I’m proud to say that Farm to Fork is currently in the process of rejuvenation. Not only is the new and improved website about to be unveiled soon, but my entire operation and thought related is in make-over mode. All businesses, no matter how small, need to accept change and be allowed to evolve in their own way. When I began five years ago I was focused solely on my personal chef work, but now other projects have come my way such as teaching, writing, consulting, and an occasional small-group catering event. Yes, the effects of the recession have pushed us to diversify, but we’ve found pleasure in taking up other real food work (particularly that which helps me to advocate on behalf of real food) and found that it is adding character to the business and to myself. Here is just a shout-out to keeping chins up and to the business staying afloat, to evolution and the challenges of change. Here is a shout-out to my new website (to come this week) and with that revision a new vision for my business which emphasizes real food for real people to bring us joy and to nourish us.
Okay, perhaps that was dramatic but I am sincere in my excitement now. I am looking ahead. But there are other subjects of note. First, I wanted to call your attention to a local exhibit called Hungry Planet: What the World Eats at the Bell Museum of Natural History at the University of Minnesota. It’s an exhibit based on the book of the same name that came out a few years ago. The book is an incredible account, in images and observations, of what people eat across the globe. No matter your knowledge about food issues you’ll be astonished to learn and see outright what and how much other cultures eat.
As well, I’ve noticed recently a few new-release cookbooks lists in places like the New York Times and Saveur and thought I’d send a link or two. One of my favorite new cookbooks this season is called The Craft of Baking by Karen DeMasco. The recipes tantalize, such as Raspberry-Pistachio Brown Butter Cake or Milk Chocolate Hazelnut Panna Cotta, but there’s also accesible, straight-forward recipes for things like chocolate pudding and sugar cookies. I like the layout, the mix of old and new, uppity and low-brow recipes, and her emphasis on the value of variations. Check it out.
Finally, Thanksgiving is round the bend here and I thought I’d share a thought or two regarding this year’s holiday. I am going to be feeding a cramped table of eaters this year and I figured early on that economy would play a larger part than usual when creating the menu. My guests don’t know it yet but I’m not going to make a bird this year. I think it’s perfectly acceptable to steer away from tradition once in a while, particularly with the expense of a turkey and of course, the fuss. I’m not going so far as say, the writer Calvin Trillin, and pronounce that Pasta Carbonara should be the new Thanksgiving dish. I’m going to make yet another delicous recipe from a book I’m fond of, All About Braising, by Molly Stevens. The dish is Braised Turkey Thighs with Onions and Buttercup Squash. Must I mention it again, that dark meat thighs not only have serious flavor (particularly versus white, lean meat) but they are far more economical. Performing a braise is still a to-do, perfect for a soiree, but much less hassle than cooking a whole bird, much less expensive, and I think, far more interesting.