These are the hours in the year when my wellspring is doubly renewed. Yes, it is exciting to tend green living things in the middle of January and February in a greenhouse. It is also energizing to peruse the seeds those months as dreams of warmer nights create a distant vision of gifts from the field. I even get warm fuzzy feelings when plunging my fingers into little fertile soil pots as seeds get awakened to the coming mission… “Hello! welcome to the world…thank you for your companionship on this journey…”, my mind might interject. But then the fruits of our labors actually grow before our eyes and i get a bit like a child, becoming fascinated even more and my anticipation grows. Bringing it fresh cut to the mouth is like nothing else. Then the call to further explore, preserve, and create in concert with this moment in the kitchen comes a’ callin:
From the garden
An evening in the garden 2
An evening in the garden 1
These veggies became a steamed meal for us that evening as well as a refrigerator marinade or “pickle” garnish for my spring rolls. The cruciferous vegetables were lightly steamed until colors brightened and rolled in butter. These tasted so good that we ate the entire lot that we steamed and kept adding more…mostly broccoli became my dinner that night.
I had cold infused some rose petals in a vinegar base that Mike made with allspice, giving it a nice color, and this became the marinade for small slices of all the veggies you see in the photos. The cabbage became pink; the purple cauliflower and chartreuse romanesco all bounced off of each other nicely. I cut the stalks of the Bright Lights chard like diced celery and the slices of the multi-colored carrot rounds were about the same size. All together it made a nice chilled salad that was ready to adorn any plate.
Pretty exciting to dig fresh baby potatoes yesterday…checked in on the pink fingerlings, Yukon gold, etc, but it was the Adirondack reds and blues and the Norland varieties that were ready to go. It takes the culmination of years of work to be able to kneel in soft chocolate-y brown soil and sift out radiant nuggets of beauty that have been grown naturally. Growing food that meets our standards and keeps step with natures’ cycles & demands is still magical for me. And it is a joy to share it with you:
Red, White and Blue Potatoes in the Kitchen
June Harvest of Red, White and Blue Potatoes
We brought fresh water to a boil over these potatoes for just a few minutes, until tender by a fork, and found that the Norlands needed just a minute or so more cooking time than the Adirondacks. Also, we found a slightly creamier consistency to the Norlands, and i’m guessing, due to starch size and arrangement in the potato. It felt on the tongue that the flesh had less “graininess” and a finer molecule build. The cooked buds were gently rolled in soft butter and then devoured immediately 🙂
Flowers, petals, shredded leaves for garnishing batter
9×9 Rosey Outlook Coffee Cake
Flowers pressed into top
Pineapple Sage Blossoms
“Rosey Outlook” Coffee Cake Recipe: 9×9” pan oven: 350F bake: 30 min/toothpick test
1 1/3 cups flour
2/3 cup sugar (brown sugar, honey, etc, to taste)
2 teaspoons baking powder
2/3 cup milk*
1/4 cup butter, soft*
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup shredded rose petals, rose geranium blossoms & leaves, pineapple sage blossoms, and slivers of lemon verbena
Save a pinch of shredded leaves, flowers, and 5-12 small geranium leaves for lining pan and pressing into top of batter.
Separate leaves, etc and process/scissor cut to add to dry matter and top the cake with…grease baking pan; (glass is my top choice), press into pan some petals, leaves and ribbons of your floral materials…in medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon and baking powder. Add flower/leaves and use hand mixer on low speed to combine with flour, etc. ( If using a wet sweetener like honey, add to wet section of recipe.) In another bowl, combine milk, butter, egg, vanilla, *making sure to use at room temperature as butter will “coagulate” with cold milk, etc. Beat wet mixture on medium until well blended. Pour wet mix into dry mix and beat with mixer on medium for 1 minute or until well blended. Pour mixed batter in greased pan, on top of your selected leaves and flowers. Finish batter with remaining leaves and flowers, using a toothpick if necessary to pin down the garnishing touches to the batter (if left standing or curled above, will get crispy and loose more color).
Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean.
Invert out of pan after cooling 10-15 minutes; bottom of pan will still be warm..
Cool completely before cutting; can be served as finger tea cakes, cut into squares and fitted on to rose geranium leaves as doilies. Scattered rose petals add a nice touch and help signal floral nature of cake.