Happy (how-the-heck-is-it-already) May Day to you all! How have you been? Enjoying the spring weather? Spending every warm, sunny moment outside (or at least perched in front of a window)? Yeah, me too.
Our cats are demanding open windows every morning (even if it’s still 45 degrees when I wake up) and there’s just been a real surge of spring excitement in the air over at the Rudersdorf household. The last several weeks have been a frenzy of planning, planting, building, preparing for baby, learning how to farm while also nurturing my pregnant body, juggling fun freelance projects, and enjoying the warming days.
A lot has happened in the past six weeks and I want to tell you all about it. So, here we go:
- At the end of last month, I went to Charleston with my mom. It was quite the epic road trip. Seven days with stops in six different states and incredible food all along the way. If you followed along on Instagram, you know how delicious and sunny my life was that week. I’ll be getting a travel guide up soon for you all because I cannot keep our itinerary a secret. It was the perfect inspiring lady getaway (and I recommend you all plan a trip of your own there in the next year)!
- We started a birth class! It is a 10-week Bradley Method class and it is equal parts amazing, awe-inspiring, and overwhelming, much like the rest of pregnancy and baby preparations. The 5+ hours a week it takes to attend the classes and do the homework has been hard to work into our weekly April farm routine. I’m appreciating how it ever so subtly begins to prepare us for how crazy our farm life is going to be once we add a baby into it. We stress over fitting these extra five hours into our weeks while fully accepting this is just the beginning.
- We’re building another hoophouse– this one for in-ground production! The goal is to finish construction before the CSA season starts on June 9th and do our first bit of season extension in there this fall!
- We decided to offer organic seedlings again this spring. It’s bringing me loads of joy and stressing out my Carrot, just as we expected it would. The seedling sales encouraged us to do a little on-farm event this spring (plant sale and pop-up shop from our add-on share vendors!) and we’re thrilled to begin having people out on the farm again this year!
- We started planting a few weeks ago and, thanks to the lack of rain, are wayyyyy ahead of schedule. I tried to participate in field work as if this was a normal spring, and learned quite quickly it is not a normal spring for me. Since working an 8-hour full field day and sufficiently breaking my body (it took my back nearly two weeks and two chiropractor appointments to recover), I’ve learned gentle is best and adjusted my farm schedule into 2-3 hours shifts with breaks and/or days in between. I’m not altogether helpful, at least not as helpful as I’m used to being, but the farm team has been incredibly kind, patient and supportive and I feel so happy to be getting some time outside in the fields.
- I had my first baby shower! And felt absolutely showered in love, and can’t believe how lucky we are that we still have two more on the calendar. This baby is going to have so much freaking love in its life I can hardly handle it.
- I foraged watercress for the first time (!!!) and did a horrendous job actually eating it.
- I discovered green smoothies and can’t stop devouring this one with mango and banana and spinach. It’s certainly not local but it is so dang yummy. Would you like me to share that recipe here?
So that’s where we’re at: dirty, happy, busy, one week into our third trimester, and deep in the nesting/learning/prepare phase of pregnancy.
I’m eating whatever my body feels like it needs (including ingredients like romaine and cherry tomatoes which I generally avoid purchasing in April) which means I have a super fun summery recipe to share with you today. If you’re a CSA member, you probably won’t be making it until August when you actually start receiving tomatoes and sweet corn in your CSA boxes, but I was too excited about it not to share now.
I promise I’ll get back to my seasonal cooking ways now that things are actually beginning to grow at the farm (we’ve been harvesting chives for weeks and had our first asparagus harvest on Thursday!!). Enjoy!
SUMMERY SALAD WITH SLOW COOKER BARBACOA PORK & SPICY SLAW
I love this meal as a salad, piled high on a bed of crisp romaine, but my absolute favorite thing about this recipe is how versatile it is. The pork and slaw are DYNAMITE– seriously, so so so tasty– and they can stand on their own many different ways. I ate the two together on corn tortillas for a quick taco dinner and also piled them high onto some rice with a bit of radish, carrot and microgreens. So, what I’m saying is, if you’re not in a salad mood, there is zero need to worry. Make some tacos, Whip up a grain bowl. Just make sure you try this sweet barbacoa pork and spicy slaw ASAP. You will not be disappointed.
Takes 90 minutes once the pork has been cooked in the slow cooker and marinated— it’s best to start the marinade the night before cooking and the slow cooker the morning you plan to enjoy your meal
Slow Cooker Sweet Barbacoa Pork
1 cup orange juice
1 cup chicken broth
3/4 cup brown sugar, divided
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3-5 pounds pork shoulder roast
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
16 ounces red enchilada sauce (we make our own in summer and freeze- I’ll share a recipe with you this summer!)
Spicy Bell Pepper Slaw
1/2 head green cabbage
1-2 colored bell peppers, seeded and very thinly sliced
1 shallot or 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup mayo
1 tablespoon hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 head romaine, roughly chopped
2 cups sweet corn, frozen or cut off the cob (3 ears)
3-4 scallions, thinly sliced
1-2 avocados, optional
- Combine organic juice, chicken broth, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and apple cider vinegar in a large plastic bag. Add pork roast to bag and marinate for at least two hours or (preferably) overnight.
- When ready to start your pork (I usually do this in the morning before we leave for the farm), place it in the crock pot and dump the juices around it. Sprinkle with salt, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, and pepper. Cook on low for 6-8 hours (and honestly, if it goes longer, it’s absolutely fine). You can also cook it for 2-4 hours on high heat if preferable for your schedule.
- Remove pork from crock pot and dump liquid. Shred pork and return to crock pot. Add remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar and enchilada sauce. Cook on low for 1 hour to let the pork fully absorb the sauce. Taste and salt as needed.
- While the pork cooks down in the Barbacoa sauce, prepare your slaw and other meal ingredients.
- Combine all slaw ingredients together in a large bowl. Toss until cabbage and peppers are well coated. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Place in fridge to rest while pork finishes.
- In a small bowl, combine cherry tomatoes, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.
- To serve, divide lettuce among salad bowls (if you’re only serving 2-4, keep the rest of the chopped lettuce for later). Top with a generous scoop of shredded pork (about 1/2 cup) and slaw (about 1/3 cup). Sprinkle with sweet corn, scallions, and marinated cherry tomatoes (without the juices). If using, top with avocado and microgreens.
- I think the sauce of the pork and slaw together provide plenty of “dressing” for the final meal, but if you feel it needs more, drizzle a bit of the cherry tomato juices and/or add a favorite bottled salad dressing. Sprinkle with salt and pepper just before serving.
*Remember, the salad is just one option. If you don’t have a lot of the salad ingredients on hand, the pork and slaw on its own on corn tortillas (as pictured below) is a phenomenally simple meal. You can also top brown rice with the pork and slaw, adding whatever veggies you have lying around (we love shaved carrot, matchstick-ed radish, and microgreens when its not summer and we don’t have summery things (like sweet corn and cherry tomatoes) around.