Monday, July 21, 2008

Bailey's Buying Club July 25

Hi Folks,

Whew! That was a bustling business on Friday with those chickens
thrown into the mix. I've decided that to make this more fun I'd like
to invite one (or two) of you to be a volunteer "cashier" 4-6PM on
some Fridays. I can thank you for your help by giving you that week's
order "at cost". So if you order a little over $100 for that week,
you'd get to only pay $75. Email me if you want to jump into the fun
chaos for a few Fridays as a volunteer cashier.

Have you tasted your chicken yet? I'm eager to hear if you can taste a
difference between the pasture-raised and the factory raised chickens.
Don't forget to boil the bones for a flavourful broth (easy to
freeze). I should also let you know that the new word in food safety
is that you should keep thawed chicken in your fridge for only ONE day
now. Miriam (the farmer who raised the chickens) says that she
believes chicken needs 3 hours of baking before it is ready. When I
baked a 7lb chicken on Saturday I understood that philosophy. It was
like a small turkey! If you love the taste of your pasture-raised
chicken and want more you can go back to the Google DOCS order form
link that I sent a couple weeks ago and place another order. If you
can't find that email, let me know and I'll send out another one.

I don't think I'm the only one running out of freezer space. Where is
my solar dehydrator?!? Have to build it. I DID throw about 1/4 bushel
of green beans in an electric food dehydrator last night and am
excited to store those away for winter stews and soups. I've never
done this before. I love that I don't have to work over a hot stove to
preserve them. I don't love the energy going into running that thing
all night. All night was a bit long. Some got brownish. Smoked green
bean soup... My mom always canned green beans but they are sooo
soft/mushy that way. This week I'm looking forward to tender crisp
green beans tossed with toasted almonds and butter.

Now is the time to put on the gloves and dig to the bottom of the
freezer to find the older items that need to be eaten to make way for
the new. I'm considering buying another freezer. With seven of us in
the household I can almost justify it. I think I will so that we can
have enough chicken all year. If you're thinking of canning, I
noticed that there are water bath canners for sale at Home Hardware on
Park St. Something like $15 for an enamel one. That is all you need
for acidic foods (tomatoes, peaches, pears, applesauce, pearsauce,
cherries, apricots...) I'm determined to can peaches this year.
Canned peaches are like eating slices of sunshine in dark February.

Do you wish you had enough basil to make a HUGE batch of pesto and
freeze it for winter pasta dishes? I have a farmer that will have 3-4
1/2 bushels of basil for sale this week. I don't know if the farmer
will have this amount again. 1/2 a bushel sounds like a lot but if
you've made pesto before you know how quickly that food processor eats
it up.

Update on getting eggs: I haven't found a good connection yet. I'd
suggest buying your eggs from Eating Well. Their non-organic ones are
from the same farmer I would buy from (if it worked out). I can taste
the difference in them compared to other eggs. They are about

This week we have a few new foods available: beef cuts including
steaks and roasts and organ meats, herbal teas, sugar-free jam, frozen
peas, plums and apricots and maybe unsprayed sweet corn (if it ripens
in time).

This beef is from Jeff Stager the same farmer we got the hamburger
from. So no steroids or hormones used on his herd and very limited
use of antibiotics. The animals eat a combo of grass and corn. I am
very happy with the hamburger. I gave samples of steaks to two buying
club members who reported back that they were EXCELLENT quality. The
hamburger price is a bit higher because Jeff realized he was losing
money since each package is more like 1.2 pounds and he was pricing it
at 1 pound. We'll do this like the chicken. You order the NUMBER of
cuts (2 roasts and 6 steaks, for example) you want and then your price
will be determined by the weight that cut happens to be. You won't
know exactly the size of the steak or roast you are buying but I'll
have different sizes in the freezer and you can choose if you want a
larger or smaller one.

Herbal Teas
I'm excited be be selling teas from a long-time friend who couldn't be
much more local. Karin Kliewer of Little City Farm (on Duke St. see
their lovely website She grows most of
her own herbs and sources some from an organic farmer near Wellesley.
Here are the teas available this week:

After Dinner Tea – a tasty tea that aids digestion.
Spearmint, peppermint, yarrow, calendula petals, mullein, fennel.

Less Stress Tea – a gentle tea blend to calm the nerves & ease anxiety.
Chamomile flowers, calendula petals, lemon balm, sweetgrass, catnip.

Women's Blend – a sweet tea that is menstrual aid, rich in iron,
calcium & antioxidants.
Red raspberry leaf, nettle, peppermint, red clover blossoms.

Birthing Blend – a sweet tea to tone the uterus - drink warm or iced
during your pregnancy
Organic Red Raspberry leaf.

Each bag of tea is $10 and makes about 10 pots of tea. I am selling it
at the same price that Karin sells it. Have you tried making herbal
iced teas? With honey added they are ALMOST as good as a beer on a hot

The sugar-free jam is from Naamon and Selema Martin near Wallenstein.
They use a mixture of apple and grape juice to sweeten their jams
without sugar or added pectin. Right now they only have two kinds of
jam that are made from local fruits. Did you know that 99% of the jam
made in our area is made from imported frozen fruits? It is cheaper
and involves less labour costs to buy ready-to-use imported fruits
than to buy local fruit. I'm working with Naamon to get him some of
the excellent fruit from Eva and Rene's farm in Niagara so that he can
make us apricot jam, plum jam and pear jam. He's looking into local
raspberries too. So, there is hope. For now, let's support his efforts
to be more local by buying the two local varieties he has: Apple and
Cinnamon Pumpkin Apple. He labels these as "applebutters" but he says
they are very different than applebutter. They set much more firmly
and taste different. He's now calling it "apple jam".

Frozen Peas
Wish there were local frozen peas you could put in your freezer
without shelling yourself? I have 5 bags at 10lbs each to sell for
next week. First orders for them can have them. I'll also take orders
this week for frozen bags that will be delivered NEXT week.

Apricots and Plums
More luxurious fruits from Eva and Rene! Cherries are done but now we
have apricots, the first peaches and the first plums! The peaches are
not a great kind for canning because they cling to the pit but they
are great for fresh eating. And no herbicides, fungicides or waxes put
on them! I can hardly wait... I want to see the peach juice dripping
down my kids' arms and chins.

Cherries in a pail
I was looking into getting sweet and sour cherries in pail already
pitted. I cannot offer it for the low price that Central Fresh Market
is. I forget the price but it is good. So, please go there if you're
looking for pitted cherries ready for your freezer or jars.

Change to Baked Goods
I'm not happy with the baked goods from Bowman's Bakery. I'll be
buying from a few different bakeries in the next few weeks to see if
we can find one we like better. This week we'll be ordering from
Bread and Bretzel in north Waterloo.

Meal Ideas
This weekend the theme was CILANTRO! I put it in everything. In a
ceasar salad, in a brothy soup, next I'm going to put it in a wrap
with steamed green beans and cream cheese. I wish someone would come
roll us california rolls with fresh cilantro... Erna has a lot of
cilantro right now so seize the day. Also a lot of parsley for tabouli
or whatever salad you're making. Is there any salad parsley is NOT
good on? Jello salad. But that isn't really a salad.

Please email me to share how you are enjoying your local food. How's
the cheese? Should I keep ordering from there? I'll pass on meal
ideas to the whole group. Also, I'm eager to hear food storage ideas
from you too.

Happy Local Eating,

PS Does anyone have a box of one-sided paper that I could have? I
don't have a good source but I know there is tons of it out there. I
could print your pick-up slips on it.

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