Tunes from the Field
It can be idyllic to picture farm work as charming labor tending to the land in the early morning sun with birds and bugs humming along as a farmer cultivates the earth deep in thought of great philosophical musings.. Some days it is certainly like this — but there are days when a blazing 90 degree sun and an endless pile of carrots seem to transport you to a time distortion. My solution for that — music (or podcasts)!
Our musical tastes range from funky to eclectic to Irish jig and today’s pop hits. Music alters my climate, so I am conscious to compose an uplifting and funky playlist that will continue for hours. Some highlights from our list are available on a Spotify playlist – Field Notes Farm. I have shared the list on our CSA Facebook group and have included a link in the reminder email.
We love exploring new music, so feel free to add some of your favorite worktunes!
Hamilton – the Musical – To say I have developed a fixation on the life and evolution of Alexander Hamilton this summer is an understatement. Lin Manuel-Miranda’s Tony-Award winning musical combine snappy lyrics and modern hip-hop styling to depict the rise and fall of Hamilton’s work. I am a sucker for musical adaptations of the founding fathers.
Abigail Washburn ‘ City of Refuge’ – I was lucky to catch banjo duo Washburn & Bela Fleck last winter in Green Bay. Washburn has a hauntingly beautiful voice and her plucking is anything but timid. She was on a path to practice international law in China when she picked up a banjo which became her new tool for diplomacy.
Kansas ‘Carry on my Wayward Son’ – I am not sure how or why, but I once listened to this song for 4 hours straight while cleaning an enormous quantity of greens and green onions.
Dayme Aroncena – A South X Southwest discovery. There was a Cuban showcase at this year’s festival to highlight the re-establishment of US/Cuba diplomatic relations. Dayme studied music as a young girl and developed a wonderful Aretha/Erkyah Badu voice. She is working on her next album.
Holy Sheboygan ‘Belly of the Beast’ – A group of our friends from Lawrence put together one of the most original and witty band organisms we have seen! The 7 of them play a wide spectrum of instruments including banjo, saxophone, upright bass, saw, trash can, accordian and more. Their 4th album will be released later this fall.
Clean Bandit ‘Come Over’ – This group of classically trained musicians from London won a grant from Microsoft to create some stellar music videos — definitely worth a view.
Gaelic Storm ‘One More Day Above the Roses’ – Catch them at Milwaukee’s Irish Fest this weekend, we’ll be there!
Whole roasted Lemon Herb Chicken & Fennel
1 Whole Chicken
sprigs of thyme, rosemary and sage
salt and pepper
2 fennel bulbs, quartered
1 large onion, quartered
dry white wine such as sauvignon blanc
Preheat the oven to 450° F.
Start by quartering the onion and fennel and arranging them at the bottom of a cast iron skillet.
Prep the aromatics into a small bundle; thyme, rosemary and sage. Half the lemon. One half will be used in the chicken and one will be used later.
It’s important to thoroughly dry the chicken. Pat it down with paper towels, inside and out. The inside cavity should be as dry as possible.
Stuff the cavity with the halved lemon and aromatic bundle.
Drizzle some olive oil over the outside of the bird. Use your clean hands to rub it all over, into the nooks and crannies. Generously sprinkle with sea salt and cracked pepper.
Place the chicken on top of the vegetables in the skillet. Add a bit of white wine to the skillet. This will help flavor everything and keep the meat juicy.
Place the chicken in the preheated oven.
Cook for about an hour, until a meat thermometer reads 165°F. At around 40 minutes the chicken skin will be golden brown. At this time take out the skillet, tent the bid with a piece of foil and add a bit more white wine. Tenting will keep the chicken cooking, but stop the skin from burning.
At an hour, check the chicken temperature. If it needs more time, add some more wine and cook it longer. Check it at 10 minute intervals. Add more wine whenever it has evaporated.
When the chicken is up to temperature, take it out of the skillet and place it on a plate covered with foil. Allow it to rest.
Place the skillet over a low heat. The vegetables should be beautifully browned. Use the juice from the other half of the lemon to deglaze the pan a bit. Keep them warm while you carve the bird.
Some shaved Parmesan pairs nicely with the lemon and fennel flavors.
Roasted Tomato and Goat Cheese Galette
A rustic savory tart full of juicy roasted tomatoes.
For The Dough
1¼ cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick)
4 tablespoons iced water
For The Filling
1 quart tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1½ tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
2 ounces goat cheese
1 egg beaten
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly butter a baking tray or cookie sheet and set aside.
In a large bowl combine the flour and salt.
Cut the butter into cubes and gradually add to the flour, rubbing together with your fingers until the butter is combined. Don’t worry if the butter is still lumpy, this will add to the flakiness of the pastry.
Add the iced water and gently mix together with your hand until the dough becomes a ball.
Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest in the fridge for 15 minutes.
Cut the tomatoes in half and transfer to a medium bowl. Add the salt, pepper, olive oil, 1 tablespoon of the rosemary. Toss well.
Using your fingers pick the goat cheese into small lumps and add to the tomato mixture, gently mixing through.
Place a sheet of parchment paper onto your worktop and dust with flour. Roll out the pastry on top of the paper to about 10-12 inches wide. This will make it easier to transfer to your baking sheet later.
Place the mixture onto the center of the rolled out pastry. Fold up the sides coming into the center about an inch until all of the edges have been pulled inwards.
Glaze the turned up pastry with the egg.
Carefully slide the galette onto your prepared baking tray.
Bake in the oven for about 35 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.