In the last 31 days, I have traveled to Door County, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and a little cabin off Lake Arbutus outside Black River Falls. My Carrot and I have celebrated our five year wedding anniversary, celebrated Halloween with friends and trimmed so much hemp. At the farm, we packed the last CSA box, delivered our first fall storage shares, and launched our 2020 CSA to current members.
It snowed, and then snowed again. I took my first snowy run of the season. I set up my bike indoors. I started three different books and bought seven more. I celebrated fall wellness with brilliant women. I applied for grant with the Wisconsin Farmer’s Union to bring life and executive coaching into the sustainable farming sector. I led my non-profit’s Board of Directors in the hiring of my new boss and began figuring out how to transition our organization. I kicked ass, had so much fun, hiked so many trails, and also had several anxiety attacks.
It’s been one hell of a month: a month of so many good things culminating all at once, and so many hard things bubbling up in the slivers of space in between all the activity and frenzy. In other words, it’s been quite the roller coaster of trying to stay grounded while struggling to even find the ground.
And the most interesting thing for me on this journey of having a more manic schedule than even I am used to having was how incredibly lost and off I felt when I wasn’t cooking or eating from my farm. We were on the road a lot this month and the meals consumed were often those of convenience: Culvers’ drive-thrus, campfire pudgie pies packed full of caramelized onions and cheese, vats of rich breakfast foods, and dinners out with friends. We celebrated life often. The coffee, wine and cupcakes were free-flowing. It was all so good. So joyous. Except for the fact that 31 days of joy without routine no longer seems to work for me, especially as I prepare myself for some major transitions in the near future.
As the month went on, I noticed a direct correlation with my anxiety and listlessness, and the amount of vegetables prepared and ready to eat in my fridge. As I prepared good food for myself and my hubby, I could literally feel the tension release from my body. As I wrote the newsletter to our fall storage share members and researched nourishing recipes to make with our veggies, my mind cleared. In so many ways, our farm is my true north. My kitchen full of vegetables is the place I go to get rooted again.
This recipe is all of that in one picture perfect bowl of early November goodies. It’s the meal I craved as soon as we returned back home from trip number three. The fact that it’s literally roots may or may not be a coincidence.
It’s crunchy and sweet, bright and nourishing. It’s a bowl of raw Earth sprinkled with my favorite local fall fruits (apples and currants) and a bunch of crunchy nuts. I used almonds but you could use whatever you have so long as they are toasted well. It’s light enough to be a side salad or hefty enough to be a whole meal and it is so freaking delicious that it’s hard to believe how simple the ingredients are that go into it.
I hope you enjoy and are transitioning into this colder, more inward season with as much care and intention as I have found (after a few weeks of losing my balance).
BEET & CARROT SLAW WITH CURRANTS
Inspired by Bon Appetit
Takes 45 minutes
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup dried currants (or cranberries)
1/4 cup champagne vinegar
2 large (or 1 extra-large) beets, peeled
3-4 large carrots, peeled
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup olive oil
1-2 cups chopped and toasted almonds
- In a small bowl, combine garlic, currants and vinegar. Let currants plump and garlic mellow in there for at least 20 minutes. It will likely take that long to get your veggies cut up anyhow.
- Cut the beets, carrots and apples into matchsticks and place in a large bowl. Squeeze with lemon and season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Toss to combine then add the garlic and currant mixture. Drizzle with olive oil and toss several more times to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
- When ready to eat, serve with toasted almonds. If not eating all at once, keep toasted almonds to the side and add right before eating so they maintain their crunch.