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  • Julie


Sun is up, Gus is down, kettle is on for a round of earl grey I intend to regret in a few hours. I'm in a rotten habit of late beds and early rises, and so am propping myself up on too many teas and coffees as any dedicated-though-lightweight stimulant junkie would. Also see: incorrigible woman refuses bed in favor of listening to Wilco in the half light of the day's end; claims it to be Essential Soul Business.

This evening Gus snipped the season's first wild chives. We bathed them in kefir, horseradish, and ACV; we rejoiced over their spicy return. Years ago wild chives were the very first thing we ate from our land and every spring we anticipate their emergence with the decorum of an amorous cow. Have you not recently seen (or, heard) an amorous cow, think: wild, loud, and lusty danger. Months of snow and California grown greens will put even the most poised homesteader into a wild chives induced heat, of that I'm sure. When Gus returned from his harvest, his hands and mouth thick with the stuff, he asked: how do we know the dogs didn't pee on these?? Hmm.. Certainly nothing is sacred to our mutts, not even the exalted chive, but love is love is love, even in cases of probable dog pee. We rinsed and rolled the dice.


adapted from In My Kitchen by Deborah Madison

Recently I've been cooking pretty heavily from Deborah Madison's new cookbook, In My Kitchen. I've started a local cookbook club, following in the footsteps of my friend Sarah*, and In My Kitchen is our first book to tackle. I've always loved Deborah Madison's approach to food and her title Local Flavors is likely the most dog-eared cookbook in my collection. She's my vegetable queen and I love her, perhaps even more so now. This kefir sauce below is adapted from a yogurt sauce she pairs with braised leeks, mushrooms, and cabbage in IMK. In LF she has a similar dish (or did I just cook them similarly because I'm so familiar with the other recipe?) that serves up braised cabbage, kale, and white beans. The latter is something we often enjoy in winter months but somehow the hybrid of the two that Gus and I made tonight was much lighter. Maybe it's that deliciously tangy wild chive kefir sauce spooned on top.

1 heaping cup of kefir (heaps happen when you're 6 1/2, you know)

4 teaspoons chopped wild chives

3 heaping teaspoons prepared horseradish

pinch of salt

a half slosh of ACV (which I believe to be somewhere in the neighborhood of 1/2 teaspoon)

As simple as, Combine and Whisk. Though, should you have an ardent whisker on staff, I do recommend choosing a vessel whose capacity isn't nearly reached when all ingredients are married. No one looks respectable when licking slopped kefir sauce from the counter.

Enjoy: slathered on raw veg, spooned over braised veg, straight to the mouth when no one is looking.

*Speaking of new cookbooks, Sarah just came out with one as well! Feeding a Family is *beautiful*. Matte pages (the only way, if you ask me), written/photographed/cooked on an island I love, and full of recipes that just get me. I so look forward to really digging into it. Sweet Pea Oven Risotto, I'm coming for ya; Frozen Peaches and Cream Cake: see you this summer. So much love and many congrats, Sarah! xx



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