This meal was a long time in the making. Months!
I was a studio art major in college, and I stuck basically with two dimensions because the priest who taught the ceramics and sculpture department was terribly intimidating. Ever since then, I have been a frustrated potter! I finally tapped the urge last summer and took my first ceramics class at the local museum. It’s been a blast, most especially because I AM AWFUL. Truly. Being absolutely bad at something yet still being able to enjoy myself immensely…all new territory for me. No perfectionism, no fear of failure: embrace the suck! It is so liberating!
My first teacher asked us what we were expecting to achieve in her class. “Making a cassole,” I said, when it was my turn.
I never did accomplish that, so I bribed my second teacher into making one for me. Although he didn’t completely follow my exacting instructions, it’s a beautiful pot. And tonight’s meal? Cassoulet, bien sur.
- Four-bean, three-meat Cassoulet: King of the Garden Limas, Henderson’s Bush Limas, Scarlet Runner beans, and flageolets precooked with a smoked ham hock from Providence Farms, a Lancelot leek, garlic, and bouquet garni (even the bay leaves were local). Seared, smoked duck legs and breast from our farm. Potato sausage from my friend’s farm smoked with the Easter ham in our smoker (his potatoes, pig, salt/pepper)
- Sorrel Soup (sorrel, homemade chicken stock, carrots, potato onions, a potato, a bit of garlic, finished with goat milk)
- Leek galette (galette dough: home-ground flour from Ferris Organics wheat berries, Creswick Farms lard; one monster Bleu de Solaize leek sauteed first in bacon grease)
- Greenhouse salad (mache, spinach, kale, lettuces, green onions, shallots and garlic croutons from Friday’s bread; homemade buttermilk dressing
- Apple galette (our apples, the above galette dough, nonlocal spices, Michigan sugar)
- Local wine, a lot of it!
Served on my own dishes and bowls and wineglasses. How’s that for homemade??