Some quick things:
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- Third in the Burg is this Friday! Happy hour starts at 5pm as usual, and we’ll be open until 8pm. (I believe the Stone Building stays open a little later.)
- BABY SPINACH is here in force again. I still love it.
- The real story this week is CHEESE. We’ve got three new additions to the line-up — a romano-style from Clover Creek, a blue from Clover Creek, and a stinky smear-ripened cheese from Oasis at Bird-in-Hand. All raw, aged at least 60 days (that romano is aged at least a year!), and all grass-fed from clean pastures. And, of course, all delicious.
Scroll down for the full list of what we’ll have this week!
You may have noticed (or you might remember from a previous post!) that last week marked a first for us — Dusty and I were gone for most of the weekend. Skipped town, even. We didn’t go far — just to State College for the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture’s annual conference. Pre-Radish & Rye, we went several years in a row, but this was the first time since we’ve had R&R that we made it to the conference, since there’s near perfect overlap with market days. We were very excited to spend a few days in company with some of the state’s most passionate local food producers, and the experience did not disappoint.
I attended several workshops on marketing and food trends — most geared toward farmers peddling their own wares, but of course still relevant to us — while Dusty went to workshops mostly about post-harvest crop handling, food safety, and some of the current challenges facing the organic certification program. I also learned about Penn State University’s efforts to buy locally (a big challenge for an institution its size, especially while trying to remain affordable for all students), and went to a session on raising pastured egg layers just to get some additional insight into the challenges Village Acres faces in raising hens for all of us.
I think that even though — or perhaps because — it was the least relevant to my day to day life, the pastured hen workshop was my favorite. The presenter had many years experience raising hens for a few different farms, and is currently working for a non-profit that allows him to do quite a bit of experimentation without being too worried about the bottom line (at least in the short term!). Most of the other attendees were already raising pastured hens themselves, and so there was quite a bit of discussion about ways different farms did things differently, and some group brainstorming about problems facing some of the farms. Not only was it fascinating for me to learn a little more about the day to day of raising pastured hens for eggs, but seeing the camaraderie and community in the room — between farmers who’d known each other for years and minutes — was inspiring.
Also inspiring was the cheese tasting we kicked off the trip with on Thursday night — so much so that we’ve already received our first delivery of cheeses we discovered that evening! (That would be the two from Clover Creek; the stinky cheese we were already planning to introduce this week.) We’re hoping to arrange for a “field trip find” delivery of some Pittsburgh cheeses in the near future as well, and will be adding some new non-cheese products either this week or next — so stay tuned!
And as for what to cook this week…I’m thinking a lot about winter salads — especially since it seems like it’s going to feel more like summer over the next couple of days. Dusty made a phenomenal arrangement of lightly steamed baby beets with their greens and a from-scratch aioli dressing a couple of days ago. I’m also feeling really inspired by recipes pairing some of the bitter winter greens — like radicchio, which we’ll have this week — with bright citrus notes. The Splendid Table featured this Winter Salad with Bulgur, Radicchio, and Toasted Almonds recently, which includes a lemon juice vinaigrette; I think I’d swap some emmer for the bulgur, chervil for the parsley, and use the Keepwell Cabernet Franc vinegar. Green Ridge Acres has lemons and raisins, and I’ve always got a can of chick peas in the pantry, so I think I could pull this together without leaving the market. Taking a lighter route, Epicurious is pushing this Endive, Romaine, and Orange Salad, which sounds to me like it would be great with the Caputo Brothers Vecchio or the new Clover Creek Royer Mountain romano.
For a main course, I started dreaming about Rishia Zimmern’s Chicken with Shallots (paywall), and wound up on this Chicken with Vinegar and Onions. It seems to me some kind of hybrid is probably in order, with a whole pieced chicken, shallots (because I sure do love them), maybe some of the Keepwell Bitter Lemon vinegar, or maybe just the Cab Franc again, etc etc.
For tonight, needing to keep it fast and simple, we’re about to throw together a pasta with spinach and ricotta. Because it’s what we always do, I imagine we’ll squeeze some lemon on at the end, and maybe toss the spinach with some red pepper flakes at the beginning. I’m getting hungry!
- Baby Chard
- Fuji Apples (IPM)
- Granny Smith Apples (IPM)
- Lions Mane
Other Potatoes Salad Greens Squash & Pumpkins
Squash & Pumpkins