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Moving West

New year, new home for the Grady family. Jenni, Paddy Rose, and I packed up our bags and moved west…about 2 miles. In fact, our last two moves haven’t even involved a change in zip code – still 01519 going on 8 years now for me! Last week I promised exciting news on the long-term health of the farm. Above is a view from my new (indoor) office. Have you got 4 yet? Indeed, I’m thrilled to announce we moved up to the farm! Well, still moving would be more accurate. Little steps when you have a 7-month old.

Thanks to a conservation-minded neighbor, we were presented the opportunity, and jumped at the chance to rent the white farmhouse directly across the street from the farm. I don’t think it’s hyperbole to assert I now have the best commute in town. It’s as charming of a house as you can imagine a farmhouse built in 1770 would be. And quirky – I don’t think one of the many, many doors actually closes. I’m not looking forward to tallying up the heating costs, but it’ll all be worth it in the end. We look forward to putting down some roots here, and growing Potter Hill into the enormous potential inherent in this beautiful piece of land. Eventually. Little steps when you have a 7-month old!

Mark your calendars for the next time Jeff comes down with meat – February 6th. I will put out whatever I have left at that point, which mostly will consist of celeriac. Before you dismiss the idea of coming up the treacherous hill in the pitch dark just to pick out some celeriac in the bitter cold (assuming winter returns at some point), you need to understand celeriac is highly underappreciated. If you aren’t eating it a few times a week this time of year, you’re committing a grievous culinary mistake. I was planning to wax poetic about the versatility of this hideous yet delicious root, but my friend Christy from White Barn Farm just did all the work for me in her newsletter below. Let me know if you can’t wait till February 6th to get your fill and we can set up a time to get some.

Some of my fave things to do with celery root:
Once peeled with a knife of course! Cut one end so it sits flat on the board then use vertical downward cuts to remove the peel.
– roast on a baking sheet in the oven (350 to 425 – can vary according to whatever else is already in the oven) w/ olive oil salt, pepper and perhaps a fresh herb. Hot tips: flip halfway through cooking w/ a spatula to get more sides browned. Try different shapes for different effects: French fry shapes, cubes, chips. Stick around the kitchen and test fork tenderness to determine when halfway through cooking time is. Once you are familiar w/ cooking time of the piece size you chose you can be less vigilant
– celery root gratin (with or without other root veggies). Best to use a mandolin to cut thin and adequately uniform slices. Hot tip for mandolins- SACRIFICE THE NUB! It is not worth cutting off your finger tip! Let the nub go . . .
-NOTE: I had Christy’s celery root gratin when I was volunteering on their farm 4 years ago, and I’m still talking about it!
– great in any stew or pot roast
– celery root purée (do half potatoes half celery root for best texture – cutting potato dice slightly larger than the celery root to even out cooking time. Always boil in salted water for flavor reasons.)
You can’t unpack indoors all day when it’s 60 degrees out! My new backyard…
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