Friday June 11, 2010
How are you today?
Well, not quite. More like chevre and cheddar!
This weekend I am attending a cheese making workshop at Shelburne Farm in Vermont. http://www.shelburnefarms.org/index.htm
This morning we were carted to the sheep, cow and market barns by 2 draft horses named Hercules and Jaguar. Our tour guide is Marshall Webb - who grew up on this amazing 1400 acre farm. Our cheesemaker is Nat Bacon (too bad it's not Nat Cheese..haha). Later, I"ll share some video and more photos so you can get a taste of the cheese making process. Happy Friday, everyone!
Thursday June 10, 2010
Off the Farm
We descended upon Thompson Finch Farm like we had never left the farm before. The bad kids in the back, we giggled, whispered and expressed our joy to be on another farm and not hoeing, planting, or laying black plastic. We observed weeds in raspberries, watched explanations of machinery used in strawberry transplanting and weeding, and laughed at garlic scapes dangling from a particularly crunchy girl's hair.We realized the importance of having the right equipment for getting the job done.
The seven am wake-ups have begun this week, the mornings seem to stretch as if they are an entire day or days unto themselves. Harvests are in the mornings so that no leaves lose their crunch or roots their luster and so with our coffee we have kale and radishes and turnips, dunking and cleaning and 'processing' with the crust still on our eyes hidden by sunglasses. The afternoons are slightly more merciful unless they bring too much sun to burn our skin and dry the soil complicating planting almost as much as the impossibly rocky fields.
The tomato, tomatillo, cucumber and squash seedlings have loved this moist rainy weather. Laura is grateful for this because there is no irrigation in the other field. We took a chance with that one, but the little seedlings that could have so easily wilted in the harsh sun and silty rocky soil. When unrolling a haybale to mulch the pathways of the many, many tomato rows a litter of very young voles spilled out. They cried and shivered as we attempted to warmly relocate them to the edge of the field. Voles are nearly as cute as baby moles, in my opinion.
It seems as if everyone is settling into their farming personality, you know the one: harried by work and distractions and a personal life yet there getting it done on farm even under adverse conditions. Seeing the organism that is a group of people working together is fascinating to me, and I'm learning how to evaluate the functioning of it and maybe one day I'll be able to influence it in a positive way at the right time...
Wednesday June 09, 2010
Today, Heirloom Meals Radio had an inspirational interview with Chef Louis Eguaras whose culinary path has lead him from the Philippines, to the east coast, west coast and around the world! Perhaps best known for his position as a chef for the Bush and Clinton administrations, Louis' successes continue as he is currently teaching at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Los Angeles and is the proud new author of "101 Things I Learned in Culinary School". We think that you will agree with us that Chef Eguaras embodies the American dream as you listen to his story and attitude about never passing up good opportunities and taking the time to be grateful and get the most out of where you are. Thanks Chef!
Tuesday June 08, 2010
That which we call an Uni, by any other name...
Depending on which side of the fence you are on, quite literally, Uni, the guinea hen can be either unnerving or endearing. He spends most of his days on the porch nipping at the zippers hanging from Jim's golf bag, repeatedly carving his initials into the kitchen's wooden screen door or playing follow-the-leader with any moving body. His favorite Boulderwood buddy is undoubtedly Burtee the Border Collie who he runs, rests and romps with endlessly. Burtee does police Uni, however, when his fowl friend starts intimidating the guests. All you have to do is say, "Burtee, get the chicken!" and the path is cleared.
Hatched right here at Boulderwood, Uni, now at the age of 6, has acquired himself quite the status as his portrait hangs over the family dining table. Our friend, Helga, did a beautiful job of capturing Uni's balloony yet statuesque posture and smart coloring with her oil paints-wouldn't you agree??
Happy tweets and trills to all this Tuesday, straight from the Guinea's beak!