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Posts tagged ‘1818 farms’

Filled To The Brim

When I worked in New York, I kept a photograph of sheep on my desk.  It wasn’t a particularly good photograph–just an ordinary shot of a field at dusk, with a few dun-colored ewes standing under a tree.  But there was a certain boldness about the picture, situated as it was on the twenty-second floor of an office building in Times Square.  If I had been able to open my window, I could have taken the sheep from their frame and glued them to a football and tossed them onto the roof of a Broadway theatre, or sent them sailing over an electronic billboard, or dropped them–plunk!–into the hot water basket of a hotdog truck below.  Alas, my window didn’t open, and the sheep’s urban adventures were limited.  They didn’t stray more than six inches from my plastic in-box for years.  Most of the time they were obscured by a tower of books and papers, but sometimes late at night I’d push away the detritus and stare at them, marveling at how serene they looked, how healthy.  Then I’d crack open another Diet Coke, rummage through my trash can for the half granola bar I’d thrown away earlier, and keep working.

I get a lot more sleep these days, but probably not as much as a sheep.  I just read the book Sheepish, a memoir by a woman who started a sheep farm in Missouri in her late thirties.  One of her favorite things about sheep is that they feel no shame in nodding off when they’re tired or snacking when they’re hungry.  As Verlyn Klinkenborg put it, “You are not a worse chicken for snoozing in the early morning, nor an inferior pig for napping the afternoon away in the shade beneath your house. . .I can only wonder what it’s like to be so well rested, to know that the deep pool of sleep within you. . . is filled to the brim.”

Doesn’t that sound delicious, to feel as though the deep pool of sleep within you is filled to the brim?

It’s the end of the week, so you probably don’t feel that way.  Maybe a few pictures of contented farm animals would help?  Here are some photos I took last month on my friend Natasha’s farm.





feeding chickens2


barn cat


yarnOkay, wake up.  I can’t fix our sleep deprivation, but I can fix our snack situation.

broccolini My mom came for a visit last week.  We wound up at an Italian restaurant called Antico Posto twice. 

I ordered the broccolini and arugula salad both times.  It was crunchy and bright, and with hunk of bread and a saucer of olive oil, quite filling.

broccolini saladI went home and tinkered with the ingredients until I had a clean, crisp salad that could just squeak by as the restaurant version.  broccolini salad 2It’s a quick and easy recipe, my friends.  Once you buy the broccolini, you can have it ready in two shakes of a lamb’s tail.

(Speaking of lambs, my friend Stephanie is a professional photographer and her pictures of these little farm animals are much better.  You can see them here.)

Broccolini & Arugula Salad {Download & Print Recipe}
by eggton, inspired by my favorite salad at Antico Posto in Oak Brook, Illinois


1/2 lb. bunch of broccolini

4 oz. arugula

1 c. freshly grated Peccorino Romano cheese (grated against the large holes of a box grater)

4 Tbsp. olive oil

2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1 tsp. honey

1 clove garlic, finely chopped


Rinse the broccolini.

Steam it for 2 minutes, until the raw toughness is taken out of it and it turns a bright green but is still firm when pierced with a fork, and then run the broccolini under very cold water or plunge it into an ice bath so that it stops cooking.

A Note on Steaming: If you don’t have a steaming basket, you can steam the broccolini by bring two inches of water to boil in a large pot and placing a pie tin in the pot so that it floats on the boiling water.  Using a pair of thongs, gently lower the broccolini onto the pie tin.  Replace the lid and wait 2 minutes.  Use the thongs to lift the broccolini off the pie tin.

Pat the cold broccolini dry and Cut each piece into 2-3 segments.  (I like mine slightly larger than bite-sized, just for fun.)  In a large salad bowl, combine the broccolini and the arugula.  Add the Peccorino.  In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice and honey, and whisk together with a fork.  Add 1 tsp. of the chopped garlic (less if you aren’t a garlic fan).  Pour a generous glug of the dressing over the salad and toss it.  Taste and use more of the dressing if desired.  You may not need salt because the cheese is salty, but salt it if you wish.

The salad is best after it sits for a few hours (the arugula even holds up pretty well overnight) but it’s also good straight away.


seymour chomping woodSeymour thinks we live on a farm, and that our house is the barn, and that it is acceptable to take a log off the woodpile and eat it.