The Holiday Season is upon us! And no matter what religion or radicalism you prescribe to, the winter chill is in your bones. It's time to COOK UP A STORM and warm those tummies. I invite you to indulge in the nourishing fruits of the season. So save the date for this Saturday's smorgasbord:
At URBAVORE we celebrate the Winter Solstice. I'm not gonna lie, it's hard to compete with Christmas, but we are die-hard radical agrarians with a secular streak. Naturally our holidays must be centered around Mother Nature and the seasons. We put up lots of lights (LED & solar-powered of course!), we bedazzle the house with snowflakes and eccentricities, we draw a "solstice tree" on a giant chalkboard, and we stoke up the woodburning cookstove to accommodate bubbling pots galore, steaming buns & breads, and lard-enhanced sweet treats. Yes, LARD...(more on that later). It's the one time of year that Dan and I slow down from the unending "farmer grind". We indulge heavily in the fruits of our labor: eggs with golden yolks, unctuous pork bursting with the flavor of our fields, nutrient-dense tubers, and all manner of stunning winter roots. The kids partake in the gluttony, and as we stuff our faces, we try to impart upon them the love for the land, our responsibility to it, and a sense of unyielding gratitude.
And as with our kids, I hope our nourishing foods impart a sense of appreciation for the land in you as well. We take no greater pleasure than feeding you. It is what drives us and brings us a sense of purpose each and every day. The holiday season is particularly poignant because it is a time when even those who rarely spend time in the kitchen set-out on a culinary adventure to feed friends & family. Allow us good farmers to enhance your feast. Allow us to bring you the BEST ingredients possible for a gastronomic experience like no other. Do it for the land, for your taste buds, for the incredible connection that it all affords to something so much bigger than ourselves!! We are not separate from the good earth or each other. Let the food bring us together.
And with that, it's recipe time! Read on for culinary inspiration, ethical menu ideas, and tasty tips. And one more thing...
THANK YOU THANK YOU for so many years of support. We couldn't do this "farmer thang" without our die-hard eaters.
We have a limited quantity of fresh, uncured hams from our glorious pastured hogs - rotationally grazed, and fed certified organic grain! A fresh ham is nothing like the more common cured ham (with sugar, salt, and nitrates). It is more like a juicy pork roast with all the flavor of the farm shining right through. I prepared this recipe last Thanksgiving and it was DIVINE: Fresh Ham with Honey & Cloves. It features a wonderful brine that deeply flavors the meat with a curry/honey/port glaze that is to die for. I highly recommend this recipe! Hams weigh between 11 and 15 pounds. Pre-orders welcome!
Our succulent Racks of Pork are hands-down my favorite cut of meat! They come from the loin of the hog and make for an EASY yet festive main course. We have 5-ribs-racks weighing between 5 and 6 pounds each. Prepare two or three for larger gatherings. I have a super simple recipe included at the end of this email. If you'd like a more complicated recipe that includes a brine, I highly recommend this recipe: Rosemary Roasted Rack of Pork with Pomegranate Ajus.
When I was little, my Sicilian grandpa used to make Italian Sausage & Meatballs on Christmas Eve. Now that we raise our own heritage pork, I have access to the best dang sausage and meatball ingredients on the planet! I'm delighted to make Italian fare part of my holiday tradition once again, and you should too! We've got medium-spiced Italian Sausage with sheep's milk cheese and fennel seed that is THE BOMB. Our ground pork makes for great meatballs as does our breakfast sausage (sometimes I mix the two!). If you've never simmered Italian Sausage in a homemade tomato sauce, this recipe for Italian Sausage Tomato Sauce is a good little kick-starter.
We made these incredible Sweet Potato Sage Rolls for our Friendsgiving this year. They were a hit! We did Milk-Braised Pulled Pork with one of our luxurious Boston Butt Roasts and made little sliders with dijon mustard and Fair Share Farm sauerkraut. Oh man, it was good!! These tasty rolls go amazingly well with any holiday fare be it turkey, pork, or vegetarian. Photo by Aaron Ottis and recipe by Feast Magazine.
Another Friendsgiving hit was this beautiful dish: Torn Potatoes with Chile Lime Butter by Epicurious, photo by Joseph De Leo. I love this dish because it features all of my homegrown spuds and tubers (white & orange sweet potatoes, purple potatoes, etc.). So much fun to look at & so yummy to eat!
No gathering is complete without the quintessential Veggie Platter, photo by Rachel Joy Barehl. Add some local cheese and nuts for a little something extra and be sure to showcase whatever winter veggies the farmers have available. Our colorful winter radishes are a no-brainer for this one.
Awe...behold the stunning Watermelon Radish. She truly takes the stage during the holiday season. Gorgeous salads and platters are so easy with this gorgeous winter root. We'll be toting the last of them to this Saturday's market. Get creative when assembling your dish and derive inspiration from this simple Watermelon Radish Salad. Recipe & photo by California Grown.
Now that I have the purest, silkiest, organic-fed lard coming from voluptuous pasture-raised hogs, I AM DETERMINED to stop spending precious dollars on organic butter from the store! More and more info is coming forward pertaining to the health benefits of lard. It was demonized during the rise of margarine and hydrogenated oils. Low and behold, hydrogenated oils are now a big "no no" and lucky for ethical farmers like me, there's a movement to get back to wholesome healthy fats straight from the land. We'll be loaded down this Saturday with tubs of regular Lard (with a tantalizing pork-y flavor) and Leaf Lard (with no pork-y flavor). Both can be used for baking, but Leaf Lard is sometimes preferred and a lot harder to find...
I'm excited to try this recipe for The Ultimate Lard Pie Crust, photo & recipe by Butter For All. We make a mean sweet potato pie filling and this crust might be just what it needs to kick it up a notch!
I made these Oatmeal Raisin Lard Cookies last night. I'm eating one right now!! The recipe comes from Liesel Davis of Bon Appetit (passed down by her grandmother), photo by Alex Lau. I used our regular lard (not leaf lard) so the cookies have the slightest bacon flavor which is spectacular! I added chocolate chips and I wish I'd added even more oats, raisins, and walnuts for a bit more texture. But hey, nobody's complaining. The kids are happy and we'll definitely make these again!
I am dying to try these Biscochitos, a traditional New Mexican cookie. Recipe & photo by Allison of Some The Wiser. They feature orange zest, crushed anise seed, and cinnamon (and of course, LARD!). A perfect festive cookie for the holiday season.
If you are craving MORE farm-fresh Holiday recipes, link back to my Thanksgiving Newsletter. It is packed with beautiful content that will get you drooling. See you Saturday locavores!
HOLIDAY FARMERS MARKET December 21, 9:00 to NOON 6675 Holmes Rd. KCMO 64131
Enter through Parking Lot B
Park at Curry Educational Center www.brooksidefarmersmarket.com