Posie grew up on a farm that is just over 600 acres where here family had access to the freshest of milk, eggs, and harvests from their well-attended garden. On her blog, 600 Acres, is where she shares some of her memories as well as the new things she is cooking and trying in places far from her home. Posie had worked as a food writer and editor for Tasting Table, Food52, King Arthur Flour and she contributes to Sift Magazine.
I am so pumped to have Posie Harwood of 600 Acres here on the show today.
(*All photos below are Posie’s.)
On Growing Up on a 600 Acre Farm:
I look back and I think how lucky I was because we grew up drinking raw milk and my mom made everything from scratch. We didn’t have chips or any of that stuff. But I never felt like, “Oh man, I feel so deprived.”
When I got older and people started talking about organic food and all that kind of stuff, to me, I always thought, “What else is there?” That’s what I’d always known. Now I realize how lucky that is. Some people have to learn that or seek it out. So, it was a really cool experience. I think it is responsible for what I ended up doing.
On Her Interest in Cooking:
My mom, she cooked every night and we always had family dinner, but she is an incredible baker. She always made bread for scratch. Just watching her, I learned a lot of the things I’d love to make and cook and bake. And I also think I just watched her have that natural rhythm in a household and picked up on that.
I never went to culinary school. I didn’t start working in food until a little while after college. So, I just always knew that was what I wanted to do. And not even what I wanted to do. I just felt like, “What else is there?” That is just in me. I feel I don’t have a choice. I have to.
On Leaving the Farm:
I’d spend a decent amount of time in spaces away from home. And then, going to college. I went to college in New Jersey actually and then I moved to Manhattan. I think New York took a lot of getting used to for me. I am really not a city person. I love New York. I think it is an amazing place to live and there is lots of food.
But I have always missed open space and fresh air. I know I won’t stay in New York forever. That’s always been a hard thing to just get used to. It is a pro and a con. It is an exciting, huge place. But sometimes I want to speak to no one for the next four hours, but you can’t when you are in New York. It is an adjustment. It is always a little bit of a balance. Now I work for a company in Vermont. So, fortunately, I get to spend a lot of time up there, which is a really nice balance.
On a Dish That’s Special to Her:
I guess I would have to say baking is my one main love. I feel like the first thing that ever really made me excited about food was baking bread. As I said, my mom, we never had store bought bread. She makes everything from scratch. My favorite thing is just white sandwich bread that she makes. It is the most delicious.
When it would come out of the oven we had all my sisters waiting just like rabid animals and she would cut off the loaf, the heel, and give it to one of us and we spread it with butter, which we always would have because we had cows. And she would churn it. So it was this really bright yellow Jersey cow butter and she packed it in these little ramekins. So, she would take a big swipe and put it on the bread and eat that.
That is the ultimate, that is the best thing. Now, every time when I bake bread, which is a lot, I am always making just that white sandwich bread loaf. And I am like, “Ah, this is heaven.” The thing is it is so easy to make. I think a lot of people are intimidated by yeast bread, which I feel like it is the kind of thing if you make yourself do once, it is totally magical and you realize, “Oh, okay, that is actually easier than so many recipes cooking- wise.” I mean, what are there? There’s like three, four ingredients. It just is all a matter of touch and just getting used to what it feels like, bread dough, and how it should feel.
The Pressure Cooker:
Which food shows or cooking shows do you watch?
What are some food blogs or food websites we have to know about?
I love Smitten Kitchen. I love Food52, former employee, I have to say that. I also love The King Arthur Blog where I work now because it is incredibly informative, super good step-by-step baking. If you ever want to learn how to bake, or frost a cake, or make sourdough, check it out.
Who do you follow on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook or Snapchat that make you happy?
I love following Molly Yeh.
Funny, playful, great flavors, love her farm life snap shots.
What is the most unusual or treasured item in your kitchen?
Treasured item probably my stand mixer, I guess I have to say. It is bright red and I love it, and it does so much for me.
Name one ingredient you used to dislike but now you love.
Mushrooms. I used to hate mushrooms and now I eat them all the time. I eat scrambled eggs and mushrooms twice a week for dinner.
What are a few cookbooks that make your life better?
Definitely the Joy of Cooking. That is a huge one. Always referencing it. And probably, I have the Cook’s Illustrated Best Baking Cook Book. That is another go to with everything I bake.
What song or album just makes you want to cook?
I really like cooking to reggae music. I listen to Bob Marley a lot when I cook because it just makes me want to dance around.