Celebrate the culture of agriculture & share skills (Growing! Cooking! Eating!)

Rachel Brownlee's Blog (30)

Pastured Lard

Pastured Lard

Fortunate to come across snow-white, gorgeously rendered, pastured lard here in WNC, everything it touches seems to radiate a golden glow-----not…

Added by Rachel Brownlee on May 30, 2014 at 9:06pm — 3 Comments

Fresh Raspberry Coconut Milk Ice Cream (Dairy-Free)


I can't think of a better way to celebrate the first day of summer than by making a batch of ice cream. The raspberry canes in the garden are completely doubled over with the weight of this year's crop. Already filling their own corner…


Added by Rachel Brownlee on June 22, 2011 at 8:30pm — No Comments

Coconut Sweet Potato Soup

We were blessed with a very successful sweet potato crop this year. Digging up the harvest was a total thrill (in gardening terms). I have been picking away at them all winter long to accompany steak in the form of oven fries, appearing alongside…

Added by Rachel Brownlee on February 3, 2011 at 9:36am — No Comments

Spinach Pie

This time of year, when warmer temperatures are still a long way off and everything sparkles with fluffy snow, I begin to pine for green. I'll take it in any form; may it be… Continue

Added by Rachel Brownlee on January 14, 2011 at 6:30pm — 1 Comment


Believe it or not, kiwifruit (originally known as Chinese gooseberry, native to Southern China) is both locally grown and seasonally available right now in Western North Carolina. A sweet couple from Little Sandy Mush have two very old vines which happened to do very well this year. They explained to me how kiwifruits are picky and… Continue

Added by Rachel Brownlee on November 21, 2010 at 4:14pm — No Comments

Herbed Chèvre and Oyster Mushroom Tart with Gluten-Free Almond Crust

Almond flour is a perfect compliment to local chèvre blended with fresh herbs, caramelized… Continue

Added by Rachel Brownlee on November 15, 2010 at 1:00pm — No Comments

Local Lamb Sirloin Chops with Parsley Sauce

Every morsel from East Fork Farm is downright dreamy. This evening, tender lamb sirloin chops were enjoyed smothered in a lovely parsley sauce fresh from the garden. Accompaniments included; roasted sweet potatoes tugged from the soil just 50 yards from the dinner table, smeared with delicious whole milk…

Added by Rachel Brownlee on November 11, 2010 at 6:07pm — 2 Comments

Quince Jam

I have always misunderstood quince. After the magnificent show it puts on in the early spring, it tends to fade into the periphery of a landscape, playing the role of ugly duckling for the remainder of the year. The apple-like fruit may seem tempting in the fall, until a curious nibble proves instantly disagreeable. Rarely are you able to remove it from your landscape without a… Continue

Added by Rachel Brownlee on October 17, 2010 at 7:51pm — 1 Comment

Sauteed Pea Shoots with Grainy Mustard Vinaigrette

With frost warnings in full swing, I headed to the garden to harvest those who may not make it through. Though peas hold up well in light frosts, I couldn't resist the tender shoots for this evening's…

Added by Rachel Brownlee on October 15, 2010 at 11:00am — No Comments

Making Fresh Cheese

My friend Donna has been making fresh cheese for ages. This go-round I asked to join in. Like so many things which previously seemed complicated, I was surprised at how simple the process is. Separate the curd from the whey, strain, compress or age, and you've got a perfect example of the subtle beauty of mild cheese.
Donna most often…

Added by Rachel Brownlee on October 11, 2010 at 8:31pm — 4 Comments


There are these magic little colonies of micro-orginisims called kefir grains. They are literally teaming with life, and have the ability to transform milk into a…

Added by Rachel Brownlee on September 29, 2010 at 9:00pm — No Comments

Fall Equinox

Welcome to Autumn. . .

Dahlia bloom…


Added by Rachel Brownlee on September 27, 2010 at 2:00pm — 3 Comments

Creamed Sweet Potato Greens

My grandfather's timing couldn't have been more fitting. He is a knowledgeable man, devoted to science based reading and gardening. As a young girl he introduced me to the gastronomic pleasures of tender greenbrier shoots and steamed day lilly greens.
Occasionally I will receive a piece of mail from him with a newspaper cut out, or an article excerpt on topics from gardening…

Added by Rachel Brownlee on September 13, 2010 at 2:30pm — 5 Comments

Nut Butter Thumbprints

An image of a soft, chewy chocolate chip cookie hijacked my brain today, and I couldn't shake it. Occasionally when this happens, I throw a dog a bone. Or in this case, throw a gal a cookie. It keeps the thought from breeding itself into a massive beast with sharp claws and foam oozing from its mouth. Scary things lurk in the shadows of the subconscious.
I checked out some…

Added by Rachel Brownlee on August 26, 2010 at 7:00pm — 2 Comments

Watermelon Fresca

The line between Mexico and the US has never been such a broad one, and without getting too political, I am grateful for many of the influences provided by Mexico's vibrant culture here in the States. Agua frescas, (fresh waters), or aguas de frutas, (fruit waters) are such a fine, cooling Mexican tradition, worth adopting immediately. Fruits blended with water and… Continue

Added by Rachel Brownlee on August 20, 2010 at 9:00pm — 3 Comments

Insalata Caprese

Thanks to the Italians, once again, for a combination which remains classic for good reason. We owe tribute to the region of Campania, where sliced, sun ripened tomato, buffalo mozzarella, and basil leaves, were first layered with one…

Added by Rachel Brownlee on August 9, 2010 at 9:47am — 1 Comment

Chilled Garden Carrot and Ginger Soup

After harvesting all of our carrots yesterday in the lovely 94 degree heat, I began having visions of cold soup. Jumping into cold soup. Splashing around in cold soup. Pouring cold soup over my head.
Things didn't go that far, but the soup was indeed born, indeed cold, and highly refreshing. With some lamb stock waiting in the freezer, the rest was truly a breeze. An icy,…

Added by Rachel Brownlee on August 5, 2010 at 5:00pm — 1 Comment

Silver Queen

For about 10 years now I have been acquainted with her; the sweet, fair colored Silver queen. She lives in the fields, tantalizing the patient gardener with her budding ears. My dear friend Rob introduced me to her. They were close. Partners in crime. He would tend to her all summer long, and she would ride…

Added by Rachel Brownlee on August 3, 2010 at 12:47pm — No Comments

Stewed Okra

I love late summer for a few reasons:
1. Goldenrod
2. Nighttime cricket serenades
3. Stewed Okra

My grandmother-in-law, Zelma, was born in raised in Orangeburg, South…

Added by Rachel Brownlee on July 29, 2010 at 5:16pm — 1 Comment

Beet Vichyssoise

Some reasons to make this:

1. A beet bomb just went off in the garden

2. Today is milk pick-up day, (fresh, raw milk, beckoning a dish featuring it's loveliness)

3. To enjoy one of the most shocking colors in nature

4. A cold, and refreshing meal for a heat…

Added by Rachel Brownlee on July 7, 2010 at 8:00am — No Comments



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