Showing posts from November, 2010

the food coma's over

I will now take this opportunity to answer the questions I've been asked about the Farm's ENORMOUS Thanksgiving feast (previously mentioned in this blog.)
The final number was somewhere around 160 people. Everyone fit in the Farm's dining room and the room connected to it. We DIDN'T wind up spilling into the living room, which was a damn miracle. :)Yes, we did have leftovers. In the days since Thanksgiving, on the menu: turkey noodle soup, turkey pot pie and turkey chili. I am not a turkey fan, so the days following Thanksgiving are torture. What was the secret to my stuffing?!--I've gotten this question about a dozen times. Answer is BUTTER!! Butter makes everything better. If we slathered butter on the world's problems, then things would just seem so much better! No? The recipe I used is Mark Bittman's How to cook Everything. The recipe is below:

Mark Bittman's Favorite Bread Stuffing:1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter1 cup chopped onion1/2 cup pine nuts or c…

nearly there

16 turkeys cooked, soon to be carved 50 pounds of potatoes, mashed50 pounds of Farm butternut squash, pureed and seasoned40 pounds of Farm Brussels sproutsover 225 cups of home-made bread stuffing with sage and veggiesrivers of gravy a heaping helping of lentils (for the vegetarians) 300 dinner rolls, heaping plates of butterhuge side salada mound of Farm cheddar, surrounded by grapes and clementinesFarm cider and watercoffee and tea and 36 pies and tarts
This is how we try and feed over 160 people. Remember last week when I said we had a count of 96? Yep, not anymore. Holy cats! Where are we going to put all these people!?

The Kitchen team's harvest report--the reports which each team presents on Thanksgiving, giving all of our visitors an idea of what each team does/"harvest"-- is nearly done. All is well. Now off to bed, in need of some pre-Turkey Day zzzs.


just grateful

"Each day offers us the gift of being a special occasion if we can simply learn that as well as giving, it is blessed to receive with grace and a grateful heart." ~ Sarah Ban Breathnach

I am grateful this morning. Grateful for the day off (having worked Saturday this weekend). Grateful to be clean and warm and laying on a soft bed. Grateful for Edith Piaf softly crooning and the cat napping next to me. Grateful for the gloomy, slightly drizzly day, so I can lay in bed and read and not feel like I am wasting a gorgeous fall day. Grateful for my family and friends. Grateful for a job where I have input and can feel like I am making a difference. Grateful. Just grateful. 

Today is one of those mornings where nearly everything I look at causes me to be thankful. I glance at my cork board and see the photos of my family; now inspired to a sense of gratitude for my beautiful nieces and nephews, my loving siblings and parents, my friends. I am thankful and excited for a wedding th…

spinach ricotta gnocchi

I was so inspired with Andrea and Taylor's--of AFarmer in the Dell--gnocchi recipe that I just had to try it. TSO and I made it tonight and invited S to join us for a dinner of DELICIOUS spinach ricotta gnocchi, Farm roasted spaghetti squash with sage and my home-made tomato, mushroom, garlic marinara (which I had canned this summer; made with my own tomatoes!)
Here are some pictures I took along the way! Blogger is being lame and I don't want to fool around with moving the pictures, so I give you dinner in reverse: 1. Farm Spaghetti Squash (roasted then sauteed with sage). 2. My tomatoes now sauced.  3. Our spaghetti squash looks like dinner for two with the forks. The rest: Gnocchi from start to finish, step by (mostly) step. The last picture is the actual finished gnocchi (after boiling!)

Now I need to go get ready--Midnight showing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part 1) tonight! I am getting there hours early to get in line for good seats. Nine of us from the Farm goi…

harvesting much

I love the fall. And I love the way our old Farm house seems to change in the fall. With the cooler weather comes wonderful things like sweaters and sweatshirts; a huge stack of wood on our back porch, meaning more fires at our house; raked up piles of leaves and the smell of burning dead foliage; the look of the mountains around, as they've shed their spring/summer skins for the sleepy looking, muted hues of grays and musty browns. I love the northeast winds that blow at the house and rattle it a little in the night's darkest moments, occasionally stirring me from sleep, reassuring me that I am safe and warm inside. I even like Daylight Savings, which seems to layer upon us all a sense of tiredness. Tiredness because it is darker earlier; tiredness because it is getting cooler outside; tiredness from the work I see in the Kitchen's near future when we will produce a huge, spectacular meal.

The Thanksgiving count for the Farm, as of 11am this morning, was 95 peopl…

the eyes have it

I am trying to keep myself entertained tonight while I work at Alternative U Library. The kids are almost to their Thanksgiving break, which means they are all wired and hyper. I want to stand on the chair and shout "SHUT THE HELL UP!! GO STUDY OR BE QUIET SOMEWHERE!!" But, since apparently I can't do that and still keep my job, I am looking at bizarre photos. The first two were found online and the third picture is one I took.

don't buy the underpants

Mummy Dearest has me positively hooked on Natalie Dee, that's who made all the above pictures.

Also, on a VERY unrelated note, found this article about the Kurt Vonnegut Library

artsy fartsy

Today I worked a half a day in the kitchen. 5 hours time spent putting out breakfast; replenishing the salad bar; bringing in breakfast/clean-up; making beef sloppy joes; making vegetarian black bean Faision; making Dijon and mustard roasted Farm Brussels sprouts; boiling 13 pounds of pasta for dinner; setting up the dining room; getting lunch into the ovens and out into the dining room; cleaning up and doing last minute dishes. Busy busy bumble bees today. It was just myself and two other guys, so I went into spaz-mode where I try and do things as quickly as possible to maximize productivity. This always results in one things. Me getting hurt. At least it was only a burnt finger today--a nice, white blister on my middle finger, right below my nail. This is not nearly as bad as the huge blister/burn I got on my arm this weekend while cooking breakfast at home. My favorite fry pan's (favorite because 1. it was my parents' fry pan for years and 2. it is old, yet AWESOME!) handle…

my first Farm video and other photos

I promised pictures in my last blog, so here are a couple of gems:

Ok, it's short, but I felt accomplished that I finally downloaded something (albeit short) of Farm goings-on! Some of the bulls/oxen running towards me when I stopped by to say "hi," earlier today.  Our lovely bare apple trees. Notice the bucket on stand--that's for sand, as in sand-your-walk-way-it's-covered-in-snow-and-ice! I can't believe it has been in the high 50s/low 60s all week!  Our Tolkein-esque apple trees!  Hanging with the boys: bulls and oxen. The road home. Note the snow sprinkled on top of the leaves. We had a freezing rain/dusting of snow this past weekend!

life and times down on the Farm

I realized that I haven't written much of Farm life lately, so:

Well, Kitchen life is far less exciting these days due to our lessening fresh Farm produce. I feel like lately I haven't the energy or patience to step outside my cooking box with our routine fall bounty. From the Farm gardens we are getting: kale (dino and curly), chard (Swiss), cabbage, parsnips, turnips, leeks and this week we still had some broccoli. We are now breaking into freezer stores to utilize some things which the garden processed and froze this summer, and are also using store bought produce more and more (insert HUGE sad face here).  Nothing tastes as good as fresh AND recently (like that morning!!) picked produce.

Much to our delight we had a few calves born in the last couple of weeks, taking us to a grand total of 5 heifer (girl) calves, which is exactly what we wanted. Hooray! After Jasmine (you may remember her from here) calved we lost her to milk fever. (Will have to post pictures of the adora…

a negligent list

Another gem from Uncle Walt:

"Spontaneous me"

Spontaneous me, Nature,
The loving day, the mounting sun, the friend I am happy with,
The arm of my friend hanging idly over my shoulder,
The hillside whiten'd with blossoms of the mountain ash,
The same late in autumn, the hues of red, yellow, drab, purple, and
light and dark green,
The rich coverlet of the grass, animals and birds, the private
untrimm'd bank, the primitive apples, the pebble-stones,
Beautiful dripping fragments, the negligent list of one after
another as I happen to call them to me or think of them,
The real poems, (what we call poems being merely pictures,)
The poems of the privacy of the night, and of men like me,
This poem drooping shy and unseen that I always carry, and that all
men carry,
(Know once for all, avow'd on purpose, wherever are men like me, are
our lusty lurking masculine poems,)
Love-thoughts, love-juice, love-odor, love-yielding, love-climbers,
and the climbing sap,…

the dark sacred nights

I lost a friend in high school, not a best friend, but a friend who I saw nearly everyday; Paul and I had become friends through our activities in the school's theater department. It's funny how, after Paul died, I remember thinking of him every single day for a really long time and wondering, "will there ever be a day where I don't think of him?" And that day came, and perhaps I even wondered at myself the next day for not thinking of him the day before. And then many more days passed, and now my thoughts of Paul are fewer and much farther between: sometimes when I go home and pass not too far from where he died; sometimes thinking of him when I attend the church I grew up in, thinking of that cold winter day and a church packed for a funeral. And tonight I think of Paul after watching Glee--a show I am sure he would have loved.

Sitting and thinking of Paul tonight, I began to wonder if I will ever get to that day when I don't think of my Dad ev…

pimp mah alpakah

I don't know what's worse: how much time someone spends putting things like this on the internet, or how much I enjoy finding and posting things like this?
Found all these pictures through a google search of f"funny photos."

accepting these things

"At 30 a man should know himself like the palm of his hand, know the exact number of his defects and qualities, know how far he can go, foretell his failures - be what he is. And, above all, accept these things."  ~ Albert Camus

"At twenty years of age, the will reigns; at thirty, the wit, and at forty, the judgement." ~ Ben Franklin

"Time and tide wait for no man, but time always stands still for a woman of thirty." ~ Robert Frost

Everything I know I learned after I was thirty". ~ Georges Clemenceau

"The only time you really live fully is from thirty to sixty. The young are slaves to dreams; the old servants of regrets. Only the middle-aged have all their five senses in the keeping of their wits."
~ Hervey Allen

So, 30. That seems to be the most profound thought I've had since my birthday. I'd dreaded 30, and yet now that it's happened I have this strange sense of achievment. I liken the feelings of dread, which I had felt, to the …


And another favorite; Collins is brilliant.


It could be the name of a prehistoric beast
that roamed the Paleozoic earth, rising up
on its hind legs to show off its large vocabulary,
or some lover in a myth who is metamorphosed into a book.

It means treasury, but it is just a place
where words congregate with their relatives,
a big park where hundreds of family reunions
are always being held,
house, home, abode, dwelling, lodgings, and digs,
all sharing the same picnic basket and thermos;
hairy, hirsute, woolly, furry, fleecy, and shaggy
all running a sack race or throwing horseshoes,
inert, static, motionless, fixed and immobile
standing and kneeling in rows for a group photograph.

Here father is next to sire and brother close
to sibling, separated only by fine shades of meaning.
And every group has its odd cousin, the one
who traveled the farthest to be here:
astereognosis, polydipsia, or some eleven
syllable, unpronounceable substitute for the word tool.
Even their own relatives ha…

beautiful fools

I haven't read this poem in forever, but I stumbled upon it again tonight.


You are so beautiful and I am a fool
to be in love with you
is a theme that keeps coming up
in songs and poems.
There seems to be no room for variation.
I have never heard anyone sing
I am so beautiful
and you are a fool to be in love with me,
even though this notion has surely
crossed the minds of women and men alike.
You are so beautiful, too bad you are a fool
is another one you don't hear.
Or, you are a fool to consider me beautiful.
That one you will never hear, guaranteed.

For no particular reason this afternoon
I am listening to Johnny Hartman
whose dark voice can curl around
the concepts on love, beauty, and foolishness
like no one else's can.
It feels like smoke curling up from a cigarette
someone left burning on a baby grand piano
around three o'clock in the morning;
smoke that billows up into the bright lights
while out there in the darkness
some of the beautiful fools have gathered

click click goes my camera

1. Hancock Shaker Village, Pittsfield, MA. This is a photo of their round barn. Very cool looking on the inside.
2. Edith Wharton's home, The Mount in Lenox, MA. Very beautiful gardens and grounds; the house was lacking in my humble opinion. Made for some gorgeous photos.
3. Some of the fruits of my summer labors (of love). My gorgeous tomatoes (that night made into DELICIOUS BLTs). Pictured l to r: Cherokee Purples, Italian heirloom Big Boys, Romas and the Green Zebras are in the top left corner.
4. My Halloween pumpkins adorning our front porch.
5. My pumpkin harvest: 8 carving (Howden) Halloween pumpkins (the big ones), 13 (Pam) pie pumpkins (the little ones, which are long since cooked, pureed and bagged in our freezer for future pies!)