19 March 2014

Longest Winter

I'm pleased to report that it is raining today.  Last week when it was still snowing, I wrote the following post:

I'm telling you nothing new in stating that this has been the longest winter.  The farm was covered in snow for ages.  Despite the crippling snow, severe negative temperatures, and high winds, my sunflower patch is still standing.

We've gotten a lot of aesthetic mileage throughout the seasons out of a dozen packets of seeds.

While I tired quickly of frozen toes and the glacier that formed over my driveway, the farm was truly beautiful blanketed in snow.

We got very good at snowstorms.  They are far more manageable with a good cocktail.  We came up with a couple good seasonal drinks with winter citrus.  The winner is a Meyer lemon infused vodka and tonic.  

Vodka is not the standard spirit in our home, but it's the perfect medium for flavorful infusions such as Meyer lemon and sour cherry.  I also candied some kumquats because one can only eat so many raw kumquats and candied kumquats sounds naughty.  They make a great gin and tonic.

There was a series of citrus experiments, but that was a hundred blizzards ago.  This list of 100  things to do with  a Meyer lemon yielded some good results: Meyer lemon infused olive oil, Meyer lemon confit, preserved Meyer lemons.  The infused olive oil made a fantastic vinaigrette and even better tapenade of artichokes, capers, and a few of the confited lemons.  I also found a pomelo, which was lovely, and candied the rind.  I still have no idea what to do with them.

Once the citrus experiments wore thin, and the snow became more tedious, and even I bored of variations on a gin and tonic theme, we decided it was time to escape.  Luckily, Chicago's Eataly opened a few months ago.  It's basically a foodie amusement park.


It would take a while, even the length of a particularly cold Midwest winter, to explore all Eataly has to offer.

We started with some of our favorites . . .

like Nduja

and Barolo.

Escaping the farm is necessary in the abysmal winter months when I freeze my face off and constantly wonder why we live in the tundra.  Soon enough spring will be here; in the meantime I'll pour another Meyer lemon vodka tonic, plan my 2014 garden, and dream of spring.  Here are some of my favorite photos from past spring seasons on the farm:

wild columbine by the creek


onion blossom

sour cherry harvest


rainbow over the farm after spring storm

first garden planted