Welcome to the first Winter Share of the season! The warm and colorful part of the autumn is very much past, the evenings are dark and it is time to start getting in the wintery culinary mood!
I love this time of year, and I know I’ve said so every winter newsletter for a couple of years now. It’s still true. I love the subdued colors of everything, and cold wind on my face and snow falling in the sunshine. I love planning exactly what I should wear outside, and thinking about how I’m so great at planning outfits for winter activities… until I start shedding extra layers along a trail to retrieve on my way back.
I love eating as many potatoes as I want (job perk!). I love getting into a different “breakfast rut” each winter. Two years ago it was hash browns. Last year it was carrots, parsnips (stay tuned for them in later shares!) and potatoes all cooked in a pan with yogurt or ketchup on top.
This year my favorite part of the season will be coming up in just a couple of months: my infant son’s first bites of food. I am so excited for him to eat with me out of the root cellar at the farm. I haven’t decided which of the veggies will be his first. Probably carrots or squash. Or parsnips. Or potatoes. Or rutabaga. I feel so lucky to start him off with such wholesome, good quality food. What a blessing.
Thinking about my boy, and what and how I want him to eat as he grows has been fun, and also challenging for me. It has required me to look at how I eat and my imperfect relationship to food. I want him to have good food, the best food. Healthy and as much organic as possible. But that’s not really all of it. Not at all. I also want food to be something that he sees is worth spending time planning, preparing, and sitting down for. I want to show him that there is value in investing time and money in food. I don’t want to treat the preparation of food like an inconvenience that just needs to be got over as quickly as possible. And by the time he’s taking his first bites I want to do less eating above the kitchen sink, and more sitting down. Even if it’s just for a fried egg sandwich in the morning.
I say that now. But I recognize that our meals won’t always be balanced, or include a complete protein, or be organic or mostly local. Maybe sometimes they’ll be mostly take-out pizza. And, I want him to see that too, and not see it as a thing of shame. There should be so much LESS shame and embarrassment around familial and personal food choices. Because it isn’t easy to always make the ideal choices we’d like to imagine ourselves making.
At the end of it all, I want him to learn joy- the joy of food in our lives. Food is work, fun, tasty, beautiful, communal, and sustaining.
So thank you for taking on a counter-cultural approach to food with us this winter season. Thanks for being willing to slow things down a bit and put your money down on something of quality.
Whether this is your first or tenth Winter Share with us, welcome or welcome back! I hope this season of local produce finds you well, and keeps you trying new ways of cooking with old staples.
Potatoes with Shaved Celery Salad
(I think in newsletters of yore, I have mentioned that I don’t tend to be much of a recipe follower. Perhaps some of you are though, and perhaps you also got celeriac instead of celery. Ah! If I were you, I’d still give this recipe a whirl, but I would roast scrubbed and halved celeriac until tender (an hour or so) and chop it after that to toss with the salad. But I am not you, so perhaps you’d like to simply roast it with oil and salt and enjoy as is!)
- 2 1/2 pounds red potatoes, cubed
- 2 cups cider vinegar
- 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
- 1/2 cup finely chopped green onions
- 1/2 cup light sour cream
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh dill
- 1/4 cup canola mayonnaise
- 1 1/2 tablespoons grated red onion
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups thinly diagonally sliced celery
- 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Bring 12 cups water and potatoes to a boil in a large saucepan. Reduce heat; simmer 20 minutes. Add vinegar; simmer 10 to 15 minutes. Drain. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet; cool.
Combine buttermilk and next 8 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl. Stir in potatoes. Stir in celery and pepper. Chill at least 1 hour.
Curried Carrot and Coconut Soup
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
- ¾ pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch coins
- 1 teaspoon peeled, grated fresh ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin, to taste
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric, to taste
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander, to taste
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
- Juice from ½ lime
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Cilantro, if you have it
- Heat the butter until the foam subsides. Add the diced chopped onions, sprinkle with salt, stir to coat with butter. Add the chopped carrots along with the spices. Stir and cook until softened, about 10 minutes.
- Add the stock; there should be enough to cover the vegetables. Bring the pot to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and continue cooking until the carrots are cooked through, about 10 to 15 minutes.
- If you have an immersion blender, purée the soup in the pot. If not, wait until the soup cools slightly, and purée in a food processor. Add enough coconut milk (and a little more stock or water if necessary) to bring the soup to the consistency you want. Adjust the seasoning (depending on the stock you use, you may need more or less salt), and lime juice to taste. Garnish and serve.