Land, ho! And Culinary Decadence

cherry crispFor the first time in years I am cooking for people on land.  I got a summer job at a retreat center called the Center For Whole Communities that has a great partnership with Knoll Farm and many others in the area as they strive to bring people together, connect them to the land and nurture them with food.  Everything from meat and dairy to grains and oils are locally sourced from within 100 miles.  Beautiful produce is in abundance, a rare treat after spending so much time at sea, and once again I am surrounded by incredible people.  It’s impossible to capture the magic of this place or articulate the enigmatic grip it seems to hold on all of us who have landed here.  Myself, interns and the faculty alike continue to find ourselves in awe of our surroundings and so grateful for such bounty.  Just this weekend we were able to harvest ripe cherries from a tree just 50 feet off the back porch, all the while Icelandic sheep grazed away in the near distance creating a backdrop of almost mythical proportions.  Seriously!  Oh, you know, your standard herd of sheep with the lone vigilant lama protecting the flock.  Just the usual…  Ugh, are you even aware that a shepherd is an actual job?  I mean, I guess I have had an occasional thought about a cowboy or wrangler here and there but really, when was the last time you gave any thought to the concept of being a shepherd?  Maybe I considered making a shepherd’s pie but even that seems a stretch.

Anyway cherries were still the showstopper and this precious crisp was just one of many  creations from the weekend along with cherry flavored refreshers, cherry-chocolate brownies, cherry-sherry vinegar and cherry-vanilla syrup.  Cherries have had their 15 minutes of fame and still we have more cherries.  Such is life…

 Life’s a bowl of cherries?!

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3 Comments

July 14, 2013 · 7:22 pm

3 responses to “Land, ho! And Culinary Decadence

  1. Pete West

    Good for you Ashley!

  2. Ashley ! my dear ! So wonderful to hear from you on FOLKLORE. Everything sounds so grand and absolutely like a perfect fit for you! I am so happy I can hear the joy in your writing! keep the posts coming! xo Julie

  3. Barbara Young

    Ashley, sounds like you are really enjoying your new job! Cherries are Perry’s favorite, so have some for him. Funny you mentioned being a shepherd as a job. I’ve been telling Perry that if I had lived years ago, I’m sure I would have been a shepherd. Always caring for the animals in my life!
    Good to see you writing! Aunt Barbara

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