We have chores every day on a rotation. I swear Darina
Allen (founder and Grand Matriarch and Entrepreneur extraordinaire), should
write a parenting book! We all have rotating tasks that not only get the work
done, but teach us in the process the hard behind-the-scenes work of a daily culinary/hospitality
operation, and to have ownership and pride in it.
far some of my most memorable chores have been: salad making where we gather
the salad greens at 7:30 am (I spaced that one), taking all kitchen scraps out
to the chickens, setting the lunch tables, blitz/cleaning the kitchen after all
the damage from four hours of cooking has occurred, dishes after the afternoon
tasting, serving lunchor hosting and
being nice to guests, making the daily fresh lemonade, gathering herbs, and
today for me was making buttah!
So, I arrive to find Tim (Mrs. Darina) has brought me
about a quart of heavy cream from the morning’s milking of the Jerseys. Now it
goes in one of manys (they don’t have KitchenAids.. they have … ) Kenmores (and
I don’t think it has anything to do with Sears). Then you basically beat the “H”
out of it until it separates into granules. Next you rinse it until the water
runs clear and let it drain for the next two hours. Salt is added at the ratio
of 2% of the total weight of the butter. However, I wanted to make it a fresh
butter (won’t keep) and so I added just a gentle amount of English Sea
Salt.Next you get out the “butter
paddles” (boards ridged on one side), and roll balls of butter. So zennnnnn.
And very satisfying. I dare say more than a few folks chose my butter balls at
Simple… natural … why don’t we do it for ourselves? How
many of our children/ grandchildren/ nieces and nephews even know where butter
One thing I’m finding, living closer to the food supply,
is that smaller amounts of really good stuff satisfies much more completely
with less bulk. Are we starving for our sources?... and so instead eat and
drink to satisfy an elusivehunger?
I look out on the harbor every day … and it is enough.
The TV is silent. Our music is the song of the birds and the howl of the
coastal storms. It is enough.
In two weeks I’ll have a comprehensive test on everything
I’ve learned (or was supposed to learn so far): techniques in the kitchen, herb
and spice identification and uses, and what’s growing on the grounds .. both
wild and intended.I’m feeling good about
most cooking techniques (though I’m a little dicey on jointing the chicken and
getting the “oyster” in … and fileting a fish -- we’ve learned the round fish..
next is the flat fish). Herbs and spices I know… but seeing all the different
lettuces (or “leaves” as they say here), are a bit baffling, and yet foraged greens
are slowly making their way into my bones.
Where do I take this? What do I do with all that I am
learning? Can I drink in every moment without getting lost in the details?