Happy New Year.
If you have New Years resolutions that involve eating healthier, spending quality time with family and friends, cooking more, or spending less, then 2017 could be a great year to make them a reality.
On the other hand, if your resolutions involve spending more time outdoors, working on your tan, or watching more sunrises/sunsets, than maybe you want to revisit them — at least for a month or three.
So far, 2017 is shaping up to be the wettest, stormiest year we’ve had in a long, long time. Since last Wednesday, we got almost 10 inches of rain here, and that hasn’t happened since 2005. Creeks and arroyos that have been dry since 2011 are running fast and full, and our fields are full of water too.
With all this rain, what better place to spend some time than in your kitchen?
I took advantage of the wet weather to try cooking and preparing some new foods I’ve never made. I only recently discovered Korean BBQ, and have been making it lately. So last week I made a batch of Kimchi using TFF cabbage, beets, and spring onions. It turned out great.
Some of the same ingredients — cabbage and spring onions as well as cilantro and carrots — went into the pot stickers I made last night. I love dumplings but I’ve never made them because I assumed the process of filling them would be time-consuming and tedious. But I was pleasantly surprised at how fast it was to assemble them. I included the recipe below — you can make them vegan or non-veg.
For most people, having a set of go-to recipes is an important component of cooking at home — whether you’re cooking just for yourself or for others. No matter how tasty, though, those recipes can get a little boring — both to eat and to cook. But you can make small tweaks in them without too much risk of failure, and sometimes the results are better than the original.
For most of the two plus decades of we’ve been growing kale, I’ve had a few go-to soup recipes I would use it in: Portuguese kale and potato, and Cuban black bean. But I would always cook the kale in the soup. Over the holidays, I made both soups, but instead of cooking the kale in the pot, I marinated it with salt and olive oil and served it as a topping. The result was a delicious new twist on an old standard. I’ll send along these recipes in the next few weeks.
Thankfully the rain took on break on Monday, and stopped again last night. That’s giving us a chance to get things harvested while still staying out of the field during the worst weather. But as long as we get a few breaks each week to let the water soak in and to get some things done, there is very little downside to having a wet January at Terra Firma.
Stay dry this week and have some fun in the kitchen,