I have been hoarding a bag of really beautiful beets from a friend’s garden. My plan right along has been to make a nice pot of winter borscht. I have not made summer or winter borscht in a few years.
When I make borscht in the summer it is a very simple recipe: mostly just beets, some veggie stock or chicken stock, some onions and it’s pretty much done. Eat it cold with sour cream or yogurt, and it’s just perfect.
My winter recipe, however, is something that I rarely make because it is quite the time consuming affair – have to start it early in the day. And so I just have to mention it again! Retirement has offered me the opportunity to make a recipe like this on a weekday. What fun :*)
There are hundreds of variations on borscht, and no one agrees on much when it comes to a definitive recipe. My mother always used beef stock in her winter borscht, but no actual meat in the soup, and she never added chopped cabbage. I have used meat in it for the last 30 years because my husband can’t stand to eat a meal without meat tucked in somewhere. (If you want to make it a kosher meal, obviously you would not add sour cream to it at the end). I have begun shredding the beets instead of dicing them up more recently… I saw it in someone’s recipe, perhaps one from Joan Nathan, as I like her stuff.
Anyhow, I started the whole process about 7:30 this morning, and it’s still simmering away. The cleanup continues, although there is no help for my beety red hands! Even though I am looking forward to this for dinner tonight, it’s definitely better the next day. My one poor bit of planning is that I didn’t set up bread yesterday for baking up today. Poor us! Maybe biscuits will have to do for tonight. Such problems!
Yesterday was our first snow day of the school year. It was a great call as once the snow started it really came down. And then of course it was followed by torrential, windswept rains. Totally yucky by the end of the day.
I had finally picked up our smoked pork last Friday and we were forced to cook one of the hams over the weekend (held my feet to the fire and all… not!).
It was fantastic, some of the best pork we have raised yet. The breed cross is my personal favorite (Tamworth boar on Large Black Sows) and then they had all of that goat milk and whey, they couldn’t not be wonderful! Even though we have our hams cut in half, they are still pretty impressive hunks of meat and we ate from it all weekend and into the early part of this week. So yesterday my husband looked at me and begged for lima bean and ham soup. One of my all-time favorites as well. Trouble was, only a few dried limas were hiding in the pantry. So I dug through the containers and unearthed two different kinds of beans
that were grown locally in Jefferson, Maine, at Bluebird Hill Farm. Wild Goose beans and cannellini beans. The wild goose beans are small and multicolored, with little swirly markings on them. Then I found a handful of black beans, not locally grown, and decided to throw those in as well. It cuts down on the ‘locavore’ listing of this meal, but that’s o.k., it was awesome, and we have a huge pot of leftovers that will be welcome again tonight. To make it even better, a neighbor invited us over to share supper with them so we ended up having a small feast. Can’t beat that on a stormy night!
Coopworth Fiber, LaMancha Dairy Goats and Cheese on the Coast of Maine!