Thursday, June 14, 2012

Happy Birthday to my Mom!

You know, I really think it was a combination of her interest in good nourishing food, stories from her grandmother's kitchen, and encouraging my siblings and I to cook and bake on our own that lead to my own interest in culinary exploration.  In addition, working on farms, each with an abundance of fresh produce and farmhands filled with fresh ideas has lead me to seek out traditional ways of preparing and preserving food.
I know it's not for everyone, but I find it very grounding if I can devote a few hours each day or a couple of full days every week solely to food preparation.  Our schedule and responsibilities here definitely allow that.  In fact, they almost demand it.  What else am I suppose to do when the sun goes down five hours before bedtime?  A girl can only read so many gardening books and watch so many movies. 
So when my hands get tired of digging in the dirt (very rare) or my brain gets tired of watching documentaries on the economic meltdown (easily done) there are peppers to be pickled, olives to brine and plenty of yummy things to ferment-like milk into kefir, cabbage into kimchi, and apple juice into vinegar.  It is very necessary to combine the fermenting and brining projects (which won't be ready for weeks or months) with those of more instant gratification.  So while Chad and I are dreaming about the salty fermented cabbage in our future, we'll be nibbling on lemon poppy-seed bread, and putting fresh basil pesto on everything. 

Kimchi (in the bowl), olives, vinegar, kefir
Oh, and then there's the potato leek soup that Chad raved about for so long after I made it the first time that I made it a second time this week.  (And we have more leeks than I know what to do with.)  Chad's been on my case about writing down recipes as I make a dish so it can be repeated.  I started with this soup and it's the fastest, easiest soup I've ever made so I've included the recipe.  Unfortunately, no one who is reading this has potatoes or leeks in their garden right now, but perhaps come September, just when you're thinking, "why did I plant leeks again?" you'll remember this recipe and make yourself a batch. It makes 2 Chad-sized servings and about 4 servings for anyone else.

Potato Leek Soup

2-3 Leeks, greens removed and the rest chopped
2-3 cloves Garlic, chopped
5 or so medium Potatoes, chopped
Veggie Broth
Fresh Thyme
Whole Milk
Salt and Pepper

Saute leeks and garlic in butter.  Add potatoes and lots of thyme and then at least enough broth to cover (more if you want thinner soup.)  Simmer till potatoes are cooked.  Mash potatoes (or don't). Add about a cup of Milk, salt, and pepper and heat thoroughly.  Serve with chopped chives, cheese, and fresh bread.
Outing to Stony Batter


  1. Thank you Elizabeth! What a lovely compliment. The soup sounds delicious but I'm sure you Polish and German great grandmas' would throw a ham bone or a some bacon in that recipe.

    1. If I had some pigs you know I would! Chad just discovered the discounted grab bag at the butcher shop. Maybe we'll get some in one of those!

  2. LOVE your posts lizzy! I have made a very similar potato soup...but I added a ham bone which made it so awesome! Glad to see your doing so well and getting in some canning and preserving. Canning and preserving has started at the Wolff house as well....strawberry jam and jelly, peach jam, and we are starting to freeze veggies for next winter. I made scalloped turnips the other night from our CSA box, it made me think of you for some reason. I've been checking your posts often- love to see what your up to! Much love from all of us!!!!