My food comes from a dirt farmer. (food, week of 9.23.13)

dirt farmer

Tuesday I made dinner for my people while they were out shuttling to and from football practice and grocery errands. I seared the steak, wrapped it in foil and put it in a warm oven to finish cooking. I roasted some potatoes and left them, covered, to cool to room temp. I made a salad and put it in the refrigerator. I reduced the steak skillet juices and marinade for a sauce then turned off the stove and headed to tennis, happy that my people would return home to find their meal waiting. Go me. I am awesome. My kids should be proud to call me Mom.

I received a text from Bernard at around 8: “Thanks for the dinner! Was still warm may have over cooked just a little but good. Just glad didn’t stay gone till 8 or longer. Burner was still on. Pan pretty fried. Sorry for the long text. Yea its a novel.”

I swear I turned off the burner. I did. Dammit.

And that’s just how this week went. The end.


I never know what I’ll find at the hippie farmers’ market, and I don’t just mean the bounty of fresh food. There are all sorts of local characters from all walks of life, some hurrying through, others lingering long. Everyone was particularly cheerful this weekend because it’s hard not to be cheerful when the sky is clear and the temperature hovers around 74 degrees.

I went to the market Saturday specifically for fish, since the Paradise Seafood guy was going to be there for the first time in weeks. He’s been alligator hunting, and no I did not make that up. I saw pictures of a very big, very dead alligator. I opted not to buy alligator tail meat but did get some alligator andouille sausage for Bernard’s birthday dinner. I’ll be having shrimp, thank you very much.

Surprised to have money left over after procuring my fish, I wandered down tent row to see what was what. I found lady peas (my favorite), a mountain of okra, wasabi mustard greens, picture perfect butternut squash and tiny white salad turnips. One of the guys gave me some tomatoes that were past their prime, remembering that I’d told him I liked to roast them. Which is one of the many reasons I love the hippie farmers’ market.

At the end of the row of happy growers was a young guy from Delta Sol wearing a shirt that read, “My food comes from a dirt farmer.” I asked him where he got it, hoping he’d say his farm sold them. “My mom gave it to me, and I thought it was cool.” Go mom; you did a fine job. He let me take his picture to prove it. Bet you’ve never left the skillet on and almost burned your house down, though. Wonder where I’ll find that shirt.

Happy week.

jennyslark food plan september 23


Week of September 23| 2013

lady peas

Vegetable PlateLady peas | Roasted okra | Mustard greens | Polenta w/ roasted tomatoesRoast okra and tomatoes the way you roast any vegetable: cut in big chunks (or leave whole), toss in olive oil and salt, roast at 400° for 5-10 minutes then reduce heat to 350° and roast 10-15 minutes more. For the mustard greens, sauté some onion, add stemmed greens, cover with broth and simmer until done. I’ll sauté onion in bacon grease and add hot pepper flakes. Serve polenta soft for this dinner; chill remainder for later.

The Hatch

Toasted Polenta | Simple Meat Sauce (or Green Chile) | Green SaladSlice chilled polenta into hunks, brush with olive oil or butter and toast in the oven until brown around the edges. Top with simple meat sauce (chopped onion, ground turkey/beef/veal, crushed tomatoes, oregano, salt and a bit of butter). Serve with a simple green salad. This week we’ll also have an alternative green chile sauce for the adults, since Bernard spent the past week roasting 100 lbs. of Hatch chile. Yum.

bitter greens

Cuban Pork Roast | Rice | Shredded Greens w/FetaNOTE: REQUIRES ADVANCE PREP. I like Sarah Leah Chase’s recipe for Cuban pork roast (Nantucket Open House Cookbook). I don’t serve with black beans because it’s just too much food for a weeknight, so I’ll cook rice (probably Lunsford’s wild rice blend) and a shredded green cabbage or bitter greens slaw with feta crumbles, scallions and Brianna’s True French Vinaigrette dressing.

baby turnips

Beef BourguignonIna Garten all the way, or else you can’t make it on a weeknight. The original recipe in her book calls for a 3 lb. filet of beef, the only cut I like, ever, and we don’t eat it very often. Although I could. Weekly. Forever. Anyway, the Food Network version calls for beef chuck, which I’m sure works fine. I may be daring and add some baby turnips with the carrots. Ooh, the scandal.

Tomato pie fixins

Tomato Pie | Arugula & Pear SaladNo, I don’t know if my people will actually eat this, since they hate tomatoes. But we’re at the end of the season, the tomatoes are fit only for roasting or baking these days, and I love tomato pie. Last week to enjoy one, which I haven’t made all summer. Layer some thick tomato slices (I salt and drain first to remove some water) in a prepared pie crust. Top with a mix of grated cheese and mayonnaise (and scallions, chives and/or basil, if you want). Bake at 350° for about 30 minutes.


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