Monday, September 21, 2009
Vertical Integration - if you've been within a few hundred yards of business school you know this term. In this case, a fancy -schmancy way to say we're growing, preparing, cooking, and serving the food you see here.
My mom has grown vegetables in the family back yard for a long time. One of my summer jobs, when I was 16, was close enough to the house that I could drive home at lunchtime. I would come home, eat lunch, and help my mom pick green beans. I don't remember what I ate for lunch, but I remember picking those green beans, knowing we were going to enjoy them that evening. With the sun on my back, my mom, and our little dog, "Whiskey", snuffing 'round our heels all the while. Mip, our orange tiger cat, also known as "Mr. Soob", was probably somewhere around too, but he was a hunterly type when he was outside, and didn't want much to do with me except when he was sleeping on my bed. Split personality, that Mip.
So my mom has been growing vegetables almost her entire life, and this year, my dad got in on it too (other than rototilling and helping my mom, he was never that into planting and harvesting...until now.) At the shore, this year, my dad went on a root vegetable kick. Potatoes and carrots! I added some tomatoes and pepper plants. The soil at the shore is beautifully sandy. Perfect for growing root vegetables.
Yesterday, Nick and I went on a 11 mile kayak trip, and we were gone all day, so quickly, it was time for dinner. So I went out back to the vegetable patch, and dug up these.
The potatoes are divine. Thin skinned. Floury. Taste like good New Jersey sand. In all the best ways. The carrots are a little long in the tooth, so we can not eat them raw. But cooked. That's another story. So I peeled and sliced the carrots and potatoes, parboiled them in salted water... then drained them, put them in a well buttered pan (we call this skillet the 'artery' pan) with some parsley, thyme, and chives, also from the garden. Baked at 375 for about 30 minutes. Sweet, root vegetable goodness.
Meanwhile, I did a sliced cherry tomato salad with basil. Dressed with salt, pepper, red wine vinegar (would have used balsamic, but we didn't have any) and a little oil.
With a turkey burger from the grill, Nick and I had a stylin' din-din. After all, we'd earned it!