2015.3

It has been such a lovely week here, we feel super energized. We didn’t get a whole lot of rain, which admittedly is quite a bummer, but we got the cool, crisp aftermath of the storm system that moved through. It offered such relief from the heat (to both humans and plants) that we didn’t complain too badly about the actual lack of precipitation. We entered the week comfortable, enthused from a great market day, and alone.
Paul and I have taken a leap of faith this season, perhaps best described as a metal health tonic. For years and years we have hosted short and long term apprentices here in the hollow. Many, in fact most, of those guests have had an overall positive impact on the farm and our family. In recent years we have had a series of less positive experiences. Nothing truly bad, just aggravating, irritating stuff that grew to be a heavy emotional burden. It was clear to us we needed to take a step away. This year we don’t have a crew. We are going it semi solo. GASP.
Lest any of you freak out, let me say right now, we are so happy.
We are not actually alone. We are collaborating with a young local family who come to the farm twice a week. We have a second year apprentice returning in June for the season and we have our super hard working selves. Both Paul and I are thriving without the extra emotional demands that come with hosting. It is proving to be such a great opportunity to reflect on our mentoring. We needed to step back and re envision our system. I know we will continue to host and educate here, it is one of the pillars of Hill and Hollow Farm, but it is a great relief to take time off and imagine a sustainable emotional future for ourselves. So far, so good.
Now, today as the light shifts into the late afternoon golden glory, the harvest is complete, a salad of buttercrunch lettuce topped with feta cheese awaits. I baked some fresh bread which will be adorned with garlic scape pesto rounding out the perfect late spring meal. The house is quiet right now, my tasks complete and it feels so right. I know chaos looms. I know amidst these moments lie times of great distress, for that is life. Now, just right now, it is all so good. I wish the very same for each of you. A calm, healthy long weekend. Stay safe. Eat well.

Browned Butter Pasta with Tatsoi an all time favorite, lots of variations out there
The original recipe on Apetite for china

1 pound pasta shells
1 stick unsalted butter (1/2 cup)
Salt and pepper, to taste
3-4 cups tatsoi leaves, lightly packed
1/2 cup fresh sage, chopped
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Bring a pot of water to boil and cook pasta as directed on the package. Drain and return to pot. When pasta almost done, melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Stir the butter in the pan as it foams. When butter begins to brown, add it to the pasta, turn the heat to medium, and mix to coat with butter. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add tatsoi and sage and cook until slightly wilted, about 1 to 2 minutes. Toss with parmesan and serve immediately.
Garlic Scape Pesto
1 c. chopped garlic scapes
½ cup olive oil
1 cup toasted pecans
1 cup parmesan, romano or asiago cheese
Salt and black pepper to taste

Place garlic scapes and oil in food processor and blend until pretty smooth. add nuts and salt and blend until a thick paste forms. Add cheese and pulse until blended. Serve with pasta, on bread, crackers. Remember friends, this is a once a season treat, enjoy every morsel! Freeze if you have extra, but you probably won’t!

Week three in your basket:
lettuce
tat soi
swiss chard
pac choi
garlic scapes

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