Don’t forget! Luis grills up carnitas and more on Saturdays. Photos of Luis in action, CLICK HERE.

It’s in the can!

More canning demos to come, CLICK HERE.


Sustainability conference this month

Ranch Foods Direct is part of a local foods panel, Nov. 20. CLICK HERE to visit the official conference website.


The Recipe Box

Stuff a squash — or a bird, CLICK HERE.

Get souped up

Pick up prepared natural beef stock OR make your own by purchasing Callicrate Beef cross cut shanks and slow-cooking them with your favorite vegetables and herbs.

“We may not all have come over together on the same boat, but we’re all in the same boat now.”

—   Jim Hightower, former Texas Commissioner of Agriculture and author of Swim Against the Current: Even a Dead Fish can go with the Flow


Food for thought:
Deborah Madison’s bookshelf

What happens when a lawn is transformed into a garden? Deborah Madison’s recommended reading list, CLICK HERE.



November 2008   

“Thanksgiving is no longer thought of as a harvest table. Today what gets suggested to us is a very restrained and balanced plate of food. But I think what it means to bring in the harvest —and why it should be celebrated — is a tradition that has been lost along with the family farm.” — Cookbook author Deborah Madison, speaking in Colorado Springs last month

Supplier profile ... Turkey time

It’s not surprising that Jay and Cindy Wisdom have almost more business than they can handle. As the Denver Post raved this fall, in homage to their eggs, “the yolks are yellower, the whites thicker and the shells tougher.” In other words, they are farm-fresh, free range and natural.

For the Wisdoms, who do their own processing on-farm in a USDA certified plant, it’s turkey time again. “Busy as heck” is how Jay described it during a recent phone call that found them in the midst of processing about 1,700 turkeys and 2,000 chickens.

CLICK HERE for more.

Happy hours, everyday

Isn’t it amazing that while so many gourmet restaurants cower behind the cost and inconvenience of using local ingredients with consistency, so many mom-and-pop dining establishments have been staunchly committed customers of Ranch Foods Direct from the beginning? Maybe it’s the difference between mere hype and a simple straightforward commitment to keeping business in the community (and putting extra emphasis on quality and value, which tends to earn the loyalty of the locals.)

Over the years, we’ve featured several of these local favorites that mix unpretentious surroundings with food worthy of the highest praise. Another gem is The Keg Lounge in Manitou Springs.

“Our food — you can’t beat it,” says Barbara, who was bartending on a recent Monday afternoon. “There are so many other restaurants where you pay a higher price and our product is so much better. You leave happy.”

As an anonymous critic pointed out on TripAdvisor online… “As good a steak as you'll find for about one-third the cost of the high brow joint.”

The place has a relaxed vibe but it does a steady business. The busy time in Manitou Springs is the summer months, of course, but traffic also picks back up at the end of the year when a flurry of Christmas shoppers descend like snowflakes on the city’s quirky shop-lined streets. “It’s just a fun little town,” Barb says.

For more, CLICK HERE.

Taking the cake

Congratulations to these winning restaurants chosen as the best in town by readers of the Colorado Springs Independent!

Best barbecue: Front Range Barbeque, 632-2596, 2330 W. Colorado Ave. and 4935 Templeton Gap Road praised for succulent meat “smoked on-site over real wood.” Best Greek cuisine: Jake and Telly's, 2616 W. Colorado Ave., 633-0406, deemed a fun atmosphere with great “home-cooked food.” Best French: La Petite Maison, 1015 W. Colorado Ave., 632-4887, , a perennial local favorite. Best Vietnamese: Saigon Café, 20 E. Colorado Ave., 633-2888, “consistently fresh and tasty dishes.” Best service: Bistro de Pinto, 26 E. Kiowa St., 473-3538, setting the standard for great service and intimate fine dining downtown.

Stop in for a bite and toast their success!

The sweet taste of victory… gardens

Deborah Madison — promoter of farmers markets, “victory gardens” and edible schoolyards — spoke to the Broadmoor Garden Club last month about new frontiers in local food. With the earth gradually tilting away from the waning autumn sun, she had Thanksgiving on her mind, and mostly the loss it represents as our rural lifestyle and farming traditions fade and are replaced by industrialization, convenience items and globalization.

“The family farm meant we were more consciously caught up in the web of connection,” she lamented before noting that she and her friend Alice Waters, famous founder of Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley, had come to a shared conclusion about where most of the country’s real food knowledge now lies, secretly stored and often untapped.

“We decided that a lot of the wisdom of small gardening is actually held by New York City taxi drivers,” she said. “They’ve moved here from cultures where vegetable gardens were of course a part of your life.”

Meanwhile, the average farmer in the U.S. is now more than 60 years of age and an agrarian experience is no longer the norm. “We need to grow new farmers and soon,” she said. Though young people have a lot to offer, what they don’t have is cash, and by extension, land. “Wouldn’t this be a good project for the agricultural land trusts?” she suggested.

CLICK HERE to continue.

Did you know?…

A Napa Valley bank is predicting a “wine bust” with more than half of family wineries in California, Oregon and Washington expected to change hands in the next ten years. One problem is access to the market.

Over the past decade, the number of wine brands has nearly doubled, while the number of distributors shrunk by half. In addition, escalating values on prime land have shot from $25,000 an acre to $250,000, meaning wineries can no longer make a good return even while selling wine for $25 a bottle. Come to think of it, their problems sound a lot like those facing family farmers and ranchers.


... Your local source of
natural beef, poultry,
buffalo, pork, lamb, eggs,
wild seafood, deli meats
and cheeses, meals
and more!

Member, Peak to Plains Alliance

Store and Meat Plant
2901 N. El Paso, Colorado Springs 80907
Retail Hours: Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
Saturday 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Closed Sunday
(719) 473-2306 or 1-866-866-6328

Mike Callicrate, Owner

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