Big week here on the farm, in some ways, and a very normal week in others. After a rainy start to the weeks, we had all the sunshine and breezes breezes you could want. It made for a nice week on the farm, and it was a week in which the inmates, so to speak, ran the asylum. Dan and Tracy took the kids on their annual trip to the Rhode Island shore, leaving us in charge of making sure everyone gets their vegetables. We had heard stories in which former groups of apprentices had spent the week throwing harvest bins at each other, so we were interested to see how the week was going to go. As it turned out, we weathered the week rather well. We finished the list of tasks that Dan left for us early in the week, and so we undertook a large project of our own accord: cleaning out and organizing the feed barn. It took us about a day, but the result was worth it. Three dump runs, a family of skunks, and a few sore backs later, we have a clean, tidy barn. Dan was certainly surprised upon his return, but now that we've proven ourselves capable and willing, there might be a few more barns to clean in our future.
Far from just refraining from bin-throwing, we shared a few delicious meals, even after spending all this time together. During the week, Lisa cooked us all pork chops from our dearly departed piggies, which was accompanied by some very buttery mashed potatoes (ours) and a bright salad (also ours). Besides condiments, it was a delicious dinner made entirely from Chubby Bunny bounty! It was also the very first time I've enjoyed a pork chop. I guess I've probably eaten a few pork chops in my life (before and after vegetarianism), but my tastes in meat have always run more towards the peasant end of the animal: cuts meant to add to stew, braised, pulled, jerked, or otherwise cooked low and slow (see last week's buried pork shoulder).
As if that wasn't enough deliciousness and excitement for one week, I also celebrated a birthday yesterday. While I spent the majority of the day knee-deep in chicken feathers (see picture below), I capped off a very full day with a delicious peach pie from Tracy, followed by a trip to the Falls Village Inn with the apprentices. In a stroke of birthday luck, the special was a duck dish, tied with prosciutto with my very favorite meatstuffs! Along with a few local beers, we all shared some delicious fried pickles, the duck, and a delicious beet and goat cheese salad. Between last weekend's ridiculous bonfire, the mid-week chops, and the birthday duck, it was really a culinary week to remember.
Coming up: I use some vacation days to take a long weekend in Burlington, VT and the Adirondacks!
Thinking about: timelines, personal motivation, vacation days
Reading: Michael Pollan's Second Nature, Gabriel Thompson's Working in the Shadows
Eating: most delicious pork chops, duck with redcurrant sauce, fried onions and potatoes with freshest chicken liver, perfect eggs over easy