Tuesday, August 31, 2010
The setting of the outdoor pit could not have been better as I think these pictures illustrate. There were about 125 people there and everyone was helping with something. As you all may know if you build a fire and there are other people around the men will assemble and discuss the merits of proper firebuilding. Well imagine what happens when you stuff a pig with chickens and herbs and stand by it for 9 hours. Usually people would come, scrutinize and decided the pig needed some action so we would spin her. But then they would leave and I would be alone again with pepperoni. Jay Bolemon and Sally James did a good job of hanging out and taking it all in. There was lots of wine. Then the farm olympics began. I lost in a scuffle hoe contest against Joe, but he has a lot more practice than I do. Finally Gaelan and I hauled the pig over to the serving table and everyone dove in. There were hot corn tortillas and pickled jalapenos and some people just walking around with huge hunks of meat in their hands. It was greasy and barbaric. Then I took a huge bite out of the heart. It was the best meat I had ever tasted in my life. The world was spinning and I was in love and in the sun. Then the music began.
Monday, August 30, 2010
This amazing day started with a stout coffee and a 7:30am drive with my friend Tyler. We cruised along the south toe river's bends and pulled into the grounds of green toe. We were greeted by a crew of men that had been handling the details of the pig slaughter and cleaning. Pepperoni was peacefully laying in the back of Gaelan's truck wrapped in a clean plastic tarp. Fresh meat is such an amazing thing. No odors or questionable things to deal with. Using a good seven foot length of pipe and some bailing wire we prepared the pig for the spit. I had brought three fresh chickens from my friends Amos and Kaci Nidiffer in Elk Park and a half bushel of fresh thyme from Kelly Rothe. The heart, liver and kidneys of the pig had been saved as well. I placed the chickens, the organs , thyme and salt and pepper in the cavity of pepperoni then wound her all around with the bailing wire and we carried the whole package over to the fire and set her up about four feet over the fire. Then we jumped into the river!
The shot of salt and pepper and a mason jar labeled "4 the pig" leaning on the fire logs is a simple testament to minimalism. All the real work was done before we started cooking. Other than the ridiculous and glorious fact that we stuffed animals into another animal all we needed was salt and pepper and my homemade 7 pepper sauce made special 4 the pig. And of that I had made only two quarts that I occasionally dribbled on the upward facing portion of the roast throughout the nine-hour process. Not much active time here but a whole lot of great fireside chats with beautiful friends old and new. Here's a video by Jeff Goodman on proper saucing.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
So for this recipe I wanted to keep it simple crisp and fresh. I sliced some cucumber and tossed it with sauteed baby carrots, onions, garlic, and fresh italian parsley. Then I added some rich chicken stock. Then I garnished the vegetables with that amazing chicken from amos that I was talking about.
I am finally sitting down in august to write about june. These times go by mighty fast.I have had several thoughts of bringing the computer into the kitchen with me but last week I put my japanese water stone in front of my cutting board for days and I still could not find or make time to sharpen my two point-less knives that the whole staff shares at the knife & fork. This season has been abundant. Last year I arrived in burnsville at the beginning of june and last summer was cool and wet. This year has been so different. Hot and dry with intermittent showers for three day spells have brought thick, ripe and sultry vegetables. I mean this is the stuff you would tell your grandchildren; "...I picked peaches the size of babyheads and all the cars ran on syrup....." . Utopian. It has been dificult to keep up with the garden. And, I don't do it alone. My brother-in-law has upkept the two garden spots we have and it is an overwhelming job. This is still a small concern compared to green toe ground. They have sixteen acres and have a hand in it all.
It is easy to be influenced at the farm. The pics I have shown you of cucumbers and carrots all come together so well with the help of an amazing chicken from amos nidiffer at trosly farm.