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Friday, May 15, 2009

local organic produce - in May!

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Our friends Karl and Lloyd are off to Japan for three weeks, so they are "sharing their share" in the university student organic farm co-op. We give them a dozen eggs about once a month, and somehow this doesn't seem equal. Look at all this food for one week!

Front to back: parsnips, radishes, beets, Swiss chard, carrots, potatoes, green leaf lettuce, spinach, spring mix lettuce, chives and basil. Students raise these veggies in a hoop house on campus. Oh, I saw one of my English graduates who works there. I guess that's one thing you can do with an English degree.

I will confess to you that I am just dorkily romantic enough to pretend I was the Girl with a Pearl Earring chopping these jewels meditatively while Don was mowing the lawn. Have you seen the film with Scarlett Johansson? It's not a great movie I suppose, but the visuals are captivatingly painterly and sensual - and sensuous - and worth watching it for. The opening scene where Griet (Johansson) prepares vegetables is transporting. Oh, and so is the hanging laundry later - to peer through and hide behind, and then figuratively become womanly modesty begging to be torn away.




Oh dear, was I writing about food? But food is sensuous, no?


















In the Art of French Cooking I found a recipe for braised carrots. I added parsnips and would have added chives and basil at the end if I'd remembered. They were all chopped and ready in a pretty little white dish like they show on cooking shows. The basil smelled so good. Actually I don't know if basil and chives would taste good together. (Susan, what do you think?) I meant well but forgot to add them at the end. Gordon Ramsey would have yelled at me. What a dufus! (He would have used other choicer names.)

Then in The Silver Spoon I found a recipe for Swiss chard with parmesan cheese. It uses just the stems of the chard - you save the leaves for soup or something later on. This was scrumptious I must say, but what isn't yummy with parmesan cheese?














Besides these two dishes we had a tossed salad of green leaf lettuce, spring mix, spinach and radishes in balsamic vinaigrette. Nothing but veggies (though we're not vegetarians). We were strangely satisfied, even without rice or some other whole grain. Maybe because all this stuff was picked a couple hours before and just a few miles from here.

Here are the first ten minutes of "Girl With a Pearl Earring" so you can see the veggie scene, which happens in the first couple of minutes, in case you don't have time to watch more.


45 comments:

Susan said...

Ruthie, I really enjoyed the movie, even though it didn't quite live up to the book, but then, what movie does? What's not to like about a movie starring Colin Firth? I would watch him read the phone book.

Ahem, anyway, those veggies look scrum-dilly-icious! I love what wonders you achieved with them! And I think basil and chives would go well together. After all, chives are in the onion family.

We had our first salad from the mixed lettuce bed two nights ago! I did a traditional wilted lettuce only not as wilted as my mom used to make. I couldn't remember the ratio of sugar:vinegar:bacon drippings, so I looked it up in Joy of Cooking and, lo and behold, there it was, and it was perfect! I made some croutons from leftover Italian bread to add a little crunch. We had a huge salad bowl heaped up and we scarfed down every bit! I can't wait to pick some more today.

Sally's World said...

the veggies look great...

i loved teh book, but didn't like the film so much, i try to avoid watching the movie if i've already read it.

great post today!

Judy said...

Being an artist, I loved the movie. Each frame was a painting in itself.

Susan said...

I totally agree with Judy! The cinematographry was wonderful! The lighting was exactly like the Vermeers paintings.

Arti said...

I'm in Vancouver right now and will be going to see a Vermeer exhibition at the Van. Art Gallery! I've even brought the book and the DVD with me in case I want to reminisce. The book is one of my all time favorites. And the film is beautiful albeit uncomfortable to watch. Colin Firth is great in it.

Kim said...

Lovely! Your shots are beautiful...You've created a longing in me to live in a hundred year old farm house and tend a garden, making fresh soups and sauces every day.

Sandy said...

The clip isn't coming up for me, I'll have to go search it out. You even make the simplest things in life sound and look so beautiful!

Oliag said...

Wonderful...scrumptious!...Why didn't I plant some early lettuce?

I enjoyed the movie but I did read the book after I saw it...the book is always better isn't it?...I seem to be enjoying movies for the cinematography as much as the story lately and this was simply beautifully created.

CottageGirl said...

Looks delicious, Ruth! How lucky for you to be able to acquire such fresh veggies!

Never saw the movie, but it looks interesting!

alice said...

Hello Ruth! I really enjoyed the movie and the book, and the painting "in real" too.
And don't throw the radishes leaves away, make a soup with them, just de-li-cious!
I wish you a very good weekend.

freefalling said...

I bought some Beetroot from a little Hungarian lady at the market.
She told me to cook the leaves with some crushed garlic and oil and then splash with vinegar.
It was one of the best things I've ever eaten.
If you haven't tried it - you MUST!

shicat said...

Beautiful photos Ruth,the colors and all. I loved the book Girl with the Pearl..., and of course the movie sets were dreamy. I am a sucker for a great period piece and loved all of the Merchant Ivory films. Another favorite film of mine is Babette's feast, it's French,I think. It's been a long time since I've seen it, subtitled too. You may enjoy it if you haven't already seen it?Isn't everything so deliciously green??? Hooray.(great thunder and rain too:))

ds said...

Ruth, you've created a new fan of the movie--it looks wonderful (and yes, I did read the book. Of course. ;)) Could practically taste your veggie haul from the pictures & as I just finished setting out this year's herbs, basil & chives are much on my mind (they are a great combo). Enjoy your farm spring, and l'atelier, of which I am insanely jealous!

Loring Wirbel said...

Basil and chives in anything Thai, anything with arugula, any kind of ceviche mix, are fantastic together!

Ginnie said...

Seeing that movie clip makes me want to see the movie again, Ruth. There's so much I don't remember. I know you're such a fan of Colin Firth! But the veggies. Oh my. My mouth is watering as I speak!

VioletSky said...

I have started looking up recipes on the internet, mostly because it is so much easier to type in the ingredients and get dozens of choices immediately. It saves so much time, for me, because I can be so easily seduced by a gorgeously printed cookbook. All those photos of luscious foods, the imaginative serving dishes, the lighting just so... I never buy a cookbook that doesn't have seductive photos for each recipe.

Anna said...

Ruth Ruth I can do so so much with those vegies, I love cooking. You know with the red beets root you can cook in the skin, peel the skin, grate it, add lemon, some balsamic vinegar and virgin olive oil - makes a great side salad dish. Served cool, and goes well with mashed potatoes....I thought I throw some quick recipe on you....Great photos, thanks for sharing. Anna :)

renaye said...

if only i can plant organic produce in my own balcony!

Barry said...

I didn't read the book but agree with Susan that the The cinematography was impressive with lighting that was exactly like the Vermeers paintings.

At least the slow pace of the movie gave you a chance to enjoy the scenery and costumes.

Ruth said...

Susie, with so many recs for the book here, I think I'd better read it. Yes, Colin Firth is worth watching, even in a bad movie.

Love Joy of Cooking - my mom's and grandma's diehard cookbook.

Harvesting your own lettuce is way better than picking it up at the farm co-op. I wonder when ours will be ready (haven't even planted it yet). I think we need to plant it earlier next time, eh?

You fix the best food.

Jan said...

Lovely pictures of sensuous veggies. Why does it feel my inner rhythm screeches to a crawl every time I take a here from the hedges? It seems my frenetic online energy gets a boost just by moseying along here. Even engaging the chickens in a game of who-blinks-first gives me the kind of boost that I don't get anywhere else!

Thanks, Ruth. This is splendid. ",)

Ruth said...

I haven't read the book, Sally, but with all these recs I think I ought to.

Ruth said...

They did a beautiful job with the cinematography, Judy.

Ruth said...

Arti, your posts so far about Vancouver are inspiring. As poor a novel reader as I am (well this is maybe sort of fictionalized history?) - I think I need to read this one now after so many have recommended it and even said it's one of their faves.

Ruth said...

Me too, Kim. I'm getting there, even though I'm . . . here.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Sandy. I wonder why the video didn't load - I thought that only happened to me.

Your bat was so interesting! I took photos of a dead one last year too. They are amazing critters.

Ruth said...

I'm with you on both counts, Oliag: the lettuce and watching movies for the cinematography.

I didn't really know about the lettuce, as I am not a gardener. But now that Don is into it, I'm learning. Susan is already harvesting hers, must be glorious.

As for movies, I watch them for many different reasons. I don't have to appreciate the story at all to enjoy a movie.

Ruth said...

I have really enjoyed having these veggies the last few days, CottageGirl. It's whetting my appetite for the farmers market and then our garden.

Ruth said...

Oh dear, Alice, I already threw them away before reading your comment. :( I will save them next time. I am very bad at this. I have to slow down and take time to look at all the things and look up recipes. No stress, no stress.

Ruth said...

Oh good! Letty, I still have the beetroot leaves, a little wilted though, but I hope that does not matter if they'll be cooked. I will try this.

Ruth said...

Yes, the thunderstorms were great, even though they woke me up, Cathy!

At your prompt I went and wiki-ed the Merchant-Ivory list, and while I've seen a few, I am tempted by the others and will start queuing them - thank you. I just heard from Loring about "Before the Rains" - I wonder if you have seen it?

Yes, "Babette's Feast" is a huge favorite, our standard for food movies in our house. And what a sweet story.

Oh, now I need to watch a movie . . .

Ruth said...

DS, I know what you would be doing in l'atelier, and it's a great place for it. I just need to get it bug-"proofed." There are too many inlets for them - not that I mind sharing.

Ruth said...

Ayayayayay, Loring, you've got my mouth watering here, and I just ate!

Ruth said...

Boots, I took one had of green lettuce to the cottage for the work day, along with the spring mix. Then I made more salad at home today for us. It just keeps coming - wish you were here to share it.

Ruth said...

Sanna, I am tempted by gorgeous cookbooks too. But the Internet search is so great - for not wasting ingredients too. I probably should never buy another cookbook, because I just don't use all of them enough to get their value out - a very few do I use again and again. Oh, and I have an online subscription to Cooks Illustrated, which has been great and I've used a lot.

Ruth said...

Another yummy sounding recipe, Anna, I thank you. We have just a handful of little ones, hopefully I won't scrape my knuckles on the grater.

Ruth said...

Renaye, can't you?

Ruth said...

I like slow movies, Barry, but I like action adventures too. If a movie is made well, I'm not too picky about the genre.

Ruth said...

What a nice thing to say, Jan, I loved that.

kanmuri said...

Those vegetables look yummy!

I haven't seen the movie but I enjoyed the book a lot. I really want to see the movie!

rauf said...

i haven't read the book Ruth, the movie is visually appealing, every frame is like a painting, very good cast, i am planning to write a post on it, don't know when.

Ruth said...

Hi, Kanmuri, I am such a wuss about cooking all of them before they go bad. I have never bought this variety at once, and I'm definitely challenged to keep at it. Have to cook the beets tomorrow. I'll try Anna's dish.

Ruth said...

rauf, it is easy to romanticize those times, seeing the beauty in the paintings. I used to think when I was young I would like to live in a previous century. I liked the clothes, and lack of strip malls. But the way I've been feeling lately about hard work, and other things too that have changed so much, I don't know if I would have much liked being a woman before the 1970s.

I look forward to what you write about the movie.

rauf said...

Ruth, i am not writing about the movie, i took Arshi's pictures wearing a pearl ear ring, i have been asking every one, asked Vaanmadhi too, but none had a pear er ring, Arshi's mom had a tiny one, not real pearl, i made it look little bigger in the system. Two days later Vaanmadhi brought a good one but it was a dangling type, i wanted a firm ear ring by then i already took Arshi's pictures. I took Vaanmadhi's pictures with blue ear ring, After the pear ear ring, i am writing about Vaanmadhi, like an interview, she talks about bharathanatyam.

its a very common complaint that the book being better than the movie.
When i read, i form visuals in my mind and those visuals don't match with the director's imagination which appears in the film.

Lover of Life said...

Loved that movie and the painting! Those veggies look scrumptious. We are veggie-ing more lately.