Thursday, January 31, 2013

Dinner at The House of Garlic (that's us)

We only have a couple of months in which we can breathe a little more deeply, clean up the house a bit, cook and eat at a normal time instead of 9-10 pm, and also get together with friends.

Last night we had some of our 'young-new' farmer friends over for dinner. (We're also still new, but we're the 'old-new' farmers in town.) It's fun and satisfying to sit down to talk and eat together when we're not all rushed and multi-tasking at the farmers markets, comparing experiences and opinions about our practices, our mistakes, our successes, our hopes, life in general, sleep deprivation, being stuck in the mud, and the rewards that come from what we are all choosing to do. I am sure we only covered 1% of what we would have liked to talk about. I look forward to doing this again and again, with these friends and others, too.

It was a potluck dinner, we had plenty of my husband's home-brewed beer and other locally made micro-brews to drink, but here is what I served:

Skordalia, which I served this time with whole wheat sourdough bread and baby carrots as dippers instead of the more typical roasted beets (traditional Greek dish, which is essentially smashed raw garlic held together by mashed potatoes - oh my, so good!)

Main meal  
Baked salmon with garlic scapes (just put some frozen whole scapes in a baking dish, layer the salmon on top of them, add another layer of scapes, cover with foil and bake 30-40 minutes at 350 F.)

Salmon and garlic scapes, which are still a little frosty from the freezer, ready to cover with foil and bake in the oven.

Stuffed shells - add some garlic scape pesto to ricotta cheese, add 1 egg, mix well, fill shells, put a layer of your favorite pasta sauce in the dish, add the stuffed shells, cover with a bit more sauce and a sprinkle of shredded cheese

Stuffed shells with garlic scape pesto, ready to bake at 350 F. until hot throughout, 30-40 minutes

Pumpkin souffle - brought by one of my friends (I'll work on getting the recipe) - this was absolutely scrumptious!

Salad - brought by another friend who grows all these amazing baby salad greens in her hoop house to sell at local winter markets 
(no photo, I don't know why I missed it - too bad, I'm sorry - the salad was as beautiful as it was refreshing and delicious)

Assorted cookies including Garlic Cookies (yes, try them!!) with hot hibiscus tea

Garlic Cookies - don't let the mixed messages in your head scare you away from this surprisingly delicious flavor pairing!

Tonight's Food Blessing

The Blessing of God
rest upon all those who have been kind to us,
have cared for us, have worked for us, have served us,
and have shared our bread with us at this table. 
Our merciful God,
reward all of them in your own way.
For yours is the glory and honor forever. 

Saint Cyril (AD 850)

I have recently had two friends hear the horrible, heart-stopping words "You have cancer", which always causes me freeze, breathe, re-group, and then to reflect back on and re-feel my own experiences. It never ceases to cause me both amazement and anguish how those words can seem simultaneously to be both from yesterday and (almost) from a different lifespan. 

However, what I always carry with me, each and every day, even each every minute of every day, are the countless acts of kindness and caring that were shared with me and my family. I do not think we could have endured or even survived those long, long months intact physically, emotionally, or spiritually, either individually or as a family without the arms and hearts of a very extended community. 

Some of these people were long-time friends, some were an acquaintance, and some were total strangers who became dear friends. Each is special in my heart to this day. I have every hope of carrying their kindnesses and care forward to others in need of understanding, care, kindness, listening, hugs, sharing of tears, and so much more. I cannot do as much as I would like to do for each person, but I also have seen enough of life to know that none of us can ever know if our one (so) small act or prayer might be just the one tiny thread that was in the right place, with the right strength, to help hold the entire tapestry together for someone else. 

I believe the quote I used on my very first blog posting back in June 2007 perfectly articulates my thoughts here, so that seems like a fitting place to end tonight:

No one could make a greater mistake than he who
did nothing because he could only do a little.

~~ Edmund Burke (1729-1797)

Cultivate your life - you are what you grow - inch by inch, row by row,

Diana Dyer, MS, RD


mountaingirl said...

I continue to enjoy your posts, pics, and recipes!

Diana Dyer said...

Thanks, MountainGirl :) :)

Gail C. said...

Your garlic cookie recipe takes me back to childhood, when we had a Maltese family on our block. My father started the joke that they put garlic in *everything* they ate, and everyone repeated it. One day the mother of the family appeared at our door with chocolate chip cookies for my dad - chock full of garlic, of course!

Diana Dyer said...

Great story about the chocolate chip cookies with garlic. :) Garlic and chocolate are both 'health foods' so why not? I've actually already been thinking about a garlic and chocolate pairing 'tasting'!

On a more serious note, we have had a 90+ year old woman of Ukrainian heritage visit our farm to tell the story of how she and her siblings were ostracized in school because they ate garlic 'in everything'. When the influenza epidemic of 1918 came through the Detroit area, everyone in her extended family survived while there were many many empty seats in school afterwards.

She enjoyed the visit to our farm very much, and we appreciated hearing her story. Of course we sent her home with anything she wanted, wishing her many more years of enjoying garlic, good health, and quality of life! :)