Quick-ish roasted vegetable lasagna

13 September 2011 § 7 Comments

After what seems like the longest vacation ever The Ladies™ started back at preschool today. I offered to make them their favorite dish for dinner. Although their preferences change on a daily basis their request was for lasagna.

Usually I make lasagna with grass-fed beef, but as we had a trip to Fleisher’s meat palace on the weekend we’d had more than our fill of red meat. I never used to eat red meat but Fleisher’s has started me on an expensive new habit. So much to King Marv’s chagrin we had vegetable lasagna. « Read the rest of this entry »

Nothing says summer like a (Butcher) Block Party

12 July 2011 § 5 Comments

This blog is about making food from scratch but we had a busy weekend upstate, so there was not much time for cooking – more recipes later this week. I wanted to share the great time we had at Fleisher’s Butchers Block Party in uptown Kingston. I wonder what my grandfather, who was a butcher back in the day long before butchery became cool, in Wales, would have made of this meat fest.

With no cars John St was bustling with people. Small children danced to the trippy jazz of New Zion Trio while we just chilled with cool ale (from those lovely people at Keegan Ales) and strawberry daiquiri sno-cones.

The chicken s#*t bingo was in full swing. Yes it is what you think – if the number square the chicken poops on matches your raffle ticket then, bingo! It seemed hilarious at the time, but that might have the effect of too many grown-up sno-cones.

The good people at Fleishers roasted a hog which disappeared faster than you can say “free hog roast.” They also served their delicious hot dogs and popcorn with bacon butter (could it have been any other flavor butter?)

The Ladies™ had a blast: face-painting, Mr Twisty the balloon man and their first ever cotton candy – a happy, very sticky, summer’s moment.

Man the Hunter / Organic Farmer / Shopper

19 June 2011 § 9 Comments

We went to Fleisher’s Grass-fed and Organic Meats in Kingston, NY yesterday. It is a butcher’s shop like no other. An army of butchers greet you in their black T-shirts sporting meat-related slogans such as”Bacon. The gateway meat”, “Bacon gives me a lardon” and my favorite “Praise the Lard”.

I’m not a big carnivore, I rarely eat red meat but this shop makes me want to consume vast quantities of it. The displays of raw meat actually looked appetizing with the cuts artfully arranged in glass cases.

The Ladies™ were happy as they were contained in the Kid’s Pen, one of them said “Oooh I’ve never seen a play area in a shop like this.” And I said “Oooh genius idea” as we were able to browse meat – beef, pork, lamb, sausage and grinds, as well a selection of local cheeses.

The owner of Fleisher’s Meats, Joshua Applestone was a vegan for 17 years. I’m guessing his philosophy was if I’m going to eat it, it has got to be good. His wife, Jessica only ate pastured meat from local farms.

Their meat is about 15% more expensive than the average supermarket. But I would prefer to eat less but better quality more flavorful meat. Their belief is it all starts with the quality of the farms:

  • Farms are local – all located within 100 miles of the Kingston shop
  • Farms maintain closed herds. Healthy, free-roaming steer are raised on the farm and NEVER bought at market.
  • Their farmers NEVER feed their animals antibiotics, growth hormones or animal-by-products; animals are raised on a strictly vegetarian diet.
  • Their steer and lamb are 100% grass-fed in season and grain-finished throughout the rest of the year.
  • Their farmers feed their animals grain grown on the farm or purchased from a local farm co-op.
  • Their animals graze on grass that is NEVER treated with pesticides or herbicides.

My dear husband and father of my children, King Marv, was in meat heaven when he heard me utter the magic words – “you have what you want, it’s Father’s Day”. He did show some restraint as he rejected a truly massive steak in favor of this beautifully marbled ribeye dry-aged steak. Happy Father’s Day!

This Little Piggy went upstate

18 June 2011 § 2 Comments

We were traveling upstate NY and stopped at the Kingston Farmers’ Market, just off exit 19 of the NY Thruway. You can tell I’m an honorary Jersey girl by the fact I use exit numbers to denote location.

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The historic Stockade district has a faded, shabby elegance to it. The flat wooden roofs over its sidewalks give it a feeling more akin to New Orleans than upstate New York. Nestled among the pawn shops, tattoo parlors and bizarre costume shops are some signs that a cultural renaissance is bubbling under the surface: a dance studio, coffee bean shops, upscale cafes and the wonderful Fleisher’s Grass-fed and organic meats all hint to a rosier future.

Located on Wall St in the historic Stockade district, the market spans a full block. With over thirty vendors offering organic and natural fare such as meats and cheeses, fresh fruits and vegetables, breads and other baked goods, honey, fresh-cut flowers and so much more, it had everything you’d expect to deliver a great Farmers’ Market experience.

We ambled along Wall St, stopping to buy doughnuts and strawberries from Davenport Farms. I was rather taken with the pig painting at the Northwind Farms stand so I bought some bacon for King Marv’s Father’s Day treat. In terms of produce, there was some beautiful rainbow-colored chard and plenty more scapes, but after my ‘scapades of the other week, I felt we’d had enough of them. The Ladies™ were happy with their doughnuts and King Marv was happy at the prospect of a visit to some guitar shops and the temple of meat that is Fleisher’s.

The Kingston Farmers’ Market is located on Wall Street in Kingston NY, and is open from May 28 through November 19, every Saturday, 9 am – 2pm (rain or shine). There is a municipal parking lot and plenty of street parking close by.

This Little Piggy will DEFINITELY be going back. It is well worth the visit and I recommend it!

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