Reserves and Renewal
January is always an interesting time of year both personally and professionally. Year-end projects and tasks are gaining closure, tax time is approaching, and resolutions are fresh in mind. Good habits like saving money and exercise tend to get more of our attention, giving a sense of focus and clarity as we decrease our appetites after the excess during the holidays. And on the food front, when trying to eat locally, we are tapping reserves–be that storage crops, frozen foods, or canned items.
What I find most enjoyable about this time of year is that I tend to savor my food more, because I am in fact trying to eat less of it. I also cherish the warmth and creativity that can be had from menu planning, given the parameters of the season. In addition to lots of braising, soups and stews, we have been enjoying more Japanese food lately thanks to a cookbook I found at Backstreet Beat, a used vinyl and book store in downtown Winslow (it’s one of those places that’s an anecdote to modern life–like a human reset button).
With the focus on Japanese food, I discovered a festival that seems wonderfully well-suited for January. It’s called the Festival of Seven Herbs, celebrated on January 7 in Japan. The festival focuses on a seven herb rice soup that is light and simple fare as a cleanse in the new year, but one that also includes nutrition and incorporates the few greens that are in season this time of year in Japan: water dropwort, shepherd’s purse, cudweed, chickweed, nipplewort, turnip and radish. This is clearly a soup that can and should be adapted to whatever greens and herb are on hand. Apparently this festival has been around since ancient times and includes a chant while facing “the good luck direction” that roughly translates to: before the birds of the continent fly to Japan let’s get our seven herbs.
While intriguing, we haven’t yet had this soup at our house, because it seems too light to satisfy even our diminished appetites in January. This seems like a telling fact that we could learn a great deal from . . . but doesn’t this issue’s recipe sound good?!
In other news, our store hours have changed to Thursday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. for the winter. We thank you for fitting us into your schedule. And as there is less abundance this time of year, including eggs because of the lack of light, we also understand the need to hoard food. But in all seriousness we ask that you limit yourselves to 2 dozen eggs per person since they are so coveted and sell out so fast. In less seriousness, we ask that you also limit yourself to 30 lbs of sausage and 50 lbs of winter squash and 200 Heyday t-shirts.
Our pork is fabulous and it’s total convenience food. Please get your daily helpings of sausage, bacon, pork chops and more. See our fresh list for a complete list of the bounty. Our Farm Store at Lynwood Center on Bainbridge Island is open year-round, Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Join us for an upcoming event (as soon as we populate the calendar in the midst of transitions) or schedule your own. We also have lovely rooms for rent both on the farm and at Lynwood Center above our Farm Store. We offer a stunning location and the freshest, local and seasonal food around.