These days, our farm is working its way into hibernation mode, and the general tone has become quieter and calmer all around. While we are turning the corner on our last two weeks of this CSA season, we are eagerly planning and anticipating a delicious start to the winter to lead us into the holidays. We’ve got some plans to source unique items to keep things interesting over the season. We’re always honored to provide a bit of festive spirit and nourishing food to people, especially when the weather gets cold. When we’re all hunkered in around the table, fresh and tasty produce is just the cherry on top. This CSA season was a delightful reminder and return to the sense of community that we know everyone was missing last year.
When it comes to our farm, the last of the tomatoes are being packed up for the stands and the rows are being cleaned and put to bed until the summer rolls around again. But, we’ve also got a pleasantly unexpected wave of baby salad greens making an appearance from this perfect fall weather. Leafy greens love this slight temperate drop at night with the bright sun during the day, so they are sure to be a tasty bunch.
For those who are interested in my journey through the Culinary Institute, I will let you all know that the fall has settled nicely around campus. With culinary pumpkins lining the cobblestone roads between buildings and the trees along the river deepening in color every day, it’s hard not to feel at ease every time you walk outside. Many of the recipes we’re learning in my fundamentals class right now are coincidentally perfect for this chilly weather and seasonal produce. For example, we made cauliflower gratin with a cheesy bechamel-based sauce called mornay. The professional-grade ovens quickly give these dishes the perfect golden crust to achieve what my chef instructor calls GBD status (Golden, Brown, & Delicious). From the few minutes after our dishes get individually graded by the professor to the time we go into the full clean-up mode, we have the option to eat the food we made that day. It’s a fascinating thing to see a group of 20-somethings huddled in the corner outside the kitchen, wearing chef whites and shoveling bowls full of steaming hot and cheesy cauliflower into their mouths as fast as possible.
I’ve completed this week with a new set of burns on my hands and another level of confidence and excitement towards the endless possibilities that come with fire, a knife, and fantastic ingredients. I’m also gaining immense respect and admiration for the peers around me, as we are all so clearly capable of extraordinary things. The experiences you go through with your kitchen mates grow friendships faster than anything I’ve ever seen so far in my life.