Saturday, July 31, 2010
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
So we chose these easy and adorable pies! The first step was to make the cupcakes (you know my favorite, easy recipe: Billy's Vanilla Vanilla cupcakes and frosting). Note, this recipe makes about 30 cupcakes- we made 24 and they were a bit too big and hard to get out so make about 30 with this batter. While the cupcakes are cooling, you can sort your M&Ms. We had two big bags and this is how many blues we ended up with...quite a bit more than the reds.
We used a number 4 wilton tip for the lattice and did a diagonal piping instead of a straight. After the lattice, I used a plastic bag and just cut off the tip and did a swirl crust along the edge. It covers a lot mistakes. It's easier to pipe when this is on a pedestal.
And so there you have it, pies! i wonder what these might be like with real fruit on top instead of M&Ms...next time!
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Here's how we made it...
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Sunday, July 4, 2010
1. not too many leftovers
2. Justin's asleep in the hammock at the end of the night
3. we took terrible photos of really tasty food because we were just enjoying it and not trying to make the perfect blog post
So, in the spirit of sharing what we had, here was the menu:
• beautiful cheeses from our neighbor, Dezmo, including Taleggio, St. Agur Blue, Teleme, and Mimolette
• deviled eggs from A and C
• fresh veggies and dip from Gail
• cucumber and sweet vidalia onion salad- made by me from Martha
• potato salad from Gail
• stuffed burgers with cheddar cheese, bacon and carmelized onions in the center of the burger
• corn on the cob from the farmer's market
• and some strawberry lemon coolers that I made
and for dessert:
• olallieberry pie from V and K- they picked the olallieberries!
• this gorgeous flag cake from Toni
• and mini-pavlovas from me. I was so worried about making the meringue properly that I somehow messed up the whipped cream! I used my own canister and I'm not sure if it because I had the wrong proportion of gas to cream or because I used whipping cream instead of heavy whipping cream but it just didn't look great and didn't hold up! Tasted really good though. I have three left to try to top a bit more artfully. Will do and post in detail once I work it all out!
Finally, we are up to our ears in strawberries...any suggestions? We're making a strawberry-rhubarb pie tomorrow but have more left....
Thursday, July 1, 2010
We aren't sure what's more incredible: the fact that they have full time professional jobs (science and marketing) or that they have pretty much taught themselves how to do all of this. They've built the shelters, feeding equipment and pens themselves and taken classes on how to humanely and appropriate butcher a pig- not to mention all of the food preparation they've learned. Check out our previous post where you can see what they are doing with food and beer (yes, they brew their own!). In addition to raising the pigs, they are growing a tremendous garden of fruits, berries, vegetables and even grapes! It's astounding.
The pigs they are raising are called Mangalitsa and you'll notice right away that they have curly hair! These pigs are prized for their quality meat and they take quite a while to mature. You'll find the pork at high end restaurants like Chez Panisse and One Market. Marie and Shane are the only raisers of these pigs in Northern California and while they can butcher for themselves to eat, they sell the pigs to these restaurants to butcher as they wish. Those pigs are slaughtered an approved USDA facility.
On their ranch, they've pastured the pigs and given them shelter as well as plenty of mud to wallow. They have spritzers to cool the pigs and create an even bigger mud wallow in the summer.
You'll notice right away that the pigs really root up the land creating lumpy earth in place of green pastures.
They almost blend right in!
The pigs are separated by age groups so the adults don't pick on the little guys. Currently they have three different age groups.
Of course, the piglets start out as cute little guys without all of the curly hair but they grow pretty quickly.
This brave one came up to say hello but most of the piglets were pretty shy. The older pigs weren't shy at all and liked to be scratched.
This little one took in some sunshine.
So how did we feel seeing these pigs and their lives and then having dinner that was created from them? I felt grateful for the privilege and glad that these animals were treated with respect and dignity. Seeing their pasture with the open space, sunshine, and mud- they seemed content and relaxed. And knowing our friends, we were assured that they were honoring these animals throughout their lives and afterwards, as they looking to use all parts of the animal in cooking and eating. We couldn't help but be impressed yet also realize how disconnected most of us are as a society from our own food. We've been invited to the next time that Marie and Shane slaughter and butcher a pig and I'd like to go. It sounds like a tremendous amount of work, possibly intimidating but also a very real and honest experience of what it means to eat meat.
Have you been to a farm or ranch? Have you ever slaughtered and butchered an animal?
How connected do you feel to your food?