It finally feels like spring has arrived. With the excitement of prospective projects coming to fruition, I find myself wanting to jump head first into all the work that needs to be done. With that said, this past winter and shifting to the pace of farm life from that of the bustling kitchens of Toronto, I have begun to learn the importance of pace, slowing down and maintaining friendships that have grown over the years with like-minded people sharing similar passions.
Over the years I have habitually immersed myself fully in the work that I’m doing and failing to maintain the relationships that are most important to me, even the one with myself. This past weekend, I visited Toronto and caught up with some of my city-cooking pals at the Jays’ home opener. Spending time with good friends has reminded me that I need to seek out balance in my life and not forget the people that have left lasting impressions on me.
With the soon arrival of a female goat, chicken hatchlings, and perhaps some pigs, we at the Edge of the Woods Farm will experience new types of relationships, ones with different livestock. From my experience thus far with the chickens and roosters we already have I imagine that the new animals will help us learn even more about life, land, and caring for one another.
It’s always such a joy to witness the excitement of the children who visit the farm when they collect the chicken eggs. Their amazement and enthusiasm when learning and watching the chickens do what chickens do, one would think the chickens were laying golden or chocolate eggs! It’s the smiles, laughter and amazement expressed by adults and children alike as we learn from the animals that make farm life so special.
The life of the animals will be celebrated from beginning up until eventually being honoured at our dinner table. I look forward to being part of their collective care and exploring the deep relationships that come with raising livestock. I do not know if the eventual and respectful end to their lives will feel akin to the loss of a beloved pet, just as one of my room mates recently experienced. I only know that it will be an experience that will bring community and friends together strengthening our relations to one another and the land, deepening our appreciation for the efforts that go into food production.
This recipe is a great one for a whole chicken or less expensive cuts like thighs and legs. For a complete meal serve it with the polenta recipe I shared previously, which can be found on www.tworowtimes.com.
- Cooking Oil
- 1 cup each onions, carrot, celery per pound chicken
- 1/4 cup white wine or wine substitute (see note) per pound chicken
- 1/4 lb plum tomatoes per pound chicken
- vegetable broth/water if needed
- Cook onions, carrots and celery in a pot with oil until they have taken on colour, remove from pot and set aside. Add more cooking oil and sear the chicken until it takes on a golden brown colour, add white wine or substitute and cook until it has evaporated, add back the vegetables and tomatoes. Cook on low heat for about 40 minutes adding broth only if needed. The desired consistency is that of a thick sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Enjoy!
Note: a cheap and effective substitute for white wine is either white wine vinegar or white vinegar with one Tbsp vinegar per 1/4 cup of water.