Sunday, February 21, 2010

A universe of stars-a field of suns

Last week I learned that it is, in fact, possible to see more of Orion than just his belt. Lying upside down on the deck of the Green String schoolhouse, three of us interns shared a moment of clarity and saw Orion in his entirety for the first time. Meanwhile, as Lansing Christman describes, in the fields around us there is blooming "another universe of stars, a slope of blossoms". The flowers are coming out one by one, creating new constellations in the fields and trees, and it is a very beautiful time at the farm.

We interns had a great week, starting with a wine tasting session with the Cline/ Jacuzzi Director of Winemaking, Charlie Tsegeletos. Next came a visit to a couple-thousand-year-old bay tree during a class on tree surgery.

But the highlight of the week came on Saturday, when, after a long and harsh winter deprived of blood-red root vegetables, we harvested BEETS for our Winter Harvest Dinner with Petaluma Mentor Me. Kids, mentors, and interns all had a blast harvesting vegetables and salad greens, then chopping, cooking, and enjoying a lovely winter's feast. Hearty food and much merriment was shared, culminating in what you may call a bit of a barn dance.

Did I mention we had beets? That brings me to the official recipe selection of the week. Hailing from the dark, dark, sasquatch-laden forests of the far northwest (Seattle), I give you:

"Back to Your Roots Cookies"

Things you will need:

1 cup Butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup cooked, mashed beets (or carrots!)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cardamom

Things you will need to do:

Preheat oven to 350 F. In a bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Then mix in your mashed beets (or carrots!), egg, and vanilla, and set aside. In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cardamom. Add the dry ingredients to the beet mixture and blend thoroughly. Drop by heaping teaspoons onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 20 minutes or until the top is slightly soft and the bottoms are beginning to brown. Makes about 30 small-ish to medium-ish, beautiful red cookies.

* To add a little something-something, I mixed in some chocolate chips with the dough. Probably about a third of a package, so the chocolate does not take center stage but still says hello.



  1. Big huge thanks to all the interns for Saturday's event. You guys ROCK! You were so wonderful with the kids and us mentors. The kids had such an incredible time. My mentee even ate some vegetables, which aren't on his list of things to eat! He enjoyed being out in the field harvesting. I appreciate you giving the kids the opportunity to experience where their food comes from. I look forward to my next time shopping there. It will be a completely different experience now.

  2. Yum, Eric B!! This sound DEEEE-licious!

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