Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

I love Easter. It is a day that, for me, symbolizes new beginnings, a celebration of Spring, one of good food, family, and ...more good food!

We started off our day with our wonderful farm fresh eggs from this morning! YUM!!! We also had my honey's housecured/smoked bacon and some yummy Apricot Panetone. What a treat!

After that we went to church to hear a friend of our sing. It was quite beautiful and inspirational on many levels.

Speaking of new beginnings, we went over to the greenhouse to visit the tomato babies. They are so big I am going to need to refer to them as toddlers!

We are now going to clean up what we can of the back yard and the outdoor kitchen in preparation of guests for Easter dinner. Chef Jeff is fixing his famous Crab and Mango Salad in Avocado halves, my mother's marinade is on the leg of lamb which will be roasted in the wood burning oven along with fingerling potatoes, I will be making a beet, tangerine and mint salad, steamed asparagus and fresh meyer lemon mayonnaise. For dessert...back to the panetone, but this time it will be the one with Moscato wine mixed in.

Wishing all of you a happy Sunday, happy Spring and happy new beginnings!

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Monday, May 28, 2007

Back in the Saddle Again!

I am thrilled to be blogging again! We are busy with all kinds of things, one of which is the garden! Farmer Jeff and his garden elves planted over 250 tomato plants (36 varieties), 200 peppers and chiles (5 varieties), green beans (3 - 60 ft rows!), a 60 foot row of yellow beans, a 60 foot row of rainbow chard (silver beet) , a 60 foot row of collard greens and then squash!
(The picture above is of the squash rows covered with green plastic)

There are 70 foot rows of squash ...4 rows. We have 8 varieties of summer squash including some named "8 ball", "1 ball", "flying saucer", "star ship", Romesco, and yellow patty pans. (This is a picture of flying saucer squash)

We have also planted basil "Genovese", opal basil and lots of sunflowers! Just this year we also started raised beds in aluminum horse troughs! We have 8 troughs with arugula, raddichio, red romaine and red leaf lettuce. It is such a treat to pick greens and eat them just minutes later. My favorite salad these days is red leaf lettuce, arugula, thinly sliced fennel, tossed with lemon juice and olive oil, then topped with shaved parmesan. YUM!!! It tastes like summer ...and Italy!

Some of our other pursuits, all in our spare time, of course, included giving a cooking demonstration at the Windsor Farmer's Market on Sunday, May 13th (Mother's day).

Farmer Jeff showed how to make a swiss chard, bacon and goat cheese frittata, in honor of our trip to Italy.

I made Migas which is a breakfast dish made with sauteed corn tortillas, onions and peppers with eggs scrambled into it.

We topped it all off by making strawberry mint agua fresca.(A Mexican beverage) It is so easy to make! You can really make it with any fruit. We especially like Watermelon Agua Fresca.

Strawberry Agua Fresca – makes about 8 servings
1 cup Sugar
1 cup Water
3 sprigs Mint
6 cups Strawberries, washed and hulled (or any other fruit, such as melon or pineapple)
Juice of 1 ½ to 2 Limes, or to taste
Ice water – about 4 cups

Heat sugar and water together to create simple syrup. Drop in the mint sprigs once the sugar has melted. Cool.
Put strawberries in blender and pour 1 cup of simple syrup over the strawberries. Blend.
Add the lime juice. TASTE!
Add ice water and/or simple syrup until desired consistency and sweetness is reached and it tastes balanced.
*There is no exact measure as it all depends on the sweetness and water content of the fruit.

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