Monday, June 6, 2011

Big Weekend

We have had lots going on this weekend.  On Friday I went into Pittsburgh to the Wholefoods to do a cooking demo. Kelsey, who works with us at the farmers markets, was there cooking with me.  It was so much fun!  I told Kelsey you would have thought that we had done those a dozen times.  We worked really well together and all the food turned out great.  Lots of people stopped to chat and try out the goodies we were cookin' up. 

The Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) invited us to do this event.  They are hosting different events for what they call "farm start".  These events are meant to connect the farms or farmers directly with the customers. They wanted some farmers to come there with their produce and cook it for people. Of course! I was very glad to participate, one because I love cooking and sharing that with people, and two because I think that is a great idea.  The more people can connect a place or person with their food, you know the closer it is to being a whole food.  The further away you get from that, the more likely it is that the food is processed, unhealthy and has traveled thousands of miles. 

It was a nice day outside, sunny and not too hot.  We got a little red but it was alright.  We made some: kale smoothies, rhubarb compote on bread with chevre, asparagus risotto, and salad with home made cream dressing.  They were all very good but I would have to say that the rhubarb compote kicked butt. 

here is the recipe:

Rhubarb compote
about 5 stalks rhubarb chopped
¾ cup sugar
2 tbsp water

Combine ingredients in pot and bring to boiling.  Reduce heat and simmer about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until rhubarb is tender (about 10 minutes). Cool and refrigerate until used.

We served the compote with some River View Dairy chevre (goat cheese) on home made bread.  My mouth is watering just thinking about it.  

After the demo Fabe, Addy and I visited some family in Pittsburgh and then we picked up Addy's grandma from the airport.  She stayed with us for a few days and it was nice.  She is from California and lives near LA now. She was taking pictures of all the country-type stuff and scenery and she got a few good pics of Amish buildings and buggies.   I think she had a good time.  Really she just wanted to spend some time with Addy, which she got to so I am sure she was happy.

Saturday was the first Clarion farm market.  It felt great to be out there again and seeing all the familiar faces.  Who cooks for you farm is not going to be there this year, bummer!  I was excited to see those guys again.  They were cool folks and were the other organic produce place, so I felt a little more normal with them there I suppose.  The Clarion Market is a little small but it is a good market, and Clarion is turning around slowly.  People are becoming more aware of the importance in sustainable agriculture and food knowledge.  There are certainly some organic die-hard people there!  

I learned some exciting news about Clarion too --- there is a food store opening here which is going to carry specialty Italian items and Delallo products.  Their company is based in Jeannette, PA.  I know you can go to the store in Jeannette but I haven't gone yet.  Someday.

I am so excited though because I feel like I am always compromising in the kitchen since I don't have the "right" ingredients.  We don't have a lot of shopping options out here in the country.  I am not complaining because I receive endless amounts of free organic produce, but sometimes I just want some prosciutto, capicola, good parmesan, or some marinated olives or eggplant.  Ya know I am not picky, haha.  But now, now.  Now I can almost have everything.  What else could I want?  Organic - extremely local produce, raw milk and butter, our own delicious eggs, home made bread and specialty Italian foods.  Ahh, the culinary equivalence of my paradise.  

It is planned to open in July and I cannot wait.  I think it is called On 6th and Main.  Don't worry, I am sure I will write about it when it opens.  
Beautiful day today, supposed to rain tomorrow.  We need it, the plants need it.  Good.  Goodnight.

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