Monday, October 30, 2006

What We've Done These Past Few Weeks


















No, it isn't Andrew Goldworthy's latest work. Its a Gerald original drilled post hole, awaiting a heavy locust pole.

Connie's Post:
although the harvest is done, its not the end of the work for the year. after a week of rest, we hit the farm again and have started preparing the vineyard for the spring. the first year viognior vines are ready for the cordon wiring to be set up. we dug holes for the posts and moved the heavy, heavy locust posts into place. there was some delicate manuvering with the truck into the vineyard--as far as we could possibly go to minimize the distance between the post and hole. even that was not enough to keep Gerald's wife from becoming terribly cranky over how heavy the posts felt.

the following week, we hoed and raked circles around the first year viognior vines, to prep for the weed spraying. one of the best parts of the vineyard is seeing new, small little things every time we go afield. this time we got blisters and killed FOUR black widow spiders that had burrowed down in the dirt. in moving posts around i found a sleepy bluetail lizard, too slow from being cold to move quickly out of my reach. during the summer, i can only admire them as they scamper around the tool shed walls. it was fun to see the lizard perk up as my hands warmed him up. the kids and i found the lizard another potential resting spot. we also took soil samples from the field at the back of the house to get them analyzed for nematodes. it's exciting to think of that big field covered with vines!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

A Recipe and a Beaujolais

Connie's Post:
my husband deserves a treat. this is what i decide. and so i head over to Wegman's, ├ępicier de choix of all domestic cooks, to see what i may find. our sunday nite treat: small head of baby frisee (bitter greens), rich pancetta, baby cremini mushrooms, pignoli, premade polenta and a chunk of Istara, a lively and delicious sheep's milk cheese. bruce recommends a louis jadot 2005 Beaujolais-Villages to complement the fare. recommendation taken. and so i set to work and invite you to do the same:

1. roll up two or three slices of the pancetta, slice them crossways with a sturdy knife; preheat the broiler and slice the polenta...

2. heat up your favorite le creuset fry pan (don't tell me you don't have one: http://search.ebay.com/le-creuset-skillet_W0QQssPageNameZWLRS), add a flick or two of nice EVO (extra virgin olive oil) to the pan. add polenta to the broiler. promptly forget polenta by pouring glass of beaujolais....

3.add the baby cremini, flicka flicka with the cresuet pan...slam a clove of garlic with the sturdy knife. then chop her up. sip beaujolais and think of husband....

4. add garlic and pignoli. Generous pignoli. watch it a little careful, don't want to burn either garlic or pignoli. stirra, stirra. smell the polenta, hmmm, pull out of broiler and flip slices and add back to broiler....

5. return attention to cresuet pan. scoop out the pancetta, cremini, garlic and pignoli. add the baby frisee. spray with olivio (pump olive oil, or PAM) in a desperate attempt to stave off adding ANY MORE FAT. wilt the baby frisee and daydream of husband. pull out some deep dish plates...sniff for the polenta...

6. stack the frisee on plates. spoon atop the frisee the pancetta, cremini, garlic and pignoli topping. shave slices of the ISTARA sheep milk cheese on top. pull polenta out of broiler, bump the broiler shut, turn off stove and add three slices of polenta on the side of the plate. remember to pour husband glass of beaujolais. serve salad immediately to husband.

7. graciously accept all husband's compliments. tell him HE'S THE MAN.
...the frisee is a bitter green, almost broccoli-like in bitterness. the pancetta is UNBELIEVABLY rich and salty and the cremini mushrooms are earthy and give the dish a roundness (husband's compliment). the pignolis' browning turns them sweet and rich and the garlic gives it that familiar zip you want. the sheep's milk cheese just ties the salad all together with its fatty, and sharp zippy character. pair that with the tannic, acerbic quality of this vintage beaujolais and it will make you want to cry! or kiss your husband. or your husband kiss you. heh...
bon appetit.