Y’all I’m kind of obsessed with Joshua McFadden’s Six Seasons: A New Way With Vegetables cookbook. I heard about it first on Alexandra’s Kitchen. Then I asked my husband to reserve it from the Hoover Public Library (which reminds me that I need to return it).


So what have I cooked? I thought you would never ask!

First up, The Kale Salad That Started It All (for real, that’s the name).
First you need some Jones Valley Teaching Farm kale (I used lacinato). Then it is all about the chiffonade (you can do this with collards, too). I dressed it up with fresh lemon, olive oil, chile flakes, salt, pepper, garlic (lots of garlic), parmesan cheese, and some toasted walnuts and almond slivers (he uses homemade toasted breadcrumbs and I just flat ran out of time for that). It was delicious.


My favorite favorite favorite thing so far was the Farro. Yeah, I know, it’s Farro. But this recipe makes Farro seem like more than Farro. I no longer know if I’m making sense, so just trust me and make this Farro. The trick? You toast the Farro first WITH the smashed garlic and chile flakes. It changes the entire Farro game. I feel so strongly about this Farro that I will only use a capital F when talking about it. Then you add water, bay leaf, and salt. Bring to a boil then cover and let simmer for 15-30 minutes. I ate it by itself. I fried an egg and put it on top of the Farro for breakfast. I snacked on it. It’s that good. And my chef-forever-friend, Tiffany agreed. I was like, “TASTE THIS FARRO.” The rest is history.


Today, I decided to make the Pancetta Vinaigrette. I haven’t had it yet, so I’ll report back. I’ve been meaning to make it for a couple of weeks, but I mean, it involved cooking pancetta and mixing things together and I haven’t had time for ANY of that. But today I had the time and managed to make it all work. Think pancetta sizzling in a cast iron skillet. Once you get the pancetta cooked through, you take it off the heat and wait for it to stop sizzling. Then you add in 3 chopped scallions, minced garlic, red wine vinegar, olive oil, and salt. My plan is to bring it to room temperature and either toss it with kale and roasted potatoes or just flat out use it on a salad ( I mean, why not?).


I can’t wait to try more recipes and plan to put it on my wish list!

In other news, it is FINALLY February. I never thought it would get here. Here’s the reading list I shared with the Jones Valley Teaching Farm staff and hope you enjoy them too!

Finding Secular Spirituality Through Literature

Small Family Farms Aren’t the Answer


A New Bill Aims to Fix Food Waste in Schools

Just Mercy’ Attorney Asks U.S. To Reckon With Its Racist Past And Present

The Woman Working to Combat Palestinian Food Insecurity, Seed by Seed

Why Poor People Stay Poor

Satellite ‘surveillance’ reveals which sustainable farming methods work—and which don’t