Got back yesterday from a beautiful weekend upstate. Fell hard for a beautiful tiny baby girl, watched the sun set over a farm after gathering tomatoes, basil, ground cherries, hot peppers, sweet peppers, and sorrel. Spent hours cooking, sipping wine, playing with the cats, crazy Kali & kamikaze Crash, and as always, talking, talking, talking with Ari (only somewhat disagreeing about the follow-up prosecution of the child bride's husband, in the wake of Warren Jeffs' extremely satisfying conviction last week).
This visit's menu, spread over two days
Tomato soup: chop an onion and a bunch of garlic and saute in butter or olive oil with some cayenne or other hot pepper (Ari harvests, dries, and grinds her own hot peppers, tasty but you don't quite know what you're getting); chop up a whole bunch of tomatoes very coarsely (this is a very chunky soup), add with juices to the onions & garlic and let simmer; add a bullion cube (we used a Rapunzel vegan cube); add water if too thick; coarsely chop some fresh basil and toss that in; season with salt & pepper to taste; serve with rosemary kalamata bread, local cheddar cheese, and dry salami.
turnips: wash, cube, roast at 425 degrees, stirring occasionally, until crispy, in a little olive oil & butter, sprinkled with fresh ground pepper and garlic salt
squash mash: one acorn squash, halved, roasted cut side down with a little bit of water at 425 degrees until very soft, then seeded, smashed, mixed with a tablespoon of butter, a dash of nutmeg, and a bit of maple honey
apple sauce: core and dice a bunch of apples (one mixed bag's worth at yet another local farm stand), peeling some of them and leaving on some skins; toss in a pot and pour in some apple cider; add a bunch of cinnamon, a little nutmeg, allspice, ground cloves, and some brown sugar (I also used some buckwheat honey); let simmer for a long time, an hour or so maybe, stirring occasionally, adding more cider if too thick; when apples are good and soft, mash 'em up a little with a wooden spoon; serve. This is delicious served warm over plain boring old vanilla ice cream.
ground cherry pie: mix together in a large bowl 4 cups husked ground cherries, 3/4 cup brown sugar, 2 tablespoons small-pearl tapioca (soaked in hot water for 1/2 hour), 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind; pour into pre-made pie crust (yes, we cheated, but damn it was good), dot filling with butter; cover with a second pre-made pie crust, bake at 400-degrees for 4 minutes, lower temperature to 350 for 40-50 minutes or until top crust is golden.