Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Tish loves to make, eat and share the bread she has crafted with others...

Name: Tish

Buying club: Kensington

Age: 50

How did you first hear about Polyface? From friends who were working together to find sources of grass-fed beef.

How long have you been a Polyface customer? About 10 months.

Have you ever been to the farm? No.

What is your hobby?
I make the costumes for the Comedy Club at my son’s school – giant shrimp, killer bees, a flying spaghetti monster.
I enjoy figuring out how to make the trickiest ideas work.

What is your favorite Polyface product and why?
I really like the pork.
It tastes like pork tasted when I was a kid. Not only does it have a full pork flavor, it is moister than that sad “white” stuff in the grocery store.

What is your favorite food?
Bread is my favorite food to make and to eat.
I love maintaining my starter, waking it up for weekly baking, making the magic happen with nothing but flour and water and salt and time. I love having my hands in the dough, knowing by feel that the loaves are ready for the oven. I love heating up the wood-fired oven. I love sharing bread. It is generally conceded by those who love me that when it comes to bread I lack perspective.
If you could live anywhere in the world for a year, where would it be?
I would like to live in
Ireland. The island is beautiful and the people are friendly and hospitable. Ireland produces amazing foods but for centuries has exported the best. Now, Irish cooks are recreating Irish cuisine and it is very exciting.

Share a favorite recipe.

Braised Pork Roast with Cherries

My older son and I love picking cherries at local pick-your-own farms. I can and freeze the cherries and I always make sure that at least half of the cherries are preserved without any sugar. This recipe uses unsweetened cherries as a vegetable and the flavors of cherry and turnip compliment each other nicely. I have used both Pork Shoulder (bone in) and Pork Loin (bone in) for this recipe. If you use the loin, reduce the cooking time to 1½ -2 hours.

2 Tablespoons oil or butter

1 pork shoulder, bone in

3 medium onions, peeled and quartered

2 small cloves of garlic, peeled

4-8 turnips, trimmed and quartered (about 2 pounds)

1 pint tart cherries with the canning water (or with juice if frozen and thawed)

1 cinnamon stick, about 2 inches

1 bay leaf

Salt and black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 325°.

Heat a dutch oven or other heavy casserole on the stove top. Heat butter or oil over moderate heat and brown the pork on all sides. Remove the pork from the pan and add the onion. Crack the garlic by pressing it with the flat of a knife blade; it should be broken but not crushed. Add the garlic to the pan. When the onion is lightly browned and the garlic is tender, remove the onion and garlic. Add the liquid from the cherries and bring it to a simmer, then take the pan from the heat. Lightly salt the pork roast and return the pork to the pan, adding the rest of the ingredients.

Cover the pan and bake the roast for 2½ to 3 hours, until the pork shoulder is cooked through and very tender. Remove the pork roast from the pan and allow it to rest, covered, before you slice it. Use a slotted spoon to remove the vegetables from the liquid, then put the pan back on the stove and simmer the liquid to reduce it. When you have reduced the liquid to about a cup, taste to adjust salt and pepper, then discard the cinnamon stick and bay leaf, and pour most of the liquid over the vegetables. Slice the pork roast and pour the last of the hot liquid (not much, about ¼ cup) over the meat. Serve the meat with the vegetables and a salad or greens plus, of course, fresh sourdough bread!

This is a good meal to make ahead. I can put this in the wood-fired oven at the end of a day of baking and it will cook in the residual heat over night. I refrigerate it in the morning then reheat for dinner. It can also be made in a crock pot; just don’t skip the browning.

What are you most passionate about?
You mean besides bread?
Helping people.

Complete the statement “I recommend…”
Eating with friends often – casual meals with whole families and all ages.

Is there anything else that you would like to share?
Eating well on locally produced food can be very challenging when you live in a large and densely populated suburban area. It really helps to have a community of friends who have the same goal. My Unitarian Universalist church is the source for my community of ethical eaters. We make it easier for each other, and we have fun.

Every Wednesday possible, we post an interview with a Polyface Patron. If you would like to volunteer to share some about yourself, please reply to this posting with a comment. We'll draw from the folks there and choose the next patron to highlight!

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