Tuesday, March 22, 2011
There was a mission to this picture perfect day as there was to the prior two. Get the garden
My partner in digging rented a roto-tiller for the weekend. I thought we could just hack at the soil with picks and rakes to loosen up the ground. No, the red earth of this region settles to a hard, resistant covering and it goes deep. The little roto-tiller reminded me of a bicycle with a small engine. Cute, but put not exactly highway worthy.
Not to forget to bend over every time a tuff of grass, tangled dandelion or stray of clover was spotted to get them out for the were bound to re-establish themselves – and nothing was going to choke my little babies. I mean, we knew that weeds were hiding and eventually were going to be dealt with, but those that was too stupid to conceal themselves were yanked, and tossed.
By nightfall, for three days, we climbed the stairs back into the house and showered off the layer of dirt that coated bodies. The tub's drain sucked down the forensic evidence the day’s work. As we crashed into bed it was agreed upon that the work was exhausting but the satisfaction of creating life fueled our spirit to get up the next morning and start again. It is a simple thing, gardening, but yet it is not. The physical labor is intense, but the soreness fades; the spiritual connectiveness to my food from seed to plate will make me cherish very morsel and the emotional gratification and security I get knowing where my food has been raised makes me wish everything I ate could come this plot.
We are weeks to months away from really harvesting much of thing – herbs will be clipped almost immediately – I like to go down the garden in the morning, coffee cup in hand, to check on their progress, and give them a quenching to help them on their way. I pray no dousing rain washes away the seeds we sowed, and the hothouse pushed planting take to the shock of their new home.
Monday, March 7, 2011
On the calendar spring is a mere three weeks away, and because Mother Nature has once again not marked her iCalendar I now a specific date means nothing. So, I will look for signs: white and purple crocus dotting barren parks; slightly swollen green buds popping up in clumps here and there, and stretch of nights where the temperature never dips below a freeze. Reading those signs I can start to plot my first true spring meal and think of grilled ramps or a chervil laced goat cheese turnover – ahh, the thought of it.
I must wait, and I in the interim I will dream.
Whole Wheat Flatbread – yields 8
16-ounces plain yogurt
2-cups chickpea flour
3-1/2 to 4 cups whole-wheat flour
1-tablespoon canola oil
Combine the yogurt, chickpea flour, whole-wheat flour and salt together to create a dense, but moist dough mass. Knead the dough for 5 minutes, and then rub with a bit of oil. Place in a bowl and cover, or plastic bag and allow the dough to sit at room temperature for 24 hours.
Flatten the ball of dough, and roll them out to about 1/8-inch thick rounds. Make sure to rotate the dough as you are rolling in order to prevent it from sticking to your work-surface. It is ideal not to flour the work-surface when rolling out the flat breads.
Heat a cast iron skillet or flat top over a high heat. Cook the flat breads for about 2-3minutes a side.