Bunch 'o' Beets
Muir Head Lettuce
Red Tide Head Lettuce
Flat Leaf Italian Parsley
Notes from the Farm
The thing about sunshine, is that it can't be replicated... not really.
The sun might be the single most important part of our food production. We can add water, some warmth with mulch, we can make the soil healthier with fertilizer and cover crops... but we can't add sunshine.
Sunshine counts. With less then one week of sun, the corn has doubled in size. It had everything it needed, except sun. And it seems like, at least for the minute, that we've got some sun coming in over the next couple of days... which means one thing... we'll be weeding our brains out.
The weeds, like the plants, have been laying there waiting, getting situated for a situation exactly like this. We thought we had the weed situation under control, but if you look closely, they were all right there, waiting for sun.
And like an archaic pack of wild hoe wielding warriors, we're released from the wait... with guttural screams, off-balance gaits and unnecessarily convulsive hoeing techniques, we begin the real task of cleaning the fields, sweeping away the unwanted, rediscovering the great river of agricultural stewardship that's flowed through all of us for nearly 20,000 years.
Farming isn't in the planting and harvesting, nature does that well enough on it's own... farming is in the stewardship, the tending and re-tending, the transitory care of life.
Strawberry Shortcake With Basil
2 1/4 cups cold heavy cream, plus 2 tablespoons, for brushing
20 large basil leaves, plus 1/3 cup small or torn basil leaves
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus more if needed
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 1/2 cups sliced strawberries (1 pound 4 ounces)
3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
Bring 1 1/2 cups cream to a gentle simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bruise large basil leaves by hitting repeatedly with the dull side of a knife, and stir into cream. Remove from heat, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let steep for 25 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve, pressing solids to extract liquid. Refrigerate until very cold, at least 5 hours.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Whisk together flour, 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, the baking powder, and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Cut in butter with a pastry cutter or rub in with your fingers. (The largest pieces should be the size of small peas.)
Whisk together 3/4 cup heavy cream, the eggs, and vanilla. Stir into flour using a fork until ingredients are moistened but not fully incorporated. (Do not overmix.)
Turn dough out onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, and pat into a 9 1/2-inch circle. Brush dough with remaining 2 tablespoons heavy cream, and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon granulated sugar.
Bake until light golden brown and just cooked through, about 25 minutes. Let cool completely, about 2 hours.
Meanwhile, macerate strawberries with remaining 1/4 cup sugar, plus more if needed, depending on sweetness, stirring occasionally, for at least 1 hour.
Toss berries with small basil leaves. Whisk basil cream with confectioners' sugar in the chilled bowl of a mixer on high speed until soft peaks form. Mound basil cream on shortcake. Spoon berries with juice over top.
2 cups whole milk
3 stems fresh parsley
3 slices carrot (optional)
3 slices onion (optional)
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons chopped fresh curly-leaf parsley
4 tablespoons Roux (Melt 1 stick butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Whisk in scant cup of flour and cook, stirring occasionally, for two minutes.)
Place milk, parsley stems, carrot, and onion in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer and season with salt and pepper; let simmer for 4 to 5 minutes.
Remove saucepan from heat and strain; discard solids. Return milk to saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Whisk in roux until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon; season with salt and pepper. Add chopped parsley and reduce heat to very low; simmer for 4 to 5 minutes.