Soon to be seen on all staff at Wheatberry – handmade aprons! I'm totally in love with these two fabrics (reprinted feedsack patterns, bought at the awesome Textile Company in Greenfield, MA), and finally settled on using them for my apron (modeled here by the lovely Kate). It only took me two Ella naps to make, and today I brought in a big stack of fabric, for our staff to pick their own combos. I've been a little afraid of my sewing machine, honestly, because I'm always a bit fearful of what I don't know how to do (mostly fearful of looking stupid – pretty funny when I'm in my sewing room all alone, huh?
Also at Wheatberry . . . sourdough crackers. Here's Cristie rolling them out. We literally take loaves of sourdough, roll them flat, and bake them up! You could do this at home, if you have dough that isn't working quite right for you (bake them on a pizza stone, just be sure to preheat it really well).
More in the world of hand tools – our wheel hoe, made by Amish craftsmen. We purchased ours from Lehman's – a very cool resource, by the way. Ben has been really enjoying cultivating our rows with it – here, he's hilling the potatoes.
We've all been loving the sunshine this week, and spending as much time as we can out in the garden. Here is Ella's chosen garden attire – if only we could all garden this way!
When we're not outside, our time is often spent like this. I had no idea that art would be so important in our lives with our daughter, but I'm thrilled that it is. For me, it's sparked my own creativity, and the wide-ranging styles of illustrations in children's books have loosened my ideas of what my own drawings "should" look like.
I've had some trouble getting inspired to make dinner these days. I turned to our cookbook collection for help, and picked up the fabulous Bouchon, by Thomas Keller (of French Laundry fame). Keller is the man. I did go to culinary school, but truly, I think I learned at least as much from The French Laundry cookbook. So save yourself a year and $10,000! His respect for ingredients and his precision are amazing. Anyhow, Bouchon is the bistro Keller opened, so this cookbook is a little less truffles, a little more french onion soup. I made this chickpea and carrot salad, slightly adapted.
Chickpea and Carrot Salad (adapted from Thomas Keller's Bouchon)
1/2 cup dried chickpeas, soaked in 3 cups cold water overnight
bay leaf, parsley, thyme, other herbs according to your taste
2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 cup carrots (Keller juliennes these, I just sliced them in thin rounds)
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
salt to taste
Drain the chickpeas, put them in a large saucepan and add about 6 cups water, or enough to cover them by two inches. Add the bay leaf and other herbs (except the chopped parsley) and bring to a boil. You can also add an onion and carrot, for more flavor if you like. Reduce the heat, simmer about 45 minutes or until tender.
Drain chickpeas and cool. Discard the herbs. At this point, Keller sautes the carrots and garlic in the olive oil, then tosses them with the chickpeas. I prefer raw carrots, so I just added everything raw. Either way, finish by stirring everything together, salting to taste, and letting sit. Just before serving, remove garlic cloves. This salad keeps beautifully, and the flavors meld as it sits. Enjoy!