Wednesday, February 3, 2010

February Days are Warmed by Long Winter Kitchen pt 5

Michelle and I are so excited to be back with another fabulous (if we do say so!) selection of dishes. Last week I had an incredible meeting with Kris, the farmer who is raising our meat. We talked about a lot of things (including the future of the Long Winter Kitchen--stay tuned for further developments!). She told me about the challenges of being a female rancher, what her son thought when he went to work at a conventional meat processing plant (imagine a 19-yr-old boy reduced to showing emotion and horror!), and what she's learned from the other farmers she works with to source this incredible meat. There were a few stories I thought you'd find interesting: did you think last week's cuts of lamb were small? Well, it's not your imagination. Kris is raising a heritage breed of lamb that doesn't get as large as modern breeds. But, I hope you'll agree, that these animals who were bred for flavor deliver. Another interesting factor that you haven't seen because we've been taking your chickens apart: the chickens we get in your shares are all different sizes--not standardized. Kris points out that this is because she doesn't cull the smaller birds from her flock as they do in traditional chicken farming. She says "This is the real world--I'm not going to waste a chicken because it's a little smaller than the others!" She's also raising some heritage chickens along with modern breeds, so that accounts for some of the variability too. I'm learning so much from being part of this meat CSA... as with any CSA, you learn to live with uncertainty and variety!

SO, This week's menu:
Corn and Kielbasa Chowder --a small portion of kielbasa lends a punch to this creamy chowder with summer's sweetest corn preserved by Locavorious and our own homemade chicken stock.
Chicken Chili - a white chili--just the thing to warm these snowy days.
Pasta Fagioli - bursting with flavor from our summer harvest of tomatoes and Old Pine Farm's ground beef
Vegetable Rich Pot Roast - We're going to the freezer and throwing the whole summer into the pot for this one! Eat it and read seed catalogs and think of summer.

And, Michelle and I are working hard to get the details nailed down for CFK 2.0. Stay tuned, as I said. We're excited about what's coming next........
Photos: 1. Steamed Lamb with Thyme and garlic 2. The Breakfast Dish 3. Steak with roasted pepper sauce.

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