Sunday, August 23, 2009

Bailey's Buying Club - Ordering is now open for August 28, 2009

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Hi Folks,
Have you been able to find local food this week? My supplies have held out so far but I think I'll be making a trip to Herrle's in the next few days to keep us in good eating until the next pick-up day.

Sale on lamb and pork
We've offered sale prices on chicken that was butchered and frozen last year, now we get to do the same for lamb, pork schnitzel, cured ham, ham steak, lamb liver and pork spare ribs. Half off!! I grew up eating frozen beef and chicken from the previous year or two so I'm not concerned about the quality of these meats. If you prefer meat from animals that were walking around more recently, new chickens are going into the butcher the end of August and we have fresher (regular priced) pork and beef cuts on the order form for you to enjoy. The meats from last year need to be enjoyed right away. Do not keep them in the freezer longer than a week or two. Noah is giving us a big price discount in order to move these and make room in the freezer for this season. Don't get used to these prices. This is not a true or fair price for quality meat like this (gmo free, no hormones, no drugs, no steroids, and partially pasture-raised). One of Noah's partners, Henry, died suddenly last Fall so Traditional Foods was derailed by that loss of a friend and business partner. This meant that sales slowed and stock sat in freezers for longer than normal. Traditional Foods is now getting back on its feet and is ready to feed KW! If you think about it, Noah is doing a lot of work to make sure all Traditional Food farms are farming by the same standards, coordinate the animals going to slaughter, decide what cuts and how to package, inventorying what cuts go into which freezer and then keeping track of how much is there as it sells! Plus he's even delivering the orders and staying to serve buying club members! We are so thankful to have found Noah and his partners who are eager to make this buying club model succeed and grow.

I was hoping to stop at Noah's farm on the way home from Kincardine beach on Sunday but the waves were just right and the sky was so big and by the time we headed home the kids were so konked out... There was NO WAY we were stopping at a farm to chat for an hour. Sigh. Parents of young children don't often get to do what they want. Have you noticed or is it just me? I try to tell myself that it is making me a more wise and mature person to experience the limitations brought on by parenthood.

We really want to make this local food connection work between Noah and his partners (Traditional Foods) and YOU, our members. To lower the cost of their high quality meats (and they really ARE good) we are going to lower mark up on their bulk boxes of frozen beef from 25% to 15%. We want Traditional Foods to be YOUR beef, pork, chicken, lamb and egg farmers. Noah is often at the pick up so you can meet him and ask him questions about his farm, his business, his foods (He's the guy with the beard). He can handle any question so don't be shy. Noah would like to encourage urban families to buy larger bulk quantities of beef to save the farmer the hassle of individual packaging, pricing and labelling. He is offering lower prices on the 40lb boxes of beef. There is a Regular Box with steaks, roasts, stewing beef, patties and ground beef and there is an Economy Box with just steak and hamburger. We are only marking these boxes up by 15% to encourage you to buy bulk. Let's do the math. For the economy pack it is $4.60/lb for all that steak and hamburger. That's a deal! This price is so low it's making me sound like a used car salesman. I'm not trying to pull anything over on you, I just want to encourage you to put a big freezer in your basement and fill it with local beef and such. The savings quickly pay for the freezer if your family likes beef. Plus it is easier to eat locally year-round AND you'll feel RICH every time you open your freezer.

Cilantro and Fresh Salsa
Erma says that she can have 40 bunches of cilantro ready for us this week. Perfect timing for making fresh salsa! It's still too early for bushels of tomatoes to can salsa, but you know how good the fresh is. I have a friend who makes the best fresh peach salsa! It may seem weird to combine peaches with onions and garlic but it works. Fortunately, this week is a week we'll have tortilla chips, tortillas, tacos and everything else that is available from Doug McKechnie.

Whole Wheat Soft Pretzels
Weren't those whole wheat soft pretzels good?! I got 12 which someone in my house thought was ridiculously too many but they were all gone by Saturday evening. I know it's not local but the BEST combo with the pretzels is Nutella. It was our kids first taste of Nutella. Please don't tell them that kids in Switzerland eat it for breakfast.

Local Pasta and Noodles!
Just in time for pesto we have a nice selection of egg noodles and pasta (pasta is noodles with no eggs in the dough) from Debbie and John Peters near Vienna ON (in the order form under "other). Debbie happens to be the tortilla supplier's sister. So Doug, tortilla man, will be delivering this pasta to us along with his foods. To be honest, I have not tasted this pasta yet. A buying club member highly recommended it - and I trust her. The Sparkling Apple Cider goes well with pesto pasta - or pizza.

Peaches and Pears - and Italian Plums
This is the only week to taste the famous "White Lady" peaches. I cringe at the name but they such a treat. They have a slightly different scent and flavour than Red Havens. Pears are now ready! Aren't pears lovely? They are just so beautiful sitting on the windowsill. They look good no matter what position they are sitting. I like them as much as a flower bouquet on my windowsill above the kitchen sink. We'll be offering pearsauce and apple-pearsauce in jars in the coming months but if you like to make applesauce, consider adding pears to the mix. They add a wonderful sweetness to balance the tartness of apples. Pears make me want to bake pearcrisp. Mmm, oats, butter and pears all oozy and warm... with toasted almonds on top.

I'm not a plum fan so I can't tell you how amazing these Italian plums are (classic purple ones). If you like the Italian plums, now is your chance. What do people do with plums besides making plum sauce and platz? If you have a favourite plum use, email me. I'm open to being converted to liking plums. Especially if you bring me a sample to taste : )

New Items
This week look for fingerling potatoes, shallots, celeriac and big turnips.
If you're wondering what season it is, it is BEAN season. Yes, beans of all kinds are being harvested now. Other new offerings are Pickled Beets, Garlic Dill Pickles, Spicy Cucumber Relish (amazing on sausage!), Sour Cream and Onion Peanuts, Beef Liver, Peameal Bacon, Ginger Sausage (Interesting! Haven't tried it yet.) and Honey Garlic Sausage. Paul is offering us garlic that is seconds for a reduced price. It won't keep long but for those of us who use a head per meal - it never keeps long! We also have our first melons from Paul and Saloma. They start out small. Paul said that when they are hot and tired in the fields after a few hours of picking zuchinni (think prickly plants) he and the kids nab a couple small watermelons from the patch and slice them and eat them right in the field. I asked if they cracked them open on a rock but he laughed as if they were much too civilized for that and said, no, they use a knife.

I'll tell you what I'm really looking forward to this week: more chevre cheese. Yes, I'm going to have it with crackers and hot jam again. Why mess with a good thing? Maybe I'll try the Hot Peach jam this time. I've used Hot Apple and Hot Cherry so far. Both wonderful.

So the last few days of summer. May each day be a celebration of being alive - and rejoicing in not wearing a Winter coat.

Yours in cahoots to relocalize the food system,
Bailey's Local Foods

P.S. We can use your big fruit boxes and jars from preserves again if you return them.

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