Thursday, November 20, 2008

Zynodoah's Restaurant

Zynodoah's Restaurant started serving Polyface chicken and chicken livers this summer. They are a fairly new restaurant located right here in Staunton. If you are ever in the area, we would encourage you to try them out. They are the only restaurant in the Staunton area that serves Polyface meats for dinner. (Cranberries serves breakfast and lunch).

Check out this article that was featured today in The Hook - FOOD- THE EATER- Valley victory: for Polyface and for new Zynodoa. by Kate Malley.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Cooking for the holidays...

Thanksgiving is coming up and I'm starting to think about all the yummy foods around the holidays. Many folks have a traditional Thanksgiving meal with turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans etc. We do the same here. Although last year, we didn't have any turkey so we made a ham and had a Thanksgiving brunch instead. It was very enjoyable and much easier on us womenfolk. :o)
However, in honor of tradition, I thought that I would share my mashed potato recipe with you. I know that mashed potatoes really don't need a recipe, but these are not your everyday taters! They are just a little something special. (and easy too, if you find yourself cooking for a big group)
Extra Good Mashed Potatoes
taken from Fix-It and Forget-It Cookbook
You will need:
  • 5 lbs potatoes, peeled, cooked and mashed
  • 8 oz pkg cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 3 tsp onion or garlic salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted

Combine all ingredients. Pour into your slow cooker. Cover. Cook on low for 5-6 hours.

Hint: These potatoes can be prepared 3-4 days in advance of serving and kept in the refrigerator until ready to warm! (Isn't that awesome?!) :o)

Sheri's tip: I like to peel and slice about 6 cloves of garlic and put them in the water with the potatoes while they are cooking, then I ommit the garlic/onion salt and just add a little more regular salt. I love my potatoes with lots of garlic!

Do you have any family traditions or recipes to share? Please do! I would love some new ideas!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Scaling up without selling your soul - Part 10


Finally, as we grow, we must never compromise quality. Plenty of great small business grow up to be ho-hum big businesses. Whatever growth occurs, it can never happen at the expense of quality. With clear conscience, I can honestly say that at 20,000 broilers they are better quality than when we did only 300. For sure, our beef at 500 head is better than it was at 20. That’s because our goals are not about sales; they are about quality.

One of our primary goals is that every year, we must have more happily copulating earthworms. Kind of the ultimate agronomic shindig. If the earthworms are happy, everything else falls into place. That goal drives how we handle manure, where we put animals, how we handle the landscape. It drives everything.

Is your business encouraging earthworms? Or a worthwhile counterpart? Change is inevitable. But change can be detrimental or positive, depending on what direction it heads. Too many great little businesses grow up to be bad big businesses. I desperately don’t want to be one of those.

As we grow, our suppliers should be happier. Our team members should be happier, more enthusiastic. Our customers should be more loyal. Our water should be purer. Our service should be better in every way. And our products should last longer, cause less pollution, stay out of landfills easier. At the end of the day, does any facet of our business require us to do some fancy talking? Maybe pull up a partition to hide something. Maybe keep us from full disclosure. Embarrassed? Require cleverspeak?

I’m reminded of Tyson claiming “Raised without antibiotics” on chickens when they figured out how to inject antibiotics in the chick before it hatched. Talk about cleverspeak. Same as those bucolic pastoral scenes on industrial organic eggs when the chickens are actually confined in a 10,000 bird house. Better is not cheaper. Better is not shortcuts. Better is not doctored reports. Better is just better.

As I close, let me confess that much of this wouldn’t fly very far on Wall Street. But if you look at it closely, none of this is anti-business. It just puts ethical and moral boundaries around human cleverness, or human capital. And ultimately, that has to be good for business.

As we consider what this level of philosophical innovation means, let’s be big enough to appreciate that western business thinking has not always been moral or ethical. A little easternism would do us all some good, realizing that the sum is bigger than the parts, it’s about holism, and everything is related. True innovative synergism occurs when we strike a balance between the parts-oriented western discovery and eastern moral, ethical thought. When we find the sweet spot, we’ll be able to SCALE UP WITHOUT SELLING OUR SOUL.

By Joel Salatin
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