As you can see I am already behind and lacking in my best creativity with this blog right now…I’ve decided to embrace this lack and relax with it for a few minutes. As I was reaching through my archives of recent teas, brunches, dinners, and snacks I realized that I was overwhelmed by the amount of recipes, lack of photographs, and lack of time to share the most recent homemade meal (which I think was last week some time). It is surely embarrassing, but I thought that I should share what I have been doing in my creative little “food head”.
Despite my lack of photos and food recipes I am actually embedded in food ALL the time it seems. This weekend I immersed myself with the best of my city mice friends in Boston, and I would say we ate pretty well. Our first stop was the Madrona Tree, a small farm to table restaurant with a pretty exquisite breakfast. I say exquisite mainly because the variety of eggs benedict was impressive and the fried artichokes were beautiful. I had a benny with a homemade hollandaise sauce, a tangy sauce, sauteed poblanos and onions, (egg of course- perfectly runny), served on a nice crusty baguette (I don’t know if I will ever be able to revert back to the english muffin), and of course the mixed sweet and white potato homefries. As for the fried artichokes, I was hesitant (as usual with any restaurant’s idea of “fried”), but somehow the light breading, with cornmeal I would say, left the artichoke heart’s rich almost sour taste as the main flavor and it was served with some sort of aioli (chipotle?). Keep your eyes open for a recipe inspired by this, it has encouraged me to play…
The other food choices weren’t actually much to speak of, a classic bar experience (including a sort of accidentally stolen pitcher of beer…it’s a long story), a salad bar salad (not bad, but the asparagus ruined my experience because we’ve been getting it from our garden), frozen yogurt (expensive), and late night pizza from the place around the corner. By the time the weekend was over I was ready for some kale… But, aside from the many so-so restaurants, Jourdan did a fun orange breakfast and a watermelon cake (photos will have to follow later). I was skeptical about the breakfast only because I have a strange tendency to crave a rainbow of colors on my plate, but the orange was fun (and tasty)! We had butternut squash, a fried egg, a yellow cheese slice, and homemade cornbread with honey HAHA!! As for the watermelon cake…I’ll save that for later.
So, even though I have seriously lacked in cooking for the last week or so, I realized it was for good reason. Every single night for the last few days has been spent celebrating a graduation into the world outside education, and in the garden (and boy does my body remind me so…) so indulging in the occasional take-out thai food seemed acceptable. As I was finishing my time in the garden last night (and after reading some Root Children to a sick loved one), I flopped on the couch and reminded myself of the magic all around me and how important the earth is for my daily life. As I move on to a new chapter in my life I remember how important transformation is. Transformation seems to perfectly parallel that of our daily relationship to food also. The gathering over the table to eat the seasonal foods the earth grows for us each year. No matter what, it will continue to cycle and provide, and each day when I see the birds build their nests and eat the worms that till the soil I remember the constant transformations of the seasons and what it provides for us.
The picture I have included is a beautiful wild woman salad that is a great reminder of the spring nourishment that is all around us. Aside from any measurements or portion sizes a huge part of the recipe for this is foraging and understanding the growth and love that is in us and around us. Happy foraging!!
Wild Woman Salad
A large wooden bowl and a basket
A handful of the closest variety of lettuces- arugula (my favorite!), purslane (Merlin loves to munch on this), mustard, mesculan (or you can even forage for the good stuff like Basswood leaves-great in salads!)
Freshest herbs around- chives, parsley, cilantro, mint
Flowers- Nasturtiums (another one of my favorites, peppery), chive flowers, clover, pansies, dandelions
Carefully pick favored ingredients and place into a clean basket (sometimes I find it helpful to sing a little song so I remember how special it is). Either gently rinse or harvest flowers and leaves just after a fresh rain. Place in a large bowl (preferably a wooden one that inspires the soul) and toss around. A lot of times these wild salads don’t require a dressing because the herbs and flowers add so much, but sometimes I do love the taste of a good cold-pressed olive oil (maybe garlic infused), a squeeze of fresh lemon, and some cracked pepper…mmmmm enjoy!!
Note: This is a really amazing salad when you add chopped fresh asparagus to the mix, but it really only works when it is truly fresh out of the garden. Trust me raw, fresh asparagus will change your life…