Monday, May 05, 2008


Today it was sunny again. Today I felt normal again. And today, Christine's Mom joined us for the week. So to celebrate a new chapter, and to move away from the heavy party food of the last few days, a super-clean meal tonight. We got some more of the incredible local 10-grain mix (millet, rye, winter wheat, oats, triticale, barley, spelt, corn, flax and vetch) so I made a broth from the smoked chicken carcasses and turned the grain into a hearty "risotto" with our own ramps and asparagus. The beautiful thing about this mixture is that when cooked this way, the grains range from completely disintegrated to still quite firm, and everything in between; they form a continuum of doneness that makes each bite a textural delight. Their polenta is also fantastic, and I use their other flours to make bread.

More burdock got the standard treatment, simmering in water spiked with soy sauce and balsamic vinegar until it was perfectly al dente. I rewarmed some of the braised cabbage from the party and rescued the carrot chunks from the chicken broth; Milo loves them so much, and while the onions and herbs always turn into droopy, slimy things that do not look good to eat, the carrots are still bright and sweet once the broth is done. And they have that mushy texture that kids love.

I also picked a salad of various greens: some of the surviving winter lettuces, new cutting mesclun, and thinnings of beets and endive. It's funny, looking at the picture, how brown and unappealing this all looks. I was a bit rushed, and forgot to pick garnishes. The flavors were sharp, deep, and rich, and the three dun-colored foods had dramatically different flavors. We began with a 2005 Carpineto rosato Toscano, and then moved on to a Pleiades XIII that John left behind at the party; I haven't had an older one in a while, and it was a curvy, voluptuous, gorgeous mature treat of a wine. I'm not sure I've ever had a California wine with as much Burgundian funk. It's so good. And the XVI arrives on Wednesday.


Heather said...

I like beige. Besides, it didn't taste beige, right?

I always pick out of the stockpot. Old habits die hard.

peter said...

No, it didn't taste beige. Not at all.

He is positively cuckoo for the broth carrots; he ate all of ours too.

Brittany said...

So you really are done with toothsome aren't you? wuss.

Beige= healthy. Always a good thing. And ramps? You are lucky to have your own! Last I checked they were almost 30 bucks a pund. Mind blowing, huh?

peter said...

I am SO not done with toothsome. I just try not to use any adjective too often, so all the posts don't end up sounding the same.

Plus, Claudia is MIA so I might as well start using "yummy" again. How about toothyum?

I ordered the ramp bulbs from WV and they do very well. I'm sure they'd do fine in your climate too.