Tag Archives: bread

Do you know your baker?

Everyone needs a good baker in their life. Especially, if you live on the farmers market diet, and you’re a guy. For some reason, dudes need, not like, but NEED bread on a regular basis. Maybe it’s the higher muscle mass or something, but (most) girls simply don’t care about bread.

For me, it’s huge, and I have my own baker. His name is Gunther and every week at the market I meet his wife Dawn or their friend Eddie. I have a standing order with them, two croissants and a loaf of their finest, that I pick up every Saturday at my farmers market.

By the way, no one within 50 miles makes a better croissant (trust me, I’ve tried a lot of places). I asked Dawn about this and she told me that Gunther sticks to his European recipes. He likes to make things the right way. In this case, it means the croissant should be flaky and have a crunchy sour/bitterness to it.

She told me that, at first, nobody agreed with him because nobody makes it that way. Then, as he perfected the recipe and they all tried it, they were instantly fans. Me, too, and I think the whole market agrees as well. They sell out every week!

This is one of the best parts about regularly shopping at a farmers market. You get on a first-name basis with your farmers and bakers. You hear their stories and learn about their lives and families, and they learn about yours. It brings back that sense of community that most feel is slowly fading into the past.

It’s simply another benefit of living a low-carbon, farmers market lifestyle. And, if you’re ever in Orange County stop by the market or visit Dawn, Eddie, and Gunther at their shop, the Bread Gallery.

**P.S. — They also make the best sandwich for 50 miles, but that’s for another post

 

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Communist propaganda posters from the Soviet Union, 1917-1991

An amazing set of 1,500 posters from the U.S.S.R., via Ben Perry on Flickr.

Since their propaganda, and slightly foreign, you will have to guess their intended meaning.

What does the government want you to think/feel/believe?

 

 

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The Art of Fermentation in coffee, bread, beer, cheese, yogurt…

The list of fermented food in our lives is staggering: bread, coffee, pickles, beer, cheese, yogurt and soy sauce are all transformed at some point during their production process by microscopic organisms that extend their usefulness and enhance their flavors.

The process of fermenting our food isn’t a new one: Evidence indicates that early civilizations were making wine and beer between 7,000 and 8,000 years ago — and bread even before that.

But was exactly is fermentation? And how does it work? Those were the questions that fascinated Sandor Katz for years. Katz calls himself a “fermentation revivalist” and has spent the past decade teaching workshops around the country on the ancient practice of fermenting food.

“If you walk into a gourmet food store and start thinking about the nature of the foods that we elevate on the gourmet pedestal, almost all of them are the products of fermentation,” he tells Fresh Air‘s Terry Gross.

 

Listen to the full interview on NPR’s Fresh Air‘Fermentation’: When Food Goes Bad But Stays Good

 

The book - The Art of Fermentation.

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My Family Thanksgiving 2011 – Organic, Local, and Sustainable

The Lineup

Butternut Squash Soup
Turkey
Gravy
Mashed Potatoes
Bread/Rolls
Vegetables (corn on the cob)
Cranberry
Stuffing
Pumpkin/Apple Pie
Whipped Cream

Sourcing

Butternut Squash Soup: Farmers Market. Gourd. Cut in half, remove seeds, bake till a knife slides out easily. Usually 40+ minutes at 350-400. Then, remove the skin, add water, and blend. Also, consider nutmeg and cinnamon for flavor. The perfect Thanksgiving appetizer.

Turkey: Whole Foods sells Free Range, Organic, and Heritage turkeys. All are way more expensive than the $5 dollar supermarket birds, but buying a smaller bird makes it okay. Not as many leftovers but a better conscience.

Mashed Potatoes: Potatoes aplenty at the farmers market.

Bread/Rolls: Every farmers market has a bread vendor, pick your favorite and go. Ours are the Straight Eight Rolls from the Bread Gallery

Vegetables (corn on the cob): This changes every year. For this one I’m thinking corn on the cob, barbeque-d, reminds me the most of the original Thanksgiving meal.

Gravy, Cranberry, Stuffing: Unfortunately, I haven’t found a local or organic source for these items. I think it’s because they are complicated to make and they never sell cranberries at the farmers market. Have to save that for next year.

Pumpkin/Apple Pie: Yumm. Every market has these.

Whipped Cream: Milk by the glass. Every Whole Foods in the nation sells this now and so do most natural food stores. I like Straus Family Creamery from Mother’s Market.

Seafood

Knowing my Mid-Atlantic roots, I hope to one-day introduce some seafood into our Thanksgiving meal. The closer to the pilgrims and natives the better!

From Wikipedia:

“According to what traditionally is known as “The First Thanksgiving,” the 1621 feast between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag at Plymouth Colony contained turkey, waterfowl, venison, fish, lobster, clams, berries, fruit, pumpkin, and squash.”

P.S. – My 2010 post on Thanksgiving