Flavors are such amazing things to examine. Somethings you want bold and strong like a BBQ sauce. While others, like a hint of sage on mushrooms, you want to be so faint that you almost cannot discern it is even there. The artistry of cooking can come down to which path you follow—is it a bold statement or just a hint to lure you in?
With that, this week I want to highlight the fennel bulb. She is from the Umbel family and is a sibling to the carrot, dill, and parsley to name a few. It is a very fragrant plant family and there is probably no one better at bringing beneficial insects into your field or garden. These plants are effectively a Welcome Mat for ladybugs in your yard.
I want you to try the amazing complexities that a little bit of fennel can bring to your plate. Throw the ferny leaves on top of salmon, roast the sliced up bulb with your potatoes, or thinly slice the bulb into your salad greens. Wherever it ends up, it will keep your taste buds guessing and wondering what those interesting flavors are.
This is also a good opportunity to look at the importance of execution in the kitchen. I had a chef break it down for me once that incredible food is just fresh ingredients with perfect execution. And execution is not knowing your spice rack, it is knowing your food. Think about this; the difference between a perfect steak and shoe leather is execution of timing. The difference between asparagus with a tiny snap to them and mush is execution of timing.
We have a very unique audience of kitchen warriors because we are all cooking with the same ingredients. Crazy to think about it, but the pork chops in your house could be the exact same chops that 1,500 people enjoy. Flavor, thickness, etc all the same. So what I am envisioning here is that we do not just focus on how to season the food, but we, as a group of food lovers, do a better job of sharing how the execution becomes perfect as well. I ask you to be more vocal on our community social media outlets, and we are bringing in easily printed recipe cards that we will be using to highlight best practices too.
The fear or unwillingness to try something new in the kitchen really just boils down to education. I would love for all of us to help each other better understand fun (and hopefully easy) ways to kick butt in the kitchen. It feels good to make something excellent in the kitchen. There is a real sense of accomplishment and pride.
So let’s help each other out. I want the farm to be a hub for you to share your tips, tricks, and secrets in the kitchen. This help/tips for one another does not need to just be in the context of our kitchens. As I mentioned last week, this journey that we are on is about choosing and living a healthy lifestyle. Food is just one component of that. We want to expand the scope of our members’ interactions and bring thoughts of healthy living to the table. So we’d like to encourage this platform within our members. But how can we do that effectively? Funny you should ask…
Farmy Fridays. Beginning 3/18, from 3-7pm, in our Warehouse Garden (3435 Stanford Dr NE), we will be wrapping up the week in style. We are hosting a farmers’ market, selling our cider and wine, having educational classes for adults, and interactive classes for the kiddos too. This will be a weekly fiesta that we will have to help everyone unwind from the week and start the weekend right. Bring a picnic or a set of horseshoes if you like.
If you or someone you know would like to lead a kids or adult class during one of these Fridays, please email Emma at firstname.lastname@example.org to set this up. Again, we want the members to help shape the experience you have with the farm. So grab the fam and/or any neighbors you like and bring them out here beginning March 18th.
See you then, Farmer Monte