Thoughts on Literature, Food, Faith and the Subversive Power of Living Small

Click here for information about Charlotte's novel, Place Last Seen

Current Reading

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
The Solace of Leaving Early by Haven Kimmel
In Her Shoes by Jennifer Weiner
Fools Crow by James Welch
What I Loved by Siri Hustvedt

Daily Blogs

Body and Soul
Rittenhouse Review
Making Light
The Julie/Julia Project
Struggle in a Bungalow Kitchen
Real Live Preacher
Blog of a Bookslut
Moby Lives


E-Mail Me


Eating Local

We have a little local farmer's market - when I moved here last fall it was pretty much just one good vegetable merchant and a lot of crafts. Well, they've done a great job getting new vendors, and Wednesday there was a local family selling their own pork, raised naturally without hormones and allowed to roam outside. Mr. Miller told me they started because they thought the local 4-H kids were paying too much for their weaner pigs, so they raised some weaners, and then when the weren't all sold, well, they were in the pork business. So I bought some pork chops.

Next to them was a woman with a card table and a couple of coolers selling lamb. Now, I am a big fan of lamb, if I had to choose just one meat, it would be lamb. Her lamb was a little expensive, but well, it was raised just up the road and as I've written about before, I'm willing to pay a premium to buy meat that I know where it was raised, and more importantly, where it was butchered (over in Big Timber, at the processing plant). So I bought some lamb chops from her. She also told me that if I need anything during the week just to call, she's got a clothing shop in town ("Ewe and Me" wouldn't you know) and there's a freezer in the back. Which is good because I think leg of lamb is almost the perfect summer barbecue meat. So, I took her card.

I also bought some gorgeous baby turnips from another local gardener with a card table, and found out that the reason I have little bugs eating my garden is that the brassicae family just has trouble around here (chard, kale, broccoli, etc...). It's not a tragedy -- things are growing -- they just have little holes in them.

So, last night I had turnip greens cooked a la Julie/Julia (saute some bacon, add a few hot pepper flakes and a big shot of chopped garlic, then the greens. Add 1/2 cup chicken broth, 1/2 cup vermouth, a couple of big pieces of lemon rind and cook until done -- in this case, about 40 minutes. Yum Yum), some rice, and a delicious local pork chop on the grill ...

So that's my little tale of local dinner. I ate well. My neighbors made a little money. And we didn't spend petroleum reserves trucking stuff all over the country.

posted by Charlotte at 6/27/2003 07:47:00 AM


Summer Snowstorm

Not here, but over in Yellowstone and up on Beartooth Pass ... the pass is closed because they got 18 inches over the last two days. Glad I didn't take the Wall O'Waters off the tomatoes ... it's just been gloomy and rainy down here, which is a mixed blessing. The plants love the rain, but it's been so cold that the beans and zucchini are having a hard time getting off the ground. It's supposed to warm up later this week.

Not much happening in the garden right now. The lettuce is coming up really well, as are the basil seedlings. The beets, Chinese kale and even the parsnips have sprouted, and I have a lot of radish and carrott seedlings going on out there. The cucumbers aren't doing so well ... too cold, I guess. They've pretty much all died. The first set of flageolet beans also keeled over, so I reseeded and also seeded in some Chinese long beans.

As for flowers, most of the peonies have bloomed and they're all a gorgeous fuschia color. I love peonies and am so happy these aren't white. Come fall, I'll have to move them since they're plunked right in the middle of my front lawn, one on each side of the walk. I want to do a cottage-garden sort of bed down along the front fence (four-foot chain link, sort of ugly but very practical) and I'll move them when I put in those beds. The roses along the south side of my house also bloomed -- they're very old white rugosas, and while I thought they were going to be boring, they're actually very pretty. I want to underplant them with a later-blooming dark pink of some sort, perhaps some more Terese de Buget. Again, next year.

It's clearing up a little this morning, so I'll have to go out and see what's been going on out there during all this rain.

posted by Charlotte at 6/25/2003 07:12:00 AM


Solstice Hailstorm

Well, summer came in on a wave of dark clouds, thunder and lightning, a litte hail, and two days of steady rain. This morning my brother came over and said the Nice Girlfriend reported ice on her windsheild when she went to work, so I went out to check and it looks like the only things I lost were a couple of plants that got dried out last week when it was hot, and didn't like the flip-flop to cold weather. Oh well, it's Montana after all, things are going to run hot and cold.

posted by Charlotte at 6/23/2003 07:16:00 AM


Powered By Blogger TM