Saturday, February 2, 2013

We got these oranges, they're great.  Ann, wait til you see them.  They look dirty.  It's like someone drives down to Florida every year- like they know where this tree is.  And wait til you taste them.  They're so good, I mean, sweet and juicy.  They're great.  You want some? You should take some, you'll love them.

When I was in 2nd grade at the Montessori World of Children, my good friend and I decided we would be pigs while we waited for our mothers to fetch us from school.  It made perfect sense- we were good friends who had recently discovered that pigs were both of our favorite animals. It had rained that day, which had created a mud puddle very close to our picking-up spot.  Perfect for us, because we were pigs and pigs love mud.  So we sat in the mud puddle, rubbing our faces and arms with mud galore, and oinking contentedly; until our teacher found us, and we were thoroughly scolded.   You can't sit in the mud and rub it all over yourself.  Your mother is not going to be happy when she picks you up.  You'll make the car dirty.  Try and clean some of this off.

But we're pigs, I responded.  And my mother won't care.  My mother loves dirt.   (Plus, our car's already dirty)

 I recently told this story at the dinner table after the conversation had moved to elementary school.  Three seats down, my mother was telling another:  When I would pick them up from school, there was this mother.  She was crazy.  She had these baby wipes.  In her car.  And she'd whip them out and wipe down her entire child before they'd be allowed in the car.  I mean, the shoes and everything.  Why? Because they're that dirty?  I mean, what's wrong with dirt?  I love dirt. 

And that was before we'd moved to a farm.  This family wisdom has been passed down to me: dirt is good.  And dirty food is better.   That's how you know it's (real) good....

Alexzanna Farm market sign, summer 2011

Sunday, November 18, 2012


It's closer than you might think....  and it's the only holiday market you will need to visit, trust me.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Sorrel Jam

As I promised, here's the sorrel jam "recipe".  Since I made this after making jelly, there was an awkward messy stage where I was plucking the seeds pods of the sorrel out of the goopy seedy petally glop that I had in the jelly bag.  There was still enough liquid in there that I didn't feel like I need much more, but I did end up rinsing some of the seeds, poured the liquid through a large-hole sieve, and probably added about 1 cup more water that way.    (If you just wanted to make jam without the previous jelly step,  I would suggest just breaking the petal off the seeds while fresh and cooking them with a 1 cup of water per pound of petals til they were falling apart and mushy, probably about 15 minutes, more or less).

Once I had just petals, I added sugar to taste (a lot).  I'd say about 1/2 cup per cup of sorrel, but I didn't measure.  I just stirred it in until it tasted pretty sweet, but with a tiny bit of tart.

Then I boiled away, stirring often, for about 10 minutes.  I didn't wait for it to jell or anything, since it was already so thick and since I'd just seen what the jelly did, I wasn't concerned with its performance.  It did not end up being super jelled, but it is a nice spreadable thickness...

Process the jars the same way I did with the jelly.  From the original 5 pounds, the jam made an additional 6 half pints, but I would guess, maybe, you would get a higher yield if skipped the jelly step?