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Rae's Latest

Filtering by Tag: Local Foods

Happy National Farmers Day! 🐮

Rae Hering

October 12th is National Farm Day and I thought I'd celebrate the occasion by sharing with you one of my absolute Loves in life outside of making music: local, organic foods!

A few weeks ago my friend Trista invited me to join her for Fall Farm Day at her CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture, which is a group of individuals who pledge to guarantee a farmer's crop financially and in return receive shares of food weekly or bi-weekly. It's a great way to live by the seasons, have an adventure in your kitchen every week with seasonal produce and support your local farmer! 

So, let's begin our virtual tour of Rosie Belle Farm, an hour or so south of Nashville in a town called Pulaski, TN. (All photos taken by me or Trista except if otherwise noted).

 

Meet Pat and Paul Schertz, the farmers of Rosie Belle. Overall-clad and sporting a purple bandana, Pat greets us with a warm smile and leads us through the flower gardens up to the Farm House which was built, along with its outbuildings, in 1894. Once I step onto the front porch I have an overwhelming urge to just sit, sip, and stay here forever, but I fight it back and head on inside...

Photo from the Rosie Belle website: www.rosiebellefarm.com 

Photo from the Rosie Belle website: www.rosiebellefarm.com 

The first thing I see when I walk inside is this amazing staircase. I can honestly say this is the most unique set of stairs I have ever seen. And yes, those are real yard sticks.

Just to the right of the staircase the house opens up into the main sitting area. Past the wood burning stove with fresh rosemary foccacia bread waiting to be devoured (Pat is an extraordinary cook by the way) there is a heaping pile of apples sitting in the light of the window. Go ahead, take one! I've already had three...

We head outside on this gorgeous autumn day and start exploring their 65 acre backyard. Can someone please explain to me why farm buildings make such great photography material?? 

Oh, there's Trista, chillin' by the pumpkins...

There are plenty of farm animals running around! Eleven dogs, many of whom were rescues, are making good use of the open space. And look...wasn't it nice for the pigs to line up for a family photo?

And how about those goats! They're certainly eager to eat my purse and...I KID you not, this actually happened...later on one jumps on the table as I'm eating and head straight for my plate! 

All I have to say about this shot is that Diana Ross's "Reach Out and Touch (Somebody's Hand)" somehow starts playing softly in the background...

And what Farm Day would be complete without cuddling with a baby duckling?

Lunch time! After three rounds of appetizers (we're being fed like Queens!) it's time for the crispiest fried chicken I've ever tasted, farm cheese and tomato sandwiches and yes, even the ice cream on the ice cream sandwich is made from scratch.

It really has been a perfect day. Thank you to Pat, Paul and the whole crew at Rosie Belle Farm for your hospitality and generosity!

If you live in Middle Tennessee, become a CSA member of Rosie Belle Farm! Live somewhere else? Find a CSA near you and start supporting your local foods!

Now, I leave you with Trista and I laughing because Farmer Paul is acting like he doesn't know how to use an iPhone (he did a nice job though!)

 

The History of the Wishbone and Other Wishful (but not wishy washy!) Thoughts

Rae Hering

I’ve had a wishbone (yes – that kind that comes from an actual chicken) sitting on my kitchen counter for months now.  Why you ask?  Am I supposed to be able to answer such questions??

OK, I admit I have an unusual fascination for “little found treasures.”  For instance, I regularly pick up small objects I find on the ground and collect them in the pouch on my car door.  I came across this particular chicken charm while making homemade broth (which, by the way, is super easy and very good for you!)

DSC09010
DSC09010

Every now and again I would take a quick glance at my wishbone, thinking I might coerce Jonathan into having a little superstitious fun.  But I never did because, honestly, making a wish on it seems pointless and silly - where does the idea of breaking wishbones come from, anyhow?

Well, according to Matt Soniak at Mental Floss, “The custom of snapping these bones in two after dinner came to us from the English, who got it from the Romans, who got it from the Etruscans, an ancient Italian civilization. As far as historians and archaeologists can tell, the Etruscans were really into their chickens, and believed that the birds were oracles and could predict the future.”

Isn’t it AMAZING how long-lasting these ideas are that become woven into the fabric of our lives?? 

The Etruscans (800-400 B.C.) would dry out the wishbone, or furcula if you want to get scientific, so as to preserve the mystical powers the bird possessed while living.  People would use wishbones as treasured spiritual objects, stroking them and making wishes on them.  The act of actually breaking the bone was a variation developed by the Romans when they crossed paths with the Etruscans.

Etruscan_Art01_full
Etruscan_Art01_full

Back in my kitchen, I’m staring at my chicken bone thinking of what to do with it (if you’re still wondering why, I’m just going to say that I’m weird!!)  I’m certainly not going to carry it around stroking it (...I’m not that weird…)  I could just throw the damn thing out so I don’t have to look at it any longer – I’m sure anyone more sensible than me would gladly choose this option.  But I’ve always been a pack rat and pack rats just have a tough time with that whole “throwing out” thing.

So, I take my beloved poultry collarbone in hand and decide to give this age-old symbol some new significance:

Don’t just make wishes – make wishes happen.

DSC09038
DSC09038

If I wanted to take my chances at having my wish, I’d snap this wishbone faster than you can say Chicken Little. But I’m not interested in taking chances with my precious future.  The potential to achieve my wishes comes deep within the person I am actively cultivating, not anything else.  The more I am aware of what I want out of life, the more I am able to attain those things.  In fact, I can even “feel it in my bones” – an idiom which speaks of having intuition about one’s circumstances.  The more I am aware of myself and my surroundings, the more I am able to guide myself by the strength of this intuition.

As a musician moving her career forward, I know I have to have pretty tough skin, but now I realize I have to have some pretty strong bones, too.  A lot of singer/songwriters (myself included here) rely on the “wishbone method” of getting discovered.  I’ve put myself through plenty of hell and torment because my wishes hadn’t been granted.

I’m keeping this wishbone to remind me that I’ve tried the wishbone method, and now I know it doesn’t work.  Dropping coins down the wishing well, blowing out candles and wishing upon a star, they all don’t work.  And they’re not for me.  What can I say?  I actually want my wishes to come true.

Make wishes!  But don’t rely on the wishbone – rely on the intuition in your own bones.