Dark days, week 17

All that’s left is soup for today

Two more weeks in the Challenge!  And I am beginning to see the end of the Dark Days, myself; harbingers of spring are everywhere around me now.  There’s no denying it (and Daylight Savings helps).

This week’s meal was fairly boring, but:  if my husband and daughter had their way, we would have this every. single. day. and not just every week.  And excepting the flour in the bread, everything else was grown and raised on this little piece of land of ours.  We had a friend over and there was much wine involved so no photos were taken of the spread itself; luckily, dinner tonight is soup from last night’s carcass…all the better to cure the hangover I truly have right now.  Ay.


  • Butternut squash soup (one squash, one onion, our herbs)
  • Garlic-roasted chicken (our bird, garlic, and herbs)
  • Roasted root vegetables (carrots, turnips, beets, leeks from the greenhouses)
  • Mashed potatoes with chives and pan gravy (Burbank potatoes, garlic and regular chives, our milk(!); our cider vinegar to deglaze the pan; flour from Ferris Organics)
  • Whole-wheat sourdough bread (Ferris Organics hard red spring flour, my starter)

7 responses to “Dark days, week 17

  1. yum yum yum yum yum

    dark days are indeed almost over – I have radish sprouts an inch tall – only three weeks until radishes!

  2. You might think about raising your own grain. Gene Lodgson, of The Contrary Farmer, among other titles, wrote a book in the seventies (I think) called “Small Scale Grain Raising” and it’s in print again (I was so glad because I actually contemplated nipping the library’s copy because used copies of the first, and then, only edition were going for $70!). In it he insists that you can grow quite a bit of grain in a fairly small space.

    If you grew your own grains, then everything for your meals could come from your lot. I thought about it for a long time and planned to do it, except that we’ve recently figured out that my husband can’t handle grains! But were I to grow grains, wheat specifically, I would get the Country Living mill because beside grinding flour, you can also crack grain with it, which I would want for the chickens.

    Anyway- the book is very useful- has all the growing, harvesting, threshing, winnowing, and grinding instructions, and recipes besides. You might borrow it from your library and see if you like it.

    And I don’t think I comment on them, but your menus always sound awesome.

  3. and… in a few years(?!), it might just be YOUR wine too. Think about that!

  4. Oh, hangovers aren’t fun at all. And I barely drink, but the last time I did, I was out cold with one.

    The soup sounds terrific. I’ve got to eat my squash.

  5. El, you have kicked the Dark Days Challenge’s butt straight back to winter, and proven beyond any doubt that one can eat locally and gloriously right through the winter in the North…well, if you call Zone 6B “the North”…(!)

    Y’rs~ Brett

  6. Aimee, yay! I plant radishes for that reason alone; nobody ever eats them. But I noticed you posted about kimchee today; they’re fab in kimchee.

    Paula (check) grains are on the This Year list. Thanks for the Lodgson book link! I grew a bit of hulless oats last year, that was fun. But honestly growing grain too is really going to set me to crying Uncle so Tom said he would take it on, especially the goat- and bunny-friendly alfalfa. But, truth be told, my goal this year? 100% Homegrown Pizza, With Wine. I looked into the Country Living mill too but gladly accepted an electric one (the K-Tec Kitchen Mill) for Xmas; it’s great! it does beans too and so I am a new/huge fan of garbanzo flour. But yeah, I have seen cheap simple hand-cranked mills at our antique store and I might invest to grind out stuff for the chickies.

    Sylvie, I am hoping THIS year. I still look at all the fruit I froze last summer and think, can I use that, like, now? 😉

    Stef, ack. I was so overserved, not funny. Bad. Bad me! And guess who likes squash? Our goat! So, hah, I find I don’t need to foist it all on my family 😀

    Brett, it would be more of a push, it’s quite true, if I didn’t have these big bubbles of plastic in the Side 40. As it is, well, soup’s up! And every year I find more and more things that will grow all year in them…it is certainly lots of fun. But if I could accomplish that in 4B then I wouldn’t have moved!

  7. Pingback: Dark Days 09/10 :: Week #17 Recap (Midwest, West) « (not so) Urban Hennery

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