Sunday, May 6, 2012

“The Dirty Life” Book Club Meeting

My favorite things to do are to cook and to read.  Once a year I cook for my book club, and this year we focused on local food while we discussed “The Dirty Life” by Kristin Kimball.  This book club meeting was a perfect combination of all my favorite things!
In “The Dirty Life” Kristen Kimball shares the story of her romance with Mark and their first year building Essex Farm.  Essex Farm is a full diet CSA farm in Essex, NY.  Kimball is a wonderful writer.  One of my favorite lines in the book is when she described the beginnings of member pick up days like cocktail parties in a third-world market.
Shopping for the book club diner at the market last weekend was slightly frustrating.  It had been wet and cold and the farmer’s did not have vegetables usually expected in spring, most obviously missing was asparagus.  I had expected to find baby lettuces, piles of carrots, radishes, small potatoes, and the favored asparagus.  I found some of these in small quantities – lettuce and carrots.  I did well with radishes and potatoes.  I left so sad about the asparagus.  I really wanted to share my favorite asparagus dish – Spaghetti with Shaved Asparagus.  Mark and Kristin had many occasions in that first year when they needed to make dinner with what was available.  Upon getting home I realized I had beautiful radish greens and could make Braised Greens to serve with the spaghetti.  I was back to being excited about the menu.  Here is what we had...
Braised Radish Greens over Spaghetti
Spaghetti with Basil Pesto
Roast Chicken with Spring Vegetables
Strawberry Cream Cake
The Basil Pesto was made from Basil I had stored in the freezer.  It worked really well!  Good to know.
The Strawberry Cream Cake was also made from foods in my freezer store.  I thought the berries might be too soggy for the cream filling, but I thought the dessert was delicious.  Now, it was quiet messy to serve, but my dessert guru friend always says taste is the most important.

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