Kitchen Porch - Martha's Vineyard - locally inspired, seasonally influenced, thoughtfully sourced
Culinary Experiences
This time of year can be so magical and meaningful if we are able to clear our minds. The list rattles on in my mind and I choose to ignore it. It’s not easy; I fight it.  I take deep breaths and am grateful.
This morning I went to collect eggs and they were frozen solid! Winter has come early and I hope the kale survives because it is so darn sweet that I am eating it for breakfast.

We have one more Farmer’s market on the 18th of December. It’s remarkable how much food is still available from the fields. It is jolly and simply beautiful when the Agricultural Hall is full.

The plum puddings are made and I’ve been offering samples at the winter market.
I’ll ship if you need a Plum Pudding for your holiday table.

Morning Glory has offered their fields to the gleaners (folks who come along and do the picking that the farm can’t sell). Last week alone over 5000 pounds (that is not a typo- that is five thousand pounds!) of potatoes, beets and carrots were donated to our schools, elderly, and food pantry. I am afraid it is all coming to a fast halt with this brittle cold weather.  Mermaid Farm has rows and rows of greens, but will not at weeks end if this cold continues as they cannot withstand the temperatures without protection. 

EggsFriends have been calling with cooking requests this week.

It seems that this is the time of year even the most masterful kitchen experts will try new recipes or expand their culinary collections. I had one request for eggnog. Which always begs the question: is it safe to eat raw eggs?
The simple answer is YES!, if they are pastured eggs. For the longer version read my ongoing blog on eggs.

I had one request for a source for wild goose. Now there’s an idea! I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t prefer a goose on their table to one in their fields, except for a few of my vegetarian friends. Not only are they a nuisance, but they also bring bad bacteria to our ponds. Ask any farmer, golfer or conservationists and they have justification to eliminate their existence. My husband, Rich often recalls the story of cooking a wild island goose following a two-day prep recipe by Julia Child. (This was a year before he met me, of course!) But perhaps it’s time to shoot a few and try out a few recipes and start promoting a new wild meal. (Although I think our geese are more gentrified than wild!) The folks who do eat the geese around the Vineyard tend to only eat the breasts.

I did send out a request for local goose and here is one response:

“No, our geese are over twenty years old and no longer have tender goslings. They are retired…and tough. I don't know anyone who has goose for meat - when we tried to sell them a few years ago we had no takers. I would be glad to raise some 'on commission' if there were enough interest in a future year - they were loud, funny, and interesting.”
(Only on Martha’s Vineyard would one find “retired” geese).

I am beginning to make concoctions of belly warming, nourishing, medicinal teas.

This week at Mermaid Farm, Jackee handed me a cup of burdock tea and it was beyond delicious.  Mermaid Farm has an abundance of burdock and welcomed us to dig as much as we wanted. Like ginger, we peeled the skin and scrubbed the dirt and boiled it in water and voila! It was spicy, earthy and wonderfully tasty. It reminded me of ginger so I went right home and made ginger tea.  Then I remembered that I had recently ordered a bunch of turmeric for a class I was teaching on cleansing. Turmeric is a root we need to include in our diets regularly- only I often forget about it! Read more about it on my blog.

Winter Solstice

The darkest longest day of the year…

This year's winter solstice coincides with a full moon -- a combination that happens only every 3 decades or so. But that's not the only celestial oddity for the day: the moon also reaches perigee, its closest point to the Earth. So this solstice, which brings together the year's lowest sun and longest night, comes at the same time as the closest moon -- and a full moon to boot. The last time the full moon, lunar perigee, and winter solstice fell on the same day was in 1866. What a perfect night to have a solstice party.

I combined several of our favorite holiday recipes, including a new “Chocolate Joy”, a dark chocolate, almond, coconut bark I just created.

As I take a deep breath…(if I remember to breath!), I am reminded of all my dear friends, relatives and clients this past year and I am most grateful.
Warm Holiday Cheers!
Jan Buhrman
Kitchen Porch

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