Squeeze Me

Squeezeme2

No, this is not a giant aspirator (though it does look like one, to my mind). The ingeniuous Squeeze-Me handheld juicer allows you to squeeze, strain, and store fresh lemon without  getting your hands dirty. Just drop half a lemon into the base, attach the top, and squeeze away. $27 at Generate.

 


Touch Your Tomatoes, Spotted Pig Spotting, Gooseberries, and HydroGarden Farm

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NEWS & NOTES

Augieland responds to a letter about how to choose farmers at the Greenmarket. His thesis? "Make a habit of touching produce and you will know all you need to know about who has the best what." He gives tips on how to feel for the best tomatoes, lettuce, corn, and more.

On July 17th, Sustainable Food News reported that the USDA is attempting to add an additional 13 substances to the list approved for organic certification, including coloring agents, preservatives, antibiotics, and other synthetic substances. Contact the USDA if you have something to say about this; SFN reports that "[i]ndustry and the public are invited to comment on the proposed recommendations by Sept. 15." 

Celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Greenmarket, both New York Magazine and The New York Times write on the current state of the beloved New York institution. The New York Magazine article discusses the history of the market and profiles five Greenmarket farms; The New York Times focuses on the dichotomy between Greenmarkets servicing low income neighborhoods and high profile Greenmarkets like Union Square and Grand Army Plaza.

Gothamist provides some tips on cooking with blueberries, which are now abundant at Greenmarkets across the city. Fantasy Fruit Farm has some tasty and comparatively less pricey ones at the Union Square Greenmarket ($3.50/pint, $6/two pints).

CHEF SIGHTINGS

April Bloomfield, head chef at The Spotted Pig, buying a cart's worth of produce at the Union Square Greenmarket on July 12th...Rene Ortiz of La Esquina, buying gooseberries at Locust Grove with his wife and baby for a red tomatillo sauce on July 19th.

WHAT'S IN, WHAT'S OUT

Sweet plums ($3.00 to $4.00/lb.) from Terhune Orchards (red and yellow varieties), Locust Grove ("oshi washi" variety), and Caradonna...raspberries ($4.00/lb) from Terhune Orchards and Locust Grove...apricots ($4.00/lb) from Terhune Orchards and Migliorelli Farm. To find a ripe apricot, shake and listen for a loose pit rattling inside...red currants ($4.00/half pint, $6.00/quart) from Berried Treasures and Locust Grove...ginger gold apples ($1.50/lb.) from Locust Grove...lodi apples (super sour, $1.25/lb) from Caradonna...gooseberries ($3.00 to $4.00/half pint) from Locust Grove and Caradonna...eggplant ($1.25 to $1.50/lb.) is now at Cherry Lane Farm and Caradonna in addition to Kernan Farms...black currants ($3.00 to 3.50/half pint) from Fantasy Fruit Farm and Berkshire Berries...cantaloupe ($1/lb, $3/each) at Oak Grove Plantation and Kernan Farms.

Long squash ($2.00/lb.) and its runners ($2.00/bunch) are new at Migliorelli Farm. Long squash is sweeter than regular squash, and the runners are sweet as well. Migliorelli Farm recommends sautéing the runners, using them in stir-fry, or adding to pasta.

Sugar snap peas are half price ($2.00/lb. instead of $4.00/lb.) at Berried Treasures because of spots on them due to the recent rains. 

Phillips Farms has three new fruit spreads: a triple berry spread, a spiced apple spread, and cherry apricot preserves ($5.50/small jar, $7.00/large jar).

FOCUS ON: HydroGarden Farm

You know it as the farm that always has samples of marinated tofu and kimchi. The actual name is hard to come by: the ubiquitous green CENY farmer identification placard is often hidden and their banner is missing a few letters. To make things more confusing, it seems they have two names: Hydro Garden Farm and D & J Organic Farm.

John_silvered D & J stands for Davie and Julie Yen, who started the twenty acre farm after retiring from the jewelry business. Their face at the Union Square Greenmarket, though, is John Silver, a towering man who is constantly offering passersby tastes of a new green or three kinds of tofu on a toothpick. John wakes up at 4:30 a.m. on weekdays to be at the Union Square Market (on Saturday, he "gets to sleep in" until 5:30 a.m.) and doesn't get back to Long Island until late in the evening. This doesn't seem to sour his disposition; John is infinitely proud of the farm, telling anyone who will listen about the 76 year old woman who makes the kimchi, a recipe that has been in her family for generations.

Japanese_seedless_cucumbersed John breaks down the philosophy of the farm as providing produce that "truly builds the health of the people who enjoy it." Hydro Garden Farm is a certified organic farm, but purity of food is not their only concern; as you might have noticed, they often have rare variations and uncommon products for sale. "We're always looking for a unique thing," John says, pointing to thier baby arugula (spicier than regular arugula), French sorrel (more lemony than regular sorrel), shiso, Japanese seedless cucumber, and tai choi cabbage.

Stop by the stand for a taste of these and a friendly hello from John, every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday at the Union Square Greenmarket.

FARMER INFORMATION

  • Berkshire Berries, Chester, MA. At the Union Square Greenmarket Mondays and Wednesdays (800.5BERRIES).
  • Berried Treasures, Cooks Falls, NY. At the Union Square Greenmarket Wednesdays and Fridays.
  • Caradonna, at the Union Square Greenmarket Wednesdays and Saturdays.
  • Cherry Lane Farm, Bridgeton, NJ. At the Union Square Greenmarket Wednesdays and Fridays.
  • Fantasy Fruit Farm, Afton, NY. At the Union Square Greenmarket Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays (607.639.2075).
  • Hydro Garden Farm, Yaphank, NY. At the Union Square Greenmarket Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays (631.286.3423).
  • Kernan Farms, Bridgeton, NJ. At Union Square Greenmarket Wednesdays.
  • Locust Grove, Milton, NY. At the Union Square Greenmarket Wednesdays and Saturdays (845.795.5194).
  • Migliorelli Farm, Tivoli, NY. At the Union Square Greenmarket Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.
  • Oak Grove Plantation, at the Union Square Greenmarket Fridays and Saturdays.
  • Phillips Farms, Milford, NJ. At the Union Square Greenmarket Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays (908.995.0022).
  • Terhune Orchards, Salt Point, NY. At the Union Square Greenmarket Wednesdays and Saturdays (845.266.5382).
 


Agenda: 7/19 to 7/25

1. Fish Tasting Dinner, wildFlower, an eclectic West Village restaurant, will host a dinner to sample a myriad of different fish, such as ahi tuna, blue king prawns, walu, and sunfish. Dessert and wine pairings are included, Thursday, July 20th, 8:00 p.m., at wildFlower, 192 Bleecker Street. $70/person (212.475.2355).

2. Dinner at The Plant, enjoy the best in raw food with this bi-monthly dinner at Matthew Kenney's The Plant in DUMBO. This week's theme is "Summer Flavors," and features sprouts & leaves, blossoms, lilies & basil, melons, and chocolate & plums, Friday, July 21st, 8:30, at The Plant, 25 Jay Street, Brooklyn. $48/person (718.722.7541).

3. Bread and Butter, Saxelby Cheesemongers and Lower East Side restaurants The Tasting Room, Brown Cafe, Il Laboratorio del Gelato, and Little Giant will host this fundraiser to send the dairy farmers behind Evans Farmhouse Creamery to Terra Madre 2006, an annual event bringing together international food communities. Enjoy a sampling of Evans' products transformed by the local chefs, Saturday, July 22nd, 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., at M'Finda Kalunga Garden, 30 Delancey Street. $20/person (212.228.8204).

4. Chefs and Champagne, the James Beard House will present a tribute dinner celebrating the career of Thomas Keller, famed chef at French Laundry and Per Se, featuring the cuisine of over 30 of the nations top chefs, including New York's Zak Pelaccio, Marco Moreira, and Michael Symon, Saturday, July 22nd, 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., at Wölffer Estate Vineyard, 139 Sagg Road, Sagaponack, NY. Members, $175/person, guests, $250/person (212.627.2308).

5. Beer Pairing Dinner, HQ New York Bistro will feature the beers of New Hampshire based Smuttynose Brewing Company, paired with a five course menu designed by Executive Chef Terrence Cave, Tuesday, July 25th,  6 p.m. to 10 p.m., at HQ New York Bistro, 90 Thompson Street. $40/person (212.966.2755).

 


Vintage Pin

Wine bottle-shaped rolling pin If you've ever had to resort to using an empty wine bottle as a rolling pin (I have), you can appreciate the playful design of this rolling pin that evokes the shape of a bottle of Bordeaux, but won't leave any wine stains in your biscuits. $21.40 at Atypyk.

 


Vintage Pin

Wine bottle-shaped rolling pin If you've ever had to resort to using an empty wine bottle as a rolling pin (I have), you can appreciate the playful design of this rolling pin that evokes the shape of a bottle of Bordeaux, but won't leave any wine stains in your biscuits. $21.40 at Atypyk.

 


Muffins With the Soul of a Donut

Donutmuffins

If you live in New York and are suffering through the oppressive heat, turn away from the screen right now and bookmark this post for a rainy (and cold) day. I actually made these muffins over a month ago (when the temperature was sub-90 degrees) and turning the oven on was not a completely crazy idea. I have been planning to post about them ever since, so chalk this up to a case of bad timing. For a recipe more appropriate to the current weather, try this.

I first discovered "Kathleen's Doughnut Muffins" (a recipe from The Jimtown Store Cookbook) on 101 Cookbooks, when Heidi wrote about them back in August 2003. Although I owned the cookbook, I never got around to trying to make the muffins until we threw a brunch for my wife's birthday in June.

I'm glad I finally did.

The sweet treats are neither muffin nor donut, but something in between. They have the texture of a cake donut without all of the mess involved in deep-frying. As authors Carrie Brown, John Werner, and Michael McLaughlin put it in their introduction to the recipe, they "have the soul of a doughnut and the body of a muffin."

Read More >

 

 


Ibérico Arrives

Ibérico Arrives

The first USDA-approved products made from Spain's legendary black-footed Ibérico pigs have arrived in the United States. La Tienda, the online purveyor of imported Spanish foods, is currently selling Ibérico sausages (that's a "sarta" chorizo pictured here) and cured pork loin. Ibérico ham, which requires additional time for curing, has yet to be imported. Current products range from $19.95 to $97 at La Tienda.

 


Ibérico Arrives

Ibérico Arrives

The first USDA-approved products made from Spain's legendary black-footed Ibérico pigs have arrived in the United States. La Tienda, the online purveyor of imported Spanish foods, is currently selling Ibérico sausages (that's a "sarta" chorizo pictured here) and cured pork loin. Ibérico ham, which requires additional time for curing, has yet to be imported. Current products range from $19.95 to $97 at La Tienda.

 


Plush Pork

Sweetmeats

From conventional meats to organic, free-range, and grass-fed varieties, consumers face myriad choices that have complex ethical, health, and environmental consequences. But, what about plush meats? As seen at Cool Hunting, the Sweet Meats collection of antibiotic-free stuffed toys includes ham, beef, pork, ribs, and hot links shapes. Could a huggable stuffed pork chop be the answer to the omnivore's dilemma? What would Pollan do? Available in individual and family sizes from $19.99 at Sweet Meats.

 


Plush Pork

Sweetmeats

From conventional meats to organic, free-range, and grass-fed varieties, consumers face myriad choices that have complex ethical, health, and environmental consequences. But, what about plush meats? As seen at Cool Hunting, the Sweet Meats collection of antibiotic-free stuffed toys includes ham, beef, pork, ribs, and hot links shapes. Could a huggable stuffed pork chop be the answer to the omnivore's dilemma? What would Pollan do? Available in individual and family sizes from $19.99 at Sweet Meats.