Thursday, December 24, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
From our friend Anne Geyer at Agriberry:
Agriberry "Sleigh" of favorite Apples to
St Stephens Wed. ( Oh and broccoli too )
Ok Agriberry fans- the weather is looking wonderful for Wednesday's evening market at St. Stephens Church on 6000 Grove Ave.! Your favorite apples-Honey Crisp, plus Granny Smith, Pink Lady and Fuji Apples to mix and match by the peck- For $20 a peck or six pecks for $99! How about having them in the wooden peck basket too? Add a ribbon and you have a super last minute drop off holiday gift!
Pickup from 4pm til sold out... or 7 pm.
Oh and Apple Cider too...think of holiday time mulled cider or freeze in serving size zip bags for winter/spring smoothies...
Yea Locavore fans, Yea Agriberry , and Yea Apples!
p.s. Farmer Chuck Geyer, picked Broccoli before the snow for us too...winter veggies are great!
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
This meal, requiring very little last minute preparation, is perfect for allowing the cook to spend time relaxing with friends rather than rushing around the kitchen. The Soup, made up ahead of time, was ready to be served whenever we were ready to eat. I baked the brie in an open baking dish that could go strait to the table. I cooked it for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees along side the foil wrapped baguette and the baking apples. In addition to the food I made I also had on hand plenty of homemade confections I'd received as gifts from friends, neighbors and coworkers. One of the nice things about entertaining at this time of year is that you can put those yummy gifts to good work saving yourself time spent in the kitchen, and giving yourself a chance to sample all of them without eating entire jars of cheese spread, and whole pound cakes all on your own.
For the lentil soup I followed The Barefoot Contessa's recipe which calls for green lentils, carrots, onions, leeks, garlic, cumin, tomato paste, thyme, salt and fresh ground pepper. To this I added a couple of finely chopped, medium potatoes. I also used an extra 1/2 tsp. cumin and thyme, replaced the celery with fennel stalks, and the chicken stock with vegetable broth. It was great with some 'Flur de Sel' and fresh ground pepper added at the table. For the salad I made a simple dressing of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, course salt and fresh ground pepper.
Sadly my usual recipe free technique of 'tossing and tasting' means that I'll probably never be able to exactly replicate the deliciousness of those baked apples. They were just sweet enough with a nice tang from the ginger and the apples themselves. Here's what I can tell you... I used 6 large apples in a mix of Empire, Golden Delicious and Granny Smith. I pealed and sliced them into 1/4 inch slices. I mixed these with a relatively small amount of brown sugar and honey then seasoned with perhaps a tsp. of powdered ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon, and spread slices of butter (about 1/3 stick) across the top. Cover and bake for about 1. 5 hours... this cook time is based on my very old gas oven.
Fleur de sel is hand raked (harvested) sea salt. Penzey's spices on Cary street used to carry a couple different versions of this and French grey sea salt. This past December I discovered that they no longer carry these salts at the shop or on-line. I also checked Sur la Table and found only flavored salts (ie. black truffle) for more money than I wanted to spend. Finally by accident I discovered a good sized jar of Fleur de sel at Trader Joe's containing twice the amount at perhaps half the price of the Penzey's hand raked Fleur de sel.
For more information on different salt's to use in your cooking or at the table check out this 9 salt taste test review in Slate.
Second, the New India restaurant is now the Lakeside Sports Grill. Apparently, however, this restaurant is still under the same ownership, and you can still get Indian food via carry out! Interesting.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Backyard Farmers came to their rescue, helping them amend their raised beds with compost and planting a cover crop. Shawn and Tim, two of the Backyard Farmers, tested the soil that Jay and Rochelle bought and found that it was dead and that the soil structure was too loose, so they introduced components that would encourage microorganisms and water retention.
Jay was so excited because the Backyard Farmers pulled all of the weeds, re- worked the beds then planted garlic in one bed, buckwheat in another, and rye grass in the third. These cover crops will help break up the hard pan under the amended sections, bring nutrition for later crops to access, and remain a weed deterrent. Jay and Rochelle can also add the biomass to their compost pile when they are ready to clear the beds to plant in the spring.
The Backyard Farmers will come back to the garden in the spring, and walk Jay and Rochelle through what seeds to purchase , when to plant and how to care for the crops. These knowledgeable horticulturists have made themselves available to their clients, and Jay and Rochelle are looking forward to growing their own food, and learning a lot in the process. Check out the BF website to get in touch with these mobile farm gurus.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
The cost of a full share for 20 weeks is $500.The cost of a half share for 20 weeks is $300.On farm pick up is $475 for a full share and $275 for a half share.
Next year we're doing an extended summer season -- from the first week in June through Thanksgiving week. That's 26 weeks. The full share will be $650 and the half share will be $350. Since this is more than last year, and a big amount for some folks to pay as one lump sum, we will offer payment plans.For folks who pay in full by January 15, we're offering a discount -- the full share will be $600, and the half share will be $325.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
If you are short on time you can use a rub and tenderize the meat with a meat tenderizing mallet. In the past I've used left over rubs from when I've made ribs, but they contain sugar which will burn and I wanted my steaks to taste like steaks and not ribs. So... I have been searching for a good steak rub and believe that I have found one. I wanted a little bit of heat and some smokey flavor which the chipotles do both. It's a smoked jalapeno. What's not to like?!Here's the link http://bbq.about.com/od/rubrecipes/r/bl10721c.htm .
I have found that by adjusting the amounts of ingredients you can customize a rub to your tastes, don't be afraid to experiment! I reduced the amount of black pepper in this rub by 1/3 since it also has chipotle's for heat. Once the rub is made sprinkle it on and rub it in on both sides then tenderize with the mallet. Your breaking down the connective tissue of the meat when you use the mallet. Tenderizing it manually instead of chemically. A process that is also achieved with acids like vinegar, found in most marinades.
First step in preparing to cook grass fed beef is to let it sit out and come to room temperature. The reason being that grass-fed beef contains less fat and cooks quicker. If you took it out of the fridge and started cooking the outside would cook faster than the inside resulting in a steak that looks done but is actually rare and not up to temperature inside. Secondly grass fed beef is better cooked in a pan than on the grill. The precious juices, which keep the meat moist, would be lost on a grill. If grilling, sear meat on both sides at high heat. Then reduce heat to low and baste frequently throughout grilling until the desired internal temperature is reached.
Once the meat has come to room temperature it's time to cook! For this meal I'm going to use a pan and the oven to finish the cooking process. Always pre-heat! Putting a hot steak into a cold pan does no one any good. Get the pan HOT and sear both sides of the meat, about 1-2 minutes per side or until nicely browned. Place the meat in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for about 10-15 additional minutes turning once about halfway through cooking. Cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of the meat and the cut. Remove the meat about five degrees below your desired temperature. It will continue to cook as it rests. Temperatures are as follows:
Well Done: 170
London broil, as with most cuts of grass-fed beef, is meant to be served medium rare.
Once time is up remove the meat from the oven (checking to ensure that it is cooked to your liking) cover and let it rest for about ten minutes in a warm place. This will allow the meat to reclaim some of the moisture/juices lost during the cooking process and will make your meal that much more delectable. Once the meat has rested plate it up an serve it according to your recipe or tastes. London broil is served thinly sliced and goes quite well with my roasted garlic mashed potatoes. Recipe to follow.
Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes with Fresh Parsley
Wrap the head of garlic in foil and roast at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until soft. Cook time depends on the size of the head. Boil potatoes until easily pierced with a fork. Drain well, and add the butter, and milk Mash with a potato masher, or use a mixer with a paddle attachment. Once milk, and butter is combined cut the bottom, or root end of the garlic heads off then squeeze them like tiny tubes of tooth paste into the potato mixture. Make sure not to include the papery skins. Add the parsley, salt, and pepper to your liking, and enjoy!
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
The holidays for our family has always been a whirlwind, but a good one. Holiday baking may just be one of our favorite parts of that whirlwind. This time of year, our ovens bring forth an almost constant stream of cookies, cakes, breads and other yummies. One thing you can always count on during December is the orange cake.Our family's orange cake tradition has been handed down from my Grandmother, Josephine Veneziano. She'd make this moist, sweet but not too sweet pastry with a hint of citrus each December, and it made her famous in her neighborhood. She never would tell folks where she got the recipe, or how she developed it, as far as I know, and when she passed it on to my mother, she stressed about how we should keep it in the family. So, why am I sharing it with you now?Simple. I'm not.The recipe has been modified by everyone in the family who has been given it, starting with my mom. This version comes from my sister, Jen Thurman. Grandma's and Mom's versions are good, but I like Jen's a little more (sorry Grandma). Her version is a little more moist and has a bit more orange flavor.1 1/2 cups sugar1 1/2 cups margarine3 eggs1 1/2 cups milk1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts2 orange rinds3 cups flourpinch of saltCream the butter and sugar. Dissolve the baking soda and milk. Add the soda/milk mixture, eggs, and all other ingredients to the butter/sugar mix. Mix together, then pour into 2 8" or 9" round pans. Bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees F. Top with an orange juice and sugar glaze while still warm.In keeping with tradition, I've come up with my own version as well. Take the recipe above, and replace the 2 orange rinds with the rinds of 3 - 4 lime (6 - 8 Key limes) and the orange juice with the lime or Key lime juice.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
To date there are three winter markets that I know of plus a couple of great winter co-ops...
The South of the James market has been in discussion for sometime about where they would hold their winter market. The latest news on their website says that vendors will be at Blanchard’s Coffee Co. at 5047 Forest Hill Avenue on Saturdays from 10 am to 12 pm. The market will run December 12, 2009 - April 24, 2010. This info. is different from the 3 other locations I'd heard recently from SoJ vendors, but it's the spot I'm gonna check out next weekend.
The Byrd House market will continue with their trusty renegade market on Tuesdays from 3:00-6:00. The Market ends an hour earlier than their regular season hours.
The Huguenot-Robious Farmers' Market is moving indoors after the holidays. As of January 14th this Thursday Market will be held inside the Great Big Greenhouse and maintain it's regular hours of 10:00 am to 3:00pm. I have only heard great things about this market from both vendors and shoppers. I believe the market will be taking a break from mid-December until January 14th. However, there may be one more market this coming Thursday. You can e-mail the manager at Doug@greatbiggreenhouse.com. for more information.
The Goochland Farmer's Market will hold an indoor Holiday Market this coming Saturday, December 12th. Not held at the markets usual location the holiday market is to be held inside the J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College Western Campus, 1851 Dickinson Road, Goochland, VA 23063. I have been to their holiday markets in the past and been very pleased with the selection of food and gift items.
In addition to the holiday market the Goochland Market is working with Lulu's Local Food to offer a winter food Co-op. For a fee of $45 you can join and then select your meat, dairy, bread, and produce etc. from a detailed online product list. There are two Goochland area pickup sites to choose from. Learn more, and register here.
Lulu's Local Food is the brain child of Molly Harris of Edible garden. Lulu's Local Food is a website created to coordinated food co-ops like Fall Line Farms. This amazing food Co-op has 50 of the Richmond Area's best vendors participating. Erin has written about the winter food co-op Fall Line Farms before and her market at St. Stephen's Church is one of the area's pick up sites. This co-op has amazing food, incredible selection and pickup sites from Ashland to Southside and in The Fan. There is a $75 registration fee to pay for people to man each pick up site and for someone to coordinate and manage the website etc. This fee will be reduced to $35 after the holidays. To check out the list of pick-up locations, and learn more click here.
The Seventeenth Street Farmer's Market will hold a Holiday Market on Saturday December 12th from 9:00am -4:00pm. In addition to the Market will be the Grand Illumination at 5:00 and according to their website... "Featured at noon is Richmond's favorite holiday tradition, Tuba Christmas. We will have over 80 tuba players scheduled to play synchronized in four-part harmony along with a singing Santa caroling the crowd. It is a must see holiday event for the entire family!For additional information please call 804-646-0477."
There is also The Rural Routes winter csa and Ault's Family Farm was selling a limited of shares of pork for the winter. If you know of other winter farmer's markets or winter food co-ops please send us an e-mail and I will try and add it to this list.
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Lisa Nye portraiture
Heidi Lersch mixed media
Sarah Masters oil sticks
Wes Mears fine furniture
Erin Richardson fiber
Garth Swanson drawings
Lisa Goodwyn oils
Fielding Archer mixed media
Patsy Jewett watercolor
Julien Archer T-shirts
Henry Archer wood carving
Food will be provided by "friends of the farm."
Manakintowne Specialty Growers
2570 federal hill farms road
powhatan, virginia 23139 (in the Barn)
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Project Winterfood is a local food event and art exhibition organized by a group of VCU Graphic Design students. The theme of the event is spinach, apples, and sweet potatoes: all seasonal foods available in Virginia during the Winter.Event + Art ExhibitionDecember 2nd, 20097-10 PM1509 West Main StreetContinued Art ExhibitionDecember 4-31st, 2009Gallery 5, 200 W. Marshall St.What is it?Project Winterfood is a local food resource, art exhibition, and benefit event. Project Winterfood was created by a group of VCU Graphic Design students to help share and preserve the culture of food in our Richmond community. The students who organized the event know how easy, practical, and beneficial it is to utilize local food options. With the help of some community partners, we are excited to share this knowledge with the public.Project Winterfood will house a fascinating art exhibition made up of work that celebrates three winter foods: apples, spinach and sweet potatoes. The artwork has been donated by local artists and will be on sale during the exhibition. All proceeds from the artwork will go to benefit The Central Virginia Food Bank and Gallery 5, a non-profit gallery that supports using the arts to promote positive social action.At the event, there will be a gathering of partners involved in the Richmond area food community to answer questions and share information about local food options, resources, and benefits. Visitors will be able learn more about how they can easily enjoy food from local farms as well as restaurants that use locally sourced ingredients. The community partners include such local businesses as the Farm to Family Veggie Bus, Dominion Harvest, Savor Cafe, Ipanema Cafe, Rostov’s Coffee & Tea, Ukrop’s, The Byrd House Market, and more to come which will be listed on the website as the project continues.During the event there will be live fiddle music , sample & tasting booths, and delicious coffee provided by Rostov’s Coffee & Tea. Each visitor will leave with a complimentary take-home brochure designed by Project Winterfood. The brochure will contain information & resources as well as recipes that include the three featured winter foods.After the event, the artwork will be on display in Gallery 5 throughout the month of December. It can be purchased during that time as well.Why is it important?The team at Project Winterfood is passionate about sharing and preserving food culture. It is our mission to share with others in the community how easy, accessible, practical, beneficial, inexpensive, and fun it is to utilize local food options. Project Winterfood is reaching out to everyone— those who already enjoy farm fresh foods and those who have heard the phrase “eating locally” without getting a chance to learn what it’s really all about.The Project Winterfood event will present seasonal winter produce in a unique way that creates a memorable, informative, and fun experience.Who are we?Project Winterfood is combined of a group of VCU Graphic Design students who are interested in promoting positive change through community service learning. They are part of Noah Scalin’s Design Rebels course striving to make a positive difference as Graphic Designers in the Richmond Community.Media Inquiries:Christina Gleixner (540) 204-1365Johnny Utterback (804) 543-5142Cody Whitby (540) 273-8407e: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 onions, chopped