Saturday, December 10, 2011

kale, booze, and books

Folks, you take some fresh kale, some carrots, and drizzle a little olive oil over them with a sprinkling of chicken rubbing spices, and then place an equally oiled/spiced rub natural bird on top of that and you got yourself a weekend dinner that took you about 7 minutes to prepare for the oven and will make your house smell like God's pocket. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes, then turn down to 350 till chicken is done (meat thermometer reads 180 on the breasts and juices run clear). So good. So, so, soooo good. I regret every day I ate kale without roasting it with vegetables in an oven. Live and learn.

Today is a day all about literature and booze. I'm spending the morning working on a very important writing project, throwing every bit of myself into its success, and then this afternoon two of my girlfriends are coming over and we're heading over to the Big Horse City (AKA Saratoga) to get some home brewing supplies so we can syphon and ferment our home-pressed hard cider a second time to be bottled for gift giving. What I love about home brewing is most supplies can be used over and over and I think after this cider is bottled I'll try a new winter stout now that I have two fermenters, something hardy.

I know there are many different feelings out there about alcohol, but here is my ethic: all things pleasant enjoyed in moderation, that hurt neither yourself or others, can be a great comfort in this short life. A frothy pint of black beer at the end of a cold day of farm work outside, paired with a fiddle and a dog, makes my endorphins speed up. I am so happy to be in good company, with music and a light buzz, though you will never see me drink to the point of impaired thoughts or actions, mostly because there are 56 animals outside and 3 inside that depend on me to be their go-to in an emergency. IF I had three big glasses of beer and Annie swallowed a nail and I couldn't run her to the emergency room in Glens Falls because I thought it was okay to get hammered... I would never forgive myself. So my ethic remains the same, a bit of fun is good. It's a balance and revelry to hard work and weather. It doesn't work for everyone, but that's this farm's policy.

So home brewing field trip today over to the Zymurgist's shop after my morning of writing and some video production. Starting to film and edit the first webinar today, about teaching yourself mountain dulcimer. Some folks had emailed me asking if they could preview a video before committing to a season pass? I think that is reasonable, so I will post the whole first webinar here SUnday night and you can decide for yourself if it's worth supporting. You won't get Hollywood, but you will get authentic stories and tales, more personal anecdotes, photos and bits from my past, and learn to make some tunes out of wood and wire. I hope it inspires you to bring music into your home.

Oh, and some good news! Barnheart made the super hip IndieNext list! A monthly collection of books independent bookstores deem worthy of promotion and hand-selling. It's an honor, and my humble farm book is in some snazzy company on that list. So it's a win for the words of this mountainside farm. Thanks so much to the librarians, booksellers, and teachers out there promoting my work.

P.S. Connie at Battenkill Books will take Holiday Gift orders of Barnheart till Next Friday, Dec 16th! Call or email her by then to make sure it gets to you or yours for Christmas!


Blogger Diane said...

Congratulations on the IndieNext list! I'm about halfway through Barnheart, and can attest that it is a good read. I'm going to try that kale and chicken recipe. I have a ton of kale growing (still) in a hoop house and 40 homegrown chickens in the chest freezer.

December 10, 2011 at 9:00 AM  
Blogger Kristi C. said...

Yay for IndieNext! I just got my copy of Barnheart and hope to get into it this weekend (amidst revelry for my daughter's birthday). I haven't tried kale in the oven, so mental note for my next bunch!

December 10, 2011 at 9:11 AM  
Blogger Jess said...

Sounds like a great day! Congrats on making the IndieNext list, I'm really enjoying Barnheart! The kale recipe sounds really good, thanks for sharing. We're looking forward to the days when we can grow more of our own food. Currently, we are limited to a few pots on an apartment balcony, which is better than nothing :)

December 10, 2011 at 9:54 AM  
Blogger Cindy said...

Congratulations! I bought my copy of Barnheart from a local bookseller just a few days ago and am enjoying your writing, as always.

December 10, 2011 at 10:07 AM  
Blogger Brenda said...

Got an advertisement card from My Pet Chicken which featured several books including Made From Scratch and your Chick book too.

December 10, 2011 at 12:24 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

Congratulations Jenna, that's awesome!! AND I just ordered Barnheart from Battenkill and had it shipped to the farm, so when we move in it'll be there waiting and it'll be the first book read while we start our farm adventure!

December 10, 2011 at 1:03 PM  
Blogger Tina - Our Rustic Roots said...

Congrats on making the IndieNext list! Woohoo!

December 10, 2011 at 4:40 PM  
Blogger CJ said...

I would wager homemade cider and beer is better for you than 90% of what is on the supermarket shelves. Just finished a glass of mulled cider that I bottled for Thanksgiving this year.

December 10, 2011 at 4:53 PM  
Blogger Brenda said...

Tried your chicken, kale and carrots recipe and it was AWESOME!! Keep those recipes coming Jenna!

December 11, 2011 at 3:11 PM  
Blogger Cindy said...

Congratulations!! I loved it, read the whole thing yesterday curled up in front of the wood stove.

December 12, 2011 at 1:39 PM  

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