What's Happening in Kelli's Kitchen

  • 2022-08-07, 05:00 AM
  • Kelli Kelly
What's Happening in Kelli's Kitchen
Supporting Local Farms

We are approaching the end of the “Dog Days of Summer.” This is the time of year (from July 3 - August 11) when the constellation Canis Major, “The Big Dog” in the sky, is in conjunction with the sun.  The ancients believed that when the star Sirius, which is the brightest star that can be seen anywhere on earth, rises and sets with the sun it is extra-special hot outside.  Many believe that the “dog days” refer to the time of year when all you want to do is lay around and pant like a dog–while true, this is not in fact the origin of the phrase.  I am thinking about this lazy inclination often right now.  I must be a special type of wacky because the times of year that are most conducive to languish and laze are the same times of year that I am extra-special busy.  I am, in fact, on the verge of overwhelm.  Fortunately, the end is in sight–another few days and my summer semester at Western Nevada College will be done and I will have a brief moment of respite.

The frenetic pace of summer is nothing new to my personal schedule.  When you work in a job where the primary focus is supporting farmers, you get busy when they get busy.  I used to describe the summer as akin to being on the back of a galloping horse–just hang on to the reins and stay on the saddle the best that you can and eventually, you will slow down (clearly not an equestrian).  Despite the business of the day and the number of reminders on my calendar, summers are a super rewarding time.  There is nothing that I love more than broadcasting that The Fallon Melon Man is set up on the Reno Highway–and nothing makes me feel more appreciated than hearing how our produce grant program makes all the difference in someone’s life.

Speaking of our grant program… We have concluded our fourth week of produce distribution at the William N. Pennington Life Center and at the Fallon Paiute Shoshone Tribal Senior Center and we have an update for you.  Since the start of the program, we have distributed 10,580 pounds of food grown within 400 miles of Fallon.  I am a fan of the “animal scale of comparison,” so if you need help imagining what 10,580 pounds of food looks like, it is equivalent to a fully grown male African elephant.  If you could use some help affording your groceries or are choosing to cut fresh fruits and vegetables out of your diet to save some money, please stop.  Come visit us on Tuesdays at the Life Center from 11:30-1:00 or out at the reservation on Wednesdays from 12:30-3:30. 

One last brief missive before I go back to desperately clinging on to the reins…  In my last Triple Goddess CSA basket from the lovely Mewaldt-Sammons-Fisk Trifecta, I received a special bunch of a leafy green plant known as Stridolo.  Farmer Jaime loves playing “stump the chef,” choosing unique varieties from her garden with which to test my culinary awareness–it was on a previous iteration of this game when she introduced me to medlar, and we explored the process of bletting which is really little more than loosely controlled rot.  Stridolo is much more straightforward.  It is a leafy, green plant that is grown prolifically in the Mediterranean.  The google-machine told me that the flavor is akin to tarragon mixed with a little pepper and chicory.  Last night I tucked some wilted stridolo into an omelet with red onion and cream cheese and it was delicious.  I am thankful that I have farmer friends who grow the wacky varieties that I request and challenge me to try other wacky varieties that they get a hankering to grow.

Don’t be afraid to try something different and new, you might just discover your favorite thing to eat.

 

Kelli Kelly

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