This is what the New York Botanical Garden looked like when I showed up to teach on Monday:
I don’t know what it looked like today because my class was canceled “due to inclement weather.” I got to spend most of the day home puttering around in the kitchen. I made a “fridge soup” using up what was in my crisper drawers and on the counter: carnival squash, turnip, onion, carrot, garlic. Blended it all up into a velvet-smooth puree with the immersion blender (if you don’t have one of these, you want one, trust me).
Then I found myself eyeballing the freezer. Hmm…strawberries and currants will be the first fruits of the season (in May-June here), so might as well use up what I’ve got. Strawberry-currant jam is one of my favorites, and also a favorite gift to give. No recipe needed: combine any quantities strawberries and currents over high heat. Cook until they are slightly runnier than your desired final consistency. Add local honey to taste.
I’ll be canning this jam to use or give later. Gotta find room for it on the shelves (or under the bed). Recently I did an interview for a magazine and they wanted me to pull out all of my jars of home-canned stuff for the photo shoot. All? No way! But I did pull out a bunch of jars. This pic taken in my kitchen/living room is by photographer Andrius Schmid :
Winter is a nice time to be a locavore if you have some food put by. Otherwise, the offerings at the farmers’ markets and winter CSA shares are fairly monotonous (mostly root vegetables and apples). But if you did preserve some food during the harvest season, there is very little food you need to buy now.
Besides the fridge soup, I’m having chicken with a white wine, shallot and mushroom sauce along with some mustard greens sauteed with garlic for dinner. The mushrooms are ones I dried last fall, the shallots, garlic and chicken from CSA, the mustard greens (also CSA) out of my freezer. The wine is a local Shinn Estate white called Coalesce. Not bad for January.
Botany, Ballet, & Dinner from Scratch: A Memoir with Recipes by Leda Meredith