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I’ve got 2 aprons from Mugaritz. I bought em for 65 euros. One is still in the plastic, brand new.  The other was minimally used and very clean. $35 each. Email me or leave a reply with yours (millerino at gmail dot com).  He wears them well, no?

Well, the farm internship is over.  I’m amazed it went by so quickly, but I’m definitely happy to move on.

market table

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I now work here.

All I need is a place to live…

I was lucky enough to be invited to a Slow Foods meeting the other day at Sheldon Farms, in Salem, NY. It was a wonderful group of people. Made up of food lovers, farmers and friends. One of them, a fellow farmer, runs the Top of the World Farm and restaurant. She mentioned how she managed to get away, while her husband manned the kitchen. She said that one of their new desserts,uses  a new and unique chocolate. Taza chocolate is located in Boston, and their small (and I mean small) operation is exactly what this country needs.   Right down to the batch number on each bar, the process is watched over and perfected. Its stoned milled by hand, which means each bite is different.  The 70% has a mouthfeel that is incredible, and a taste to match. The 80% is for hardcore chocolate lovers… i mean chocolate, chocolate.  It aint nestle, folks.  Not to mention that its organic to boot! Finally a chocolate bar that America can be proud of. Just think of the possibilities…

Taza goodness

Charcuterie

I’ve been dabbling in charcuterie and such for awhile now.  Some things turn out, like the chorizo i wrote about, while others have suffered through one manner or another. I made a batch of calabrese soppressata which suffered its demise through overheating.  My last batch of salumi, however, succeeded.  Pancetta and guanciale.  From 2 pigs heads I got for free from Adams Fairacre Farms.  “We were just gonna throw em away” the meat clerk said… ugh. Why dont people get that chops/loin aren’t anywhere NEAR as tasty as cheek or head meat?? The pancetta was not rolled; I was feeling saucy.

melange of goodness

guanciale

pancetta

pancetta

brandywineWell, it has been awhile since I last posted, but I have been working like a dog.  Waking up at 6 and working until 6 or 7 is not that different from a regular kitchen workday in terms of hours but the labor is really different. You get dirtier. You smell. Not like garlic, or a fryer, but like chicken poop. Or tomatoes. Speaking of tomatoes, late blight has been a huge issue.  Almost every other farmer who Ive met since being up here has lost them.  We spray our tomatoes with copper (yes its an organic practice) which keeps the spores off/away.  So until that time, Im enjoying my brandywines, of which I just got a 29.6oz tomato, green zebras, purple cherokees, san marzanos, and wapsipinicon peach tomatoes.  Gazpacho has been a mainstay when its hot, and jose andres has a bitchin recipe/ratio (too bad it wasnt served at “the Bazaar”)….

29oz brandywine

So i have some leftover trim from a pigs head and was wondering what to do with it… Im thinking a pigs head salumi, perhaps chorizo, but id like to open up my blog to the readers to get your opinion. What should I use the head trim for?

Thanks for the input!

So yes. it has indeed been awhile.  Ive been working on a farm for the past 2 months, living a totally different lifestyle than a cook would tend to lead. Up at 5:50am, out at 7 work till 1-ish, lunch, work till 6. In bed at, im embarassed to say, 9 or 10. Repeat. Saturday is easily my favorite day of the week because I get to go to the market and sell all the stuff Ive been planting, watering and growing. Rather, helping grow.  So yes, Ive been super busy and updates are at hand. This will be one for the books.

I took a quick weekend trip to Manhattan and ate at Greys Papaya, Artisanal (for champagne and cheese alone), Gramercy Tavern,  Magnolia bakery and Balthazar.  Everything was amazing especially at Balthazar and  Gramercy; Ive never had a bad meal there (Gramercy). This time was no different, but there was DILL on 5 out of 7 dishes. Weird. A little repetetive, but all in all delicious.

So back to farming. Why: Because I couldn’t find a job in NYC or DC, and Id love to grow some produce for my restaurant in the future, and know how to do it right. Where: Argyle, NY (30 min. north of Saratoga Springs).  Pleasant Valley Farm is the name, and we’re Naturally Certified. Same as USDA organic, but without all the fees and bs.

Right now, we are harvesting lettuce heads, scallions, last of the strawberries, beginning/middle of peas, swiss chard, yellow squash, zucchini, garlic, green beans, cucumbers, and about 15 different herbs.  Tomatoes are coming along; we’ve got about 500+ plants.  We have over 800 winter squash plants and as many leeks and more onions than both.  Ill get a photo of me on the transplanter called a waterwheel, where i sit and plant tons of plants in a fraction of time that it would take to transplant by hand. Lots of learning here, and tons of great produce.