Cooking on the Farm

October 24, 2010


Even as the days get colder and shorter and our garden gets emptier there is one thing we continue to do in abundance: cook! We’re getting into the delicious and hearty soup and stew season which fits the autumn weather so well.

The way we’ve been handling meals on the farm this year is each couple has set nights for making dinner. Matt and I cook Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Kristin and Caleb cook Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. We take turns on Sundays. Kristin has been graciously doing the grocery shopping this year which means produce from our CSA and the farmers market on Tuesday and everything else on Wednesday. So usually on Monday nights Matt and I sit down with some cookbooks and pick what we want to make for the week.

There is one cookbook we now use regularly that Caleb and Kristin introduced us to called Simply in Season. It is perfect for our food project because it divides recipes into spring, summer, autumn, and winter based on what ingredients the recipes include. Since we pick our meals before seeing what comes in each week’s CSA share and before we know what will be ready in our garden or at the farmer’s market it can be hard to know what recipes to choose. The categorization of these recipes makes it much easier to be confident that if I pick recipes from the autumn section this week most of the vegetables we need will be available locally.

I haven’t been brave enough to try some of the recipes yet like ‘Gingered Kale and Tofu’ or ‘Chard Utopia’. But so far everything we have tried from Simply in Season has been delicious and not too complicated to make. If ‘Zucchini Garden Chowder’ and ‘Red Lentil Coconut Curry’ sound delicious to you, I highly recommend Simply in Season.

Of course there are other cookbooks we’ve enjoyed this year. How to Cook Everything Vegetarian has a lot of good recipes and a large section just for vegetables which I’ve found very helpful. The Joy of Cooking used to seem intimidating, but it’s great for reference and does include some recipes that don’t take all day to make (although you have to do a little searching to find them). And I continue to find online recipes sites helpful, especially when I can’t think of anything new to do with green beans or a butternut squash.

When this year ends I’m going to really miss the community of cooking and eating we’ve developed at the farm. I think it will be harder for me to continue prioritizing meals when we’re not living here anymore. It makes it easier to be motivated to cook when it’s for a bigger group and it’s really nice to have someone else make dinner for you every other night. But I hope that the habits we’ve formed this year at the farm will stay with us so that on the nights when I think ‘let’s order a pizza’ I’ll also remember that Black Bean and Rice Skillet is pretty delicious and I can make it in about 30 minutes – almost as long as it would take the pizza to arrive 🙂


Have you been stashing nuts for the colder winter months when produce is limited?

Ben — October 24, 2010