Saturday, February 20, 2010

Herbert Chicken and Pure (Sprouts) Goodness

Big news! I just joined the coolest group around. It's called "Pure Sprouts", and it's an amazing innovation. In addition to being a bona-fide member of all the right organizations (PASA, Buy Fresh, Buy Local...and many more), it's convenient and high quality. And they deliver right to your door. That's right, Lehigh Valley...right to your door. Awesome, right? AND, get this: you order and pay online. Who can beat that? I ordered Jerusalem artichokes, turnips, beets, Swiss chard, sweet potatoes and shitake mushrooms. You can see them below: Did I mention that everything is local (if possible), and organic? If local isn't available, organic still applies. I think this is a great way to augment my own homegrown and preserved foods while I'm learning to do better at planning for the winter. They have grass fed, organic meats, cheese and eggs too. I don't need the eggs or cheese because I get mine straight from the source at Flint Hill Farm, but I did order some grass fed chicken breasts for next week. Yum!
By the way, I've been busy this week. I've been reading about herbs and their various uses (I'm taking an online course to get my feet a little wetter) which is a pleasure to me, as it's purely for my personal enrichment/ life path. I bought a few additions to my herbal pantry last weekend, and have been using them to make teas and tinctures (and some darn good dipping oil!). I already have a pretty extensive collection of culinary herbs, but I'm expanding my horizons. There's so much useful information out there on the web!
Do you have any idea how lucky we are to live in this era of easily accessible information? I was thinking about that just the other day, as I sat down with a book and remembered how I used to absolutely cherish at a time. I used to drain every drop of information from my favorite books, like a curious vampire, then tuck them away like trophies. Those times have changed, for sure, though I still enjoy the feel and convenience of a book, and still have shelves (piles, cabinets, drawers...) full of them. But now, we're not limited to the occasional lucky intellectual hit. Now, we have Google. Now we're only limited by our own curiosity and ability to choose reliable sources. Wow. But I digress.
Below, you see my Pure Sprouts goodies lined up on the counter, along with a few cloth dinner napkins I made from a thrift store tablecloth. I got enough fabric from that tablecloth to make at least 12 napkins, all for less that $4.00. I'm going to try to cut down on my family's paper towel usage. They're nice napkins. And quite a deal.
Last but not least, tonight's wonderful, organic dinner. Now, I've never had Jerusalem artichokes before. I've known about them since my teens, and know what the plants look like, but have never harvested one wild. You eat the root (rhizome). They're something like a cross between a turnip and a potato, with a sweeter taste; interesting. I like them. I sliced my root vegetables, added some dried, homegrown rosemary, sea salt, black pepper and olive oil, then sliced a piece of local herbed chicken sausage into the pan. I roasted the dish, covered, at 350 for awhile (I didn't time it...sorry), then took it out when it was tender. YUM! (I have to share this with you: Spell check just told me that it should be "Herbert chicken", not herbed chicken. It made me laugh.) I believe I'll call it Herbert Chicken from now on.
The greens are the organic kale I received today. I started by frying about 1/4 pound of bacon from my freezer until it was just about cooked (but not dry), then removed it from the pan. I poured off half the fat, then sauteed 1/3 of a large sweet onion and 3 chopped scallions from the farmer's market until they softened up, then added my chopped kale. When the kale began to soften, I added about a cup of re hydrated navy beans to the pot, with a little salt and some red pepper flakes. I could live on this stuff.
I've decided to keep using the "Fresh Sprouts" service until my garden starts producing, and maybe even after for organic meats. The delivery man was personable and kind, and they seem to be reliable and dedicated to high standards. You can't beat that! I recommend them. And, no, my recommendation was NOT solicited. It's all my own! As Martha Stewart would say,"It's a Good Thing."

No comments:

Post a Comment