Thursday, July 12, 2012

Foodies Beware

I've been shopping lately at the Amish market in Flemington, NJ.

The selection is awesome and many of the goods offered for sale are hand produced. I read about buying local and organic food and additive free but on a supermarket shelf these words are meaningless.  My local supermarket has produce from my county proudly displayed in the front of the produce aisle.  When I see it, I buy it.  Nowhere do I see meat, eggs and butter that I can point to on a map.  Here I can.  When I buy a pound of cheese I can say it came from here.  The farm is right on the label.  As far as organic goes, I know that the beef, pork, lamb and chicken are raised in what we city slickers call a farmyard.  They don't do the cage thing.  The feed they give their animals isn't ground up who knows what with a chaser of antibiotics and hormones.  Organic is a term that has lost all meaning.  It's good to know that what I'm eating was produced using farming techniques I can trace back through generations of my own family.

A bit of caution:  the fish is brought in daily from the fish market in NY.  Produce is likewise sourced.  Bulk goods such as spices, grains and flours are repackaged quality ingredients.  Many of their candies are also repackaged bulk supplies.  Do try their homemade fudge!  They've got more preserves and pickles, all homemade, than I can even name, including a few family favorites like watermelon rind and pickled peaches.

I'll close with a recipe I made tonight

Green Beans Almondine
2 lb. green beans, ends removed and broken into mouth sized pieces
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. olive oil (optional, but nice)
fresh ground black pepper to taste
2 Tbsp. butter
1/4 cup slivered blanched almonds

Combine the beans, salt, vinegar, oil (if using) and pepper in a microwave safe dish.  Cover with cling film and microwave on high 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, melt the butter and cook until it just starts going golden.  Add the almonds and remove from heat.  Let the temperature equalize and return to a low heat and toast the almonds to a warm, nutty brown.  Toss with the cooked green beans and serve.

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