Week 44, 2021｜Kristin Kimball｜November 5, 2021
First freeze this week, and the frost is still painting the shadows white right now as I type, in late morning. The big rain last weekend shifted the Boquet River from 150 cubic feet per second to 3500 cubic feet per second when it peaked at midnight on Halloween. This is to say, the long stretch of soft fall weather is over, at least for now. Everyone worked really hard to prepare for cold and rain, and got bales staged in the field before it hit so we could quickly rotate the animals without damaging the wet fields. The end of the carrot harvest came in just as the rain began, and all the vegetables that were vulnerable to the cold have been harvested for storage. The normal work continues, with garlic planting on the near horizon and a flood of fresh dairy cows in the barn. We’re continuing our experiment with raising dairy heifers on their mamas and It’s a joy to see the newest pairs learning the routine at milking time, calves resting in front of their mothers’ stanchions.
It was our 18th farm anniversary this week, on November 1st. This date always feels more significant to me than our wedding anniversary, not in an anti-romantic way but because once you’ve committed to a farm together, the rest feels pretty simple. Thank you to the amazing members who have been with us since that very first year. You were pioneers when this was just a crazy idea, and have supported the farm through all its growth and changes.
I was driving to Plattsburgh to pick up tractor tires on Tuesday afternoon when a deer leapt onto the hood of my car just two miles from home. I watched it happen in slow motion, the deer’s sudden appearance on the tarmac, then the elegant limbs launching its large body into the air, impossibly close, then the thud of impact, and, in my rear view mirror, the sight of the deer twisting overhead, thrown high off the slope of the windshield. Unbelievably, the deer was nowhere to be found later, and must have managed to walk off into the woods. The car did not fare as well. The hood is crushed, the radiator shot, and the lights broken, but I’m fine. It was my first deer wreck, which is pretty good for 18 years in the North Country.
Best thing in our kitchen this week has been chicken liver pate on slices of toasted homemade bread. It was so good I vow to always have a jar of fresh pate in the fridge as long as we have chicken livers, ready for guests, snacktime or an easy appetizer. I linked to a recipe a few weeks ago but here’s my current adaptation:
- 1 pint chicken livers
- 1 onion very thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic put through a press
- 2 bay leaves and a few sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup butter, room temperature
- 4 T some sort of alcohol – scotch, bourbon, cognac, brandy, or slightly reduced wine
- Salt and pepper to taste
Simmer the livers, onion, garlic, bay, thyme and a fat pinch of salt in the water, stirring, until the livers are just barely pink inside, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover and let stand 5 minutes. Drain. Remove the bay leaf and thyme. Using an immersion blender or food processor, blend livers, onion, and garlic until smooth. Add the alcohol, blending, and then the butter, a little at a time. Add salt and pepper to taste, then refrigerate until firm.
Speaking of recipes, our member Mina Stone has a gorgeous new cookbook out. Check it out here. Congratulations Mina and we can’t wait to cook some of these delicious things.
Heads up that for Thanksgiving week we will have your delivered shares arriving a day early — Monday and Tuesday instead of Tuesday and Wednesday. Local pick up stays the same, but we will try to keep things stocked all week in case you need to come by for extras. And that’s the news from Essex Farm for this crisp 43rd week of 2021. Find us at 518-963-4613, firstname.lastname@example.org, or on the farm, any day but Sunday.
-Kristin & Mark Kimball