’m looking forward to working on the future rather than being surrounded by the past. I’ll be closer to the community garden I’ve been helping to build, and still in the community that I’ve grown to love so much in spite of its flaws. It’s rough around the edges too, but there’s a lot more here than most people would see. I get frustrated with it, and mad as hornets at it sometimes, but it’s home. I can’t think of anywhere else in the city I’d want to be, but here, on this street.

Fresh lessons

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Lunch? Or a lesson plan? Why not
both? Parts of a plant, deliciously demonstrated…

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Roots- rainbow carrots, carrot-shaped radishes, and garlic. Stems- celery and broccoli stalks. Leaves-romaine lettuce and radish tops. Fruits- lemon, bell pepper, cucumber, avocado, tomato, snap peas… and olive oil!  And seeds? Chickpeas and tahini (sesame butter). I wish science were always so simple.

Busy busy around here… I’m teaching again this summer with the Greencorps youth program. I get to work with two groups of fifteen teenagers every day, and over the next six weeks we’ll be putting together bikes, learning to ride safely in traffic, about horticulture and urban ag and forestry, and also nutrition and sustainability. Whew!

Needless to say, I’ll be busy! Supper club is on hold for June… hopefully I’ll be able to fit one in around the end of July. I’ve got lots of menu ideas working … can’t wait to cook for my folks again soon.  We’re going to South America, Mexico, and then working our way up the Gulf Coast… hang in there y’all!

AWSC VI: French Farmhouse

    AWSC VI- Mediterranean Tour Chapter II- French Farmhouse

View of a Farmhouse and an Orchard, France, 22 November 1916 Art.IWMART1625039
Spring is officially here, but winter is hanging on tenaciously with icy claws. We want hearty fare, but with a promise of the sweetness and light to come. To France, my friends! We crave comfort, and coddling, but with a light touch, and a heavy dose of cream. Come dine with us, and we will have chocolate and roses, herbivorous delights, and throat to tail cuisine, sweetmeats and sweetbreads, all straight from grand-mère’s kitchen. Enjoy gracefully rustic cuisine with us in an equally rustic setting, with bon amis and bon courage to see us through to the warmer days ahead!

Thursday, March 27
7:00 drinks and appetizers, 7:45 dinner. As always, come early, or join us late!

BYOB, RSVP, s’il te plaît

amuse

gougeres: cheese pate aux choux, salmon or artichoke mousse (v)
champignon pâté: River Valley ranch crimini mushroom pate (v)
pâté de campagne: rustic local pastured pork pate with house-cured maple bacon
compote de abricots et gingembre gingered apricot preserve (v)
pain de campagne: house-made Breslin Farm wheat sourdough (v)

soupe
tourin a la fromage: white onion soup with cheese (v)

entrees
ris de veau aux beurre noisette: sweetbreads, brown butter, capers, lemon
queue de boeuf aux cinq oignons: braised oxtails with onions
puree crème de artichaut et épinards au citron: buckwheat crepe, spinach, artichoke, lemon (v)
tourte a l’ chitrouille: savory pumpkin tart (v)

dessert
gâteau aux noix: walnut cake, Alewyfe rose mint jam (v)
rose crème glacée pétale: rose petal ice cream by our guest, Extra Spoons (v)
macarons, basil marshmallows, and nougat from the French Pastry School, prepared by another guest

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mushroom pate mise
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poaching sweetbreads
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pate prep
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Pork liver, panade, and seasonings

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Forcemeat

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Pate de Campagne

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Farm fresh eggs…

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Oxtails

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The morning after…

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Oh, the aftermath! All worth it. Thanks to all who came for another great night! I’ll be posting the recap of Italy soon… awaiting another round of photos from another attendee, who tragically lost his great shots of this one in an epic sd card failure. Oh, technology! You are sometimes so fickle, and fallible.

And we’re going to Spain very soon, friends! Menu in the works, dinner in the third week of May most likely. Look for Saffron and Smoke ice cream by Extra Spoons, fresh smoked local pastured ham, white gazpacho, and more. Tick tock… tapas!

catchup… catch!

*crickets* *crickets* *crickets*
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And drums! And a green screen! And scattered easter eggs full of prizes (or empty, but that’s better than the proverbial easter basket full of lies, which might kill you. What? That one’s a long old story, and not mine to tell, but it’s good). Suffice to say, a good time was had by all here once again up at Cattington Station. Find the soundtrack on Grooveshark, filed under “Hobo Spaceship”.

Jimeney Cricket! So many things to catch up on! Look for a redux of the past two supper clubs, and some random goodness thrown in to get us back to the present. And there’s no time like now. I’m also of course a big fan of later, which is why it is now when you will be reading about back then. Oh, postmodern time machine! It’s a wild ride, folks. Welcome aboard…

multicultural morning

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An American girl drinks a Mexican Coca-Cola while reading about French women cooking. Molasses-peanut butter-banana open-faced sandwich on homemade sourdough bread. All win. Recap from the last supper club soon to come… thanks to all those who made it out!