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Getting My Spring Back

I sometimes find it difficult to rest when there is so much work to do.  Spring is fast approaching with its intense and frantic schedule. We are poised to start greenhouse planting in two weeks; yet I have not regained the energy level I need to be a full and active partner on our farm.  Anemia is a process that can’t be rushed.  I sleep 10-12 hours each night, eat whole foods and…..wait.  My partner Val moves forward in her typical upbeat way without complaint, doing more than her share and then some.  I am held gently in the home that Val built, as I learn over and over the definition of patience.

There is a rhythm to the heart beat of life.  The ice on the lake doesn’t melt  at the first rise in temperature.  The buds on trees are set in the fall, waiting for the days to lengthen before they swell enough to expose their leaf or flower.  During injury or illness we must nurture ourselves with deep rest, so we can walk before we run.  This requires a certain level of trust in silence, in things unseen, in opening to the rebirth in spring.

Val and I put up a great deal of food during the growing season.  We roast and can dozens of quarts of tomatoes in their many forms, make jams for holiday gift giving, freeze assorted vegetables and fruit.  We do this partly to extend the season; a memory evoked each time we stir a sauce, eat a pickle or spread a jam.  It invites the warmth of the growing season into our home, while the land waits under feet of snow.

Although we are now getting low on our quarts of tomatoes, they were used in many dishes that were shared with friends and family.  In lieu of home-canned tomatoes, use Muir Glenn’s Diced Fire-Roasted which are a wonderful option. The following Lamb Ragu is savory and goes well over pasta (for those who can tolerate wheat) spaghetti squash, zucchini noodles or as we did yesterday sauteed diced zucchini.  Your choice.

Lamb Ragu:

  1. 2 lbs grass-fed ground lamb

  2. 2 Tbsp olive oil

  3. 1 large onion, chopped

  4. 1 head garlic, peeled and thinly sliced

  5. 4 carrots, peeled and diced

  6. 2 tsp dried Greek oregano

  7. 2 tsp dried thyme

  8. 1 tsp ground cinnamon

  9. 1 tsp sea salt

  10. 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

  11. 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

  12. 1 32 oz can diced tomatoes

  13. 1 15 oz can of tomato sauce

  14. 6 small zucchini, sliced lengthwise, then diced

  15. pecorino, feta or fresh chopped parsley for garnish

  16. Heat olive oil in large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high.  Add carrots, onions and garlic; saute for 4 minutes or until onion is soft.  Add ground lamb, breaking up meat and incorporating into vegetables; cook for 8-10 minutes or until cooked through and no longer pink.

  17. Add oregano, thyme, cinnamon, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.  Cook 3-4 more minutes.

  18. Add diced tomatoes and tomato sauce; turn heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes.

  19. While the sauce is simmering, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in 12 inch skillet on medium-high.  Add diced zucchini and saute, stirring frequently until lightly browned.

Sauteing diced zucchini

Sauteing diced zucchini


Hot and savory lamb ragu

5.  Place sauteed zucchini in individual bowls, top with sauce and sprinkle on garnish of your choice.

Warm and inviting

Warm and inviting

Serves 6-8

“Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.” —Ovid

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