roasted carrot ginger turmeric soup & dukah

I’ve got a new gig I’m loving. We are finishing up the second month of Star Route Kitchen food club. We’re preparing and delivering from scratch, whole food menus to a handful of Orcas Island residents. Check out my new Star Route Kitchen page where you can get some ideas of your own for plan ahead foods to have for the week.

We are currently in R&D mode these last few months of the year. I’m asking for feedback on recipes, logistics of packaging and delivering and getting my cooking chops back on track. Chloe and I are having a blast on Mondays cooking and on Tuesdays delivering. We may add next year, a second menu option such as anti-inflammatory or something in that direction. The goal, in season at least, is to use our garden goods and island farm produce and stay on the wonderful trend that has been happening… Keeping it local. And I clearly state that is not exclusive. I will buy from around the world but always organic when available. The food that leaves my kitchen is the quality of the food we eat at home and my standards are high.

Last week,  this  carrot, ginger, turmeric soup with a coconut milk and veggie stock base rocked. Not to toot my own horn… or Ollie’s (my  awesome, jazz trumpet playing husband for any new readers). It was warming and tasty especially with the Dukah we made to garnish it. And here I added a little goat yogurt.

There are of course many recipes available and I researched and tweaked about four of them into my own but primarily the NYT cooking one.

roasted carrot ginger turmeric soup

  • Servings: 4-6
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*Note: Allow yourself to taste and tweak!

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds of carrots- the younger the better
  • 2 TB of olive oil
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 1 TB fresh turmeric, peeled and chopped (about 1 inch)
  • 1 TB fresh ginger, pealed and chopped (about 2 inch)- have more ready if you like it strong
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced or microplane
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
  • 2 quarts of vegetable stock
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • juice of 1 lime (more to taste)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • -DUKAH:
  • ½ cup roasted hazelnuts finely chopped
  • 3 T roasted pistachios finely chopped
  • 3 T sesame seeds
  • 1 T cumin seed
  • 1 T coriander seed
  • 1 tsp fennel seed
  • 1 tsp zaatar
  • dash of salt and pepper if desired

Directions

  • Wash, trim, peel carrots and cut into 4-6 inch pieces for roasting.
  • Toss in olive oil, lightly salt and roast at 400° till soft and lightly browned (approximately 20-30 minutes).
  • Peel and chop garlic, turmeric and ginger.
  • Place 2 TB of coconut oil in a large soup pot.
  • Add onion and celery and sauté until translucent- about 5-8 minutes.
  • Add ginger, turmeric,garlic and cook for a minute or two until the fragrance is wafting through the kitchen.
  • Mix in roasted carrots.
  • Add vegetable stock and coconut milk.
  • Bring to a simmer then turn the heat to low
  • Remove from the stove and cool enough so you can put it in the blender.
  • In small batches, puree in the blender and set aside till all is pureed then put it back in the pot. Thin with more stock if needed.
  •  

    -Dukah:

  • Lightly crush coriander, cumin and fennel seed in a mortar with pestle
  • Place coriander and cumin together with the rest of the ingredients. Garnish soup and eat on everything!

There are TONS of versions of Dukah. You can read about it at the Kitchn. I really liked mine here. We’ve been eating it on everything and sometimes I just eat it out of my hand.

This roasted carrot soup could be very nice for Thanksgiving if you’re into soups on Turkey Day. Which I’m not. But I could see it the day after for it’s cleansing and digestive properties. Like after I ate my leftover turkey cranberry sandwich with a ridiculous amount of mayo.

Whether you celebrate the ritual of Thanksgiving or not I hope you relish in giving thanks.

 

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New gardens

We’ve had a busy summer- what’s new? That’s a rhetorical question! Along with completing the new barn which I’ll detail in a future post, we did massive amounts of clearing including the east and south side of our house.

We’ve got a pretty sweet landscape set up in the front (north side) and a back patio on the east but there were areas that we just basically never got to in the last twenty years. It’s been really amazing getting so much light on the south side. duh. Having built our home twenty years ago, I think partly the trees have grown a lot and partly I didn’t know better when siting the house.

Here’s our back porch on the east side- above the stonewall is a cover crop of buckwheat.

Our plan is to do raised beds and bring the kitchen garden, well, closer to the kitchen! Like out the back door. I’d love to see this happen next year but it will depend on the soil condition. We may have to ‘grow” soil the first year.

Here’s the ‘before’ from the upstairs back porch.

And the after…

There are patches of buckwheat that haven’t grown well due to root systems and parts do to the back scratching on the ground  of pictured pooch. Ollie’s studio would be to the left of this photo.

Ollie’s studio

Here’s a glimpse of our kitchen windows and the studio where all the music magic happens.

The backdrop is called Mt Pickett

We are developing the south side as well which will be primarily fruit trees of various sorts.

Before looked like this after felling about five trees of varying height.

It was a rather emotional watching the clearing. Otis wasn’t too disturbed however.

But the payoff is light, air and planting fruit trees we can pick from in our pj’s.

And from above- not as bright a day:)

 And a photo from the west side. I’d love to create gardens all around with lovely nooks and pathways. Then I am gently reminded by my loved one to be careful what you wish for and what you create as it will need to be nurtured and maintained. We are already nurturing quite a lot on this property. Ourselves included.
 Downstairs here on the left is Chloe’s room which may evolve into a rentable room for farm stay adventures. I imagine a darling courtyard for sipping tea and daydreaming on flowers and fruits.
Something like what’s happening on the north side which is our entry. My dear daughter, Chloe landscaped this summer and we reaped the benefits.

And our kitty Luna likes to daydream in gardens too- and catnap.
Now the rains may have set in… there are very few apples this year so likely little in the way of cider, cider vinegar or applesauce. Quel dommage…

but I’m already planning for next year’s gardens.

wendy

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Summer salads

It’s so summer. I could almost say the hottest, driest summer I can remember. It’s been roughly 6 weeks that have reminded me of  growing up in Florida where virtually everyday the sun rises and stays out shining hot. Except here it’s about 70 degrees instead of 90. I’ll take it.

We earned it here in the PNW. I didn’t get the garden in till the third week of May because it was so wet. The four leggers and 2 leggers were slopping around in mud pretty much till the end of May.

Our four goat mama’s  cranked out three sets of triplets and one set of twins. We had a full house with 11 kids and 4 moms. And so we are building a new BARN. Ollie is so supportive of this venture- it also gives his farming roots a chance to grow and thrive…  The boat and/or sports car has been bumped to the next decade:)

We (well they) will be moving in by September and we’ll be ready to bring on the winter.

wendyellenthomas.com

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goat kids on the move!

It’s a sweet time on the farm when the kids are due. Anticipation, nervousness, excitement join to form a feeling that sort of keeps you on edge, and a little bit holding your breath and not realizing it. I actually start looking at photos of baby goats from the previous year. I’m constantly in the barn monitoring (but not sleeping there like some with many, many goats) I check the kidding kit and track down missing parts or say pull the same snot sucker, (baby nasal aspirator) thing from the bathroom drawer that I had used for my kids 20 years ago. This is still only our third year and I’ve not needed it previously but maybe this time. Our does have mostly done it all themselves with only a little assistance for a couple and they’ve all been born healthy.

Especially with social media, I see I’m not alone in this just post empty nest time. I love being a mom and in some little way I get to help “mother” the kids:) They can’t help but fill your heart. Their trust, vulnerability and curiosity are powerful. And it’s just plain fun and so amusing. Holding a baby goat brings you very much into the present and just gives you a moment to step outside of a sometimes crazy world.  I’m grateful we have the opportunity to experience this process and share it with others. We’ve so enjoyed all the visitors the last two weeks.  We are grateful for another successful kidding season with 11 out of 11 strong, healthy kids. And we will be looking for new homes in the near future!

So let’s get to it…There’s a lot of goat kid cuteness all over the web- here is what we have to add.

First to give birth on April 3rd was Dinah our Lagerian (they don’t have their own wikipedia link). She’s a cross between a La Mancha who have the elf or gopher ear trait(we call them all nubby ears) and a Nigerian Dwarf. You hope for the butterfat of the Nigerian with a little larger size/milk capacity of the La Mancha who also have very sweet personalities.  She kidded, cleaned them and they were nursing by the time we saw them. She’s like that.

With her buckling Duffy.

goat kids

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farm update- kids are coming (goats that is)

We are on our second day of sun. Well, dry and partly sun at least. It has been a very long rainy season- like for reals not just “seems like the wettest year EVER!” We have all been sloshing through mud and we are over it. #Mudzen.

Here’s a glimpse of most of the farm fam… Click here to see where this began.

#starrouteorcas

Add some chickens in there and our land mates’ Blue Healer, Jasper.

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Carrot, ginger, turmeric, cashew smoothie

AKA  “Golden Bliss smoothie” – thought I should just say what it is straight off there in the title but I like Golden Bliss:)

We’ve been drinking this colorful, energy packed smoothie many a winter morning and straight on into spring. It’s packed with protein,  immune boosting and  anti-inflammatory properties.

I could drink it everyday because it tastes so damn good but we alternate with the berry spinach smoothie. The carrot conversation was happening for me as we (me again at least) have been influenced by media that carrots are high sugar (albeit natural) and carbs and then the Glycemic Index (GI) gets thrown in there and that sounds serious. In the last decade research on not only GI is readily available but also GL- Glycemic Load- which is how the body processes the food. It’s similar with our cholesterol scores. You’ve got to read the fine print- HDL LDL and ratio… Here are a couple links to check out on GI and GL  …..  TTYL (just kidding).

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White Kimchi with Pear & Fennel

Inspired by the fermenting demo at 610 Magnolia with Chef Edward Lee, I made this white kimchi with pear and fennel within days of returning home from the IACP conference in Louisville. It’s loosly based on the recipe from Smoke and Pickles by Edward Lee.

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Salmon Poke at home

As previously mentioned in my last post on the UCLA writers program, I ate poke from Sweetfin everyday. One day I also ate it at The Poke Bar (no beating around the bush)- . Also very good but I liked the base of kelp noodles at Sweetfin… and the name.

My poke bowl

salmon-poke-8It’s not like poke is a terribly new thing. It’s been a Hawaiin staple for ions and it often appears on Japanese restaurant menus . Read what Seattle Eater has to say and follow to their site for poke findings in Seattle.

“Poke comes from the Hawaiian word for “to slice or cut,” and most commonly uses ahi tuna as its base, but it can include any fish, crustacean, or even land animal. Poke is often drizzled in sesame and sometimes gains a savory flavor from inamona, a relish of Hawaiian native kukui nut (candlenut), macadamia nuts, sesame seeds, and other seasonings.”

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UCLA extension writers’ program

I spent Feb 9-12th in LA for a craft and courage writing class taught by Barbara Abercombrie at the UCLA extension Writers Program. She and the twelve people in the class took me and “my writing” I will say with confidence,  to another level. I am not shy to say it was for me more about the courage than the craft. Which I might think for many is a major hurdle. We often, undeservedly, call it a hobby.

writer-studio-signBarbara hit the nail on the head for me.”Coin or stamp collecting is a hobby, writing is a calling” And this isn’t to get all dramatic but writing can be almost this secret that you keep to yourself.  I’m not sure where it falls in the realm of passions such as gardening or cooking. Do we call those hobbies? Is meditation a hobby? Do we choose not to validate writing if it doesn’t earn money? Maybe it’s because writing is something we (I) can spend a fair amount of time on and there is no basket of greens and strawberries or a meal on the table as proof of my labors. Writing doesn’t often produce a tangible thing- at least not something you want to share. Maybe writing along with the meditation is increasing my gray matter!

Cue blog. I’m bumping up its priority in my life once again.

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#Womensmarch Orcas Island

I started to write a post on spaghetti squash, feta and sausage but had a hard time wrapping my head around food after such a monumental weekend. #womensmarch

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I haven’t done any blog reading the last three days and haven’t taken a pulse of blogs and politics. At least with the food and garden bloggers I follow. I’m sure there are countless political blog posts and I will be honest in saying I don’t follow many… ok – any. I read NYTimes online and I try to stay informed. And a visit to my Dad, who lives in a cabin on our property where MSNBC runs virtually 24/7, provides a strong dose of information.

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