Last weekend, we went to the farm in Southern Oregon with Stefan’s sister, Camille and her husband, Matt. I love the farm because it is where Stefan learned how to grow a garden. Stefan moves in our garden in Portland with an unassuming grace. Every seed he plants grows. Because he learned how to plant, water and harvest food when he was barely walking, gardening comes naturally to him as an adult. The lettuce seeds he planted in our covered raised bed 2 weeks ago are coming up nicely. There is a sea of itty bitty green leaves. This never happens to me.
At the farm, we cooked, played cards, read and hiked. The madrone (arbutus) trees scattered everywhere are solid and they have a beautiful red bark that is the color I want to dye my hair when I start to turn gray. Camille is an excellent at all things hair and I bet she can match the color perfectly. These trees will always remind me of running in the hills outside Berkeley. As well as the fog.
The photos are taken on our hikes and one of the cabin. At the bottom, I included a recipe for the tastiest tomato soup we have made yet and ate at the farm. I found the recipe at this great website. Local and delicious. The tomatoes came from our garden last year. We froze a bunch and they cook up really well in soups.
Adapted from Jane & Geoff
2 (28 oz) cans whole tomatoes (I prefer San Marzano – and it’s worth the expense)
2 medium or 1 large onions, finely chopped
6-7 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
Chicken or vegetable stock (16 oz)
1 tsp finely chopped basil
1. Saute onion & garlic in olive oil slowly until translucent and softened substantially.
2. In a tall heavy-bottomed pot, add tomatoes and the stock. With a wooden spoon, squish the tomatoes down against the wall of the pot. Stir in basil. Bring to a point where the soup is almost boiling and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 30 minutes to let the soup thicken.
3. With an immersion blender, blend the soup until all the tomatoes are pureed and the soup is has a smooth consistency.
4. Season with salt and pepper and serve, garnished, if you like with a dollop of ricotta and a swirl of pesto.