April Things + Huckleberry’s Barley Porridge

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Rainy days.
Followed by perfect sunny 70 degree days.
Followed by bitterly cold and windy days.
First barefoot moments in the field.
First dates with our first ever CSA worker shares!
First bike rides of spring.
So much farm productivity.
So many farm conversations.
An almost full CSA!
Beautifully straight rows of just seeded peas and transplanted onions.
Perennial flowers poking up through the earth!
A sunshine-filled wedding.
A Carrot best man.
Good friends, beautiful dresses and hilarious conversations.
Sleepy morning kisses.
Warm, happy moments in the greenhouse.
Cars full of baby seedlings.
Plants doubling in size overnight.
So much green.
So much to do that cooking falls to the back burner.
Lots of pasta.
Lots of Culvers.
Lots of bagels.
Not enough sleep, but happy, happy, happy adrenaline-fueled days.
The always crazy, never stationary, absolutely enjoyable April life of a farmer.

Hope your springtime looks as lovely as ours.
-Leek

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HUCKLEBERRY’S BARLEY PORRIDGE
Adapted from the Huckleberry cookbook
**The Sunny Paris seasoning I used in this recipe is absolutely delicious and should be a staple in your pantry, but if you don’t feel like buying it, feel free to use a blend of dried basil, dried parsley, dried tarragon and onion powder to replicate it. A touch of dried chives are great if you’ve got them. Honestly, any bright dried herbs will work here. It also happens to be best when enjoyed with a cup of coffee Rusty Dog Coffee!

Takes 1 hour
Makes enough for 4

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium turnip, diced
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock (homemade if you’re feeling ambitious)
1 cup barley
2 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup finely shredded Parmesan
1/4 cup maple syrup
6 slices thick-cut bacon, cooked, optional
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
For Topping
Fried eggs
Green onions, sliced
Hot sauce

In a large saute pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add turnip, carrots, onion and garlic. Cook over medium heat for 6-8 minutes until vegetables are beginning to soften. Add spices and saute for 2 minutes longer until well combined.
Add the stock and bring to a simmer. Once simmering, add barley. Reduce temperature to medium low and cook for 45 minutes until the stock has been absorbed and the barley is soft. Stir in the butter, Parmesan and maple syrup until well incorporated. Add in the bacon if using. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
Top with a fried or jammy egg, a handful of scallions and some hot sauce.

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