Pasta with Bolognese sauce is nothing out of the ordinary for my family. But I don't make it every time we eat it, that takes too long. Leftover sauce from the freezer works just fine. This recipe is unusual because it uses white wine, milk and chicken livers. I've never purchased chicken livers before, at least not without most of the rest of the bird attached. And I still haven't, because I sent my husband to do it while I prepped everything else.
This recipe is from our Frog Hollow Farm CSA newsletter and uses arugula. A little bit of sweet, a little bit of meat, a little bit of heat. Yum! No, the kids will probably not love it, so I'm serving it with a good loaf of Arizmendi bread and our usual favorite cheese on the side. It's an easy cheat.
I've been wanting to practice my charcoal lighting skills, so tonight I'm grilling flank steak with a new marinade recipe from Saveur mag: a spicy, chinese inspired mixture reinterpreted from Mei Chin's 1980s childhood.
Sometimes harvesting food from my garden is just too much work. I'd rather hover over the stove than walk three flights of stairs down the back deck or, God forbid, go the front way and have to pass the laundry room where there are always inescapable responsibilities.
This July, as usual, we finished eating up the arugula growing in our garden. It is always gone by mid-summer. Arugula is a remarkably easy crop to grow - as long as it doesn't get too hot or too dry. I try to start it at the beginning of each new year, out in the garden under a cold frame, which is essentially a miniature greenhouse.
This year I made my desires for Mother's Day known well in advance: no gifts, just a day at home in the garden and a big dinner, cooked as a family. It was delicious, and I got gifts anyway - three of Andy Goldsworthy's books, much loved by my kids after we watched his Rivers and Tides together a week or two back.
I finally figured out, after making a wrong turn on my way home from Berkeley last week, how to find Golden Gate Fields. This is where my friend Geoff, from the Edible School Yard, sent me to remedy my compost problems. My compost has been neglected for weeks now, growing slimy, stinky, and buggy, after running out of its only source of "browns" - a season's worth of dropped leaves from our ancient apple tree.
"It's just gone to seed", my mother would say, shaking her head and referring to areas of our town she no longer liked, when they had passed out of fashion or become unacceptable. "Don't touch anything, its so seedy!" She would shout about an untouchable location, like the public bathroom at the playground. Now my lettuce and arugula plants are going to seed. They are bolting, shooting up and flowering. After dinner tonight I can tell you for sure that they are no longer good to eat. Tougher, less flavorful, a little more difficult to chew than I like my salads to be. But they make a nice bouquet.