Food Labels and the Meaning of Life

This week's writing is a bit conflicted.  We wanted to share our own thinking about the labels you see in grocery stores. Catchy and attractive adjectives describing food; words like "local" and "fresh" get bantered about pretty willy-nilly. Especially because the definitions of those words, which seek to be so meaningful, are actually quite vague. If you drag out your momma's Webster's, scan over to "local", you'll see its defined as "characterized by or relating to position in space having a definite spatial form or location".

What does that really mean? Local to where? To whom? We're willing to turn the other cheek in Target when we see "organic gummy bears" but what is local about boxed Mac and Cheese? How is this local to Boston?

But we're not about to stand on a sustainably-sourced soap box about it. Nobody buys locally all of the time, including us. Nobody eats locally or organic all of the time, including us. 

What can we do?  If you care deeply about food, all of the hub-bub around food labels can leave in you in an existential crisis. For now, we believe the best thing we can do is highlighting food from local farmers and sharing that food to as many folks in our community as possible. Why do we do this? Because when you know who made your food, you have a much better idea of how it was made and what goes into it. Moreover, we love to talk about local producers and purveyors because we think food tastes better when you know where it comes from. Much better. Leagues and galaxies better. 

Oh, and this week we have blue potatoes. Nerd alert! They're blue due to the levels of natural anthocyanins, water soluble pigments they contain- what's up AP CHEM CLASS! They're beautiful and a little weird.

(We'll post a picture of these little blue pups in the AM, as soon as we get our hands on 'em!)

 

WHAT'S IN THE BAG?

HALF SHARE

Omnivore Protein - Ground Italian Sausage and Eggs from Feather Brook Farm
Pescatarian Protein - Salmon from Red's Best and Eggs from Feather Brook Farm; 
Fruits and Veggies - Adirondack Blue Potatoes from Hoolie Flats Farm; Spring Greens from Busa Farms; Lion's Mane Mushrooms from Mycoterra Farm; Carrots from Brookford Farm
Grains - Pasta from Nella Pasta
Special Treat - Chocolate Chip Cookies from Vinal Bakery (check them out at Longfellows Coffee on Sunday morning for a life changing breakfast sandwich!)

 

WHOLE SHARE

Omnivore Protein - Ground Italian Sausage and Eggs from Feather Brook Farm; Salmon from Red's Best
Pescatarian Protein - Red Fish and Scrod from Red's Best; Eggs from Feather Brook Farm;
Fruits and Veggies -  Heirloom Mini Tomatoes from Five College Farms; Adirondack Blue Potatoes from Hoolie Flats Farm; Butternut Squash and Spring Greens from Busa Farms; Lion's Mane Mushrooms from Mycoterra Farm; Carrots from Brookford Farm
Grains - Pasta from Nella Pasta
Special Treat - Chocolate Chip Cookies from Vinal Bakery (check them out at Longfellows Coffee on Sunday morning for a life changing breakfast sandwich!)



RECIPES: 

This week we are low on hyper links and long on prose. Erin spent a lot of time in a plane, thinking about delicious food while subsisting off mini pretzels and bad beer (like we said, nobody's perfect).

Ground Sausage and Pasta: Mark Bittman said that ground sausage is the perfect pairing for pasta if you're looking for a quick weeknight meal. "Sausage, used in small amounts, can contribute to a relatively light, almost delicate pasta sauce. In fact, sausage is a gift to the minimalist cook: it comes already seasoned, and its seasoning can be used to flavor whatever goes with it." He suggests just two pans. One to cook the sausage of medium heat with some butter. When the pasta is done, drain reserving some of the pasta water.  Marry the pasta into the sausage pan and stir adding grated parm, and some fresh pepper. If you like a more saucy sauce ( we know you do!) add a splashes of the pasta water until you reach your desired sauciness. Also! Time to empty the fridge! If you have tomatoes or spinach or onions or kale that are screaming to be used, add 'em right in with the sausage. The more the merrier.

Poached Egg on Roasted Veggies: We have sung the praises of the poached egg before. They are beautiful and add a glorious creamy richness to myriad dishes. If you have never poached an egg it is 100 times easier than you think. Follow the link and let the folks from the KITHCN guide you through it. Here we propose a bed of roasted veggies; blue potatoes, carrots and onions maybe topped with a poached egg and plenty of pepper. Lightly dress your greens as a side dish and you have week night suppah.

Lion's Mane Mushroom Pasta:  We think we may take the mushrooms in a slightly different direction this week. Julia from Mycoterra always refers to this particular type as meaty. We're going to cook up our pasta in butter and garlic and spinach; thinly slice the mushrooms and let them toast up in the cast iron. When they're done lay them on top of the pasta on the plate with plenty of parm and then top with a poached egg. Yes. Again with the poached egg.

Lemon Salmon Pasta: Because pretending its summer is totally acceptable.

 

TIPS AND TRICKS 

In this week'd edition of "Don't Throw That Away I'll Eat It": Keeping the Fat.

We have mentioned before that pan juices are gold. With fish or chicken or meat they can be poured over the final dish as a last dose of flavor. When you are cooking meats such as Italian Sausage or Bacon or Pork Belly, they can be re-used to cook veggies, eggs or, as in the recipe above, as a pasta sauce. 

But maybe sometimes you're not feeling all that fat for one dish. That's totally fair. Once it cools you can scrape it into a container and freeze it. Tim pours ours directly into uncovered ramekins making our freezer look like some kind of medical experience. The upside there is always pan fat to go on your roasted veggies, fried rice or grilled bread. Yum.