Fleeting Mojo Restoration

It was such a pleasure to be home for a few days in a row; I got to settle in to the rhythms of the garden and kitchen, where the plants tell me what to eat and I can generate leftovers that inform and give depth to subsequent meals. It also meant that I could finally make another big crock of kimchi, since our Asian cabbages are getting huge. This batch was cabbage, carrots, chioggia beets, radishes, baby red onions, both lime and Thai basil, and a cayenne pepper from last summer.

As far as dinner went, this time around it was the first of our peas that gave me the idea, as well as some stray chard that I pulled out of the carrot bed while I was weeding. I remembered the crabmeat in the freezer- crab and peas are genius together- and the smoked duck carcass needed to be brothed. So I cooked a bundle of udon in the strained duck broth until it was almost tender, then added peas, shredded beet greens, crab, and a beaten egg to it at a bare simmer for a couple of minutes. As a garnish, I sautéed the beet stems in a little homemade bacon fat from the jar.

On the side, I made a nice little bowl of the cabbage that wouldn’t fit in the fermenting crock braised with lardons of our beloved magic sex bacon and cider vinegar. Tangy, rich, and tender, it was great by itself and even better stirred into the soup. I opened another of the Jack Blot Vouvrays, and it was pretty damn perfect. I wish I had more; there’s only one left.

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I'm a painter who happens to also spend a lot of time growing, making, and writing about food. I'm particularly interested in the intersection of frugal peasant cooking techniques and haute improvisation. And I have a really great personality.

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