Archive for the ‘farmer’s market’ Category

‘peasantries’

November 11, 2008

toast

When the weather is grey, cold, and drizzly all I want to do is hide in the kitchen or cuddle down on my sheepskins in front of my fireplace. This image from Toast makes me want to abandon my job, buy a little farmhouse, and bake savories for my friends and family. It’s strange considering that I’m really rather terrified of baking. I’m a little less frightened of just scooting around the kitchen and cooking whatever happens to be in the fridge, on the countertops, and in the pantry. Last evening I had three of my girlfriends over for dinner. It wasn’t impromptu, but it wasn’t necessarily well-orchestrated, either. On Sunday I roasted the last, OK, almost the last of my tomatoes (I’m holding on to them for dear life) and then roasted every fall veg that I had picked up at the farmer’s market: turnips, carrots, potatoes, and onions. All were roasted very, very slowly. When I got home on Monday from work I threw the tomatoes and roasted vegetables back in the oven to heat through. Pulled together a quick salad of arugula, pea shoots, chinese spinach and lettuce from Hoyland Farm. I built a fire and threw out a snack of Wheatfield’s rosemary and olive oil bread, goat cheese, yam and habanero jelly, and the roasted tomatoes. The combination of the sweet and spicy yam jelly, tart goat cheese, and smokey tomatoes was an unexpected delight. They complimented each other so well that I would have been perfectly content ending dinner there with just a little salad and red wine. That being said, dinner did not end there. I grilled two fresh italian sausages on my cast iron and brought out the roasted vegetables. One of my guests had brought some homemade cheese and the last of her fresh tomatoes. A full helping of autumn and a little dash of last-minute summer. It’s all peasant food. Most of it was procured from the market. Some from my garden and a friend’s. None of it complicated or fussy. 

I wonder if I really did quit my job and abandon my semi-city life (listen, my town barely has a population of 100K) would I enjoy those moments in the kitchen as much as I do now? The answer would be a resounding YES if I was cooking for the three lovely ladies who sat by the fire telling hilarious stories of winnebagos, a single Michael Jackson glove, and being stranded in Needles eating a Cup O’ Noodles in a broken down Chanuck.

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hungry cellar

October 29, 2008

On Saturday evening my friends Kendra and Aaron hosted their second Hungry Cellar. There is a small movement that is slowly spreading through our country. It’s a movement where people who appreciate fresh, seasonal, and local foods gather together to share in the harvest’s bounty and to share conversations and a sense of community. The Hungry Cellar provides this and so much more. Not only are Kendra and Aaron creating some of the most inspired dishes sourced from local farms and gardens, but they are bringing the food together with local music, poetry and art. Both Hungry Cellars have been held at the Wonder Fair Gallery below the Casbah Market. I’ve had the great fortune to work alongside the Marables in the Hungry Cellar kitchen. The pace is fast. The music (all cassette tapes in the kitchen!) is loud. And our spirit is HIGH.

We get by with a little help from our Fisherman’s Friend.

feeling woolly

October 28, 2008

The sun is shining, but the winds are a little angry and fierce. I usually spend Sunday mornings outside drinking coffee, eating eggs, and reading the New York Times. Not so yesterday. It was too blustery to even get on my bike and ride downtown to pickup the paper. I was forced to read it online which lacks a little sparkle. On Sundays. Reading the papers online is certainly more eco-friendly, but on Sunday mornings I like my fingers to turn black and leave prints on everything. It feels right. So why am I feeling woolly? Over the course of the summer I have purchased two sheepskins from Pinwheel Farm at our local farmer’s market. Natalya is a kind gardner/sheep farmer who lives just on the outskirts of Lawrence. I never thought that I would own a dead animal skin. Let alone purchase one. But Natalya uses every bit of her lambs and sheep. You can special order the lamb’s meat; buy wool to make felt (I also purchased the wool); and then there are the sheepskins. Thick, warm and snowy white. I’ve had them lying about the house in various locations. And I always make little detours when my feet are bare so that I can walk over them. It’s a sensation that I can’t get enough of. . .nor can my cat, Miss Carlos. But last night, as the wind pressed its way in through my poorly insulated home, I grabbed the skins off of the floor and threw them on top of my bed covers. A girl has never known a better nights sleep.