QotW 17 – I Want to Try Everything Once!

Do we really want to travel in hermetically sealed popemobiles through the rural provinces of France, Mexico and the Far East, eating only in Hard Rock Cafes and McDonalds? Or do we want to eat without fear, tearing into the local stew, the humble taqueria’s mystery meat, the sincerely offered gift of a lightly grilled fish head? I know what I want. I want it all. I want to try everything once.”
― Anthony Bourdain, Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly

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Week 17: Back in the Kitchen

Last week left off right in the middle of our second dining event here at Pepperfield. Over a leisurely evening we shared a fantastic meal with Rowen White’s seed keeping network.

Monday morning started by begining the braised lamb shoulder. Afterwards I cooked some beans for the starter plate. While those were cooking I took the time to french to racks of lamb and tie them into a crown roast. Then I portioned some cornbread and picked some flowers – borage, beesbalm and calendula – that were going to be used on the dessert. I took a break to compose last weeks post and then got ready for game time. I prepared a apple-butternut buerre blanc, put the crown roast in the oven and then finished the stuffing. At 6.30 we started the meal which began with three sisters – three ways (picture above). Next was a lamb duo of braised lamb and crown roast, served with cornbread stuffing and broccoli. The meal finished with raspberry sorbet and amaranth biscotti. The following day we spent serving breakfast to some of the our guests that spent the night from the dinner. Mid morning I split off to finish cleaning the kitchen and get the house reorginized. Afterwards, I went to town to run some errands and then met for a few hours with Hans, a gentlemen I met back at Sankt Hans Aften – the solstice party. I got back in the early evening to put together dinner. Korbin and her co-worker Meridith stopped by to help process double red corn (the corn used in the top most picture) and then stayed for dinner.

Wednesday I spent my entire day cleaning garlic. David had dug the entire patch and I sat, in the warmth of the hoop house, washing and peeling off the outside layers. I was amazed the different gradients of maroon that streaked across the skins. Korbin came back solo for another corn processing night and stayed again for dinner. We wrapped up the night with some dessert leftovers: raspberry sorbet, calomondin curd, cake and frozen yoghurt. The next day David and I went to the hospital. We planted the second crop of broccoli and summer squash. I came home briefly to get changed for an interiew and then headed back to town. Once I got back to the farm we spent a casual evening eating more leftovers.

Friday started to look normal. I mowed the upper vineyard and then helped David bag the remaining ears of corn. After lunch I did small house chores and went to my first day of work. I have obtained employment at a local burger and fry joint. [A quick aside, this is in no way the direction I am chosing as a chef. This is emplyoment to procure supplemntal income to offset my cost of living while here in Iowa. I have another interview scheduled for a gasto-pub, something I hope will be far more interesting than flipping burgers and dropping fries.] That being said, I had a tremendous amount of fun “flipping burgers and dropping fries.” I have never worked short order before, being able to bang out tickets at a lightning pace for endless hours was great. There was no stress, maybe some pressure, but everyone remained cheerful and the service went smooth. The following day was Nordic Fest. This is a huge event celebrating Norse – really all Scandanavian – cultures, in food, art and festivities. Check back next week for a full spread on the Nordic Fest food scene! I ate at a bunch of different food booths and spent a few hours wandering the streets watching people work and sampling their wares. I returned to work later in the evening. We were busier than the night before and it was still exciting. Sunday was spent catching up on the farm, I started with weeding various neglected areas and then helped transplant our second crop of broccoli as well as Chinese cabbages. I took a break for lunch and then went back out to finish the area I was weeding. Ellis made a dinner of chili, which we all enjoyed out on the deck until the mosquitos waxed and the sun waned.

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