Thursday, November 4, 2010

organic products.........

non pesticide foods are definitely more safe for human consumption, you would be a fool to think otherwise, and washing DOES NOTHING for many foods.... did you know that lettuce is one of the food worlds worst...... every single leaf is saturated with the pesticides generally used.....! these chemicals creep in from the root system, and are in every leaf...... organic food is NOT a huge expense, depending on the food...... this country, and even this world is a bit backwards- just think, people spend 30 bucks on fake nails filled with chemicals...... they spend 60 bucks plus on hair cuts and dyes, but they don't give a damn what goes into their own body, they don't want to spend 1 to 3 dollars 'extra' on a bag of ORGANIC fruits and veggies........ -wow- if you are watching every single penny, as most of us are these days, watch the sales, contact the maker of your favorite foods and most will sent you coupons (printed on paper)...... or you can cut out something in your life, way less important than the food that goes into your mouth (aka- gaping pie hole)..........! quite frankly, the word ORGANIC does not mean pesticide free.... there are hundreds of articles about it, just do some research. the word ORGANIC just means it does not use the traditional pesticides..... for the most part, ORGANIC pesticides are worse than if they were injecting the stuff with plutonium.... copper sulfide is the pesticide of choice for organic farmers and growers..... and we should all know how highly TOXIC it is, and unlike DDT and other insecticides it becomes part of the soil, so no matter what- it becomes part of the food..... and that CAN NOT BE WASHED OFF........!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

esopus spitzenberg........(malus domestica)

one of the great american apple varieties, thomas jefferson's favorite...... he planted over 18 esopus trees at monticello many years ago..... noted for its spicy flavor, and for its susceptibility to any and all diseases afflicting apples.... this highly respected american antique apple is named after the settlement of ESOPUS, ulster county, new york, where it was found towards the end of the 18th century..... it was widely planted in the US in the 19th century and utilized for both dessert and culinary applications, but subsequently fell out of fashion although it remains a popular heirloom variety for gardeners and trees are available from many US nurseries...... the apples have an excellent flavor complexity, which improves with storage, making this a great keeper...... while american apple enthusiasts often seek out european (and especially english) antique varieties, there is unfortunately little if any interest in AMERICAN HEIRLOOM varieties..... it is apparent that american and european tastes in apples are quite different, with europeans apparently preferring slightly more complex flavors...... however, if there was ever an AMERICAN ANTIQUE variety that should appeal to european tastes, it must be the ESOPUS SPITZENBERG..........! the flavor is truly aromatic and matches the complexity of the aromatic english apples...... the flesh is very buttery dense yellow, and there is a rich sharpness which is often characteristic of high quality heirloom and antique dessert apples..... eating an ESOPUS is a thoroughly enjoyable experience...... in terms of supermarket varieties, the closest match is probably the JAZZ, which also has similar dense flesh and rich sharp flavors...... having been able to enjoy the ESOPUS SPITZENBERG many times over, whether in one of our ANTIQUE APPLE SYMPOSIUMS through THE NEW ENGLAND FARM 2 FORK PROJECT or by finding a single tree at an antique apple orchard this apple is still by far my favorite AMERICAN ANTIQUE APPLE.......... hands down

rachel ray lost 44lbs...........!!!

dogged by a growing image problem (fat ass americans) that has linked HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP with everything from obesity to diabetes, the corn refiners association has come up with a smart solution- (or a sly and sneaky one, depending on your point of view): change the name..... according to the Associated Press, the CRA is applying to the federal government to approve 'corn sugar' as an alternative name on our food labels...... it seems HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP is a victim of its own success.... developed in the 1970's as a cheaper alternative to cane sugar, it quickly found its way into EVERYTHING from soda pop to bread..... but as the rates of obesity and diabetes in america climbed, the ubiquitous sweetener (known as the dietary devil) came to symbolize all that was wrong with the average americans diet..... consumers started avoiding it like the plague, no doubt in part because the name just sounded- well too damn industrialized.....! after all, my deep-rooted italian mom or grandma never reached for the HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP to make any of their homemade breads, desserts or condiments...... even some conglomerate manufacturers started removing it from their products: gatorade, snapple, hunts and coca cola jumped on the bandwagon.... the CRA is crying unfair and a foul.................... they have now launched a slick new website that welcomes readers with a picture of a pleasant photo of a corn maze and the question- '.......confused about what you're hearing about HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP......? but we in the food world already know: whether it is called corn sugar or HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, it is sugar and its make up is like practically every other sugar out there........ white (death) sugar, brown sugar, sucrose, honey, and even maple sugar are all roughly the same mixture of simple sugars called glucose and fructose....... given the fact that the american diet is already toooo damn sweet, we as american consumers with mounting health issues should be consuming less and less sugar in any of its molecular forms..... but hey- rachel ray lost 44lbs....

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

piss off...................wee-wee whisky

the whisky world has been chattering like mad about designer and researcher james gilpin's student project......... showcased at london's royal college of art's show 2o1o...... design interactions....... which turns the sugar rich urine (yes I said piss) of diabetics into high-end single malt whisky....... yes I said piss....! the inspiration for GILPIN FAMILY WHISKY came from his own life as a type 1 diabetic..... his type 2 diabetic grandmother was his first candidate or shall we say-piss donor..... his projects states, '.....old people's urine becomes an exportable whisky of high economic value..........' large amounts of sugar are excreted on a daily basis by type 2 diabetic patients, especially among older people, gilpin also thinks that we should start to consider using that sugar creatively........ (piss flavored whisky..........roll in your grave gentleman jack- roll in your grave) gilpin cleans the urine using water purification techniques, seperating out the sugars that are present.... this sugar is added to a cooked grain mixture where it accelerates the fermentation process..... (yeast eats sugar, and alcohol is the byproduct) he then distills a clear whisky, then adds other whisky blends for color and taste........ taste...! what can whisky made of piss taste like.....? dont worry all of you artisan whisky and whiskey makers, this is NOT a commercial venture- it is strictly an exhibit intended to spark debate and to serve as an educational tool........

Monday, October 4, 2010

Route 11 Potato Chips.............VA

Route 11 Potato Chips originally started in an old feed store in Middletown, VA. situated near the center of the Shenandoah Valley, they have up rooted and are now in a state-of-the-art chipping facility in Mount Jackson, VA....! (just down da road) Fry-viewing opportunities abound as do kick-ass chips for sampling and purchasing.... Route 11 is famous for its delicious, old style kettle-cooked tater chips with all natural flavor enhancements..... Everything they make is hand-cooked... Although it is very labor intensive compared to the continuous frying methods of the big boys..... Ah- the pleasures of the Shenandoah Valley- Apple Blossoms, Bucolic Farms and tater chips..... You will find yourself lining up like a pilgrim at a shrine to enjoy these hip chips..... Just think- Chef Jose Andres uses these chips to make his world famous 'DC' potato chip omelet..... On our visit the chippery was pumping out hand-dusted Barbecue Chips... Some are little ovals of locally grown potatoes with burnished edges and slight undulations.... Others are tater plateaus, doubling back on themselves like some coral formation containing nubby caverns of perfectly fried tubers..... The retro packaging sports eye catching appeal and the crispy nuggets of tater-ness contained inside are truly hip chips..... Lightly Salted . BBQ . Dill Pickle . Sour Cream & Chive . Chesapeake Crab . Salt-n-Vinegar . Garlic & Herb . Sweet Potato . Mixed Vegetable . Tabard Farm Yukon Gold . Mama Zumas . Habenero & Eastern Shore Hayman are the sinfully delicious specimens... Oh- did I forget to mention that Sarah (da chip queen) is also committed to the environment..... All tater chip peelings and chip rejects are fed to cows 1/2 mile down the road..... The fry oil is reused by another local company to roast their horse feed.... They also reclaim the steam from the fryers (taters are 75% H20) to help heat the facility kitchen..... crunch on with your GREEN selves route 11...... Come get your tater chip fix.... www.rt11.com sales@rt11.com 800.294.spud

Sunday, October 3, 2010

maine lobster.............a rare calico bug

a rare calico lobster is on display at the Portland Lobster Company on commercial street in the old port of portland, maine's busy fishing community... the creature is sporting a mottled orange and black shell rather than the usual deep green and red shell that is so common to humerus americanus... this bug was caught by larry and crystal dunne, who have been harvesting maine bugs for years off the coast... the saco couple pulled up this calico bug on august 25th, 2o1o off the tip of cape elizabeth while aboard their boat, the bushwhacker... the Portland Lobster Company is 'boarding' the calico crustacean until the Dunne's can find it a new home- or a pot of boiling salted water.....! calico lobsters are one of the rarest of multicolored lobsters in the sea... a blue bug is one in a million and a yellow or orange bug is one in thirty million, reports a lobster scientist from The Lobster Conservancy... calico's are rare, only albino's are rarer, just how rare is anyones guest... discolored shells are a genetic trait... in twenty-five years The Lobster Conservancy has only had two or three calicoes reported by local lobstermen... the maine state aquarium in west boothbay has a tank full of unusual 'bugs'... some are half multi-colored and the half is normal... the bugs have been donated by local lobstermen who believe strongly that it is GOOD luck to catch a mis-colored bug, but BAD luck to eat one.....! the Dunne's have been working their way through the entire lobster color spectrum... her husband has caught both blue and yellow specimens in the past few years... finding a permanent homestead for this calico creature may be harder than usual this summer though, the Gulf of Maine Research Institute in portland has had so many donations, including an awesome albino this season that it has run out of room... no one knows why so many off-colored 'bugs' are showing up off the coast of maine this year... this is an unusual summer- so draw some local creamery butter, cook some native sweet corn-on-the-cob, make a classic wild maine 'low-bush' blueberry pie and cook that calico bastard then get crackin'..........! ( check out maine buggin' a documentary about the maine lobster industry )

Friday, October 1, 2010

geno's.......whiz wit........and andrew zimmern

driving from providence, rhode island to south philly with the ever-so consuming thought of geno's philly cheese-steak (whiz wit, please) burned into our brain and tattooed into the deep recesses of our palate..... we forge on- chewing up asphalt we hit the five hour mark and are now within striking distance of GENO'S........ (it's 6:35pm) as we pull up to the intersection of 1237 passyunk ave and 1219 south 9th street (pat's king of steaks and geno's steaks) I noticed a large group of what seems to be men in extravagant feathered costumes playing an oompah tune and dancing in the street.... a very busy street that just happens to be ground zero for the philly cheesesteak wars (move over nicky scarfo)...... as we approach the epicenter I look over to my left and notice none-other than ANDREW 'fucken' Zimmern (that's not his real middle name)...............!!! andrew zimmern, the man all of us culinarians look to when it comes to consuming the nastiest, smelliest most off the damn wall foods on the planet (quickly remembering the house of stink in asia somewhere)........ this dude is a freak of nature, a true foodies foodie and one of heather's favorite food-world stars.... and it just happened to be his birthday..... at the intersection of cheese whiz, shaved steak, maybe onions and a pillow-soft roll (baked in jersey of course) we met food writer, tv celeb, chef, author, teacher and the consumer of all thangs stanky..... this seemed to dwarf the whole reason we were there in philly..... geno's whiz wit...... andrew is regarded as one of the most versatile and knowledgeable personalities in the food world..... host of travel channel's hit series- BIZZARE FOODS, andrew travels the world exploring food in its own terroir- wherever and however it is found..... from restaurants to jungle markets, it's all about discovering the authentic experience...... the geno's cheesesteak whiz wit was still as we remember it- SCRUMPTDILLIOUS....!!! hit the road with andrew zimmern in search of america's best curbside cuisine..... be sure to check out APPETITEFORLIFE.MSN.COM to see '...appetite for life- curbside cuisine...' in its many american culinary locations....... and remember we traveled a total of almost 500 miles and nearly 6 hours in the car to get a geno's steak....... whiz wit.... as we walk the short distance back to the overstuffed automobile we over hear 3 asians kids discussing the differences between the 2 leaders in philly cheesesteakdom.... they seem to prefer PAT'S KING OF STEAKS because there is less neon and glitz..... but is the steak sandwich better at PAT'S....? we have not been able to give it much thought after consuming the much anticipated steak at GENO's...........!!! my mouth waters for our next visit

Friday, September 17, 2010

shaker's, of the remaining few.......brother arnold hadd

a bearded and very intense man, brother arnold hadd is one of the few (3) remaining shakers in the world and he is also the acting spokesman for '...the remaining few...'.....! he is the managing urban steward of the shakers remaining 1800 acres.... here is a look into the daily life at the protestant manastic sect's hilltop village in southern maine.... being one of three remaining shaker chefs this chance meeting and conversation meant the world to me.....! brother arnold's daily chores may consist of raising, drying, packaging and selling shaker medicinal & heirloom culinary herbs . caring for the pasture raised sheep (30+), highland cattle (9), and 3 pigs . tending the 1900 antique apple trees in the sabbathday shaker orchard . maintaining the farm equipment and historic village buildings that date back to 1760.... brother arnold chose raising highland cattle as part of the community's heritage 'grass-fed' beef program........ he says '.....these heritage breed cattle have retained their instincts, they are easy calvers, great mothers, tremendous foragers and grow well on the sabbathday lake shaker villages less than ideal pastures...... brother arnold raves on about the cattle saying '...queen elizabeth II maintains a herd of 400+ highland cattle and if you are invited to her balmoral castle, that is what will be on your plate... caught '...out in the world...' brother arnold is picking pears (mighty early) from an heirloom tree planted over a century ago in the center of 'the least of the mother's beast in the east'... sabbathday lake shaker village... I approached and asked him if he were one of the remaining few........ he said "I am"....! we immediately went deep into conversation about the pears, my connection to the shaker community, being one of three shaker chefs in the country and his daily life and eating habits at the modern day village... for a devout foodie this meeting will be remembered for many years... live long - live strong brother arnold hadd, you are forever in my thoughts.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

sustainable single-estate peppercorns

we take the black peppercorns on our counter for granted... but this pantry staple was once so deeply coveted that the king of europe launched voyages (including the one that led columbus to america)to find better trade routes to india with an eye toward controlling the crop... in the middle ages, rent could be paid in peppercorns instead of cash... (my landlords always like benjamins) when the visigoths held rome ransom, they demanded gold, silver- and 3000lbs. of peppercorns.....! beyond its heat and sharp bite, black pepper also enhances our ability to taste food, stimulating our salivary glands so we experience flavors more fully... this sensational effect only comes from freshly ground pepper... once the hard, black shell of the peppercorn is cracked open, its aroma immediately starts to fade, and most of its flavor and scent disappear within a half hour... replacing your pepper shaker with a good pepper mill is one of the simplest way to enhance your everyday cooking... parameswaran's special wynad estate peppercorns ($30 for 200gr / 7oz) unlike most black pepper, which comes from multiple plantations, this organic, hand picked black peppercorn is grown on one estate on the wynad plateau in kerala, india... using only sustainable, fair trade black pepper cultivation to produce these black pearls of heat has proven worth it for chefs and old-school diners that still love to pile down steak a'poivre......! being that we should be conscious about all of the products that line our kitchen shelves, chefs and home cooks alike never take the time to think about the daily ingredients that have had an effect on the worlds markets and food supplies... this pepper is a blend of two varieties of black pepper- karimunda and panniyur which are grown without chemical pesticides or fertilizers... the peppercorn berries are allowed to ripen to maximum size and flavor, then picked by hand and sun-dried... even more important these bad-boys are vacuum-packed on the estate to preserve freshness and flavor to avoid the typical ills of transport... this peppercorn berry sports a rich, deeply complex, beautifully floral, with a ripe, floral, lavender-like warmth... flavor that is earthy and smooth with moderate heat that builds gradually, but not ferociously......! the most commonly utilized in the kitchens of america is the tellicherry peppercorn and is still considered to be the world's finest pepper... named after a port town in the state of kerala on india's malabar coast... do a quick bit of research on the most mundane of products in your kitchen and you will be surprised to learn more about them and their checkered past.....!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

windows on the world.................rip (79)

the north tower had a restaurant on its 106th & 107th floors called WINDOWS ON THE WORLD, which opened on april 20th 1976 (the day my son zander was born, just 33yrs later).... the restaurant was developed by Joe Baum at a cost of more than $17million... aside from the main restaurant, two sister foodservice facilities were located at the top of the North Tower... there was also a premier wine school ran by OG oenophile kevin zraly... in the year two thousand, its last full year in operation, Windows on the World reported revenues of $37million, making it the highest-grossing restaurant in the US... new york has many bars and restaurants with views of the city. Windows was something else, a restaurant that seemed to be suspended between earth and the heavens above... for this is where all 79 of our departed foodservice brothers & sisters are peacefully resting...... from 107 stories, the views extended for over 90 miles on a clear day..... the windows were something else themselves. they ran from floor to ceiling and thoroughly intensified the giddy sensation of soaring over the island of manhattan... diners lusted after the tables alongside these windows, and the made men of the city enjoyed them nightly do to WHOM they were (RIP- J. Gotti)......! these tables offered the ultimate NYC experience, sitting high atop the world's tallest, most powerful city, a-number 1, top of the heap... it may merely be a footnote to a national calamity, but the collapse of the WORLD TRADE CENTER'S two 110 story towers ended an era in NYC dining........! the two restaurants and bar on the 106th & 107th floors of 1 World Trade Center- Window's on the World, the Greatest Bar on Earth and Wild Blue- employed over 450 people.... seventy-nine were on duty Sept. 11th..... some were doing prep work for the evening, others were serving the 500 people at a corporate breakfast... all are still missing... Window's on the World, originally attacked as elitist- it was a private club by day and evolved in to the most talked about white tablecloth establishment by night.....! the restaurant was never cheap, but it wasn't intimidating either... the Greatest Bar on Earth was alittle loud and wild, especially on Thursday nights.... Wild Blue, by contrast was one of the most charming & romantic restaurant in NYC, a 60 seat cozy cocoon in the sky.......... and then in a blink of an eye it all disappeared............! he departs from this earth like an arrow... although he has not chosen his fate, he appears to have, in his last instants of life, embraced it... if he were not falling, he might very well be flying... he appears relaxed hurling through the air... he appears comfortable in the grip of unimaginable motion... he doesn't even appear intimidated by gravity's divine suction or by what awaits him......! some people look at this photo see stoicism, willpower, a portrait of resignation; others see something else- something discordant and therefore terrible: FREEDOM.....! there is something almost rebellious in the mans posture, as though once faced with the inevitability of death, he decided to get on with it; as though he were a missile, a spear, bent on attaining his own end..... he is, fifteen seconds past 9:41a.m. EST, the moment the photo is taken, in the clutches of pure physics, accelerating at a rate of thirty-two feet per second squared... he will soon be traveling at upwards of 150 miles an hour, and he is upside down... seeing that this man is wearing a kitchen workers uniform- our praise and prayers are with him, (the other 78 WOTW employees) and ALL 9-11 victims that we lost this day nine years ago........ RIP.......................you are not forgotten

Flo's Hot Dogs.................some kinda good

friday the 13th...... august 2o1o- the lines today were stupendous, we waited over 45 minutes for our 4 dogs with mayo, flo's relish and celery salt...... being a rhode islander the celery salt hit home..... providence style... the dogs were extra snappy and the bun a steamed pillow of white trash split top dough that tied the entire experience together... listening to gail bash the tourists is even better... a cold ass can of moxie helped us wash down the steamed tubes of swine... SNAPPY, SNAPPY, SNAPPY........! these dogs are phenomenal - ultra snappy and super juicy these natural casing pups are steamed to order, tucked into that soft new england style bun. if you are a Flo's regular you will then have the whole thing slathered with mayo, famous Flo's relish and that RI celery salt dusting...... catsup is NOT available.... the secret must be in the incredible dogs and that damn relish that isn't really a relish at all... this secret 'relish' concoction is more of a spicy and sweet chutney... (onion, molasses, tamarind and other chutney flavors shine through) these natural casing 'snappers' are available all over maine and new england in both regular and bright neon red. the reds mostly related to maine... but Flo's (and gail's) treatment of the hot dog is unlike anything else in the entire galaxy......! with august being the month after national hot dog month (july) I thought that I would start off with the dog that gets my vote for best in new england if not the world... mind you I have experienced NATHAN'S, PINK'S, GRAY'S PAPAYA, SUPER DAWG, YOCCO'S, THE VARSITY and RUTTS HUTT: but Flo's Hot Dogs on route 1 in cape neddick, maine, is not only the best hot dogs I've ever had , but an overall mind blowing experience in itself..... maybe after another 100 years of gastronomic service will bring gail a well deserved james beard award (watch out rob evans)........!

smoked coffee...............................yeah smoked

in the beginning I just didn't know how popular this muddy elixir would become.......! working together heather and I began our smoked coffee journey one day on a visit to watch a friend micro-batch roast some indian monsooned malabar beans...... this coffee is unlike anything else in the country- it is smoked over organic applewood from a MOFGA certified organic apple orchard..... this coffee contains NO fake liquid flavoring agents...... it is 100% smoked over that kick-ass organic applewood in an actual smoker.... I have spent many months developing this very unique coffee and after countless test batches, we have finally found the perfect roast to be used for smoking..... it took even longer to discover the best smoking method, time and wood type to use with this bean... once we roast the indian monsooned malabar beans we place them in the smokehouse to let them slow-smoke... the resulting coffee is pretty much unlike anything we have ever tasted... the smoky flavor is very subtle from the first sip, and comes out in a big way in the aftertaste... it is smooth enough to be drank JOHN WAYNE style, but strong enough to handle some organic pure cane sugar and local cream... slow smoked over raven hill orchard's organic applewood is when some kind of magic happens.... when placed in a room with other coffee beans this bean has presence... you just notice it... plump, dark, aromatic and shiny... the brew whether french press or commercially dripped is every bit as aromatic as the beans are... it is very difficult to distinguish what the aroma is because it is different than what you expect from coffee.......! the smoky smell is definitely there... we have had several reputable new england chef's do a sensory evaluation and the results are the same... smoky, swanky, smooth and unexpected... as we taste further we find the first sip to be intriguing, full bodied and rich with a taste that you can't identify... and then the full smokiness of the elixir hits you in the aftertaste kidney.... pow-bam-wow-yee-zip-dam... yet very smooth and nice with hints of earthy ripe fruits... think of eating ripe muscadine grapes while sitting next to a campfire and you will get the idea... it is the lapsang souchong of the coffee world, but not as in your face as the tea... this coffee's smokiness is subtle, yet how intense... this coffee would pair well with stinky cheese... smoked coffee is more like a coffee tryst- one that you flirt with on occasion for variety and excitement, but not something you would brew day after day for breakfast.... smoking batch after batch you can see the subtle nuances and characteristics shine through in each batch... we are proud to have been involved in creating this very exciting new caffeine elixir.......!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Cattails....................(typha latifolia)

The common cattail is one of the first wild edible plants that all hikers should familiarize themselves with. It not only has several edible parts, but there is some part of the plant that can be harvested for food during any season. In addition, it has other uses as well. In the spring you can find a cattail swamp and cut the fresh tips of the plants from the mud. Rinse them in some safe water and they are edible either raw or cooked. Once you know the plant, identifying the new shoots is no problem. The stalks and dried flower heads of the old plants are always around. In the summer you can first harvest the tender stems. The lower several inches will be white and ready to eat. If you pull slowly, they will often come loose at the base. Raw, they taste something like a cucumber. Cooked, the taste is more like corn. Later, the green flower heads can be cooked and eaten like corn-on-the-cob. By mid-summer the yellow pollen will be falling from the spike atop the flower heads, and can be shaken into a paper bag to use in thickening soups or even mixed with flour for making bread. In the fall you can still locate the cattail by the the old stalks and dig up the rope-like roots that cris-cross the swamps. Clean these, mash them in water and let the mix sit for a few hours. What you'll get when you pour off the water is a gooey mass of starch at the bottom of the container. this can be used to make a bread of sorts, or just put into emergency soups. In the winter you can get the roots. just as in the fall, provided the water or mud isn't frozen. Sometimes you can dig into the muck and find fresh new tips of the plants to eat as well. This is especially true as you get closer to spring. New plant tips, tender parts of the stalks, flower heads, pollen and roots- five edible parts, and at least one available in each season. But that's not all. The 'fluff' of the mature flower heads was once used to stuff life jackets, and is still perfect as an emergency insulation. If you are lost and without sufficient clothing you can fill your jacket with it. Use it to make a warm mattress as well. Cattail flower head fluff is also very flammable. Break open a mature flower head (available almost any time of the year) and make a pile of it. Then strike a match to it, or even a good spark, and it will burst into flame. The tight heads are often dry inside even after heavy rain, making this a great survival tinder. The leaves are long and flat, which makes them easy to weave into simple mats for sitting on. These mats can be used to serve food too, or as a barrier between you and the ground in an emergency shelter. For many centuries they were also woven into baskets and other containers. The stems were used for weaving and other purposes as well. The common cattail is not only one of the best wild edible plants, but one of the best wilderness plants to know for many other purposes. How many other plants have five edible parts and several parts that are used for a variety of survival needs? Best of all is the fact that they can be found in most wetlands across North America. As a chef that has grown up respecting, foraging and exploiting wild edibles like cattails, I try to put them on my menus as much as possible...... Going out to a fine dining restaurant in any major city you can find clabber pork & chicken, as well as sea salt from millions of years ago; but can you walk into the same restaurant an experience a wild edible like cattails......? I didn't think so........ enjoy your clabber pork & chicken (corn of any kind was not intended for farm animal consumption, this is the genetic modification done down on the farm, isn't it....?) this sounds as good as farm raised fish (ie: salmon) that have been fed corn- and we all know that fish aren't meant to consume corn either....... The resurgence in 'EATING LOCAL' has people talking about foraging and gathering, so get out in the woods and find your food........ Being that our roving rural supper club (TNEF2FP) is parked at an organic apple orchard, the cattails up in the pond are prime for pickin'..... Since they are far from the road (automobile exhaust- yum oh) we will harvest them and feature them on our MAINE GAME DINNER and our NEW ENGLAND GAME DINNER menus.... I love to introduce diners to these type of wild edibles that are not seen or found in the 'big city' restaurants of today's chemical driven chefs that still purchase their beef, chicken and pork from the same conglomerates they purchase their toilet paper from......

the world's biggest meat ball....................!!!!

breaking news out of new hampshire, yeah the granite state- new hampshire.....! Nonni's Italian Eatery in the state capital of Concord, New Hampshire has a new claim to fame.. The Italo/American restaurant and its chef/owner formed a monstrous 225.5 pound meatball that has been declared a world record by the Guinness Book of World Records.. Matthew Mitnitsky, owner of Nonni's Italian Eatery, says he vowed to capture the world record because he wanted to bring the meatball back to the East Coast because that's where it originated... He wrestled the title away from the American West Coast, where a 198.6-pound meatball had taken top honors... Once the celebrations were over, Mitnitsky and his staff broke up the giant meatball and repackaged it into small portions to give to the local soup kitchens....! I am more than sure that there are hundreds of thousands of oversized Italian grandma's turning over in their graves......! we are very thankful that the soup kitchen will be able to feed NH's hungry for at least 3 or 4 years.....! all hail the big ass meatball...

Monday, August 16, 2010

Gravenstein...........A Cider Press & 1669 Supper

the gravenstein is considered by many to be one of the best all-around apples in this country.... it was introduced to western north america (california) in the early 19th century, perhaps by russian fur-traders who are said to have planted a tree at fort ross in 1811... its origins have been traced back to 1669 denmark, although there is some evidence that the variety originated in northern italy. now in america this antique was the source of applesauce and dried apples for the troops in WWII and was declared an american heritage food by slowfoodusa and inducted to its ark of taste in 2005... chef carosi and the new england farm 2 fork project will feature a multi course 1669 supper after guests participate in 'the gravenstein cider press'... come enjoy just pressed sweet, tart and delicious organic 'raw' cider with supper... gather around the table with family and friends to help us sustain the existence of this antique apple at our 2o1o host farm: raven hill orchard.....
 
the evenings menu.......
the freshest mess of wild maine field greens tossed in a 'just pressed' raw gravenstein cider vinaigrette with shaved heirloom orchard apple, applewood smoked walnuts, great hill farmhouse blue cheese and wildflower bee pollen............... orchard cider syrup lacquered berkshire pork loin roast with farmstead local cheddar mashed maine taters, spiced antique apple chutney and bacon fat caramelized 'end of summer' squash................ 'as american as apple pie' with shain's of maine ginger ice cream........

join us in celebrating this heirloom apple...........august 29th
heirloom cider press...........4 pm..............
1669 supper............5pm
$125 per person (plus tax & gratuity)

droole over the menu @ http://www.thenewenglandfarm2forkproject.com/
for reservations give us a holler 
dinner will be held on our 2010 host farm- raven hill orchard
chef sebastian carosi  |  founder

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

yarmouth clam festival.........45th annual

always on the third friday in july, in the charming coastal village of yarmouth is held the countries biggest clam festival........ what we ate: fried wholebelly clams . capt'n eli's ice cream floats . lime rickey's . fish chowder . more wholebelly clams and another lime rickey........ we watched the maine state clam shucking contest (celebrity showdown)....... new's 8- shannon moss & norm karkos . news 6- bill green & caroline cornish . news 13- doug rafferty & erin ovalle........... we then went on to the 38th annual diaper derby, fortunately zander was tuckered and didn't want to participate in the derby even though he has the 7th generation nation behind him, supporting him the entire way.... maybe next year...........! so instead of the diaper derby we headed over to have PJ do zander's first caricature...... his hair was in raw form........ a few facts about this clam fest: more than 6,000lbs of clams are eaten . 13,500 lime rickey's are drank . 6,000 lobster rolls are eaten . 400 homemade pies are consumed & 6,000 strawberry shortcakes are devoured throughout the weekend event........ we really enjoyed our time at the yarmouth clam fest and will return year after year....

Saturday, August 7, 2010

parducci sustainable white.........

parducci sustainable white has crisp, clean aromas and flavors of citrus honeydew melon . parducci is locally owned and operated in california's mendocino county . they are commited to sustainable winegrowing practices that yeild top quality grapes and wines while protecting the environment and supporting communities and local farmers . america's first carbon neutral winery . featuring 100% earth friendly packaging



appellation: mendocino county, california varietals: 41.5% chenin blanc . 38% sauvignon blanc . 12% viognier . 7.5% muscat canelli . 1% fruiliano alcohol: 13.5%




this winery is worth looking into, they produce a quality product with a message...... we pour all of their wines at our eco-gastronomic roving rural supper club events......

damariscotta, maine........where the hell is damariscotta

in most peoples minds maine is lobster country........! but the same frigid ocean, terminal moraine, and unpolluted coastline that grows such tasty crustaceans also makes for beautiful bivalves....... especially barb scully's.............!!! within maine's innumerable finger estuaries, fed by the robust tides, grows oysters that are distinctly maine, ..............as salty as a camden sea captain........! but overfishing and pollution in the 19th and 20th centuries wiped out almost all of the oyster beds along the eastern seaboard, and it took until the late 1970's for marine biologists at the darling marine center, university of maine's marine biology laboratory on the shores of the damariscotta, to discover that the river was prime for replanting........ as it turns out, the same cold, nutrient-rich water that made maine the kingpin of the lobster industry also produces perfect oysters....... the damariscotta's water is some of the cleanest in the northeast and gives the oysters their distinctively briny taste....... maine oysters grow slowly..... while southern oysters can reach market size in a year or less, a maine oyster needs at least three years minimum..... a four year old, cold water maine oyster has a glorious depth of texture and flavor, a trade mark damariscotta deep cup, and a beautiful green and white shell, sometimes edged with light purple that can be remarkably tough and hard bitten, like downeasters themselves...........! the closer the oyster 'farm' is to the mouth of the river, where the water is saltier, the brinier the meat.... plots closer to the riverhead tend to produce a slightly mellower, sweeter flavored bivalve...... pemaquids, like barb scully's glidden point oysters, are farmed near the riverhead then submerged at the river mouth for a week to purge river bottom sediment that collects during harvesting..... this extra care and attention ensures that the meat is super clean and will have that saltier finish found in a damariscotta cold water estuary raised oyster....... the damariscotta river cold water estuary, midway up the maine coast, has been ground zero for oyster lovers for thousands of years...... high up the estuary sits the glidden midden, an enormous hill of ancient oyster shells dating back more than 2000 years........ the mound is thirty feet high, runs along the river for 150 feet, and contains some oyster shells over a foot long...... among maine's string of finger estuaries, the damariscotta river stands alone...... virtually any oyster from the damariscotta is going to be tasty, thanks to the shape of the basin..... the cold, foggy damariscotta runs wide and deep fifteen miles inland to the town of damariscotta and beyond to damariscotta lake, giving plenty of room for growing oysters....... within a true stone's throw of each other you'll find the growing areas of glidden point, pemaquid, dodge cove, hog island, mook and many other leading growers............... this river is the napa valley of oysters.......! as the chef at a restaurant situated about four miles up the damariscotta, on the first big bend in the river I got to thoroughly enjoy these bivalves that were plucked from the waters just outside the restaurants back door........ I chose barb scully's glidden points, about an inch and a half long, barb considers these beauties her cocktail sized oyster....... I went through six to eight dozen a week....... friday nights we would do $1 oysters naked on the half shell with their choice of shaved cold river vodka bloody mary ice or sparkling green tabasco mignonette....... we also did many other oyster dishes: oyster stew, oyster po-boys, crispy cornflake fried oysters, oyster shooters and oysters rockefeller.......! if you are into this touted aphrodisiac or just love to slurp down a dozen or two, contact barb scully up in damariscotta and have her ship you a few......... she always has a few things around that she may have harvested from the sea several hours ago: clams, wild oysters and maine shrimp.......

shain's of maine...........................!

established in 1979, shain's of maine has grown to be one of the most innovative and top producing ice cream companies in maine........ now boasting over 90 flavors........ they began as a small ice cream company and sold everything that they made in their retail outlets in sanford and springvale... in 1984 they consolidated these two shops and built their current location on route 109... in the spring of 1988 they purchased an ice cream freezer truck to better enhance their service to wholesale accounts and to get the product to their customers in good condition... thus began the wholesale division of shain's of maine ice cream.... jeff shain has been in the frozen dairy delights business for decades, and the food biz for longer than that..... he is the creative force behind the creation of all flavor profiles and will make anything a customer can fathom as long as you purchase the entire tub........ jeff and I sat around in the kitchen of the tides inn a few summers ago, and bounced one ice cream flavor idea after the other around..... we joked about the pickle, garlic, red wine and trout flavored ice cream that we had heard of in our combined years in the food biz...... shain's of maine is a family owned ice cream company, this lets them be as flexible as they want when it comes to novelties and flavor profiles....... case in point: THE SEA DOG BISCUIT....... every year, five workers in sanford make the treats.... all two hundred thousand of them..... by hand....... twice in one week we decided to put them to the test....... not that we haven't TESTED their ice creams on a regular basis...... in the thick of summers heat and when there is three feet of snow on the ground, we make our way to shain's of maine...... on the evaluation block is ginger, cookie dough and black raspberry explosion.... ginger................creamy milkiness . loaded with bits and pieces of ginger . floral scent . slightly spicy, but smooth as hell.............. cookie dough................ a very creamy base with a gigantic 'fist-sized' ball of cookie dough..................... black raspberry explosion.........................a sweet creaminess . bold berry flavor with big chocolate chunks.......... we loved them all and will continue to sample the spectacular array of tongue twisting flavors....... shain's of maine........1491 main street sanford, maine ph:207.324.1449 -or- 800.324.0650

Sunday, August 1, 2010

A Maine Game Dinner.....

in the shadows of ossipee mountain the new england farm 2 fork project will host another maine game dinner... a reception held in the orchard of the new england farm 2 fork project's 2010 host farm, raven hill orchard will feature chef sebastian carosi's in-house cured magret duck prosciutto on a buttermilk biscuit with homemade five pepper jelly as well as maine moose burgers on benne seed buns with sebastian's orchard smoked coffee barbecue sauce... the next three courses in this six course wild culinary affair are mammies local elk and black bear meatballs in cider gravy; a salad of smoked maine rabbit, forest mushrooms and milkweed pods; a swanky sinzibukwud roast of maine red deer with just ground heirloom corn grits and cattails... the evenings sugar therapy will be an antique orchard apple tart tatin with barrel aged allagash ale caramel and frozen homemade yogurt... spiced red wine and apple cider punch as well as rosemary cheddar-ale rolls are included with dinner... come enjoy an evening in the mountains with a cracklin' fire and a variety of wild local edibles... $125 per person (plus tax and gratuity)................ 6pm sharp...


held @ 2010 host farm- raven hill orchard

Julia Child...........a tribute

join the new england farm 2 fork project in celebrating an american culinary icon: julia child... both the luncheon and the dinner will feature some of julia's favorite ingredients, recipes and meals... utilizing the freshest of local bounty... being that julia's husband paul child brought her to his home early in their relationship on the outside of mt. desert island, the new england farm 2 fork project will feature several dishes that julia perfected while there in maine- bouillabaisse a la blue hill bay (her localized fish stew) and moulles marineres (maine mussels) one of her absolute favorites made with the purple shelled mussels plucked from the coast of old point her home here in maine... join us in celebrating julia's maine and remember... life itself is the proper binge..... the luncheon and dinner will feature several of these dishes and others influenced by maine's orchards, farms and gardens...
 


luncheon $65 per person (plus tax & gratuity) august 14th... 11am-3pm (4 courses)
dinner $150 per person (plus tax & gratuity) august 15th... 6pm (6 courses)
luncheon and dinner will be held on our 2o1o host farm- raven hill orchard
Remember Julia's Birthday- August 15th, 1912

Friday, July 30, 2010

red fire farms heirloom tomato fest......10th annual

smoked and melted.........august 28th
bloody butcher . boxcar willie . brandywine . cherokee purple
mortgage lifter . black krim . hendersons pink ponderosa

join the new england farm 2 fork project to celebrate 10 years of the heirloom tomatoes being grown at red fire farm in granby, mass. a biodiverse farmstead with a larger satelite farm and farmstand in montague featuring 110acres.... the granby farm cultivates around 50acres and is the host to the tomato fest this year.... red fire farm has a strong presence in the boston farmer's market on thursdays and in the springfield market on tuesdays....
the chef's teaching their trade, cooking demo will feature chef peter davis of henrietta's table (the charles hotel) in cambridge, mass. chef davis has been offering new england farm food since 2001, is the host of the big pig gig, and a true farm 2 fork pioneer here in new england. he continues to inspire.... cathie albrecht from the amazing breakfast eatery in springfield, 3cafe will roundout the cook tent culinary crew.....
smoked and melted....
featuring several dishes that will be shared with the entire crowd under the cook tent...... I will demonstrate the slow and low method of oven-melting tomatoes as well as smoking tomatoes over organic applewood....

the afternoons menu.....
oven-melted red fire farm's heirloom tomato relish on skillet fried organic garlic toast with crushed garden basil, shaved home-made farmers cheese and applewood smoked sea salt..... : liquid salad- smoky misc. red fire farm's heirloom tomato broth with parsley oil and goat cheese jello..... : oven-melted red fire farm's misc. little heirloom tomatoes stuffed with heirloom plantation rice, chilis, purslane, wild fennel pollen and smoked tomato sauce.....

join us august 28th
at red fire farm in granby to celebrate their heirloom tomato harvest.....
go to- www.redfirefarm.com for more info.......

99.9 the wolf...........nassau broadcasting maine

early this morning we headed to nassau broadcasting maine at 477 congress street in downtown portland to join 99.9 the wolf's dave winsor host of community connections and the wolf mornings to discuss tnef2fp....... we got right into recording the 2 thirteen minute segments of the radio show.... knowing that dave lives on a farm among many hens and roosters made the conversation easy and the flow and tempo of the show very upbeat..... dave is very easy to talk sustainable farming and food with, he has a general interest and passion for 'living right'....... this community connections segment will air on: frank fm 107.5, the wolf 99.9, the bone 106.3, wbach 104.7, the oldies channel 870 & 1470.......... daves studio office overlooks monument square, the twice weekly home to the portland farmers market, damn what a view........! nassau broadcasting maine.......a new generation of broadcasting.......... dave winsor, we can't thank you enough for allowing us to have an airwave soapbox to shout from for twenty six minutes about the american dinner table revival, heritage breed animals (chickens), heirloom tomatoes, antique apples, pasture based livestock and economic development...... know your farmer.........!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Shaker Supper.........sustainable grub

Sustainable Grub-

traditional shaker meals changed according to the seasons and to what the shakers could grow, preserve and store... cultivating their own produce was always a source of pride... the early shakers ate simple new england fare: minced meat, bean porridge, potatoes, indian bread, cider, maple, milk, medicinal herbs, butter and cheese... as their orchards and fields expanded so did their food choices... today the only active shaker community in sabbathday lake list over twenty culinary herbs in their catalog....
the evenings gastronomic affair will consist of 6 courses- starting with a new england artisan farmstead cheese social . crispy chicken livers . country fried heritage breed turkey . the freshest mess of garden greens . shaker herb rubbed berkshire pork . spiced antique applesauce cake . squash rolls with molasses whipped creamery butter . spiced concord grape drink

come celebrate the shakers devotion to sustainable agriculture and support the american dinner table revival with chef sebastian carosi, one of three remaining shaker chefs in new england..... http://www.thenewenglandfarm2forkproject.com/

$85 per person 6pm sharp
event held at 2010 host farm- raven hill orchard

Sunday, July 25, 2010

kingsford charcoal and a ford..........

henry ford, who revolutionized the american automobile industry, also invented what we all know today as charcoal briquettes........ he originally made his automobiles with large quantities of wood parts and ended up with a warehouse full of scraps........ ever the entrepreneur, ford came up with the idea of charring the discards and compressing them into briquettes..... for this job ford turned to his brother-in-law, E.G. Kingsford...... the new company sold the briquettes only at ford dealers until the 1950's, when a surge of interest in outdoor cooking and grilling prompted local grocery stores to start carrying ford's ingenious black briquettes...... although not a bit of new england history, I thought of those wondering WHERE the sooty squares came from.........

Sunday, July 18, 2010

pig powder 'n butt rub..........

I have always been fascinated by the simple alchemy by which good assertive seasonings and rubs are melded into a harmonious whole........ here in america, pit bosses use rubs with greater imagination and with a freer hand than anywhere else on the planet......... one thing is for sure- never has interest been so deep in the not-so subtle boosters of flavor...... spice sales are rocketing (up seventy percent in the last decade), and chili consumptions has gone through the roof, tons at the end of the millennium versus 105,000 tons in 1980........ as americans hunger for big-ass bold flavor foods that pack a stinging wallop to the taste buds....... anyone can grill a steak or smoke a santa barbara style tri-tip or brisket...... but cooking down right real barbecue involves an intimate ka-knowledge of fuels and fire control as well as considerable expertise in using marinades, soaks, mops, glazes, bastes, sauces and rubs...... this influx of pugnacious pigness may sound complicated, it is complicated, but one shouldn't feel intimidated............ in laymans terms- a rub is a mixture of spices, herbs, secret seasonings and often sugar that is used to give a base flavor to the meat being smoked rather than seasoning it....... usually a heavily guarded secret, rubs are applied to the meat several hours before cooking so that a marinating effect takes place...... rubs foster the formation of crust or bark as we call it...... a well-mannered rub will yield the sort of sweet, succulent, fall off the bone tenderness in ribs most of us would identify as piglicious perfection... this basic american rub may look feeble when it comes to fatty pigness but don't let its simplicity fool ya... the sweetness of dark brown sugar, the heat of the black pepper, the mellow earthiness of the paprika and the slow burn of the chipotle powder..... use this basic formula as a spring board for your own creativity...... standard pig powder and butt rub- 1/2 cup kosher salt . 1/4 cup brown sugar . 1/4 cup maple sugar . 1/4 cup paprika . 1/4 cup dark chili powder . 3 tbsp black pepper . 2 tbsp garlic powder . 2 tbsp onion powder . 1 tbsp dry oregano . 1/4 cup worcestershire powder . 3 tbsp chipotle powder . 2 tbsp dry mustard..... mix all ingredients in a stainless bowl with a whisk...... store in a mason jar..... this rub will keep for a month or two..... enjoy compliments of tnef2fp- whole hog barbecue division..... this powder was developed by chef sebastian carosi while traveling through americas deep south..... sprinkle rubs on any thing you desire to add a savory, sweet, smoky and seductive flavor profile to...... let the meat sit in the rub for four to eight hours to richen the complexity of your bodacious barbecued meats........ smoke your meats and enjoy with a cold beer and the company of your family around the picnic table.....!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

monsanto the seed company.........?

40% of seed varieties sold in the united states are owned by monsanto.......! scary isn't it......? chefs, commercial growers, small organic farmers and home gardeners alike should know about their seed sources....... do you know about your seed stock........? do you know who monsanto is and what they are responsible for.......? research this company as in depth as you can....... known for their aggressive advocacy of genetically modified crops and its dominance in biotechnology, monsanto will now have a major presence in the vegetable and fruit seed business for the first time...... we aren't talking about genetically modified seeds here, we're talking about WHO is supplying the seeds......... even if you purchase your non-gmo seed stock from a seed company that boasts a 'SAFE SEED PLEDGE' that variety may still be OWNED by monsanto....... sorry to burst your biosphere 'bubble' but that's the facts folks............... it is way overdo america must wake up and be more conscious about the source of our food.......! we are even supporting monsanto by purchasing seeds from our favorite seed companies and you more than likely are too, with out even knowing it................ check your seed supply................! protect your seed supply.................... chefs should demand heirloom, antique and heritage products be used in their menu development........... it is our job to educate the dining public further than organic and sustainable................ out of 2500 varieties that monsanto has acquired from the seminis takeover, here are several of the varieties that we KNOW monsanto owns: beans: ez gold, eureka, goldrush, kentucky king, lynx, bush blue lake 94.......carrots: nutri-red, sweet sunshine, karina, chantenay #1, chantilly, lariat..............cucumbers: dasher2, daytona, turbo, speedway, sweet slice, yellow submarine, sweeter yet................lettuce: esmeralda, lolla rossa (and derivatives), red sails, red tide, blackjack, summer time, monet, baby star, red butterworth..............melons: alaska, bush whooper, casablanca, dixie jumbo, early crisp................onions: arsenal, hamlet, red zeppelin, mars, superstar, candy...............peppers: valencia, camelot, king aurthur, red knight, aristotle, northstar, biscane, caribbean red, serrano del sol, early sunsation, fat and sassy..............spinach: melody, unipack 151spinach, bolero, cypress............squash: autumn delight, bush delicata (producer-vendor), really big butternut, early butternut, buckskin, pumpkin (aas), seneca autumn table acre...............tomato: big beef, beefmaster, first lady I and II, early girl, pink girl, golden girl, sungaurd, sun cheif sweet, baby girl, sweet million..............watermelon: royal flush, royal star (pet), stargazer, starbright, stars and stripes, yellow doll, tiger...............zucchini/summer squash: blackjack, daisy, fancycrook, sunny delight, lolita, sungreen....... They aren't done yet! recently monsanto purchased one of the largest international european based seed company..... monsanto is now the largest supplier of vegetable seeds in the world.... before agriculture became a big industry, every gardener and farmer was responsible for the availability of seed for next years crop..... with this recent merger and marketing tactics that has allowed a certain 'm'-onopoly to take over over the majority of the seed population......seed-saving is one among many tactics of reclaiming our power (and freedom) to grow our own food, and an indispensable step towards fully sustainable and secure future.......

ramps................(allium tricoccum)

sometimes called wild leeks or wild onions, this native north american forest commodity is prized by chefs across the northern half of our country..... though the bulbous white bottom resembles that of a scallion, the beautiful flat, broad leaves thoroughly set it apart....... ramps grow wild here in maine and are considered a spring delicacy and a reason to celebrate the onslaught of springs vibrant edibles plucked from the wilds (march-june)........ the deep allium flavor and pungent odor of ramps is usually compared to a combination of sulfur rich onions and a particularly strong garlic odor...... if you have ever foraged for ramps you know that the strong fragrant odor of this forest edible is one way to identify this american culinary treasure..... strong enough, in fact, even devoted ramp-lovers will advise nasal caution.........! the flavor was once described as 'similar to fried green onions with a dash of funky feet'............ ramps add wonderful and uniquely pungent flavors to a wide variety of dishes: soups, casseroles, sautees, rice dishes and potato dishes..... in central appalachia, ramps are commonly fried with potatoes in bacon fat or scrambled with free-range farm eggs and served with bacon, pinto beans and cornbread..... ramps are not around for long...... if you know a 'spot' that ramps grow naturally in your area, it is quit easy to differentiate the ramp from other imposters.... remember, ramps only grow in the early spring (here in maine we have several weeks of plentiful crops depending on your proximity), around late march and or early april, at the same time one may find the prized morel mushroom....... ramps are usually found in forested areas that are shady and sandy such as near clean water streams and creeks..... the well defined 'broad leaf' of the ramp will help you keep them separate from the look-a-like lily of the valley coming out of the ground...... and if you need to follow the strong garlicky odor...... if you manage to find some wild ramps, make sure you leave more than half of each clump so that they can continue to cultivate in that 'spot'.......... (don't give up your 'spot' - it is YOUR spot) those mountain folks of appalachia have long celebrated spring with the arrival of the ramp, believing it to have great power as a tonic to ward off the many ailments of winter, and a ramp bath was even featured in the film Where the Lilies Bloom..... these appalachian locals may have been on to something, as the selenium and sulphur-rich ramp is now the subject of intense study in the areas of cancer prevention and treatment...... a thick growth of ramps near lake michigan in illinois in the 17th century gave chicago its name, after the area was described by 17th-century explorer robert cavalier, sieur de la salle, and explained by his comrade, naturalist henri joutel...... the plant called chicagou in the language native tribes was once thought to be Allium Cernuum, the nodding wild onion, but research in the early 1990's showed the correct plant to be the ramp...... these cherished culinary delicacies seem to come and go as they please, for years a patch may be plentiful and then, suddenly, it will yield nothing at all, nada, bubcuss, zero......! I am yet to put ramps in my pipe, but I have smoked them, roasted them, sauteed them, pickled them, braised them, pureed them and grilled them....... I have eaten them right out of the ground, raw and dirty..........! when wild ramps arrive in the farmer's market in early spring or if you know of a 'spot' to find them, bring a handful home and enjoy spring in its purest form........ and remember when the trillium's bloom, look for ramps, celebrate the end of winter and the beginning of spring............

Friday, July 16, 2010

fridgehenge..................circa. 2003

so many inefficient old fridges in america that need replacing, so much empty space that could be filled with monuments..... we usually suggest recycling old fridges; artist adam jones horowitz and the primordial soup company had another idea fridgehenge, built in 2003 near santa fe, new mexico....... it was built out of more than one hundred fridges in the image of stonehenge and was a popular tourist attraction.... a lot of artists are working with garbage and recycling waste into art (check out stuart haygarth's bottled water chandelier, piet hein eek's scrap wood furniture, or an entire exhibition of it at the new museum of art and design in new york) but never on this scale..... 'officials from the city of santa fe, where the sculpture was, said that it was never supposed to be a permanent fixture and following a number of complaints from neighbors, it was removed..... 'it started out as a statement about american consumerism and waste, and then it sort of became waste itself '...... though surrounded by a chain-link fence, the many colored kenmores, whirlpools and maytags already show signs of passing visitors as they add their 'art' and graffiti to this monument to man's vapid consumer appetite..... rather than being aligned with the sun and the star fridgehenge is aligned with it's own atomic power source- los alamos national laboratories to the northwest..... these sprayed and decorated metal hulks are all lined up in a one hundred foot diameter circle where they seemingly worship several inner towers.... horowitz has been quoted as calling it 'a post-modern, post apocalyptic temple to waste and consumerism..... ok, i know this 'behemoth' of recycled scrap metal (minus the freon) was not erected in our beloved new england, but boy is this cool as hell........

Modox...... a Providence, Rhode Island nerve drink

in the early twentieth century, james stephen barry, 'big jim' owned and operated a beverage bottling company in providence, rhode island called modox- the new nerve drink......! modox was the flagship product in the beverage line, touted as 'the new nerve drink.' he distributed many different flavors of soda all over providence via horse and cart for a number of years........ he was extremely successful and had the barry children working at the business...... this was a time of local beverages before regional and national drinks....... you drank the local brew at the tavern and the local soda at home or at the soda fountain........ moxie, another beverage company out of lowell, massachusetts who had distribution into boston wanted to expand to become a regional soda distributor....... so at first they tried to buy modox from 'big jim.' but 'big jim' didn't wanted no part of this, he had built the company himself and was a self made man, independent and proud......... he refused to sell. moxie's next step was to sue modox for copyright infringement. both moxie and modox used an indian as their logo at that time. in the subsequent court case, two court cases ensued..... the first in boston, moxie's native turf, but modox won.......! next moxie took them to district court in new york where they prevailed......with the loss 'big jim' was put out of business with nothing to show for it- he was bankrupt (moxie had deeper pockets and better lawyers)..... after moxie won the the second case on copyright infringement, all modox bottles had to have the name ground off and many of these bottles have still survived today. remaining bottles were to be crushed for which moxie was to reimburse modox a nickel a piece for. 'big jim' tried to make a comeback with a beverage named HERB-O-PHOSA but it was too late in the game and failed........... he spent the rest of his life drinking himself to death and subsequently died in 1937, a broken man..... modox like many other beverages of the time was sold for it's medicinal value as well as for it's distinctive taste........ taste would have been similar to moxie. originally, it was bottled in the nickel-tone manufacturing plant at 17-19 mathewson st. in providence......... later on, bottling was moved to the site of the hanley brewing company (once a major competitor of narragansett ale) located on fountain street in providence......... the soda was bottled and sold directly to the public via horse and delivery carts with indians in full regalia. modox was also available at the local soda fountain or drug store, where the modox syrup would be mixed with carbonated water........ with the dissolution of modox 'big jim' set up HERB-O-PHOSA as a replacement for modox but the era of locally bottled beverages was coming to an end and eventually he went bankrupt.......... Jim Barry originally worked as a salesman for rumsford chemical works selling baking soda, one of the main ingredients in beverages at the time including moxie.......... he may have also worked at moxie after rumsford chemical job but there is no clear evidence of that......... 'big jim' created his own formulas and marketing schemes and became very successful which in turn was probably his downfall....... modox also bottled all of the traditional sodas of the day i.e. cream soda, ginger ale, root beer, sarsaparilla and birch beer......... based upon our research the earliest data indicates that modox was sold for five cents a glass and was touted as 'the nerve drink.'.......... 'big jim' continued to bottle soda into 1920's (according to census reports he was in manufacturing in 1910 and bottling in 1920).......

Thursday, July 15, 2010

moxie................life, liberty and the pursuit of

on july 9th tnef2fp representatives (the carosi family) converged on lisbon falls to celebrate the oldest continually carbonated beverage in the country- MOXIE..... dubbed the 'official soft drink' of maine, the festival will feature a moxie chuggin' contest, a moxie recipe contest, a 5k road race and a huge fireworks display.............. this is the 27th annual moxie fest..... the carosi family will be proud guests of THE NEW ENGLAND MOXIE CONGRESS, a loose-knit band of moxie zealots who promote moxie's continued availability and its distinctively different taste..... (these guys fricken rock......!) our day began with us having to get all of the heritage hog meats smoked for our weekend barbecue....... heather lynn got up extra early to get the berkshire pig's ass, ribs and maine raised barnyard chicken breasts in the smoker and loaded with organic applewood to start the 6-8 hour smokin' process....... we got the meats out of the smoker at 3:45 and headed to lisbon falls 56.8 miles away..... having to be at the festival by 6pm to volunteer we stopped at THE MOXIE MUSEUM...... this mecca of all things moxie is ran by curator frank anicetti- the godfather of moxie............ off to the fest......... tucked away in a mcdonald's parking lot mainer's came together to celebrate their inherited soda-pop of choice..... (MOXIE)..... even though moxie has not been made and or bottled in new england for years the devotion to the beverage is deep-rooted....... the day was sweltering and yet breezy by maine standards, we searched over the crowd for a sip of cold refreshing contentment, nothing...... we began to yearn for a taste of the beverage elixir that we are here celebrating, but for hours we could not get our sweaty hands on a drop.......... then- there it was, the trademark orange, a can dripping with condensation and perspiration at a damn hot dog cart across the street............. heather lynn headed out to retrieve us a steamed natural casing frankfurter from shield's and a fricken can of that nose-stinging elixir with historic links to America's carbonated beverage; past, present and future........ remembering that we must consume these commodities in-order to protect their place in gastronomic history........ the hot dog could have been left at the three-wheel cart....... I can't wait to fill zanders bottle with this old-fashioned 'beverage moxie nerve food'........... can you imagine a 1yr olds reaction to a bottle full of moxie........ needless to say I wouldn't put anything that is not certified organic in my sons growing little body..... instead we indulged in our first moxie of the day..... wow, wow, woah............. having tasted moxie for over 25 years now I can't say that I have enjoyed one as much as july ninth, the year 2o1o....... the first can left me beggin' for more, the complex mix of tropical gentian root, wintergreen and carbonation with a root beer-esce flavor profile make this elixir very distinct and the consumer twisted at the reminiscent flavor of historic new england........ the hot dog sucked, by the way....... tnef2fp would like to thank- rosie bradley, director of all things moxie . debra wagner, moxie press core photog . pastor jonathan jones, volunteer coordinator and laurel dutton, moxie booth manager......... ........drink moxie new england........

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

cooper spring......


before our visit to this 'most talked about' maine mountain spring we swung by to visit '......THE SOURCE.....' at the poland spring complex in a heavily guarded outpost a short ways into the forest....... thee source of bottled water conglomerate poland springs....... the inn and grounds showed signs of an era gone by............ this historic majesty has seen many a US president and visitors alike........ rocking chairs on the grandiose porch and crisp green lawns are sure to invoke relaxation...... one can easily see this property in its prime........ (nice place) no time to relax, leaving this resort built on plastic bottle dollars we are off to maine's land of indigenous gems and mountain spring water we can drink without the '92 million plastic bottles a year guilt' attached to our eco-friendly beliefs..... we arrived at cooper spring...... the spring was family-owned and then given to the town of buckfield on the premise that everyone would be able to have access to it. it's kept up nicely and is in good shape...... the spring is part of the oxford county soil & water conservation district...... fred and estella pearson-cooper settled about 100ft north of the spring in 1881............ a small parking area is available right in front of the spring and some flat stones have been set up so that you can access the spring easier. the spring itself has been redirected using PVC pipes. (i know some people may not be into that, so i'm mentioning it.) the water is wonderfully cold and sweet! great quality! this spring is between the two most powerful and gem rich mines in the world. the mt. mica mine has produced abundant gem tourmaline of every color. the bennet quarry on the other side of the spring produced a 52lb morganite crystal (pink emerald). the water that comes through this spring probably has a high lithium content and is programmed by some of the most profound gemstones on earth. this is super pure energized water. it flows through the mountains or crystal mines (think about this), it's amazing! if you stored it in copper it would be called a battery. at sunset the place looks magic. here is the mineral list for the area: albite evansite manganocolumbite rhodochrosite . almandine fluorapatite mccrilisite romanechite . amblygonite - meta-autunite roscherite . arsenopyrite goethite metatorbernite rutile . autunite goyazite microcline schorl . beraunite graphite microlite scorodite . bertrandite halloysite mitridatite siderite . beryl heterosite montmorillonite sphalerite . biotite hisingerite moraesite spodumene . brazilianite hureaulite muscovite stewartite . brookite hydroxylapatite natromontebrasite (discredited) strunzite . calcite jahnsite-(camnmn) opal- hyalite tantalite . carbonate-fluorapatite kaolinite palermoite tapiolite . cassiterite kosnarite petalite torbernite . cleavelandite laueite phosphuranylite triphylite . cookeite lepidolite pollucite uranininite . crandallite lithiophilite purpurite zircon . elbaite loellingite pyrite . eosphorite manganite quartz. these rocks would scare distilled water back into stream. get to the intersection of 117 and n. whitman school road. drive to the end on n. whitman school road and turn left onto paris hill road. the spring is down on your right (maybe five or so minutes after you've turned onto paris hill. this water is incredibly cold and so damn clean... we watched many locals fill up their containers while we sat and ate salumi and and 1000 day old how-da (gouda)... this water was well worth the two hour drive... crystal, crystal clear and super clean.....