The rains are finally here, and what a relief the cool weather is, after months of smoke and worry. To breathe, cold, rainy air, suddenly seems the greatest of blessings after the season we have had. To have a roof and the leisure to contemplate dessert—well, that’s is icing on the cake, as it were. While gratitude is always appropriate, consider action as well, in whatever way seems best to you. There are many right now who are in need of assistance and compassion.
It seems strange, sometimes, to write about food when other matters seem more urgent or more important. But even the hardest-working among us need nourishment, and that is what I remind myself, as I take a breath and begin to write the introduction for this month’s Journal. It’s a delicious one, full of celebration and bright colors and sweetness. These are recipes that require no fancy equipment to make, and yet feel special, full of good cheer and gaiety. That’s important, too, in a season of clouds, to find the small and sweet blessings among the larger, grittier troubles. To celebrate the pleasures of the table, friends, family, and tradition, in no way diminishes the seriousness of the times we live in. The more deeply we are nourished, by food or community or whatever makes us most fulfilled, the stronger we can be in the actions we take to better the world we live in. In the winter months, particularly, we are often in need of tangible sustenance, to warm heart and belly. So with no further ado then, let us turn to the kitchen, to sweetness, and to celebration.
We might begin the day with these. Hearty and delicious, these scones are the perfect blend of sweet and savory.
We got this next recipe from a cookbook that keeps on giving; Saving the Season is one of those solid gold recipe books for the home preservation enthusiast. While most of the recipes center on water-bath canning, there are some gems in there that go beyond the canning kettle. This is one of them. Vin de Pamplemousse, besides being wonderfully satisfying to say, is easy to make, beautiful as it infuses on the counter, and absolutely delicious to drink. Author Kevin West recommends making it now, to drink as a toast on the new year. We must agree wholeheartedly. Let this beauty infuse for a month to make your New Year’s toast something unique and special. And when the toasting’s done, save the citrus rinds to make a variation of Scotch Marmalade. Recipe for the marmalade coming soon!
Marzipan is a common dessert in many parts of the world, often reserved especially for the holiday season. It is subtle, rich and surprisingly nutritious, despite the sugar used in its making, being composed of almonds and egg white. It is also surprisingly simple to make. While it has also been called “play dough for adults", because it can be made into incredible sculptures, we enjoy it best in baked goods, or dipped in chocolate to make little half-moons of deliciousness.
Finally, if you care to raise a glass a little sooner than New Year’s, we have here a recipe for a super-fine vermouth. While we don’t often think of vermouth as a DIY project, the fact is that with some quality ingredients, you can make a really stellar vermouth at home. Nice for sipping straight, or making spirits bright. Did you see what we did there?
And in the garden, we plant cover crops, and pull weeds and pull weeds and pull weeds again.
Saturday December 15
Are you still decking the halls? Boughs of holly are far too prickly. Seriously, have you ever touched the stuff? It’s dangerous! Come make a conifer garland instead. Join us at the Feed and Farm Saturday 15th for an afternoon of crafting, where each participant will craft a 6' garland of local greenery. Foliage will be provided, but participants should bring a sturdy pair of pruners and gloves, if desired. From 11am-2pm, coffee and light snacks will be provided. $45
December 11th is our final Customer Appreciation Day of the year. 15% off the entire store (excluding pet food), complimentary local, hot cider and free gift wrapping all day. Are we doing this because we like you and we want to see you in our store? Yes! Come on down and say hello, and support local business, and get a dose of that good Mountain Feed and Farm Supply feeling.
Finally, we wish you sweetness and the strength of community in this last month of the year. As ever, we are grateful for your attention, support, and engagement. Let us know what you might like to see from us in the coming year. We are always listening and looking for ways to help!
This journal and the articles in it were written by Jessica Tunis, unless otherwise noted.