February 18, 2016. Baltimore, on the corner of Key and Light.
Popcorn with black garlic and sumac
Collard dolma filled with bulgher wheat and capers
Steamed buns with sheep cheese and pumpkin kimchi
Aji chiles stuffed with garlic sauerkraut
Seed crackers, sheep cheese, and pea hummus
To reach Fairhaven on the Bay, drive south from Baltimore. 235 to 695, take exit 4 for 97, to 50, then 665, then turn right onto Route 2. Follow 2 south through both roundabouts, eventually turning left on Fairhaven Road.
You will round a bend and the Bay will open up to the left, beyond. In the summer, the cattails crowd the road, ending at the tideline. The pond is to the right, and the bridge rides the water, tethering the land together. For a moment, you might be swallowed up. The horizon stretches out, the haze of humidity obscuring the outline of the Eastern Shore, blending the water and sky together. Up the hill you’ll enter Fairhaven on the Bay, turning left over the hill to empty into the Chesapeake.
At the top of the hill, mulberry trees line the road, giving their fruits in June. Many neighbors keep a garden and banana trees. These never mature in the summer, but their leaves are excellent to make parcels of grilled fish. Our house had a garden of tomatoes, holy basil, and bird’s eye chilies. I planted cilantro, sage, collards, beets, carrots, and radishes. When the summer neighbor was away, we took parsley, rosemary, and oregano. A friend brought cucumbers over and I made pickles.
Dinner was light as the air was thick with moisture. Mosquitoes, frogs, and waves spoke loudly. We ate from the garden with herbs here and there, and stayed out late into the night, looking towards where the horizon swallows the sky.
Beets, onions, pickled beets, pumpkin seeds, pickled black Spanish radish, beet greens
Carrots, dill pickles, fennel, daikon, fermented radishes, chiles
Watermelon radish, bean sprouts, cilantro, radish greens
Pumpkin rye bread
I was born on November 26th, 1991.
Nights are cool, the breeze picks up, and the sky is dry, clear, and pale blue in the afternoon. Faint smells of wood smoke often drift by in the wind, and plants are giving up their fruits. When I was young we lived next to a corn field, and the dry stalks, awaiting harvest, would softly rustle in the breeze. Change is happening, slipping from the day into the dark.
Lights are warmer in color and tone, gathered around me as the night approaches. With frost outside I’ll stay in, curled into the lights, the blankets, the orange squash and savory stews.
When we lived in the country we had land. Or, we lived on land. Out beyond the house, behind the overgrown hedge, a yard meandered into the woods. We’d gather up wood to burn in the afternoon, and sit around, staring at flames, as the darkness fell on us from the trees and finally set. When our bonfires burned out, we wandered back from the yard into our beds; the fields were reaped, harvests gathered, my garden left to rest.
Brown sugar roasted pumpkin
Tomato fig jam
Pickled and fried onions
Garlic yogurt sauce
Spiced yellow split pea puree
Feathers, down, wool, sweater, scarf, blanket, woodsmoke, stove, body, warmth. Underneath, inside, I wait.
Sticky toffee pudding
Almond coffee ice cream
Produce and dairy from One Straw Farm, Calverts Gift Farm, and Shepherd’s Manor Creamery. Herbs are grown in the back yard at Caiti Sullivan's residence. Some ingredients were foraged or sourced from fermentation reserve.
Food by Caiti Sullivan and Rebecca Karten. Breads by Jake Quaytman and Rebecca Karten. Drinks by Ian Mansfield. Writing from Caiti Sullivan.