Hello again! I’m finally coming up for a breath of air from one of the busiest springs I can remember. The gardens this year are calling to me in more ways than I’ve yet experienced. It’s been a crazy couple months of work, but the company of my crew is better than I could have wished for, the weather has been great and every day is full of learning. The awakening of the earth never ceases to amaze me! Just yesterday I was overjoyed to discover that the radishes in our garden were big enough for harvesting, it feels as if we only just planted them!
This spring has been a time of simple meals in my world, the time spent in the gardens is seriously cutting into the amount of time I spend in the kitchen. Nevertheless, I’ve managed to enjoy quite a bit of the delicious local fare as it becomes available. Here’s a peek into my culinary endeavors of late:
May was a month of dandelion greens and nettles. Dandelion greens every morning, chopped up and sautéd in ghee with garlic and salt. What a perfect accompaniment to fried eggs and an english muffin! The nettles most often found their way into a creamy nettle soup. There they shared the stage with potatoes, onions, garlic lemon and pepper. Delightfully simple and nourishing. This recipe was my inspiration – http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/nettle_soup/ – Look at these vibrant green beauties.
At the end of May we had the long awaited for late birthday celebration for Malia; she and I went on a wonderful weekend camping trip to Donnell pond! We hiked in to Schoodic beach and lucked out with a sunny yet secluded campsite on the edge of the lake, complete with fire pit and picnic table. We spent a peaceful and relaxing few days hiking in the surrounding mountains, singing around the campfire, cooking simple nourishing camp food and filling the air with woodsmoke every resting moment to keep the bugs away. I would share more of my pictures of our time there but my computer crashed last week and I’m currently without all of my photos, I’m praying that they aren’t lost… Here’s the lone surviving photo, the view from our camp-
Back to the food – June marked the beginning of our weekly CSA from Matt’s farm! Every week he delivers a great big box full of the freshest vegetables I’ve seen in a long time. So far we’ve received kale, chard, lettuce, radishes and bok choy. The kale is my all time favorite, life without kale would sure be bleak. Some other highlights of June include a solstice bonfire at Kari’s house, the roses coming into bloom (!), and my first job of the season arranging flowers for a wedding with Chickadee Hill flowers. And one of the perks of this job, at the end of the events I get to take home bucketfuls of flowers!
One of my everyday kale recipes, especially good this time of year while the kale is still so young and tender, is a hearty kale salad. My summers wouldn’t be complete without it! Especially nice on a hot summer day, this refreshing, tasting salad is my favorite way to eat kale. Speaking of hot summer days, we’ve had quite a week of them. It’s been great incentive to get in the water, and I had my first ocean dip the other day off of The Hop, one of the porcupine islands out in the bay. I’ve also managed to sneak in quite a few dips in the lakes and ponds recently, it’s such a great way to cool off after work. My body was ready to spend some time in the water again.
The recipe for this kale salad is variable, into this baby goes nut or seed butters, mustards, vinegar, tamari, onions, nuts, seeds, dried fruits, and anything else your heart desires! Here’s a simple recipe to get you started:
~Tahini kale salad~
for the dressing:
1/3 c sunflower seed butter
3 tblsps apple cider vinegar
2 tbls tamari
1 tblsp dijon mustard
for the salad:
thin sliced red onion
toasted sunflower seeds
In a jar or bowl combine the tahini, mustard, vinegar and tamari. Mix with a whisk until creamy and well blended. Chop the kale into your preferred size bits and place in a large bowl. Add red onion, nuts and seeds and then pour dressing over the top. Then mix it all together (with your hands!) until the leaves are evenly coated. Let sit for at least fifteen minutes up to a couple hours before eating. This will keep for a day or two in the fridge.