Seeking inspiration 2/22/2022

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Truth: I’m having trouble feeling inspired this evening.

It’s largely just headspace — I’ve spent much of today on bookkeeping and web updates, and sometimes it’s hard for me to mentally switch gears. It might also be a little late-winter funk, helped by yesterday’s sunshine, but not so much by today’s rain.

From that perspective, working on this newsletter is kind of good for me, because it forces me to think about what I might like to eat (also truth: I’m super hungry right now, so I want to eat EVERYTHING), and it reminds me that even though it’s winter there’s still a lot of goodness to be had.

Exhibit A: Pan-seared pork chops with roasted veggies–

That’s not a tiny plate, it’s a huge pork chop. I might have thought Dusty and I could have split that one, but it was actually the smaller of the two he brought home. I didn’t finish it!

Exhibit B — Rettland Farmstead Brat with roasted cabbage salad —


The cabbage salad was a little bit of a revelation for me. It was from Abra Beren’s Ruffage, which is worth owning, especially since I can’t find the recipe online. But! It was pretty simple —  brown (but don’t fully cook) the sausages on the stove; shave the cabbage (I used a mandoline); roast it and the sausages with some salt and oil until the sausage is fully cooked and the cabbage is a little charred around the edges, somewhat tender, and still a little crunchy; plate the brats; toss the cabbage with a mustard/olive oil emulsion (so simple since mustard is a great emulsifier!); then toss in a thinly sliced apple (pink ladies or granny smith are great for this). EAT.

It had never occurred to me to “barely” roast cabbage before, which is basically what this was — not fully cooked, but not fully raw. Fresh yet hearty. Comforting yet clean. Highly recommended.

I am sorry to say that we won’t have any red cabbage this week — we might be coming towards the end of this round of cabbage season — but we do have some great green cabbage which would work just as well, it just might not be quite as beautiful on the plate. We’ve also got some really nice Napa cabbage, and the more I think about it the more inspired I’m feeling to do some Napa roasting experiments — the thinner leaves but juicier ribs might make for an extra-interesting textural contrast.

Of course, if you’re not feeling so inspired but don’t want to give up on good food, we’ve got you covered there, too. The ham/potato/sauerkraut soup — a huge hit last time — makes a return, as does the soul-warming Spicy Curried Sweet Potato. The latter is vegan, but I love a big dollop of Greek yogurt on top to tame the spice and up the luxury.

We’ll also have more creamy lasagna, stewed collard greens, mashed potatoes, and turtle bean hummus. Oh! Good news! We’re expecting a few hundred pounds of beans this week from Hickory Run Farm in Franklin County, so we expect the new hummus to continue for quite a while, and we may be able to launch some additional bean-based experiments with some other varieties.

Well, there you go. I’m now feeling much more inspired. I think that means — time to make dinner!

See you soon!