With the cooler temperatures and minimal sun, the mud from the small storms and fog is staying, instead of drying up. I can't help but appreciate the mud, thankful for the moisture and hopeful for more. It signals a season change and reminds us to pay even closer attention to actions, where we drive, how we move the animals, and more.
We are making compost today, layering a pile with the straw pack from Stella's barn and vegetable waste. We also laid out straw on the ground where the chicken coop is parked. We plan to add more straw weekly, to absorb the manure and to protect the ground from their impact. When the rains come, we are inside the barns, cleaning beans, corn, and grain.
- Winter squash
- Brussel Sprouts
- Pac Choy
- Dill, cilantro, parsley
Collard Greens with Peanut Butter, adapted from saveur.com
- 2 lb. collard or turnip green leaves, roughly chopped (12 cups)
- 4 Scotch bonnet or habanero chiles, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
- 1 medium yellow onions, roughly chopped
- 4 tbsp. red palm oil or vegetable oil
2 tbsp. tomato paste
- 1⁄2 cup natural peanut butter
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan and season with salt. Add the collard greens, cover, and cook until the leaves are tender and wilted, about 5 minutes. Drain the leaves in a colander set over a bowl and reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Place the leaves and reserved liquid in a blender, purée until smooth, and scrape the paste into a bowl.
In a large saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons palm oil over medium-high. Add the chopped onion, chiles, and the tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, until the onions are soft and lightly caramelized, 6 to 8 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, and cook, stirring, until lightly caramelized, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the puréed collard greens and peanut butter, and mash until evenly combined. Season the greens with salt and pepper and scrape into a serving dish.
Coq Au Vin, adapted from Joy of Cooking
- A broiler or roasting chicken
- 3 Tbs butter or olive oil
- 4 slices bacon or salt pork
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 sliced carrot
- 1 peeled clove garlic
- 2 Tbs flour
- 2 Tbs minced parsley
- 1 Tbs marjoram
- 1/2 bay leaf
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 1 1/2 cups dry red wine or sherry
- Disjoint chicken. Use the back and neck for the stock pot.
Melt 3 tablespoons butter or olive oil over medium heat in a heavy bottom pan.
Add bacon, onions, and carrot, and brown lightly.
Remove vegetables and bacon and reserve to add in later.
Brown the chicken legs and thighs in the same pan. Keep the chicken breasts to add in later.
Add the flour, herbs, salt and pepper to the pan. Stir to mix in.
Add the vegetables and bacon back in.
Stir in dry red wine or sherry.
Simmer the chicken legs and thighs over low heat until done or cook in the oven at 250 degrees, about an 1 hour. Keep it covered.
After an hour, brown the chicken breast in another pan and then add to the pot with the legs and thighs. Continue cooking until meat is tender. Remove from heat and let rest for half and hour before serving.