False Start

To those of you who subscribed to this blog and, who knows, may have even gotten slightly interested in it…or posted a comment…or have been waiting more than a full year for the next post…er, I’m sorry. I’m calling it a false start, a fumble, a fault. Let’s try this again.

See Kelsey Cook and Maybe Sometimes Mess Up Cooking

See Kelsey cook and maybe sometimes mess up cooking

Since my last post (I won’t say when that was; it’s just embarrassing), there has been one major change in my life. My husband, Glenn, has left the architecture field for one a little more, um, green, shall we say. He is now an organic farmer with Jones Valley Urban Farm, here in Birmingham. Although just slightly less profitable (eh hem) than architecture, farming does give this blog a new focus, which is finding something to do with the wonderful produce he brings home each week. Believe me, I love being paid in cherry tomatoes and okra, but let’s face it…for anyone who has ever participated in a CSA or who has a friend with a VERY productive garden, week after week of squash, collard greens, or eggplant can just get boring. Or maybe boring isn’t the word…maybe it’s simply overwhelming. It’s difficult enough thinking of new things to cook for your family, now try to cook the same thing for your family over and over again. Yeah, you won’t get any complaints at all, right? Um, no.

Glenn and Forks Sellin' Veggies at Mt. Laurel Farmer's Market

Glenn and Forks sellin' veggies at Mt. Laurel Farmer's Market

When I say that Glenn is getting paid in vegetables, I’m really quite serious. As an organic farmer, the food he brings home IS part of his pay–it has to be! So, that food becomes the focus of our meals–anything we buy compliments the fresh vegetables that, figuratively, extend his paycheck. So, despite the loss of income, I do still shop at Whole Foods and buy the occasional proscuitto, salmon filet, or expensive bleu cheese, but all are used sparingly, to heighten the taste of what has been grown by my husband, in the thick red clay of Alabama.


Face it, veggies are good, but proscuitto is delicious!

Whether you live in Alabama or elsewhere, I hope the recipes and stories I share here will help you eat more vegetables in more ways; experiment with food, even if it doesn’t always work (believe me, I’ve served many a mediocre or just plain bad dinner more than once a few times); or just help you extend the food you get from your garden, your CSA box, your overly productive neighbor, or your market.


  1. ~ Erin said,

    August 13, 2009 at 2:03 am

    I’ve been waiting patiently. I knew you’d be back. And I would totally make my own cheese now that you’ve told how easy…Lasagne is one of my family favorites to make – easy and everyone loves it. The homemade cheese would be a big plus to my mom’s recipe.

  2. Leslie Layman said,

    August 18, 2009 at 3:50 pm

    Hi Kelsey!
    Your blog is great! I didn’t know about Glenn’s career change. Maybe you guys can give me some advice. My family has a friendly competition growing pumpkins! Any advice?
    The shrimp dish you shared looks yummy! Will have to try that one!

    • KJ said,

      August 18, 2009 at 4:07 pm

      Hi Leslie! Do you grow your pumpkins organically? If so, Glenn can give you some advice. He grows a lot of different varieties. Tell me which kinds you grow.

      • Leslie Layman said,

        August 18, 2009 at 8:55 pm

        My mom sends us all (my 4 siblings and myself) plants that she started from seed and we plant them in our backyard. I really don’t know what kind of pumpkins they are from year to year. The last couple of years our plant has died and we have not gotten any pumpkins. The only thing I can guess is that the trees in the yard have grown enough that the pumpkin plant is not getting enough sunlight. Do pumpkins like wet or dry conditions? We can’t seem to be able to figure it out! We have had success (and failures) both ways! Thanks for any advice!

      • KJ said,

        August 19, 2009 at 3:06 am

        Leslie, Glenn says that pumpkins do need full sun and they need well-drained soil…meaning a fair amount of moisture delivered either through fortuitous rainfall patterns or irrigation, but certainly not with plants in or fruit sitting on wet soil. Glenn says he’d have to see the plants. If you can describe how they looked when they were dying, he might be able to give you more detailed feedback (like if there was a disease or pests). Good luck! Send a picture if you want. Send to getbackjo@charter.net.

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