Thursday, September 25, 2008

Tuesday Dinner...

Tuesdays are always a bit hectic for me. It's the day that I call all of our chefs and get their orders for our restaurant deliveries on Thursdays. Chefs have their own personalities and if you don't catch them at the "right" time, they will not give you the time of day. Of course, they are also very, very busy and who has time to answer the phone when you have a restaurant full of 50 or more hungry customers? So I schedule my day around their day. :o) Joshua Wilton House gets called at 2 pm, call Keswick Hall before 10 am or after 2 pm, don't call Zynandoa until after 2 pm, cause the chef is sleeping. It's a bad idea to wake them up! Definitely NOT the way to get an order out of them! :o) I'm usually not on the phone with each restaurant for more than about 5 minutes each. So it works in fairly nicely with the kids. I only have to keep them "somewhat" quiet for 5 minute increments. Ha!
However, because Tuesdays are bit on the crazy side (or at least a little more crazy than normal), I don't usually get around to fixing a very nice meal those nights. It's usually a left-overs or grab what you can find kind of meal. But this Tuesday, I had some chicken that needed to be used up, so I had Daniel breast it out for me and decided to try a new recipe. (One of these days I'll take photos of each step on how to cut-up a chicken and post it on here for you.)
I don't know if you have had the opportunity to check out the Pioneer Woman Cooking site, but she has some awesome recipes. I was perusing it the other day and saw her recipe for the chicken/bacon sandwich thing and was inspired. In case you haven't gotten around to looking at it, here's how you make it:

You will need:
  • Polyface chicken breasts (1 per person)
  • Polyface Country cured bacon (don't soak it this time if you normally do)
  • lemon-pepper seasoning
  • cheese, sliced (I used colby, cause that's what I had)
  1. Put the chicken breasts between to pieces of plastic wrap and pound with either a meat mallet or a rolling pen until the breast is equal in thickness all the way around. Just don't pound it too thin. I think mine with just a little thicker than a 1/4 inch.
  2. Cut the bacon strips in half and fry them until they are chewy - don't crisp them. Set them aside and drain your pan, reserving about 1 Tbsp of the bacon drippings in the pan
  3. Liberally sprinkle both sides of the chicken breasts with the lemon-pepper. And place in your frying pan on med to med-low heat. Let fry for about 4 minutes.
  4. Flip the chicken over and layer the pieces of bacon on top of each breast. I used about 4 slices per breast, but my broiler was really small.
  5. Next lay cheese slices all the way across the top of the bacon. Put the lid on the pan and let it continue to cook until all of the cheese is melted. This took just about 3-4 minutes for me.
  6. Serve it and enjoy!

The Pioneer Woman says to serve it with a bun, but I didn't have any, so we ate it plain. Next time, when it's not a Tuesday I want to make mashed potatoes or twice-baked potatoes to go with it. We just ate it straight and I served it with some of my home-canned peaches. It was fantastic.

What do you think?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Countryhome Rustics...

For those of you with little ones or grandchildren, my brother-in-law, Jordan Green builds absolutely beautiful cedar furniture. The wood is Eastern Red Cedar from Mt. Jackson, Virginia. His newest creation is a highchair! He gave one to Lauryn and we use it all the time. He can custom design them to fit perfectly with your table. I gave him the height of my table so now when she is older and doesn't need the tray anymore, she can use it for a toddler seat.

Not only does he build just high chairs, he builds bed frames, dressers, end tables, cedar chests, cabinets, and will custom build anything you want!
If you are interested in getting piece of furniture made for yourself or would just like a brochure with more information mailed to you, Jordan can be reached at 540-333-1468.
Just a note: Jordan was a Polyface apprentice in 2002 and is now married to my younger sister, Laura and they are expecting their first child in December. I can't wait! It's supposed to be a boy!
Pictures: #1 - Jordan and Laura Green
#2 - Lauryn in the highchair - taken this morning at breakfast. She's eating those fabulous Polyface Eggs scrambled!
#3 - Andrew sitting in the highchair to demonstrate how it can be used as a toddler chair.
Wouldn't it be great to have a piece of furniture where you know the carpenter and where the wood comes from?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Polyface Real Farm Experience

Now to introduce you to the Polyface Real Farm Experience Team. First, let me explain how this program works. We accept 6 individuals per season and they make a commitment to be with us from June 1st to September 30th. They work with us 5 days per week and take turns working one weekend per month.

They learn and do everything that we do. The slogan for this experience is "Spend a summer with us and leave years ahead" and it's true. Mostly we focus on the broilers with this group. They learn everything from staring the chicks, to building the pens, to processing the finished broiler and marketing to the customer. However, they do learn snatches of cow moves, pig operation, turkeys, rabbits, gardening and everything else that goes on around here.

For food: We provide meat out of the Polyface supply for their meals and once per week (usually it's been Saturday evenings) we grill out with everyone together. Right now they are taking turns one night per week eating dinner with the Salatin families - either at Joel & Teresa's or at Daniel & Sheri's, depending on where the apprentices and Matt are that evening).

This year we have 4 guys and 2 girls. This is the first year that we have been able to have girls - mostly do to lack of adequate housing in the past. This year we were able to secure an apartment in Middlebrook (about 5 minutes away) for the girls to stay in. The guys stay in a mobile-classroom-turned-bunkhouse which we all call "the Roost", complete with a small kitchen, bathroom and bunk beds.

Now to introduce the girls:
(Picture - Cutting up broilers - Katrina on the left, Amanda on the right)

Amanda Henderson is from Detroit area, Michigan. Before she came here, she was in the peace corps for 2 1/2 years working on a rural well drilling project in Bolivia. She came to us looking for a career change. When I asked her what her favorite job is here at the farm, she said that she loves it all. She likes the different variety of jobs that Polyface has to offer.

Katrina Fowler comes from Dallas, Texas. She just graduated from NYU with a degree in Nutrition. She loves to bake and read for fun. And the only job that she doesn't like here at the farm is cleaning the broiler totes after processing. :o)

Article: Fighting to keep food local...

As promised, here' s the article that goes to the video teaser that was posted on Friday. Hope you enjoy! Fighting to keep food local at Virginia's Polyface Farm.
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