2016.25

There is just so much to write about!! As you know I am a chatty type so a full week off of tale telling and I don’t know where to start! Clearly the Hill and Hollow Family trip to North Carolina tops the list of stories to share so I will start there…if space allows I will also tell of an amazing homecoming.
I suppose I have to back track to last year at this time, I made the journey to North Carolina for our region’s largest fiber event with two kids and two apprentices in tow. I was the solo parent, the farmer mentor, the tour guide, the meal planner, the first time vendor at a huge fiber festival and one stressed out woman. This year things had to look different and they did: we made a family trip out of it. We were long overdue for an adventure. Everyone had a desire to go and I took advantage of the familial motivation and planned a great get away. Sasha, a budding photographer, had his new Canon T3I in hand and was ready to explore and capture the beauty of the North Caroling mountains. Paul and William had their fishing gear and were more than pleased to check out the rivers of the Pigsah National Forest. Madeline was happy to be my fiber assistant and was scheduled for a half day workshop on needle felting. I booked us a campsite at the edge of the forest, bought some tents and sleeping bags, and prepared the fiber and family for a great trip to Asheville. There are so many details of those days and nights in the Appalachian Mountains. Our home away from home was perfect, my drive to “work” at the fiber show was 8 short miles with one stoplight and a Starbuck’s conveniently located just mid way. Paul handled all of the cooking. What our dear children did not know is that their Dad and I spent months living and camping and touring our region’s national parks as we searched for the farm we all now call home. Albeit a little rusty, we are professional campers. Paul had a constant fire raging, an amazing array of meals, and hot chai on the ready each morning! The campground was cozy with a friendly management and great showers and to top it all off, the weather was PERFECT. Needless to say we came home refreshed and reconnected as a family. I couldn’t think of a better way to usher in our winter season.
I have a wee bit of space left so I’ll describe our homecoming. About a month ago Addie, our family milk cow, dried herself up (stopped producing milk suddenly). She had sprained her ankle and we figured she needed all of her energy to heal. We started to suspect something might be strange in the days prior to our departure, but we had many other things to think about. We pulled into the driveway after a long trip home on Monday evening. In the shadowy light of dusk we went to check on our dear Addie only to discover her cleaning off her freshly born calf. What a welcome home gift. Mama and calf are both thriving, I am a bit embarrassed about not recognizing what was happening and we are all pleased to welcome a new life to the farm. A free quart of cream to anyone that can come up with the perfect name for a calf born on Halloween!!

Bok Choy Recipe from Steamy Kitchen
1 1/2 pounds bok choy or baby bok choy
1 1/2 tablespoons canola, vegetable or peanut oil
1-2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
3 tablespoons broth/water (or 2 tablespoons broth/water + 1 tablespoon wine)
salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1. Start by trimming the stem off – don’t trim too much – just the end. Cutting the thick stem off will ensure that the bok choy cooks evenly. Separate out the leaves, keep the tender center intact and clean under running water. Drain.
2. Finely mince garlic and grate fresh ginger with a microplane grater. Grating the ginger helps break up the tough fibers! (and yeah, sometimes when the ginger is nice and fresh, I don’t even bother peeling off the paper-thin skin)
3. Place wok or frying pan on your stove and pour in the cooking oil. Add the garlic and ginger. Turn the heat to medium-high. Let the ginger and garlic gently sizzle in the oil. When the aromatics become fragrant and light golden brown, add the bok choy leaves. Toss very well to coat each leaf with the garlicky, gingery oil for 15 seconds. Pour in broth, water or wine. Immediately cover and let cook for 1 minute. Season with salt and drizzle a bit of sesame oil on top.

fall week 5 in your basket:
bok choy
kale
tat soi
hakurei salad turnips
basil
sweet and hot peppers
garlic

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