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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?

Friday Favorite: Seasonal Eating

May 6th, 2016

When you start eating a little more seasonally, you start eating a wider variety of fruits & vegetables. It’s a wonderful thing because you enjoy most things at the height of their flavor and you eat them in quantity. Then, the season is over and you’re ready to wait another 6-8 months until you can enjoy that thing again. This variety of rhubarb is ‘Glaskins Perpetual’, it’s supposed to be a plant that can be harvested all summer long. A bit like everbearing strawberries as opposed to the June bearing varieties. This is the first year that I will be able to harvest from these plants, it should be nice to have a bit of rhubarb here and there throughout the summer instead of one giant flush in early summer. I also have a few different varieties of regular rhubarb, they’re getting close to harvest as well.
Currently, I’m eagerly anticipating the rhubarb harvest. I’ll be making rhubarb ketchup, rhubarb and strawberry ice cream, rhubarb crisp, rhubarb cordial, and loads of other lovely things. I may freeze a bit for enjoyment in the middle of winter, but generally there’s not enough left for that after everything I want to make during the season.

What fruit/vegetable are you most looking forward to in season?

Quote of the Day: Jessica Prentice

May 11th, 2014

“What if I had simply grown up in a time when food was seasonal? When there was, in each year, a time of more and a time of less? When food was not just there in packages on the supermarket shelf all year?”

– Jessica Prentice from Full Moon Feast: Food and the Hunger for Connection

Right now I’m hungering for asparagus. Every couple days I check the patch for signs of spears peeking out of the soil, every day I see nothing. It shouldn’t be too much longer, but it seems like it’s taking forever.
To me asparagus is the epitome of seasonal food, it really is best picked and eaten right away. There is a definite season for asparagus and I only eat it during this time unless I’m visiting someone who serves it. I love food that has such a short season and so long in between, it makes those few short weeks of gluttony so much sweeter!

What vegetable do you see as the quintessential season food?

Quote of the Day: Jessica Prentice

September 22nd, 2013

When you don’t grow up with a memory of something tasting wonderful, you sometimes have to work a little bit to learn to love it. There’s always a chance that you’ll never learn to like a thing, but you don’t know that until you really try.

Jessica Prentice – Full Moon Feast: Food and the Hunger for Connection

This is such a great quote, it rings true in my life.  Thankfully I grew up with a very broad palate of things I tasted.  Mostly do to the fact that I grew up in another country.  We learned to eat thing like beef tongue, liver, yucca and all sorts of things many people would consider unpalatable.
breakfast soup small
As a result, I’m very adventurous when it comes to trying new things.  In general, I have like almost everything I’ve ever tried, there are very few things that I don’t really like.  Well, except for frosting (aka icing).  Crazy, I know, someone who doesn’t like frosting.  Even as a kid, I’d scape my icing off my cake and give it to my brother, who loved it.
mustard greens 1
Cooked greens used to be the one thing that I had trouble eating.  I kept making them, we kept eating them, and eventually we learned to love them.  They went from being not very appetizing to being enjoyed.  Sometimes it takes trying things multiple times, cooked in different ways to find a place on your plate.

Do you have any foods that you want to learn to love? 

Quote of the Day: Joe Eck & Wayne Winterrowd

April 14th, 2013

Even in the dead of winter, the products of our labor were good. From the freezer we could choose broccoli or cauliflower, peas or beans or corn, anytime we pleased. In spring, we often had them all together in orgies of vegetable soups meant to clear the freezer for the next round. Though certainly we were well-fed, and spiritually content at living from our own labors, the broccoli, peas, beans, cauliflower, and corn came to have a certain sameness about them, a predictable ready-on-demand sort of quality that robbed us of much of the joy of them. The seasons were all flattened out, and one sitting to the table came to seem just like another.

Joe Eck & Wayne Winterrowd in Living Seasonally: The Kitchen Garden and the Table at North Hill

I’ve talked about learning to live seasonally many times before. This time of the year it becomes increasingly difficult. As I sow the seeds for broccoli, cauliflower, peppers and tomatoes, my mind turns to freshly picked summer vegetables once again.
The beauty of learning to eat seasonally, however, is that you learn about so many new and interesting things you can eat. In my journey to eat more seasonally I’ve discovered things like: sprouting broccoli, mache, endive, parsnip, bok choi, and so many more.  Meals are so much more interesting when you’re not eating the same thing over and over again.
Sweet Potatoes 3
The majority of the vegetable consumed each week here at Chiot’s Run are root vegetables that have been stored in the cellar. There is always sauerkraut in the fridge as well. Even though I love carrots, celeriac, rutabaga and sweet potatoes, my stomach has moved on to freshly plucked produce.
peas 1
I still freeze a few small containers of peas for winter soups and I can some crushes tomatoes for sauces as well. Other than that, there is not much preservation going on in my kitchen any more. Each year our diet becomes more and more diverse thanks to our efforts to live seasonally.  Next year at this time, I will be harvesting chard and spinach from my greenhouse, which will fill the gap between winter and spring quite nicely and give us a little bit of a break from all those root vegetables!

If you could only choose one vegetable or fruit to preserve each year, which would it be?

Reading & Watching

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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.