recipe + photos by Krissy O’Shea
We’re launching a new Q+A series today featuring a few of our favorite blogs, and the super talented people behind them. Our first profile is Krissy O’Shea from Cottage Farm. We instantly fell in love with Krissy’s warm and inviting style, and the beautiful way she captures light in her photography continues to inspire us. Learn more about Krissy below:
What inspired you to start Cottage Farm?
Cottage Farm is the name of my great-grandparents farm. They bought it when they immigrated to the United States at the turn of the century. Cottage Farm began as a little Etsy shop where I could share my finds from weekends of vintage-hunting and extra props from photo shoots. While I no longer sell vintage online, Cottage Farm is still a place for me to share finds, recipes, and photography.
Your images are so captivating. What’s your first love: styling or photography?
I would say that my first love is actually light. I love they way it can transform a space, scene, or object. I love how it changes over the course of the day but also from place to place. The light in London is a completely different creature to the light of say Cape Cod. For me, photography and styling are not mutually exclusive—they are equal partners in the pursuit of the narrative.
What’s your favorite subject/dish to shoot?
I love to shoot cheese (and eat it!) and I love flowers too. They both have similar qualities with their soft, organic textures and lots of little nooks for the light to get in. And, with each being in a constant state of decay, there is something fascinating about that to me.
What inspires you when creating a recipe?
Often its travel, which presents me with the opportunity of newness and a way to experience something I haven’t before. And of course, lots of inspiration comes from my garden in the summer and thinking about how to use all of what's grown there.
What’s your go-to meal for entertaining?
It really depends on the time of year, but anything that can be made ahead or in one pot (see her recipe for root vegetable chowder below). Plus a huge green salad.
What’s one tip you would offer people when entertaining?
Don’t feel like everything has to be perfect—your guests are happy to be there spending time with you. And, when all else fails, put on some great music, open a bottle of wine, and unwrap a few cheeses.
East coast or west coast?
East. Even though I lived in San Francisco for 7 years, I’m still an east coast girl.
Favorite beach or coastal destination?
If you were planning a winter hike, what would you pack?
A wooly jumper, cross country skis (so I could ski down from the top!), a blanket, and a thermos of something warm—like miso soup or chai tea and maybe a few oatmeal raisin cookies.
root vegetable chowder
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 large yellow onion, diced
Sea salt, to taste
3/4 teaspoon garam masala
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
2 bay leaves
6 sprigs fresh thyme
2 pounds parsnips, washed, peeled, and chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 pounds rutabaga, washed, peeled, and chopped into 1-inch pieces
2 medium potatoes, washed, peeled, and chopped into 1-inch pieces
6 cups water
4 cups whole milk
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. In a heavy-bottomed pan or dutch oven, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onion, and a pinch of salt. Cook until onions are translucent, 5-10 minutes.
2. Make a space in center of your pan. Add garam masala and cinnamon and toast until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add bay leaves and thyme. Stir to combine.
3. Add parsnips, rutabaga, and potatoes and stir until vegetables are well coated. Allow to cook for a few minutes to blend flavors together.
4. Add water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer gently for about 25 minutes or until rutabaga, parsnips, and potatoes are very soft but still hold their shape. Liquid should have reduce down quite a bit.
5. Once vegetables are softened, remove pan from heat and allow to cool a few minutes. Reserve about 2 cups chunky vegetables and set off to one side. Using your preferred method, blend rest of soup into a smooth but still textured mixture. Add reserved vegetables back to pan.
6. Return pan to a low heat and slowly add milk. You may need to add a little more milk depending on your preference. Heat milk through, taking care not to scald or boil it. Season with salt and pepper and serve warm.
Serves 6-12, depending on serving size.
cook’s note: Serve with a drizzle of herb oil, fresh chopped chives, and parsnip chips. To make parsnip chips, peel and thinly slice two parsnips. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Add a pinch of salt. Bake at 375°F until crispy and browned around edges, turning once.
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