From garden to kitchen, and everything in between
- Thinking globally, eating locally in Southern Coastal Maine & Seacoast New Hampshire, US Zone 5b/6a
- Interlude: Dogsledding in the Tetons, Wyoming
- Spring Equinox
- Taking Stock + What the Groundhog Saw
- Interlude: January Blizzard
- New Year’s Cotechino Sausage with Lentils
- A time of counting…
- 11.25.14 Rossa di Sulmona Garlic
- Fall Foraging: Horse Chestnuts
- Fall’s Bounty from Orange Circle Farm
- Seaside Foraging: Beach Lovage, Sea Beans & Sea Plantain
- 10.6.14 National Noodle Day: Soba Master Tatsuru Rai
- 2014 Master Food Preserver Volunteer of the Year
- agretti alliums apples asparagus bacon baking beans beets cabbage canning carrots celeriac chard cheese chicory cime di rapa cucumbers eggplant eggs farmers' markets favas fennel flowers freezing fun jen garlic herbs kale leeks local flour mastering food preservation pasta peas peppers pickling pomodorini pork potatoes poultry puntarelle radishes rhubarb salad greens seafood season extension snow summer squash tatsoi tomatoes winter squash
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We look for signs of spring where we can, and, after a winter unlike any other, the chairs are finally emerging from their solid casing of snow. Enjoy these lengthening days, dear friends.
Along with Groundhog Day, I’m told that February 2nd is the traditional day to check on what’s left in storage to see one through the rest of winter. With only six more weeks to the Spring Equinox, it’s a good time to start making plans for the next canning season!
Some upcoming nearby workshops while waiting for the snow to melt:
• Grow Your Own Seedlings at Home — Wells Reserve at Laudholm Farm, February 10th
• The History of Agriculture as Told by Barns — Stratham & Exeter Heritage Commissions, February 20th
• Winter Planting for the Spring — North Shore Permaculture Group, February 21st
• 5 Nights, 10 Farms: Explore Your Farming Dreams — Jeremiah Smith Grange Hall, February 23rd
• Growing and Preserving — Sanford Adult Education, February 26
• Kittery Community Garden Planning Meeting — Kittery Adult Education, March 2nd
• Planting a Preserving Garden — Kittery Adult Education, April 28th
“ACCUMULATIONS: SNOW ACCUMULATION OF 18 TO 24 INCHES… INTENSE BAND OF SNOWFALL WILL BECOME NEARLY STATIONARY OVER THE AREA THROUGH EARLY AFTERNOON… ” — Blizzard Warning for York Coastal County, ME
It appears winter storm Juno has decided to drop into the neighborhood and stay for awhile. I’ve a pot of stew warming on the stove, a pile of good reads beside me, and the thermostat turned up. Hope you’re all snug and safe, dear friends.
We began our New Year’s celebration early, and cooked up a luscious Cotechino sausage to serve with a potful of nutty lentils, and a side of winter-sweetened braised carrots. Many thanks to Rook, the talented butcher at Maine Meat, for his house made version of this Italian specialty. As with many foods traditional to New Year’s, this simple dish symbolizes prosperity and good fortune — wishing you all a Happy New Year’s, we’re feeling lucky already.
New Year’s Cotechino Sausage with Lentils
2 cotechino sausages, about 1 pound each
3 tablespoons good olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
1 carrot, finely diced
1 rib celery, very finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1 bay leaf
1 pound lentils, rinsed
Salt and pepper
Red wine vinegar, to taste
Minced parsley, for garnish
– Place the two sausages in a large pot, and fill with enough water to cover the sausages. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover. Poach the sausages until they are heated through (around 160°F internal temperature), about 45 minutes to 1 hour. When done, turn off heat.
– Heat the olive oil in a medium pot, add the onions, carrots, and celery, and cook until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, nutmeg, red pepper flakes, and bay leaf, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the lentils and 5 to 6 cups of the cotechino poaching liquid. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and continue to simmer until the lentils are tender, about 20 to 30 minutes. Add a little more liquid to the lentils as they cook, if necessary. Season to taste with good olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, and pepper.
– Remove the cotechino from the liquid, peel off the casing, and slice thickly. Serve over a platter of lentils, garnished with parsley and last drizzle of good olive oil.
Adapted from “Canal House Cooking, Volume No. 7: La Dolce Vita”.
“December is … often a time of counting. Making it count, checking our list, watching the short hours of daylight. The year end knocks persistent on our doorstep, our growing children and aging elders continue on their time-bound journeys…. If we slow, who is to say those we love will slow with us?”
— Marada Cook, Crown O’Maine Organic Cooperative
Happy Solstice, dear friends — on this longest night of the year, the lengthening light of day is a most welcome thought.
Late November may be pushing it but, as long as the ground is workable, it’s not too late to plant garlic. Of the 3 varieties of we grow, the Rossa di Sulmona from Seeds from Italy is my favorite — a terrific balance of pungency and sweetness, and its distinctive pink color never fails to bring me cheer. Have a delicious Thanksgiving, dear friends — there’s always so much to be grateful for.