Today was almost really boring. The kids and I spent the entire morning and early afternoon playing with toy trains and baking bread. Jack and Carolyn went down for simultaneous naps around 1, allowing me to get some homework done. This math class is killing me- I can’t believe the workload! No less than two hours a day, and that’s if I’m keeping up with it all. I’ve already logged 16 hours in the program, and we’re only on week 2.
By the time the kids woke up, I was more than happy to ditch my books and get out of the house. What could be more refreshing than a visit to a local farm?
Over the course of the past year, our diet and lifestyle have undergone a serious makeover. We have had a lot of fun exploring new foods and switching out junky foods for healthier and more beneficial alternatives. My long-term goal had been to eliminate the center isles of the grocery store during our shopping trips; generally, that’s where the least nutrient-dense food is shelved. I think we made this shift somewhere back in May- I just stopped buying packaged food. We keep a few canned goods and prepared condiments on hand, of course, but we no longer spend money on anything in a box.We buy bulk oats for oatmeal and overnight oat breakfasts, I make my own almond butter (and occasionally almond milk), even Jack’s yogurt is brewed right here at home from locally produced culture starters.
So naturally, having come to this point and loving the results, I am trying to make the next leap: buying produce only from local farms and markets. I don’t believe that we will ever be able to live solely off of locally grown fare- this is the modern world and I don’t want my children to be socially limited by their diets (I’m thinking school lunches, here). I do want to make more of an effort to only buy produce from local farms. Eating seasonally is something I advocate for in my own household, and if I am buying mainly locally available produce, that piece will fall into place much more easily.
So that is my long-winded backstory about how we came to Milk House Farm. I have been working my way through a list of local farms, and Milk House was next up.
It was definitely the “farmiest” market I have been to so far, with the chicken and turkey barns feet from the store’s rear and a rooster crowing in one of the fields. Glorious.
Before we even went inside we were greeted by a gorgeous display of their various types of tomatoes. Every single basket is a different kind of tomato that they grow right there on the farm! Jack and I were both in awe.
The inside of the store was so welcoming, with baskets of squash and berries stacked on wooden crates and old tables. They had a great herb selection, including this assortment of basil- check out the cinnamon basil! I didn’t even know that existed, and I have never seen thai basil outside of New York. They also had huge bundles of ropey garlic scapes. I passed them up and am kicking myself- we’re definitely heading back tomorrow to snag some. They also carry fresh milk, butter, and handmade soap. I found a big bundle of freshly pulled kohlrabi, and Jack found a new friend:
This cat followed Jack alllllll around, and he loved it. I love animals, and I am glad that Jack seems to feel the same way.
Apparently the cat liked us too- unfortunately our house is full-up on felines right now.
This is where food should come from. This is a store- a real store, owned by individuals and operated with care and love for the work that they do. Supporting farms in our area makes me feel like a part of the community, and I love that Jack and Carolyn will grow up knowing the people who grow their food. I hope that they get as much joy out of the entire experience as I do.
We are so fortunate to live in such a beautiful and unique place. When I got out of the car to take this picture, a guy in a truck stopped and asked if I saw a coyote. Apparently there have been a few lurking around these fields for the past few days! Awesome.
I hadn’t had any intentions for the kohlrabi when I purchased it, but lately I’ve been craving something hot but light. I have been eating a lot of salad lately, because it’s quick, easy, and can be prepared with one hand. I wanted a break from that, and so kholrabi mash was born!
This is a great alternative to mashed potatoes. It’s light but still filling and satisfying, with an interesting twist of flavor from the celery root. Can’t find one of the vegetables? No problem! Cauliflower, rutabaga, sweet potato, turnip, carrots, and parsnips would all work equally as well here.
Kohlrabi Mash with Sauteed Greens
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Ingredients (serves 4 as a side, 2 as a main)
For the mash:
- 2 lb. kohlrabi
- 1 lb. yukon gold potatoes
- 1 celery root
- 2 tbsp. Earth Balance or butter
- 1/4 c. non-dairy milk
- 3 tbsp. garlic hummus
- salt & pepper, to taste
For the greens:
- greens from the kohlrabi
- 1/2 bunch dinosaur kale
- olive oil, for cooking
For the mash:
Wash and trim the veggies: remove the tops and peel the kohlrabi and celery root (and the potatoes, if desired- I left those skins on). Be sure to peel the kohlrabi all the way down to the crisp white flesh- there is a fibrous layer between the flesh and the green skin that can stick in your throat. Not delicious.
Chop the vegetables into evenly-sized cubes.
Run 5-6 inches of water into a large pot. Add vegetables, either directly into the water or into a steamer basket. Bring the water up to a boil. Cover and let the vegetables cook for 15-20 minutes. Check with a fork- they should pierce easily when done.
while the veggies are cooking…
Cook your greens:
Wash and trim greens, removing the leaves from the tough stalks.
Cook greens with a drizzle of olive oil over medium heat in a heavy-bottomed pan (I used my beloved cast iron), stirring often, until wilted.
Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Finish the mash:
When vegetables are soft, drain and return to pot.
Add the Earth Balance, milk, hummus, and…mash! I did this by hand, but you could also use a hand or electric mixer for a creamier consistency.
Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Trader Joe’s has this really interesting flower pepper- I put it on almost everything, and I have yet to be disappointed!
Plate and serve! I dressed mine up with a Field Roast veggie dog, grilled scallions, and plenty of Stubb’s barbecue sauce. YUM.