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Quote of the Day: Robert Farrar Capon

October 29th, 2017

“The world does not need another cookbook, but it needs all the lovers–amateurs–it can get. It is a gorgeous old place, full of clownish graces and beautiful drolleries, and it has enough textures, tastes, and smells to keep us intrigued for more time than we have. Unfortunately, however, our response to its loveliness is not always delight: It is, far more often than it should be, boredom. And that is not only odd, it is tragic; for boredom is not neutral–it is the fertilizing principle for unloveliness.”

Robert Farrar Capon in The Supper of the Lamb





I’m very happy that winter is approaching. While I still enjoy cooking in the summer, my schedule makes it difficult to really immerse myself in cooking big meals, in trying new recipes, baking bread, etc. Summer is about quick cooking vegetables from the garden, winter is about spending hours in the kitchen, braised meats, long simmered soups…

Do you consider yourself an amateur cook? Do you enjoy the process of cooking?

Quote of the Day: Tamar Adler

October 15th, 2017

“I like asparagus charred on the grill until it is beginning to pucker; cooking greens are wonderful when allowed to get crisp and burned in places. The same is true of roasted fish and toast, both of which I find more delicious with bits of crips blackening on their edges.”

Tamar Adler in ‘An Everlasting Meal’


I always say that Mr Chiots likes his toast raw and he says I like mine burnt. In reality, I like mine with a bit of char, he likes is barely toasted. It’s personal preference of course, but I like a lot of toothsomeness to my toast and a bit of bitterness from some charred edges. He likes his barely past fresh bread. Naturally, I chuckled when I read this line the other night.

How do you like your toast?

Quote of the Day: Tamar Adler

October 1st, 2017

“Then there is the breed of vegetable that strides at its own pace, regardless of yours. It has a brief season and is probably laborious, needing to be shelled or shucked or peeled, then leaving you a tiny pile of its edible self.

But it is invariably this vegetable that tastes so resonantly of its moment in the year that the surrounding months echo with it. There are festivals organized around this sort: in Spain there’s one for the sweet, leggy onion called calcots. Everyone runs out and picks them, builds big fires, roasts bushels and bushels, makes romesco sauce, gets drunk, eating as many as they can. In Italy, if a vegetable’s festival is not on the calendar, it’s tacitly observed: there will be picnics when the first wild asparagus arrive. This sort of vegetable is impractical if you’re trying to look ahead, but is very good at making you stop and look around.”

Tamar Adler in An Everlasting Meal




As the hot weather gardening season winds down, I’m thinking about what lies ahead as far as vegetables and fruit. The pumpkins lie heavy in the garden still, they will produce a lot of delicious winter meals. The butternut squash are aplenty, two vines produced enough for an army thanks to the chicken manure mulch. The fall lettuces are coming in, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts are all flavors of this cooler season. Eating seasonally allows us to enjoy each thing at the height of its season and celebrate what it brings to the table, both flavorwise and healthwise.

What vegetables and fruit are you looking forward to next season?

Quote of the Day: Tamar Adler

September 17th, 2017

“Eggs should be laid by chickens that have as much say in it as any of us about our egg laying does. Their yolks should, depending on the time of year, range from buttercup yellow to marigold. They should come from as nearby as possible. WE don’t all live near cattle ranches, but most of us live surprisingly close to someone raising chickens for eggs. If you find lively eggs from local chickens, buy them. They will be a good deal more than edible.”

Tamar Adler in An Everlasting Meal


Before we had our own chickens, we purchased chicken from a local farm. Eggs from happy chickens are really much more flavorful than those from the factory farms.

We now have our own flock, which range quite happily on a fairly large plot behind a few hundred feet of electric net fencing (not technically “free” ranging, as the foxes nab them if they do, but close enough). There are between 15-30 of them laying between half to two dozen eggs a day, depending on the time of year and the age of the flock. Eggs are on the breakfast menu daily, usually with a side of some sort of vegetable from the garden or a piece of bread from the oven. Sometimes they’re made into omelets to use up small bits of leftover dinner that aren’t enough to make another entire meal in itself. Pot roast with vegetables makes a surprisingly good omelet, especially with some fresh parsley on top.

In the summer, when we are flush with eggs, I sell them to a few friends. These friends claim they are “the best eggs they’ve ever had” and some won’t even give my name out to their friends in fear that they won’t be able to get eggs if they do. My belief is that the eggs are good because the chickens are happy and enjoying very chickeny lives (the homemade fermented feed is also a big part of it as well). I’m happy that my little flock produces enough eggs for us and for a few friends. Good eggs are worth sourcing wherever you live.

Do you have your own egg layers or do you have a good source for good eggs?

Quote of the Day: Rosemary Verey

July 2nd, 2017

“Although I arrived here more than fifty years ago, I constantly try to see the garden with new eyes. This is the wonderful thing about gardening; trees are ever growing taller, shrubs developing, ground cover taking over. Then scene changes and every year has its own character, influenced by frost, rainfall, and sunshine – elements over which we have no control; but we can aim to pan so that each season has its moments of interest, with winter scent, spring blossoms and bulbs, summer exuberance and autumn color.”

Rosemary Verey in Making of a Garden

I’ve read this book several times and had it in my shopping cart at Amazon. This past weekend I was lucky enough to score it (and a few other gems) at the local library sale. Amazingly, I paid only $1 for it.

Gardening books are something I read over and over again, they never collect dust around here. I’m always happy to add a few new volumes to my library, especially when I can get them at such a great price. I especially love books like this one that document the making of a garden and follow that garden throughout the years. Too often we see gardens at their height and their best, and not during the seasons, when young, as they grow and change.

What’s your favorite gardening book at the moment?

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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