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Food from the Garden

18 November 2009
My brother Jake and I have decided that the theme for the menu this Thanksgiving is going to be centered around the bounty that has come out of our vegetable garden.  Traditional dishes will hold on to their essence, but be livened up with complex flavors of our fresh, homegrown produce and herbs.  From Smoked Turkey with an Apple Cider Sage Gravy (my homemade apple cider) to a Jalepeno Corn medley to the previously discussed Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake, we’ll be using as many ingredients as possible from here at DPF.  I’m excited to see what complex and deep flavors paint our table this year!
The creative process of planning an event like Thanksgiving makes me want to jump up and down and start talking and never stop.  With the menu settled, I’ve begun the cooking and the baking – next is to plan the table settings and centerpieces.  Since we’re going with a garden theme, I’m thinking that tomorrow I’ll take Ellie Graye for a walk and take in the landscape and the beauty of the outdoors in the fall – and hopefully inspiration will strike!  I’m more than likely going to continue the flavor of the large scale arrangement I did for the sideboard in the living room…

Aside from taking Ellie Graye out in the morning to return some items in Sherwood, I really was in the kitchen all day.  I made butternut squash soup (Madonna’s chef Mayumi’s recipe) and the dinner rolls for next week.
While making the rolls (which took FOREVER) and the soup, an old family favorite simmered on the stove: Arlenie Beanies.  Over the years, I’ve adapted my mother’s recipe to fit my own tastes, and today I did something I had never done before: I used beans that I had grown myself!

You’ve probably noticed that I love cooking with food from just outside my door – whether it’s our own produce or from the farmer’s market.  There’s something human about it; I don’t know how else to describe it – it feels REAL.  Dishes taste better and I perceive them to be more nutritious, even if it isn’t necessarily true!  I’m sure that I’m the only one who can taste the difference, but I swear I can!  Serving a dish that is not just a labor of love from the kitchen, but from months of nurturing, caring, tending, and harvesting in the garden is intensely exciting to me.  A sense of pride wells up inside of me when I say, “This is from our garden!” I LOVE IT!


her love of pajamas…

This looks EXACTLY like my baby pictures…it’s uncanny


5 Comments to “Food from the Garden”

  1. Hey M…Frankie still on the up and up..?

  2. Oh oh oh…1 more thing…what regular Cheese cake recipe do you use….You use them for the little pumkin pies …that's the one Im talking about.. pleeeease let me know..


  3. Your Thanksgiving menu sounds delicious!
    Your little one is a cutie too.

  4. Ellie Graye is just such a little cutie pie. I can hardly stand it!

  5. Mary Stewart Anthony

    I love it and you as well as envy you. I once had a large garden with lots of veggies and flowers on Harvest St.
    Missing that like crazy. How I loved to feed the live snails to the chickens, How I loved to stomp all over enemy myself!
    You are doing what we all should be doing.
    Have a wonderful feast together of nature's bounty.

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