Monday, September 16, 2013

such and such

 Thousands of  tomatoes on Blue House Organic Farm.

 20 lbs of early girls, going into the dehydrator
 24- hours after drying...

Another 80 lbs canned,  plus 50 lbs made into marinara sauce...

 The tomatoes are almost done... the plants are starting to fade, but the fruit is still incredible. This is just a small view of Ryan's farm in Pescadero, my most favorite place in all of California.  I spent the last 3 days here trying to preserve just a fraction of the twenty-thousand+ pound tomato harvest, which will only last a few more weeks.  Its such a fleeting speck of time, tomato time.  It comes on fast, mid-August, and by the end of September these plants will be tilled back into the soil, food for organisms, decaying matter, the medium for new and different plants this winter, or next year.   Luckily Ryan gets phone calls every day for 1,500 lb tomato orders, fancy markets and purveyors in San Francisco who also want a piece of this business.  Day and night the crew picks, sorts and packs tomatoes so that those living in the city can enjoy some of this sun soaked wonderment in their dinners and lunches, salads and sauces.  In the mean time, we scramble to slice, reduce, boil, skin, peel and dry what we can, and it only amounts to a small drop in the bucket.

Such is life.
 We've also been enjoying the most prolific amounts of eggplants, peppers, corn, squash, kale, romanesco, and potatoes.  And, maybe my most favorite, the apples, which are starting to happen.  There's a whole cooler full of Gravenstein waiting to be turned into apple sauce, cider and apple butter, not to mention any number of pies and cobblers.  Sunday I made French toast with farm eggs and organic apples sauted in butter, brown sugar and sweet vermouth reduction.  We didn't move for long minutes after that meal...

Pesky Ranch is a perfect venue for organic farming.

 The front field, home of the many organic bouquet flowers, and more importantly bees, the happy pollinators so necessary to any successful farming endeavor.
And finally, the Negroni:  the new, official Friday night farm-supper beverage.  Make one for yourself, and imagine you are in the Italy of California, or even the Italy of Europe.

Goes like this:

1 part Campari
1 part sweet Vermouth
1 part soda water (or, if you are serious, and Italian, substitute gin for soda!)
1 slice of orange
lots of ice

put your feet up and wait for the marinara to reduce and the eggplant to bake. maybe wander out into the field at sunset and pick some basil to finish the dinner.  maybe notice how the color of dahlias, or the color of dusky pink clouds reflect the Campari in your drink.  be glad you thought to make Italian aperitifs for the farmers who work so hard every day to bring incredible food to the table-- it turns out that they love this drink...

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