Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Farm Challenge - Day 3

Day 3 - Tuesday breakfast

Andrew cooked breakfast at the guys' house again:  Shredded sweet potatoes, fried with green onions, garlic chives, tomatoes, and salt.  I'm really falling in love with sweet potatoes.

I cheat - accidentally

This morning made me realize how little I think about what I stick in my mouth.  While chatting with one of the staff members in the office, I spied, took, unwrapped, and consumed a chocolate sitting in a container on her desk.  The moment I had swallowed it, I realized my grave error, but by then it was too late! There was nothing I could do.  Oh the misery... never has the aftertaste of chocolate been so unpleasant to my mouth!

The apparent lack of an active filter between my eyes and mouth was an interesting realization.  I'm still not sure how I feel about it.   On the one hand, it means that I live in food freedom, not having to worry about what I eat, since my desires generally haven't (yet) outpaced the needs of my body.  On the other hand, it worries me a little that a daily gift as central to my life as food receives so little conscious consideration.  I guess habit supersedes deliberation.

In the late morning, I perused a web link Matt sent me, a collection of information about sweet potatoes compiled by the late and great George Washington Carver.  His list of ways to prepare sweet potatoes had my stomach growling in no time, so I was excited to find the delicious lunch that LauraCatherine had cooked up.

Tuesday lunch

Chicken soup!  This chicken soup was just about as flavorful and comforting as any I've ever tasted.  The fresh chickens were simmered together with turnips, daikon radishes, sweet potatoes, rice, cilantro, spotted beebalm (Monarda punctata), rosemary, and other herbs.   Hearty and delicious.  Here's a photo:

The soup was accompanied by mustard greens and kale, cooked and mixed with a citrus juice dressing.  All this was served with a light orange and calamondin (a small, tart, flood tolerant citrus) juice.

Tuesday dinner

Kate let out all the stops tonight and served up 7 different food items!

This tomato-chicken soup was bursting with flavor:

I don't know exactly what was in it, but the chicken was running around a few days ago, and the tomatoes were processed from the several gallons of cherry tomatoes we picked from Andrew's rainforest tomato patch.  These were some of the only tomatoes that survived and bore fruit after the recent freezes.  This meal involved more picking, sorting, and cooking than using cans of diced tomatoes would have, but I think that the greater investment payed off well in the sweeter, richer taste of the end product.

Vying with this soup for the spotlight was an apple-pumpkin bake, except that sweet potatoes, jujube,  sorghum, and sugar cane molasses were substituted for the pumpkin, apples, and nuts and sugar (respectively) usually used in this dish.

These delights were accompanied by guacamole and a smörgåsbord of tortilla chip substitutes, including jicama slices, bok choi petioles, sweet potato chips and jujube sticks.

Boiled beets rounded out the meal, which was served with hot cinnamon tea.


Reflections, day 3

Several meals today were extremely flavorful, demonstrating excellent utilization of the available herbs and spices.  Far from having to scavenge or go hungry from the restrictions set on our diet, we're eating healthier, tastier food than we normally do.  I'm not yet sure how much of this is a product of the increased time and creativity we put into cooking for each other rather than cooking for ourselves, and how much has to do with the freshness and selection of the ingredients themselves.


The farm goat herd was reduced by one member today.  Look for goat on Thursday's menu!

Katie showing us how it's done


  1. Amazing blogging, Noah! It's so fun to keep up with this each day. Here's to being halfway through! -Jina

  2. We had an amazing lunch too. Butternut squash and pears baked in the oven, then mashed and reheated in butter with minced ginger and sage. You should have seen Joseph slow down to savor it.