Oh Boy, Beets!
German Extra Hearty Garlic
Ride The Red Bull Onion
Some Kind Of Zucchini and/or Summer Squash
Notes from the Farm
In late 1960 Ornette Coleman recorded, with his double quartet, the questionably listenable Free Jazz album. It was conceived to be an album that would shake off all musical convention, save a handful of repeatable lines, and resurrect jazz, beginning with musical improvisational roots.
I love this album. The madness seems to soothe me... I somehow have always loved the sounds of chaos... the frenetic pace of Coleman's Free Jazz, the undulating atonality of Mahler's symphony n.9, or a crackling Dark Star deep in the lands of quasi-music... I don't know why, but dissonant cacophonic sounds really calm me down, they slow down my brain, it's the fastest way for me to completely shed stress... And by contrast, calm, typically soothing sounds send me into unintelligible overdrive... calmness and quiet pulls me apart, you've got to be careful with calmness, that stuff will drive you crazy...
Anyway, I remember reading an interview with Coleman where he talked about the Free Jazz sessions and how hard it was to get everyone to commit to shedding musical form. Turns out it was hard. The musicians had worked so hard on their musicianship that muscle memory fought their desire to be amusical ... Let go and it'll work out, let go and it'll work out, let go and it'll work out. The issue was that if one of the eight musicians didn't completely commit to letting go, it sounded campy and amateurish... but when they did let go, together, they created something stunning... something that will stand alone in the history of Jazz.
Sometimes I feel like a regular person... most of the time I don't. The only thing I am sure of is that I am committed to the farm... I have to be. When I am half committed, the farm doesn't work... there is no half way. When I am pulled out of my farm brain, the farm starts to crumble, like a bad dream... our act of farming becomes amateurish...
The farm is a living organism... I am a part of it, Gina, our girls, the community, the crops... it all pulses and breathes together... it's fair to say that I see all things through the farm, as a part of the farm... here, we are farm, committed.
Sauteed Brussels Sprouts With Raisins
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
10 ounces brussels sprouts (about 25), stems trimmed, and thinly sliced
2 carrots, cut into 1/4-inch pieces (about 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup golden raisins
1 cup low-sodium canned chicken broth
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add brussels sprouts and carrots; saute until sprouts start to turn golden brown, about 3 minutes. Add raisins and chicken broth; continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until sprouts are tender when pierced with a paring knife, about 12 minutes. If the skillet becomes too dry before sprouts are tender, add up to 3 tablespoons water, and continue cooking. Remove from heat, and season with salt and pepper. Serve hot.
Quick Roasted Brussels Sprouts
2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
2 red Bartlett pears, cored and cut into wedges... or apples
6 shallots, quartered... or one red onion.
10 fresh thyme sprigs
3 tablespoons olive oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. On two large rimmed baking sheets, toss Brussels sprouts, pears, shallots, thyme, and oil; season with salt and pepper.
Roast until Brussels sprouts are tender and browned, 30 to 35 minutes, rotating pans halfway through. Toss with lemon juice and serve warm.
Pinto Bean and Poblano Tacos
6 fresh poblano chiles (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 cup drained canned pinto beans, rinsed
1/4 cup homemade or low-sodium store-bought vegetable stock
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
1/4 cup fromage blanc or plain nonfat yogurt
12 corn tortillas (6 inches each), warmed
Lime wedges, for serving
Cilantro sprigs, for garnish
Preheat broiler, with the rack 6 inches from the heat source. Place chiles on a baking sheet. Broil, flipping once, until charred, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a heatproof bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Let stand 15 minutes. Remove skins and seeds, and discard. Cut chiles into 1/2-inch-thick strips, and set aside.
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion. Cook, stirring often, until onion is translucent and pale golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in beans, stock, and salt. Using a heatproof rubber spatula, fold in chiles; cook until chiles are warmed though, 3 to 5 minutes.
Remove from heat; stir in 1 tablespoon fromage blanc. Spoon into the warm tortillas. Top with remaining 3 tablespoons fromage blanc, dividing evenly. Serve with lime, and garnish with cilantro.