PIZZA NIGHT

 

Pizza is the universal love language, yes? A true culinary gift to civilization from Naples, Italy; a harbinger of dough-centric food exploration in our country, if you will. Any way you sling it, it's good. My grandma and my parents make  supremely comforting sheet pan pizza that is so delicious—so buttery—that there is nary a leftover slice. Mark's homemade pizza pie traditions are all to do with layering pepperoni over thin crust dough picked up from the store. And nobody loves pizza more than Mark, so I trust it was great. Nearly every date he and I went on during our first year together was either: A) picking up a pie from a campus pizza spot to eat on the couch, or B) dining at our favorite pizza parlor, each with an accompanying Molson Golden. Nowadays, we get together with our neighbor friends every so often and bake 'za after 'za until we are so full that we amble slowly home. Tonight will be such an occasion! Mark is always on dough duty; he uses a recipe from Flour, Water, Salt, YeastDo you have a pizza tradition—homemade, delivery, take-out, what have you? I'd love to hear. If not, perhaps it's time to start one!


—S

IN LIKE A LION

 

After more than a week's worth of pondering the forecast, wondering whether or not our favorite farm store's annual pancake breakfast was going to be cancelled, winter storm Stella arrived. She announced herself at daybreak with a few inches of powder to walk through on our way to the barn. Then she gathered... and fast. As the snow drifts piled several feet high by late morning, we decided to play it safe and take our breakfast next door at Wayward Goose Farm.

The hatches were battened down. All of the animals were safely closed into the barns, with boards of plywood temporarily tacked up over the windows. The kids were snuggled up under heat lamps, bellies full of milk. Meanwhile, every doe & buck lined up along the aisle of the barn and munched hay to its heart's content. And so, we enjoyed the sights of the blizzard from a window seat for an hour or two set to the tune of Duke Ellington's greatest hits, with the aroma of pancakes, bacon, coffee, and all manner of maple product, and with the company of farmers—all savoring the chance for a quick respite on the snow day of the year.

Though it may not feel so here in Vermont, Spring is near, and Kidding Season is gathering like a sudden storm in its own right. But for now we enjoy the relative stillness of a world wrapped in a thick blanket of snow. Here's hoping what they say is true: "in like a lion, out like a lamb."


—M

WINTER AS IT WAS | PHOTOS FROM AFIELD

 

Winter as it was. Moments that existed in the deep cracks of our wood planked floors, in the recesses of our mid-day minds feeding out hay, and in the slow but persistent realization of our dreams. I look at these images, all from our cell phones and none shared with anyone, and I feel these moments. The hens surveying their wintry manor before leaving the coop; a particularly pudgy block of cow cheese that was so beautiful I could not help but marvel; mending Mark's farm pants using sashiko stitching as an act of love and homemaking (inspired by this post); and on and on. Winter has been good to us. It has stretched me as a wife, challenged me as a farmer, deepened my faith, and even affirmed a few dreams.

I cannot help but remark on the way my mind and heart are turning dramatically towards homemaking. I could chalk it up to the magic of knitting (and realizing that I can Make Anything, from an heirloom hot water bottle cover to a knitted bedspread—a new life goal). Or maybe it's that rural life lends itself well to intentional acts on the land and in the home. With galavanting at an all time low, we have little choice but to sink well and good into our pursuits of land + home. It must have something to do with raising our own meat, curing the hides, and having them tanned so that our future baby (God-willing) has a cozy soft goatskin to sleep on. I don't know, and in fact I'm nearing on rambling now. The extra hours of sunlight are giving me hope — and this, from a child of winter. —s

Ah, March—when we, indeed, march headlong into this fickle new season. Winter is beginning to stubbornly relent. The sun rises on a 65-degree day, but is soon-to-be vanquished by a rapidly gathering cold front, and a wind chill factor of 30-below. No, winter is not over yet, but it certainly seems to be on its last legs. 

At present moment, there is still time to read a quick chapter, to patch a weathered pair of pants, or listen to both sides of a record between feedings & chores. After all, there are only a dozen kids so far: a gentle trickle before Kidding Season's proverbial levee breaks in a few days' time. In this way, winter still seems to be very much with us. Most of the time, we manage to finish work around 5 o'clock—when the rest of the world is also heading home—which gives us a chance to take a slow walk home, enjoying the scenery in the ever-stretching daylight. It's a fine time to notice the changes happening around you: the song of the early-arriving Red-winged Blackbird, the cushion of the thawing earth below your feet. But these accumulating new arrivals of spring are still brushing shoulders with the departures of winter, giving us time to bid farewell & thanks to the seasonal travelers who have kept us company during these slow months of farming: icicles, snow drifts, and chimney smoke. —m


—M&S