After bragging to Mark about how dang successful I’ve been at avoiding illness this year, I’m down with fever and sniffles today, so a quick note before I crawl back to bed. Last Sunday, Mark and I rode Jay and Jack down to the cattle barn, then circled back through the swamp, where Jay dropped his head to sip the cold, clear water, and then home, over Monument field. The ground was almost bare of snow and water was running in little rills over the half-frozen ground. The drainage pipe at the low end of Monument Field was as full as I’ve ever seen it, drawing the melt off of 30 acres. We wouldn’t mind a bit more snow now, to insulate the ground and the perennial plants from extreme temperature changes.
In the kitchen, I re-discovered the utility of cheap beer this week. I made a big pot of pork and beans, with hocks and a beautiful piece of shoulder, navy beans, onion, garlic, carrot, and celeriac; all the flavors came together when I added a can of Genesee. Then, on Wednesday, I roasted a chicken, and as I was making the gravy, I realized I didn’t have the white wine I usually add, so I used a can of Busch instead. We still have a case of the special edition cans that were distributed during deer season, hunter orange. You’ve heard of red eye gravy? I’m calling this redneck gravy. And it was fabulous. Fancy beer is too hoppy, and adds bitterness. A good old boy American lager is just right… (Continue reading Kristin Kimball’s Essex Farm Note)