Of Hot Dogs & New Potatoes
Sometimes we forgot how good simple food is. Or at least can be, when one is eating pure fresh unadulterated food. Like what we pretty much did today. Delicious and hardly any cooking! We simply listened to the garden who told us what was for dinner (and for lunch). Pretty simple, really.
Morning was busy in the garden and harvesting wild cherries, and so – since Keith made some of his gorgeous baguettes early this morning – we had what must be the best dogs in the world for lunch.
The hot dog sausage came from Joyce Harman’s Harmany Farm in Flint Hill: juicy, meaty, incredibly flavorful, and with a little chunk here and there – served on chewy crusty homemade baguette and Dijon Mustard, it was the perfect Franco-American dog. As the the garden is now yielding more produce, I salted and quick-marinated a few young onions (the bed need thinning, you know…) with a little vinegar for 15 minutes or so, before adding shredded spring cabbage (they could stand to wait for a few more weeks before being harvested – but the bed need thinning, you know?), thinly cut sugar-snap peas (which we have in abundance at the moment) and a dollop of mayonnaise. And a side of savory oven tomato preserve made last summer with San Marzano tomatoes, packed in oil and frozen – it’s the last jar (boohoo!) but I can almost see the first ripe tomato…. almost, but not quite.
And since this was Sunday, we had dessert: a scoop of minty strawberry sorbet, topped with vanilla whipped cream and red fruit medley (strawberries, alpine strawberries, raspberries and currants, sprinklered with sugar and put in the fridge an hour before, so the sugar has a chance to draw some juice out of the fruit), more whipped cream and A blueberry. O’Neal blueberries are the earliest for me, starting to ripen now, and also the largest, some almost as big as my thumbnail – closely followed by Misty. But still, the plants are very young and we wont see any significant harvest for a few years. So we cherish the few handfuls we get and use them judiciously (at least, the few that make their way out of the garden)
Dinner? Some steaks, grilled and sliced thinly across the grain – again from Joyce Harman Scottish Highland cattle – swiss chard sautéed with olive oil and a little garlic, steamed new potatoes tossed with dill & butter, more preserved tomatoes, and foraged wild (bird) cherries for dessert.
I am particularly proud of the new potatoes – the first of the season – as they are from potatoes I did not plant. Kind of perverse, isn’t it, to be proud of something I did not do… Maybe I am proud of them? anyway, there were a few spuds that were inadvertently (of course! how else?) not dug last fall, survived this colder-than-usual winter and sprouted very nicely early in the spring. As I did not plant potatoes this year, they are particularly welcomed. And they are doing so much better than the ones planted last year. Freshly “grabbed”, simply by using gloved fingers, they need just a quick wash to be rid of earth, a quick cook, and a quick toss with fresh herbs and butter (or good olive oil). Oh, yum!
None of those meals were complicated, they both were ready fast and they were incredibly satisfying. As a matter of fact, my sisters who are visiting from France loved them!
- sausage & steaks from Harmany farm (less than 10 miles), all vegetables, fruit & herbs from the garden (0 miles) except fr the wild cherries that were foraged close-by, cream from Trickling Spring Creamery in Pennsylvania (about 100 miles) for the whipped cream, butter from my cow-share (about 6 miles)
- not local: oil, salt, vinegar, flour (although some was from Pennsylvania), yeast, sugar, vanilla, mustard, garlic (although i should have some shortly, as I planted a few odd cloves last fall). Oh, and mayonnaise. I know, I know….