Reflecting on a Year of Farm-Fresh Food
If you were to wander into the fields of Red Dog Farm you’d probably hear us talking about food. Yes, obviously, we talk about food all the time. We grow food, after all. But we also cook a lot of food, partially because of our access to some of the best produce in the world, and also because we love to eat.
I’m currently in my last week of work at Red Dog, after 2 great seasons here. My heart is filled with so much love and pride for the work I’ve done here. I’m so grateful for the mentorship and friendship, and I’ll remember this time forever as being powerfully formative. I will also remember, perhaps equally as fondly, the many delicious meals I’ve made with Red Dog produce. Our vegetables taste really, really good, and the satisfaction of creating a meal entirely from food that you’ve grown from start to finish adds a special taste that can’t be described.
Early in the spring, when only the bravest shoots are showing themselves, I always make a creamy fettucine pasta with bacon, steamed fava beans, overwintered parsley, and fresh, young pea shoots. It’s a deliciously rich and surprisingly fresh meal. I love the first salad mix after the winter, drizzled with buttermilk dressing or garnishing a creamy bowl of potato leek soup. The arrival of green onions, bok choi, and spinach always reminds me it’s time to make potstickers with beef, ginger, soy, and spicy garlic dipping sauce. Green cabbage makes the first sauerkraut, while red cabbage is braised with honey and apple cider vinegar to make Rotkohl. Both cabbages join smashed new butterball potatoes, a bratwurst or two, and big dollops of spicy mustard and apple sauce for a nostalgic favorite. And then tomatoes show up. From then on, it’s salsa on everything. Romaine lettuce is quartered and thrown on the grill, drizzled with Caesar dressing, shaved parmesan, and squeezed lemon. The peak season hunger and long nights demand slow cooked tomato sauce, thick with onions, garlic, carrots, celery, and fresh parsley.
Sometimes, the veggies don’t even make it out of the field. We eat raw sweet corn in the field during our break, sweet juice dripping down our chins. Tomatoes are eaten like peaches, still warm from the vine. Watermelons are chilled down at lunch and carved into thick, cool, slices. Before long, we start harvesting winter squash, and I roast delicatas drizzled with butter and brown sugar. Fall is filled with roasted potatoes with rosemary, cider-braised leeks and carrots nestled under a crispy roasted chicken, and almost every week, a crew member brings in a pumpkin creation.
I have thousands of fond memories of Red Dog Farm. The crew is wonderful, the farm is beautiful, and perhaps most importantly, our food is so good! Enjoy!