Robin Mather, The Feast Nearby

Senior Associate Editor of Mother Earth News cavorts in the garden at daybreak at Long Creek Herb Farm. How's that for a headline?

Robin Mather
The great thing is, we're so far off the beaten path, or even a good road, that people who visit us have to really want to be here. That's fun for us, of course! Robin Mather came from Mother Earth News in Topeka, Kansas to meet up with Felder Rushing, from Jackson, MS, who I posted about last week, for a stop-over at our place before they headed over to Baker Creek's monthly farmers market day.

Robin is not only an editor, but also a former food editor for the Chicago Tribune. That probably meant I should have been intimidated at planning meals for her, but once I learned she has raised goats for years, keeps chickens in her back yard, lives simply from the garden and is a true "foodie" I didn't worry. "Foodies" as you know, are those of us who enjoy the actual taste of good food, whether it's a freshly-picked, ripe tomato, or a lavish meal with a glass of wine. It's the taste we go for, not a meal for the sake of eating. So of course I had fun cooking from the garden. Here's the menu for the evening they arrived:
White Grape and Mint Salsa with chips
That day's freshly canned salsa from the garden
Gazpacho Salad with Cucumber and homemade crackers
Chicken breasts stuffed with Lamb's Quarters and Sweet Potato leaves, served with "Green Sauce" made of French sorrel, herbs, lemon juice and olive oil
French greenbeans flash-fried with garlic and lemon zest
Zucchini Crab Cakes
Corn Pudding
Josh's freshly-baked sourdough bread
Blackberry-Basil Sorbet
Part of the meal, showing chicken, corn pudding, zucchini crab cake and beans.
Robin and I hadn't met before so it was fun getting to know a bit about her. I knew she worked at Mother Earth News and lucky for us, she brought along her wonderful book, The Feast Nearby, a collection of essays and recipes from a year of eating locally on a budget of $40 a week. (The full title is: The Feast Nearby: How I lost my job, buried a marriage, and found my way by keeping chickens, foraging, preserving, bartering and eating locally (all on $40 a week). You can order the book on Amazon by clicking here. The book is wonderful. Forced to hibernate in a tiny cabin and try to regroup after such major changes, The Feast Nearby shows what kind of person Robin really is, kind, loving, tenacious, unwilling to let life's slings and arrows bring her down.
It was so much fun having Robin Mather and Felder Rushing in the garden and I hope they will come back again soon. Felder brought fig preserves from his grandmother's fig bush in Mississippi. Robin brought us a beautiful bottle of green walnut cordial - yes, made of walnuts back in June when they were still green! And it is outstanding. Josh and I both feel so fortunate to know such kind and generous people. I absolutely love fig preserves - a rare treat for us, and now I am devoted to green walnut cordial, too!

Thanks for stopping by to read what's been happening in our garden this week! Happy gardening.

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