Monday, May 31, 2010

Food, Food, Everywhere

You know that feeling of when you have so many things to do that you actually end up putting them off more just because of their daunting number? I sit here with writer's block because of that exact reason. It is not the fact that I have nothing to share with you, but TOO many things to share. I will try to survey them as efficiently as possible, with pictures doing most of the work (since I know you like looking at those more than the words anyway, ha!).

First, there's the new block of peaches. After many PVC pipes, cans of primer and glue, rolls of drip tubing, digging, leveling, micro-sprinkler construction, and final installation, these hundreds of newbie peach trees will now be happily spritzed with H20 throughout the hot, dry summer.

Then, of course, there's the garden plot. After our last full till, we headed out to survey the rows and create the beds. Hooray for tractors, spray paint, and long rolls of tape! We're looking to seed by the end of this week. First, lots of manicuring and raking.

And now, onto the feasts. And in this case, I literally mean Feast, a Buffalo one that is. The Colorado Culinary School of the Rockies in Boulder now comes to the North Fork Valley every year for their 'Farm to Table' segment of their curriculum (something, in my opinion, that should be a part of every culinary program). Their first main event was held at a Buffalo ranch where the meat was prepared three ways; braised brisket, short ribs, and grilled sirloin steaks. And that was just the meat...

The brisket was braised with caramelized onions, rosemary, sour cherries, and rhubarb.

Sorry Billy, but your brother tastes delicious!

The ranch also raises elk. Perfectly cooked seared elk tenderloin, on thinly sliced toasted baguette with a skim of dijon mustard. Perhaps my favorite item of the evening.

Housemade Focaccia

Puff pastry, sauteed local spinach with local goat cheese

Apple tarte tatin, rhubard cobbler, and a chocolate truffle.
The rhubarb cobbler was perfectly tart. We had a moment together.

The CSR also held meals throughout the week at the Black Canyon Cafe in Crawford, which were themed every night based on what kind of local meat they were serving. We went on Duck night. We chose well.

Seared and braised duck with sour cherry and apple sauce, bok choy and collards, and polenta.

Feels good to be drinking Fat Tire again.

Cherry Meringue Pie. Local sour cherries. Sorry lemon, you may have just gotten silver.
And if that weren't enough, I have been completely spoiled by other specialty made meals. The views haven't been too bad either.

Fresh venison marinated in a magical mixture including mustard, rosemary, garlic, cumin seed...served alongside slowroasted fingerling potatoes with garlic and rosemary, and local, freshly harvested grilled asparagus. It was even my second dinner of the evening and my plate was clean.

Shawn's Wild Cherry Wit homebrew. The 'last one'...until it is brewed again soon enough!

Sour Cherry Pie. Oh mama. Yes, I will gladly eat any dessert involving sour cherries.

My face in the store once I saw this in the beer case may have mimicked a small child on Christmas morning.

Jeeze, who would want to eat breakfast here anyway?

Fresh eggs, sunny side up, on top of chili pork handmade tamales, with fresh salsa. You could end your day right there and be okay with it.

In other news...
The sour cherries are starting to take shape! They form right at the back of the blossom there...

...and slowly break through as it sheds the blossom.

They're a comin'!

Miko has also been doing a fantastic job supervising every project performed on the orchard, as always.

He likes to make Ruthie feel protected too.
Usually doing it all in style.

So there you have it. Food building, food growing, food harvesting, food cooking, food eating, all around the clock. It's a tough life...but you wont hear any complaints from me.


  1. Lizzy - Thank you for your writings and photos of the orchard and Paonia events. I think we should call them the "Excelsior Chronicles". I am getting ready to restart the Excelsior Blog - it has taken a while to get over the death and destruction, literally. See you in a week or so. Elane

  2. I love that pic of the rake framing the view! All I hear in my head is "dundundundundun Dun! Dun!" (while tapping the rake on the ground, of course). Hope you were wearing overalls!