Stuff I learned and ate this week

On Saturday we did the farm‘s first CSA delivery of pork and chicken to Seattle and Bainbridge Island. We spent the night on the island and had some happy hour snacks at Hitchcock, then we went back to the house and cooked up some frozen Beecher’s mac & smoked cheese.

On Saturday I was reminded that I like to talk to customers, and I learned about what it’s like to work at a market booth that’s in the front yard of a house in Wallingford. (It was fun.)

On Sunday we slaughtered a few turkeys for Thanksgiving, with neighbor Jeremy and farm friend Tony’s help. I re-learned about doing turkeys, which is a lesson I have to learn every year. They are shaped differently than chickens.

For dinner on Sunday I butterflied and roasted one of our chickens in a cast iron pan, and we ate about 1/4 of it with boiled potatoes with rosemary and tasty chicken fat, and some sautéed kale.

That chicken’s spine and various trimmings, plus the onion, leek, carrot, and celery trimmings that we’ve been accruing in the freezer, went into a stock pot and simmered throughout the evening.

On Monday I picked the meat off a thigh and a drumstick of Sunday’s chicken, destined for soup. Starting with two very small onions, diced, I also added some diced carrot and celery, then sliced garlic, then some diced turnips — they keep coming in our veg box — and then yesterday’s stock and the chicken were added. When the turnips were more or less cooked through, I added some finely-shredded kale and let it simmer until the kale was soft.
When we left the island on Sunday morning, we had stopped at Blackbird for coffee and I grabbed a day-old bag of garlic sage scones. As we were discussing what starch to have in/with the soup, I said “well we have these scones” and so no potatoes, rice, or dumplings were put into the soup; rather, we dunked these super tasty savory scones and were very happy.

Onions and garlic from Laughing Crow on Bainbridge; carrot, celery, turnips, and kale from Tahoma, down the street; chicken grown by us (grown on Bainbridge though).

I am pretty sure I learned something on Monday but I don’t remember what it was.

On Tuesday I learned that if you arrive at the front door of your office building at the same time as Sherman Alexie, and he’s going to the radio station on the floor above your office suite, and he calls up to them to be buzzed in, but at the same time you swipe in and then recognize him so you try to hold the door open for him as he waits to be buzzed in, he will decline, and he will say he will follow buzzer-door protocol, leaving you to go up the stairs alone such that you do not get a chance to say “hi Mr. Alexie; I think you’re great!”

On Tuesday I had did-not-get-to-say-hi-to-Sherman-Alexie leftover soup for dinner.

On Wednesday, today, I worked from home and I am working on learning a lot of stuff but I haven’t quite figured out how to articulate it yet. But for dinner I am having cabbage and bacon from Nigel Slater’s Real Fast Food:

Slice 2 peeled cloves of garlic
Cut 2 medium carrots into matchsticks
Dice 4 oz bacon about 1/2 inch square (mine was chopped rashers, much smaller than 1/2″)
Shred ~1 lb Savoy or other cabbage leaves finely

Cook the bacon in a very large pan until it starts to brown.
Add garlic, carrots, and cabbage, and toss all to coat with bacon fat over medium heat.
Cook until your least-tender component — maybe carrots, maybe cabbage ribs — is tender but not soggy. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and about a tsp of whole caraway seeds.

In my case I had to add some liquid and let it braise briefly, because I used a thicker-ribbed cabbage, but it turned out super yummy. Because I am crazy for salt, I put in a couple forkfuls of homemade sauerkraut. I also added a dash of hot sauce, stirred, then eagerly nommed it all up with a spoon.

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