Thursday, November 18, 2010

Your Thanksgiving Share

The Thanksgiving share harvest continues into it's third day on Friday as we reap the last of the 2010 vegetables from the fields. While we unfortunately have to scratch brussel sprouts from the list (too many aphids on them to make them palatable), we have a quality crops of 13 items.

Lettuce: Small to medium sized heads, crisp and delicious.

Endive: A bitter green that adds a nice bite to a late Fall salad. If you saved any strawberries from the Spring try our Week 4 recipe of Garlic and Strawberry Dressing over Endive.

Kale, Collards or Arugula: Kale (or Collards) with Vinegar and Egg is an awesome side dish to add some greenery to a Thanksgiving meal. The last few frosts have sweetened up both of these greens. The arugula has a bit of a kick this time of year, so you may want to use it as you would a herb in your salad, chopped somewhat fine.

Asian Greens: Chop them up and add them fresh to your salad, or stir-fry a light meal on either side of the holiday.

Butternut Squash or Sweet Potatoes: Recipes abound here in the cyber world. Or use a family
favorite, if you have one. Roasting, mashing, soup and pie are all options.

Bulb Fennel: A favorite of ours. We only grow it in the Fall, as that is when its flavor is the mildest. Treat it as you would celery. It is delicious cut into pieces and added to a salad dressed with a red wine vinaigrette. Check out the recipe below for another yummy dish.

Broccoli or Spinach: The last of the hearty broccoli, still as flavorful as ever. Or do you want some of our lone spinach crop of the year?

Roots assortment: The carrots, radish and Hakurei turnips will make a diverse crudités platter for your Thanksgiving guests. A little beet grated onto your salad adds a beautiful color.

Kohlrabi: Fall kohlrabi is the best, sweet, juicy and crunchy. Just trim the top and the root end, peel it, and cut it as you like. It is another staple crudités item, or a great addition to roasted vegetables (see recipe below).

Cabbage: We like it as a raw addition to the Thanksgiving meal. Think cole slaw.

Leeks: Use them wherever onions are called for, or in the recipe below.

Garlic: Everyone needs some garlic if they’re doing any cooking.

Cilantro: Fresh as can be for topping a salsa appetizer, or as an addition to a creamy dressing.

Roasted Fennel, Leeks and Kohlrabi
While harvesting the bulb fennel today, and being soothed by its aromatherapy, our apprentice Emily said how she thought the fennel would be great roasted. So, not being one to let a good idea go to waste, I decided that tonight’s dinner should test her theory. The result (with the addition of leeks and kohlrabi) was a warm, savory and hearty dish. Add what you want to this, potatoes, sweet potatoes, garlic...

trim the top and core the root

2 medium fennel bulbs
2 medium leeks
1 medium kohlrabi
1 tsp salt
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp dried thyme
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp butter

cut the fennel like you would celery

Cut the tops off the fennel bulb and core out the root. Chop in half, and then crosswise to make celery like chunks.
Clean and chop the leeks into ½ inch slices and rounds
Peel the kohlrabi and chop into ½ inch size chunks
Mix vegetables with salt, oregano, thyme and olive oil
Spread on a baking sheet and top with butter
Bake at 375°F for 35 to 45 minutes, stirring once.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Wedding of Rebecca and Tom

Hello good friends. Not our normal post here, as we would like to let everyone know that on Noveber 6, 2010 we got married.

arriving at the Ratcliff's

The Officiant, John Erb

John is a good friend who made wine with Tom for many years in the Finger Lakes region of New York state. He is also a Catholic deacon with an anti-establishment bent.

John 18:37 Pilate said to him, "So you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Every one who is of the truth hears my voice."

John said he wished to express how he felt that we were living, rather than simply speaking a life of caring for the earth, living a life of love outside the status quo, and sharing our life with the community.

the wedding procession with flower
girls Pearl and Josephine

Here Comes the Bride

First Reading:
Not sure, but we feel that this may be a true story.

Excerpt from Aristophanes's Speech from Plato's Symposium
Translated by Benjamin Jowett

Aristophanes professed to open another vein of discourse; he had a mind to praise Love in another way, unlike that of either Pausanias or Eryximachus. Mankind, he said, judging by their neglect of him, have never, as I think, at all understood the power of Love. For if they had understood him they would surely have built noble temples and altars, and offered solemn sacrifices in his honour; but this is not done, and most certainly ought to be done: since of all the gods he is the best friend of men, the helper and the healer of the ills which are the great impediment to the happiness of the race. I will try to describe his power to you, and you shall teach the rest of the world what I am teaching you.

… the primeval man was round, his back and sides forming a circle; and he had four hands and the same number of feet, one head with two faces, looking opposite ways, set on a round neck and precisely alike; also four ears, two privy members, and the remainder to correspond. He could walk upright as men now do, backwards or forwards as he pleased, and he could also roll over and over at a great pace, turning on his four hands and four feet, eight in all, like tumblers going over and over with their legs in the air; this was when he wanted to run fast.

Terrible was their might and strength, and the thoughts of their hearts were great, and they made an attack upon the gods. Doubt reigned in the celestial councils. Should they kill them and annihilate the race with thunderbolts, as they had done the giants, then there would be an end of the sacrifices and worship which men offered to them; but, on the other hand, the gods could not suffer their insolence to be unrestrained. At last, after a good deal of reflection, Zeus discovered a way. He spoke and cut men in two, like a sorb-apple which is halved for pickling, or as you might divide an egg with a hair …

Each of us when separated, having one side only, like a flat fish, is but the tally-half of a man, and he is always looking for his other half. And such a nature is prone to love and ready to return love, always embracing that which is akin to him. And when one of them meets with his other half, the actual half of himself, whether he be a lover of youth or a lover of another sort, the pair are lost in an amazement of love and friendship and intimacy, and one will not be out of the other's sight, as I may say, even for a moment: these are the people who pass their whole lives together, and yet they could not explain what they desire of one another. For the intense yearning which each of them has towards the other does not appear to be the desire of lover's intercourse, but of something else which the soul of either evidently desires and cannot tell, and of which she has only a dark and doubtful presentiment.

There is not a man of them who when he heard the proposal would deny or would not acknowledge that this meeting and melting into one another, this becoming one instead of two, was the very expression of his ancient need.

And the reason is that human nature was originally one and we were a whole, and the desire and pursuit of the whole is called love.

with our witnesses, Jessica and James

Second Reading:
Readings from our journal that we are trying to keep. We looked back at the days before our engagement to see if there was anything that prompted it.

Thursday, September 30
Weeded cabbage, rolled up irrigation, mowed, sprayed Bt on brassicas. Found 2.7 lb baby puffball mushrooms, also some oyster mushrooms. Mushroom bisque, froze extra, bought tickets to Kauai.

Friday, October 1
Harvest sweet potatoes, many jumbos, cherry tomatoes, wash last of pumpkins. Mushroom quiche, okra & Caesar salad. Spices from Angela Farnung.
Smudging ceremony

Saturday, October 2
CSA day, harvest last beans. Forecast for frost tonight. Harvest rest of sweet potatoes, also green peppers, eggplant and tomatoes. Sonic for dinner. Watch “The Lady Vanishes”

Sunday October 3
Frost on grass, not too much damage. More frost predicted tonight. Froze beans, peppers and eggplant. Got engaged! O’Henry sweet potatoes, pork chops with apples, Roma beans and last bottle of 1999 homemade champagne. Brought in houseplants.

dinner with John, Brooke and Dan

The Bride at Bad Seed

So there you have it. It was a beautiful day.