Remember the Galloping Gourmet?

Remember the Galloping Gourmet? I'm the new owner of one of his Perfection-Aire Ovens c 1991 according to the cookbook and instruction manual. Thanks to whoever left it off at the YMCA! I snatched it up yesterday and roasted one of Glade Road Growing's fresh chickens in it tonight before heading into town...MUCH better than a crock pot, which stews chickens, despite promising to roast them.

Sally Walker of Glade Road Growing had asked me back on July 20 if I could develop some recipes that use her whole chickens (which weigh about 4-5 pounds) because "it seems like lots of people don’t know what to do with a whole chicken." She even offered to give me a couple of chickens so I could "try some things with them and then maybe get more ideas."

Usually, I cook very little meat, maybe one chicken a year in honor of my heritage (what Jewish girl doesn't know how to make chicken soup or bake a chicken for Shabbat?)  I had already cooked this year's chicken (in fact, some was still in the freezer), but didn't want to turn down Sally and JP's pastured broilers which are raised on non-GMO feed from chicks from the  Freedom Ranger Hatchery in Reinholds, in Pennsylvania Dutch Country.  The Hatchery imports its  breeding stock from Burgundy and Brittany in France and its chicks are derived from a heritage breed of chicken developed in the early 1960’s to meet the  standards of the French Label Rouge Free Range program.

The first chicken, which I picked up from her at the Blacksburg Farmers' Market on July 17 was frozen and I defrosted it in the fridge over several days. That was the one that fell victim to the crock pot, and while delicious, was not exactly what I wanted.

The second chicken, which I picked up at the farm the evening of July 25 was freshly slaughtered that day and Sally suggested that I wait at least  12 to 36 hours to cook it as it would be more tender.  I waited a bit longer because I was resisting heating up the kitchen.  And then yesterday, voilà!  Recipes to come...


Salad Niçoise

Bruce Bailey took this picture for me Saturday night at Rebecca's birthday party for which  I made my veggie version of Salad Niçoise, which is traditionally made with tuna and anchovies. At the bottom of the page is a group picture of us at the party. The birthday gal is to my right wearing the strapless gown. Bruce is in the center of the back row--he's the one wearing a ball cap.


Here's another recipe, I developed for Glade Road Growing.  It  serves 4 as a main dish or 6-8 as a side dish.

Dice 1/2 # of new red or yukon gold potatoes
Cut 1/2 # carrots into sticks
Trim any strings from 1/2 # green beans

Place two to four eggs in a heavy bottomed pot with cold water to cover. Set steamer in pot. Bring to a boil.

Place potatoes in steamer and cook until just tender (7-10 minutes) and remove to plate. Cook carrots until they are still a bit crisp (5 minutes) and do the same. By now the eggs should be hard-boiled, so remove from pot and peel under cold running water. Cut into quarters and refrigerate.

 Place green beans in steamer and cook until they are still a bit crisp (5 minutes). To keep them bright in color after cooking, cool them in a bowl or jar of ice water before placing on plate.

When the vegetables are cool, you can store separately in 2 cup containers in the refrigerator until you are ready to assemble and serve the salad, along with 2 cups cooked garbanzo beans in a similar container.

You will also need:

1/2 green pepper cut into chunks
1 cucumber sliced thin
8 kalamata olives
I used radishes but if you have grape tomatoes or a regular garden ripened tomato cut into wedges it would be great.
Capers are optional.

To make dressing (which is the same for last week's salad) in a bottle with a well-fitting lid combine:
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
4 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar or lime juice
Freshly ground pepper
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (for fat-free version, substitute either 1 tablespoon fruit juice concentrate--apple or white grape--and 3 tablespoons water OR 4 tablespoons wine)
1 teaspoon your favorite sweetener (honey, agave, demerara sugar)
2 peeled and crushed cloves free garlic and/or 1 T finely minced onion.

Divide dressing among garbanzo beans, string beans, carrots and potatoes let marinate.

You can serve this salad directly on the plate, as shown,  or over a bed of lettuce or sauteed chiffonade of kale. Arrange vegetables in sections. Spread some of the dressing remaining from marinating over the undressed vegetables and serve. Garnish, if you like with capers and chopped parsley or cilantro.


Mason Mountain Garnets

Photo from the Facebook page for Simply Stones.  I'll have more later...

Today I stopped by the booth  for Simply Stones at Art at the Market and I wanted everything.  But what I chose was a lovely cross section of Mason Mountain garnets (a rhodalite) still encased in their matrix.  My pieces is a rounded off diamond with four main garnets showing. John and Cheryl Vest have worked full-time hand- cutting and polishing various types of agates, jasper, unakite and petrified wood at their business in Floyd since 2006.

Dean (Dino) Nasco of DJ Gems in Haywood, NC explains that the garnet Rhodolite was first discovered in the mountains of North Carolina and "derives its name from the mountain rhododendron which grow here....It occurs in a granite type vein in mica pockets, on top of Mason Mountain near Cowee Valley just outside of Franklin, NC.  He writes that
Mining Mason Mountain rhodolite is truly a labor of love, in that a ton of work, and I do mean a "ton" is necessary to produce a mere palm full of cutting quality gems.
The Smithsonian has a piece of N.C. Rhodolite in its collections and its late curator, E. P. Henderson wrote up his notes for a December 1931 article for  American Mineralogist.


Cucumber and Green Bean Salad

I mentioned July 10 that I'm creating recipes for Glade Road Growing farm in Blacksburg.  Here's the recipe for tomorrow's newsletter. It's for a main dish salad I've been making since May 2001 when Martha Stewart featured her version (pictured) in Martha Stewart Living.

Serves 4 as a main dish or 8 as a side salad

Dressing, if desired:

This salad can be dressed or undressed. I prefer the latter, so I can really taste the vegetables. If you prefer a dressing I suggest making a Dijon vinaigrette. In a bottle with a well-fitting lid combine:
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
4 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar or lime juice
Freshly ground pepper
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (for fat-free version, substitute either 1 tablespoon fruit juice concentrate--apple or white grape--and 3 tablespoons water OR 4 tablespoons wine)
1 teaspoon your favorite sweetener (honey, agave, demerara sugar)
2 peeled and crushed cloves free garlic or 1 T finely minced onion.
Shake contents to emulsify. You will only use about a quarter of this for the salad. Store the rest in the refrigerator for use on other salads or in recipes such as rice and lentils.


You will need at least 2 cups of cooked garbanzo beans. You can used dried ones that you cook yourself (my choice) or rinse a can of beans well and drain.

Pit 1/4 # brine cured olives such as Kalamatas or oil-cured olives by placing them on a cutting board, and pressing firmly to split.

Peel, if desired, about 1 1/4 # cucumbers. Cut lengthwise. If seeds are large, scoop out with a spoon. Cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices on the diagonal.

Thinly slice on diagonal 2-3 stalks raw celery to make 1 cup

Chiffonade 1/4 cup fresh basil OR chop 1/4 cup fresh cilantro or parsley

Cut 1/2 # string beans in half on the diagonal, pulling the string, if necessary. Fill a large bowl with ice and water; set aside. Steam beans until they turn bright green and just tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer to the ice bath to stop the cooking so they will remain bright.

Combine vegetables and fresh herbs in a bowl and toss to mix. Right before serving season with freshly ground pepper. Drizzle on dressing. Top, if desired (and you're not feeding vegans) with 1/4 cup of drained, crumbled feta cheese or Asiago cheese shaved on with a vegetable peeler.


Windfall in Blacksburg!

One of the nice things about Blacksburg is the Farmers Market with great vendors including Sally and JP of Glade Road Growing, for whom I write recipes posted in swap for veggies to supplement  their  farm share which I've purchased and  pick up every Tuesday at Vintage Cellar. 

And this afternoon at 4:30, I'm heading over to hear the terrific  Floyd County stringband, Windfall, that being Dave Fason, Kari and Michael Kovick and Rusty May (whom I first heard play bass with No Strings Attached (the, ahem, GOOD NSA). 

Come on down and listen until 7:30.  And buy some produce as part of this year's second Mingle at the Market.  And if you like beer and/or wine, it's for sale to benefit a program which allows folks to use the food stamp program (now known as SNAP) at the market.  Here's a study of the incentive program and how it helps folks eat better.)

Oh, and if you want those recipes, to date?  When I get back, I'll post links here, which are to facebook.  I  KNOW some folks don't want to sign up for Zuck's data miner and timesuck.  Email me and I'll send you the recipes you want.



A Song of Our Warming Planet: Cellist Daniel Crawford

Screen shot from video University of Minnesota undergrad Daniel Crawford from Ensia, a magazine and event series showcasing environmental solutions in action sponsored by the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota directed by Jon Foley.  Additional support came from the College of Liberal Arts, the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program and the School of Music at the University of Minnesota. Video production by Elizabeth Giorgi. Sound recording and engineering by Michael Duffy.


Daniel Crawford (email) decided to use his cello to communicate climate science by  using data sonification to create "A Song of Our Warming Planet."

During an internship, geography professor Scott St. George asked Crawford about the possibility of turning into music a set of data on surface temperature data from NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies.

With the coldest year on record (–0.47 °C in 1909) set to the lowest note on the cello (open C) each  ascending halftone is equal to roughly 0.03°C of planetary warming and each note represents a year, in order from 1880 to 2012. 

As the sequence approaches the present, the cello reaches higher and higher notes, reflecting the string of warm years in the 1990s and 2000s. The video ends with a stark message:

Scientists predict the planet will warm by another 1.8 degrees Celsius (3.2 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of this century. This additional warming would produce a series of notes beyond the range of human hearing.
As Jess Zimmerman (twitter), wrote for GristList July 1,
That’s a dog whistle we should probably heed.
h/t my friend anthropologist Betsy Taylor (bio) via Appalnet.

Beth's Badass 3 Beet Salad

 Photo  from  Rachel and Logan Cooper of Boots in the Oven.

Chioggia beets are just TOO pretty to cook, as the color fades. Here's my adaptation for Glade Road Growing's July 2 farm share.

(Serves six)

Remove zest from one naval orange and reserve. Supreme orange (see this video from Up Down Food Group for how: http://youtu.be/AjOEGQ18F-A) and reserve juice. (If this seems just too complicated...it's not...you can substitute a can of mandarin oranges, but what fun is that?)

Thinly slice 1 each gold, red, and Chioggia beets (if you have a mandolin, set to 1/16th to 1/8th inch thick)

To prepare 1 c. peas in edible pods, slice in half on the diagonal and pull strings. Steam lightly and remove to plate to cool.

To make dressing, whisk together until salt dissolves:
reserved orange juice
1 T. Lemon juice
pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper

Continue whisking and drizzle in 2 T extra virgin olive oil

Toss raw beets in dressing. Arrange on platter and top with peas, orange supremes, zest and 2 ounces goat cheese crumbled. Top with extra dressing and fresh ground black pepper as desired.

If you have more zest than you want, you can lay it out to dry and store it in a small jar.