Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Summery Grilled Haloumi Salad #ImprovCookingChallenge


Welcome to the July 2020 Improv Cooking Challenge. This group is headed up by Nichole of Cookaholic Wife. And I haven't been very consistent, but I love the idea of the group, so I will try to be better in the coming months.


The idea behind Improv Cooking Challenge: we are assigned two ingredients and are challenged to create a recipe with those two things. This month's items: watermelon and olive oil. Here's what the crew is sharing with those ingredients...


Summery Grilled Haloumi Salad

There's nothing more summery than a salad of sun-kissed watermelon and vine-ripened tomatoes. When you add haloumi to the top, it's dinner!

Haloumi originated in Cyprus, during the Medieval period, and gained popularity throughout the Middle East. Since Cypriots like eating haloumi with watermelon in the summer months, I decided to do the same...with some fresh tomatoes from the farmers' market.

Ingredients
  • heirloom tomatoes
  • seedless watermelon
  • haloumi cheese
  • olive oil
  • freshly ground pepper
  • fresh thyme
  • Also needed: grill or grill pan


Procedure
Slice tomatoes and watermelon and place on serving platter. Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper and fresh thyme leaves.

Heat the grill pan over medium heat and grease with oil. Lay slices of haloumi on the grill and cook until nice char marks appear, approximately a minute or so. Flip over and grill on the other side.


To serve, place a slice of grilled haloumi on top of the salad. Drizzle with olive oil. Serve immediately.

That's it for our watermelon and olive oil exploration. The #ImprovCookingChallenge bloggers will be back in August with cherry and lime recipes for your perusal. Stay tuned...

Bo Ssäm for a Fathers' Day Delivery + an Al Fresco Dinner


Here we are looking at our eighteenth week of being sheltered in place...and I am working on a paella delivery for my parents' forty-eighth wedding anniversary. Then I realized that I neglected to post about the Fathers' Day delivery I did a couple of weeks ago. Tardy...tardy!!


As we head into our fourteenth week of being sheltered in place, I sadly realized that we have missed most of our family celebrations with my parents this year. We had to skip our annual Easter luncheon early into the shelter-in-place order; then we missed celebrating Jake's birthday, my birthday, Mothers' Day, R's gradation, R's birthday, and - now - Fathers' Day. I hope that we'll be opened back up in time for D's birthday...in December! Oye. I really hope so.


But, I do understand the need for caution and self-isolation. It's just lonely.


And despite not being able to set our table for eight and have my parents over for a Fathers' Day dinner on Sunday, we packed it all up and drove the half-mile to deliver the meal to my dad.


He was happy to see us, even at a six foot distance and without hugs.


And after we did the delivery, we came home and set the table on our patio for the same feast...for Jake. What a strange time this is!


For a recent #WinePW event where the group focused on wines from New York's Finger Lakes region, Nicole of Somm's Table shared her Bo Ssäm and Comparative Reisling Party. What?! I was immediately intrigued and decided that was what I was making for Fathers' Day. I started with Chef David Chang's recipe, then adapted it slightly. I didn't have any Reisling, like Nicole did, but I paired with a Sauvignon Blanc from France that worked well. Cheers.

Note that the meat needs to be prepped and refrigerated overnight. Then it needs to roast for a little more than six hours. So, plan accordingly!


Ingredients serves 8 to 10 people plus leftovers
Bo Ssäm
  • one 8 to 10 pound bone-in pork butt
  • 1 cup organic granulated sugar
  • 1 cup plus coarse salt
  • 7 Tablespoons organic dark brown sugar
  • Also needed: a roasting pan with a rack

To Serve
  • steamed rice (I used Jade rice which has a slightly greenish tint)
  • organic lettuce to make cups (I used romaine)
  • ssäm sauce (recipe below)
  • pickled veggies (I used pickled radishes similar to this recipe, pickled carrots similar to this recipe, and smashed cucumber pickles similar to this recipe)
  • kimchi (I used a Napa cabbage kimchi similar to this recipe)

Ssäm Sauce makes 1 cup
  • 1 to 2 Tablespoons ssämjang (fermented bean and chile paste), adjust to your palate
  • 1 Tablespoon kochujang (chile paste)
  • 1/2 cup vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
  • 1/2 cup oil (I used canola oil)



Procedure

Ssäm Sauce 
Combine all the ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Stir until well-combined. Ssäm sauce will keep in the fridge for at least a week; I just mixed this up the day before.

Bo Ssäm
Place the pork butt in a medium mixing bowl. Add in the granulated sugar and salt. Massage the mixture into the meat, turning to coat the roast completely. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.

About eight hours before you want to serve, remove the rubbed roast from the refrigerator. Let it sit at room temperature while you preheat the oven.

Heat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the pork from the mixing bowl and place it on a rack in a roasting pan. Put the pan in the oven and roast for six hours. Baste with the rendered fat and pan juices every hour or so. The pork should be soft and offer almost no resistance to a fork.

At the end of the six hours, remove the pan from the oven and raise the heat to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. As the oven heats to the higher temperature, spoon the brown sugar over the top and smooth it into a nice layer.


Place the roast back in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes. The brown sugar will be melted into a crisp, sweet crust. Let the pork rest for 10 minutes before slicing.


Serve the bo ssäm hot, surrounded with the accompaniments including the rice, kimchi, and pickles. Traditionally this is served with raw oysters, but I'm fifty-fifty on whether I have a reaction to eating them, so I generally avoid.


Diners serve themselves with the tender pork chunks and all the sides.


And the crust is to die for! Seriously.


We can't wait to make this again. Thanks for the inspiration, Nicole. This was a huge hit around my table...and my parents' table.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

The Honey Bus, Big Sur Honey, and Honey Baked Brie #FoodieReads


I recently saw an invitation to a virtual book club hosted by one of my favorite local organizations Big Sur Land Trust. You can read the invitation: on their website. And you still have plenty of time to join in; the meeting is on July 23rd and I devoured this book - The Honey Bus by Meredith May* - in just two sittings. So, if you are inclined, get your hands on a copy. I can't wait to hear what the other readers thought...and, virtually, meet the author.

Back in 2013, I had a piece published in Edible Monterey Bay entitled "Bee Yourself: Honey, Anarchy, and Saving the World, One Hive at a Time." You can read it in their archives or on my blog. And it was also my first cover!


"Bee Yourself" was one of the first feature pieces I wrote, versus smaller sidebars, and it required copious amounts of research, numerous visits with beekeepers, and - my family's favorite part - a bunch of honey tastings. Furthermore it cemented my love of all things bees and all things honey! So I was excited to have the chance to read a memoir about a girl saved by bees. I didn't really know what else to expect.

The Honey Bus

This is May's memoir about growing up in the 1970s in Carmel Valley after her parents divorce. I generally avoid memoirs that involve emotional upheaval and trauma during childhood. But I relished the redemptive relationship May has with her grandfather, Franklin Peace, who takes her to his honey bus in Big Sur and initiates her into the art of keeping bees.

May’s mother never recovered from the split from her husband. Instead she relocates with her children to California, moves in with her parents, and allows them to raise her children while she spirals downward into a quagmire of depression and dysfunction. 

May admits, "I felt stuck. Granny, Mom and Dad were locked in a war that was bigger and stronger than me. My family was the opposite of a beehive. Instead of working for one another, all they did was conspire to make each other miserable" (pg. 181).

With an inaccessible mother and a granny who treats Meredith and Matthew as nuisances, it's the grandfather who steals May's heart...and my own. He dons a bolo tie and shows up for May's father-daughter night at Tularcitos Elementary School, regaling her classmates beekeeping tales. He teaches her about the hive life; he loves her and nurtures her. His lessons are positive, empowering, and offer her stability that she desperately craves.

"I could have never guessed that a beehive is a female place, a castle with a queen but no king. All the worker bees inside are female; around sixty thousand daughters that look after their mother by feeding her, bringing her water droplets and keeping her warm at night. The colony would wither and die without a queen laying eggs. Yet without her daughters taking care of her, the queen would either starve or freeze to death. Their need for one another was what kept them strong" (pg. 75).

"He reminded us that bees live for a purpose far grander than themselves, each of their small contributions combining to create collective strength. Rather than withdrawing from the daunting task of living, as our mother had done, honeybees make themselves essential through their generosity. By giving more than they took, bees ensured their survival and reached what might be considered a state of grace" (pg. 273).


"Bees had enough brainpower to envision a better life, and then go out and get it. Even if it involved the risk of living out in the open, defenseless, until they decided together where to relocate. Bees had guts" (pg. 279).

May seems to have embraced this tenet wholeheartedly "...beautiful things don’t come to those who simply wish for them. You have to work hard and take risks to be rewarded" (pg. 172).

And, to further, bee conservation, she writes, "There’s a growing consensus that we each have to do our own small act, whether it’s seeding the roadsides with flowering plants, starting backyard hives of our own, or breaking up the food desert by planting flowering borders around mono-crops. It’s the principle of the hive—if each of us does our small part, it could add up to a bigger whole" (pg. 329).

These are all fabulous life lessons. I love that May pays it forward by giving kids bee experiences in a community garden in San Francisco.

Of course it was also a treat to be familiar with so many of the locations May mentions. My friends' kids went to Tulacitos and, now, Carmel High School. The Wagon Wheel Coffee Shop is one of our favorites for breakfast...well, before the world shut-down, anyway. And though May's memory is cringe-worthy, I clearly pictured the entire scene of May fleeing from her mother at the bowling alley right there at Monterey Lanes.

Big Sur Honey

"Grandpa was inspired to build a portable honey house after reading a story in his beekeeping magazine about beekeepers who installed honey spinners on the flatbeds of their Ford Model A trucks, so they could drive up to their apiaries and harvest right on the spot. But Grandpa thought that was silly because if you harvest outdoors, the bees will find the honey and go into a robbing frenzy over it. With a bus, he could drive to his bee yards and extract honey in a closed environment, without getting stung" (pg. 160).

Though Peace's Honey Bus is long gone, there are plenty of local hives and I was able to get my hands on some sage honey from Big Sur! When May is talking to her grandfather about pollen, he tells her "'Pollen. From flowers. The color tells you which flower they came from. Tan is from the almond tree. Gray is the blackberries. Orange is poppy. Yellow is mustard, most likely'" (pg. 73). This sage honey did have a light greyish-green cast to it. It's not quite the color of a sage leaf, but the aroma is distinctive and detectable!

Honeyed Baked Brie

I decided to make an appetizer that had the honey front and center. This is one of my favorite appetizers to showcase a local honey.

Ingredients
  • one 6- to 8-ounce brie, slightly chilled (I used a goat milk brie)
  • 1/3 cup chopped cashews
  • 1/3 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 2 Tablespoons honey plus more for serving
  • crackers or baguette slices for serving
  • also needed: parchment paper and a rimmed baking sheet

Procedure
In a small bowl, mix the cashews, apricots, and 2 Tablespoons honey together. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Using a sharp knife, slice the brie in half. Place one half of the brie, cut-side up, on a piece of parchment paper on a rimmed board. Spoon half of the cashew mixture onto the brief and cover it with the other half, cut-side down. Press down firmly and spoon the remaining cashew mixture on top of the brie.

Bake until the cheese is oozy and runny, approximately 10 to 15 minutes. A word of warning: this dish looks a little messy, but the taste trumps any lack of beauty.


Serve immediately with a side of honey.  And let diners drizzle more honey on their own bites, if desired.

*This blog currently has a partnership with Amazon.com in their affiliate program, which gives me a small percentage of sales if you buy a product through a link on my blog. It doesn't cost you anything more, but it helps support my culinary adventures in a small way. If you are uncomfortable with this, feel free to go directly to Amazon.com and search for the item of your choice.


Click to see what everyone else read in July 2020: here.

A Good Year, Halibut à la Barigoule, and Prosper Maufoux Bourgogne Chardonnay 2017 #PagesandPours #Sponsored

This is a sponsored post written by me in conjunction with Winesellers, Ltd..
Wine samples were provided for this post and this page may contain affiliate links.

This summer I have planned a few posts in conjunction with Winesellers, Ltd.* To begin, I am heading virtually to France! I am sharing a book set in France or written by a French author, a French wine - courtesy of Winesellers - and a food pairing for that bottle. It's my version of a grown-up summer reading list! I'm calling it 'Pages and Pours.' Next month I'll be turning my eyes towards Chile.

On the Page

I have read several of Mayle's books. And while he isn't French, he is a Francophile through and through. I've previously enjoyed his French Lessons when I made Poulet à la Normande; A Year in Provence with an inspired braise; and Chasing Cezanne that didn't inspire a kitchen creation. I completely forgot that this book - A Good Year - was made into a movie starring Russell Crowe and Marion Cotillard. When we watched that for #FoodNFlix in 2015, I shared a recipe for Civet de Canard.

A Good Year, the book, bore little resemblance to the movie. And here's something you rarely hear uttered by readers: The movie was so much better than the book. 

Londoner Max Skinner quits his job, after a falling out with his boss, and receives a letter from the notaire in a Provençal village, informing him that his Uncle Henry has died and left Max the house and the attached vineyard. Reluctant to even visit, Max is encouraged by his friend and former brother-in-law, Charlie, to go take a look.

The motley crew of characters includes the attractive notaire, Nathalie Auzet; the man who runs the vineyard, Claude Roussel; Claude's wife who makes a mean civet; Claude's sister-in-law, the flamboyant Mademoiselle Passepartout, who becomes Max's housekeeper; Fanny, the gorgeous proprietor at a local cafe; and a young American woman who turns out to be Uncle Henry's love child.

A Good Year is a pleasant albeit slow-moving story. Additionally, the so-called mystery has a predictable outcome. But it's Mayle's descriptions of the food and wine that had me continuing to turn the pages. It's what he excels at, after all.

In the Glass

I received a bottle of Prosper Maufoux Bourgogne Chardonnay 2017 from Winesellers and did some reading. Bourgogne Blanc, White Burgundy, is made from Chardonnay grown in the Burgundy region of France which has long been connected with winemaking. In the first century AD, the Romans cultivated vineyard there and, later, Cistercian monks crafted wines for the local aristocracy.

Like Nathalie Auzet, in the book, Prosper Maufoux was a notary. And in 1860, he shuttered his practice to embrace his passion for wine. He started his own vineyard in Santenay, in the heart of the vineyards in southern Côte d’Or. Through several generations Maison Prosper Maufoux's wine distribution has expanded, first to England, then the Netherlands, and all the way to the United States. The torch passed from the Maufoux family line to Eric Piffaut whose roots go back to Burgundy in the late 19th century. And it has been under the Piffaut mantle that oenologist Nadine Gublin took over winemaking at the estate. She was named first female winemaker of the year by La Revue du Vin de France and continues to amass accolades for her wines. 


The Prosper Maufoux Bourgogne Chardonnay 2017 poured a pale green-gold in color with some flecks of platinum highlights. On the nose, there were aromas of citrus softened by hints of honey and earthy chestnuts. On the palate, this wine was surprisingly full with a pleasant mouthfeel. Deeper notes of nuts came through as the wine warmed throughout dinner.

On the Plate


I wanted to make a more traditional French dish to pair with the wine and landed on my version of Halibut à la Barigoule, a Provencal peasant dish with a fish braised in white wine with carrots and bacon.

Ingredients serves 4

  • 4 ounces bacon, diced
  • 1/2 cup diced carrots
  • 1/2 cup diced leeks
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed
  • 1-1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1-1/2 to 2 pounds halibut, cut into 4 equal pieces
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper plus more to taste

Procedure

In a pan with a lid - I used my Le Creuset braiser - brown the bacon over medium heat until the fat is rendered and the meat is browned, approximately 8 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, leeks, and garlic to the pan. Cook until the vegetables soften and the leeks begin to caramelize, approximately 8 to 10 minutes. Every so often, scrape the brown bits from bottom to keep them from burning.

Raise heat to high. Place 2 sprigs of thyme in the pot. Pour in wine and water and bring to a boil. The liquid should be reduced and thickened. Lower heat to medium. Add halibut, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cover. Cook until fish is opaque and cooked through, approximately 6 to 8 minutes.

Transfer fish to serving plate. Discard thyme sprigs. If the sauce is too liquidy, increase heat to high and reduce as needed. Adjust seasoning to taste.


To serve, spoon vegetables into a bowl and place cooked fish on top. Garnish with fresh thyme and another sprinkling of salt and pepper, if desired.

I have enjoyed a few other books about or set in Franch so far this summer: Murder à la Carte by Susan Kiernan-Lewis had me making Herbed Sourdough FougasseMurder in the South of France also by Susan Kiernan-Lewis inspired Brandy-Laced Chicken Liver Pâté with Balsamicy Onions; and I reminisced about meeting pigs and making sausages after reading A Pig in Provence: Good Food and Simple Pleasures in the South of France by Georgeanne Brennan. I am also linking this post to the July 2020 edition of Foodie Reads.


Winesellers, Ltd. on the webFacebook, on Twitter, on Instagram
*Disclosure: I received sample wines for recipe development, pairing, and generating social media traction. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the organizer and sponsors of this event.

*This blog currently has a partnership with Amazon.com in their affiliate program, which gives me a small percentage of sales if you buy a product through a link on my blog. It doesn't cost you anything more, but it helps support my culinary adventures in a small way. If you are uncomfortable with this, feel free to go directly to Amazon.com and search for the item of your choice.


Click to see what everyone else read in July 2020: here.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Connecting My Kids To Their Food: Meeting Pigs and Making Sausages #FoodieReads


Somehow A Pig in Provence: Good Food and Simple Pleasures in the South of France by Georgeanne Brennan* ended up on my suggested Kindle reading list. It's not a mystery, really; the book is right up my alley - personal memoir, set in another country, and rife with food! And Amazon's algorithms are usually right on, disturbingly so. This 'buy-it-in-one-click' thing is truly dangerous! It's still less expensive than physical books...and until my library opens back up, this will suffice. However, I still prefer real paper and books that I can touch and smell.

On the Page
image from amazon.com

I was not familiar with Georgeanne Brennan's work, but I was immediately drawn into her book as she begins describing her family's adventures of moving to Provence in the 1970s and starting a traditional fresh goat cheese business. A Pig in Provence is part travelogue and personal memoir. But it's really a love letter to Provence and all its foods. Brennan paints a delightful picture of the culture and the people of the region. Those "long meals, composed of simple, fresh seasonal foods and local wines, savored under the cooling shade of sycamore or mulberry trees in warm weather and in front of a cozy fire in cold weather, are the essence of the good life, well lived" (pg. 123).

Brennan writes, "I recognized that food was central to life, not for reasons of hedonism or sustenance, but because it was a link to everyone that had gone before me. It was a link to the land, a link to friends and family around a shared table, and a link to future generations to come. In a fragile, unstable world of change, food is a constant."

My family and I have been talking recently about connections over food. It's one of the things I miss the most as we go into our seventeenth week of being sheltered in place during this coronavirus pandemic: I miss having friends and family around my dinner table for a shared meal, libations, and seasonal food prepared with love.

That is a constant theme - shared meals - throughout her book. She writes, "Our social life, like everyone else’s, revolved around food. We lingered over lunches and dinners, went to the open markets where we met friends for an apéritif or coffee, took picnics to the beaches and lakes, and went to restaurants and community feasts. We steeped ourselves in the tastes of Provence—olive oil, wild herbs, fish, tomatoes, eggplants, zucchini, grilled lamb and sausages, fresh cheese, and fruit of every kind" (pg. 123).

As Brennan lives and eats through the seasons there, she details what she's eating and what she's learning. After she learns to identify and forage mushrooms around her house, she describes, "I carefully sliced our chanterelles into long, perfect sections and sautéed them in olive oil with a few shallots, salt, and pepper. As they cooked, they scented our little kitchen with an unfamiliar aroma, slightly musty and rich. When they became tender, I poured a half-dozen beaten eggs over them and sprinkled on parsley. I let the bottom of the eggs set, then flipped one half over the other, cooking the omelette until it was firm, but still soft in the middle. I quickly made a salad from greens I had picked earlier that day, and we sat down to our first home-cooked meal of gathered wild mushrooms"(pg. 70).


When she writes about truffled eggs, I began counting the weeks till the season and wondering if the world will open back up in time for me to head to my favorite Italian restaurant and purchase some truffles. "'You keep them and the truffles together in the jar. The smell of the truffles goes into the eggs. In two days, even three, break the eggs into a bowl, clean the truffles, and grate them into the eggs. Let stand a little, add some sea salt, and then cook the eggs in butter to make your oeufs brouillés. Ahhh.' He kissed the tip of his fingers with a smack. 'Sublime. Vous verrez'" (pg. 91)

On the other end of the culinary spectrum is a French-style ham sandwich. "Almost nothing tastes as good for lunch as a French-style ham sandwich with a cold beer. The bread, at least one-third of a crusty baguette from a late-morning bake, is cut lengthwise and heavily slathered with sweet butter before two or three slices of thin ham are folded in half down the center and the sandwich closed up. That’s it. Three tastes, three textures" (pg. 169).

At the end of it, I think the food philosophy embraced in Provence - well, in many places, but she is writing about Provence: "Any dish is only as good as the ingredients you begin with" (pg. 176).

But it was her recounting about le jour de cochon, when the people of Provence slaughter their pig that reminded me about why I have always strived to connect my kids to their food sources. I didn't want them to think that meat came on a styrofoam tray wrapped in plastic; meat was once an animal. And to that end, I have taken my kids to farms to meet their meat!

Meeting Pigs

One year, several years ago, we went to visit our CSA (community-supported agriculture) farm. D spotted a sow with a row of piglets. 

“Mommy, look! Babies!” he shrieked, gesturing at the pile of pigs huddled beneath the shade of the gnarled apple tree. The piglets shoved and squealed; they climbed on top of one another. All were trying to get to their mother’s teat. Those who were successful, suckled happily. Those who weren’t, kept jostling the heap. “I like that one,” he pointed excitedly. “He’s cute. Which one do you like?” 

“Oh, I don’t know. You think they’d make good pets?” 

“No, silly Mommy. They’re for bacon… or ham!” he declared.

Okay.

Brennan writes about this: "At one moment the pig was a living, breathing, heaving animal, one I had known for the last year as I helped Marie feed him, and in the next moment he was an inanimate object, ready to become food. With the release of blood, I saw his life slowly leaving and his eyes beginning to fade. My heart was pounding and I turned my head. When I looked back moments later, it was over and the transition from life to death completed. It was time to begin the transformation of the pig into pâté, sausages, and hams" (pg . 48).

Making Sausages   
  
A couple of years ago, one of our favorite local chefs was opening up his restaurant for a sausage-making class. I scooped up two tickets immediately, thinking that it would be a great date afternoon for me and Jake. But as the event inched closer, a project deadline was looming for Jake and R, so I ended up taking my Enthusiastic Kitchen Elf with me instead.


I think it worked out for the best anyway. Some kids have a favorite band or favorite musician. My kid has a favorite chef and it's Chef Brad!

As we were driving up to Soquel, D wondered if the pig was going to be intact, meaning with a head and entrails in place. He said that he needed to mentally prepare for that, but I'll write more about that when I showcase Rancho Llano Seco, the ranch that provided the heritage pig for the class.


D visibly relaxed when he saw that the pig did not have a head and entrails. He watched, entranced, as Chef Brad butchered the pig.


We learned about the leaf lard...


 and the coppa.


And when Chef Brad was done, D jumped into the hands-on part of the class: making HOMEmade pork sausage. This isn't a recipe, per se, but I'll share the process we learned. 

They ground the meat - not with the hand grinder, but he did show them that one; they used the Hobart and it was much, much faster.


They seasoned the meat with brown sugar, Maldon flake salt, fennel seeds, paprika, red pepper flakes, and black pepper.


They added in minced garlic, fresh oregano, and fresh parsley.


Then they donned gloves and mixed that all in by hand. Thank goodness the teenagers were game; all the adults were busily sipping beer as the 'pint' part of the Pork & Pint party.


Chef Brad brought out the sausage stuffer, demonstrating how to load the casings on to the tube. Then they stuffed the sausages.


They made links by pressing into the casing at 6" intervals and spinning the sausage for three rotations, alternating directions. Brad made it seem easy. D said it wasn't easy.


And we ended up with some beautiful pork sausages.


Everyone wrapped some and took sausages home. Chef Brad did roast some of the sausages in the wood-burning pizza oven for us to enjoy right then and there.


I cooked ours a couple of nights later - oven-roasted in cast iron - and the little critic said Chef Brad's was better. No doubt.


It's always a treat to connect with food purveyors and local chefs! I'm grateful for these opportunities to underscore that the meat we eat was once an animal and how simple, fresh ingredients make amazingly tasty meals.


*This blog currently has a partnership with Amazon.com in their affiliate program, which gives me a small percentage of sales if you buy a product through a link on my blog. It doesn't cost you anything more, but it helps support my culinary adventures in a small way. If you are uncomfortable with this, feel free to go directly to Amazon.com and search for the item of your choice.


Click to see what everyone else read in July 2020: here.

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