Thursday, August 29, 2013

these days

These days are so very full - Sometimes in a good kind of busy way, with lots of visitors and plenty of work indoors and out. And sometimes (at the same time) in an overwhelming kind of way. I have so much catching up to do with you! Here are some recent goings-on:

We are very likely going to have a honeybee hive set up here by the end of the month! There is a local beekeeper who runs a honeybee co-op of sorts and we've joined in the endeavor. So very exciting!

The egg I thought was a duck egg was not, but this one most certainly is. It has a thicker, harder, smoother shell than the hens' eggs, and I am delighted that the ducks are laying now. We appear to have 3 girls and one curly-tailed boy.

We lost our one female turkey to a predator (bets are it was a raccoon), and decided to butcher one of the injured toms. He weighed in at a whopping 32 pounds after plucking! I spent a few hours in the kitchen with my mother-in-law, breaking down the bird, cooking a huge pot of pho (a traditional Vietnamese soup), frying up some odds and ends to eat with rice, and making plans for the rest of the meat. So much joy, working beside her and learning from her. It felt like the way things ought to be, this kind of communal kitchen work. The turkeys are oh-so-fancy and grown up now. Each day the toms strut their stuff for us, and I make sure to fuss over them, telling them how beautiful they are. Harvest time for the remaining two is nigh, and I'm really going to miss having these guys around - it's hard not to grow attached to them, as they have a way of endearing themselves to you.

Summer is flying by for me this year, with still so much warmth I want to soak up before the long winter.

I hope the last of your summer days are filled with goodness.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

kohlrabi "canh"

Canh is just a Vietnamese word for soup. This is a nice, light summer soup using whatever garden produce is available. Here's a free-form recipe of the one I made recently, which is probably my favorite way to enjoy kohlrabi:

Boil all the following ingredients until the vegetables are tender: 

-Homemade chicken or pork stock (You could use vegetable stock, too! I like a relatively clear broth for this soup, so I strain my stock well)
-Kohlrabi, peeled and cubed (include the chopped up leafy tops near the end of cooking. You could also use turnips and their tops)
-Potatoes, peeled and cubed (This addition thickens the broth a bit)
-Carrot, peeled and sliced
-Onion, cut in chunks
-Fish sauce to taste (or substitute salt)
-A little sugar to taste

Ladle over rice and enjoy.

What I particularly loved about making this canh was that everything (save for the fish sauce and sugar) was homegrown! A humble soup, but a triumph of self-sustainability. 
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