~ SEPTEMBER 2009 ~

Willy nilly dilly beans

This is a great time of year to make Marcy Nameth’s dilly pickled green beans recipe. Marcy and her sons are a frequent fixture at Ranch Foods Direct, delivering their weekly CSA orders and Arkansas Valley Organic produce to fill the store’s bins and baskets. CLICK HERE for recipe.

Modern livestock production scrutinized

Bill Weida, President of the Socially Responsible Agricultural Project (CLICK HERE) and former director of the GRACE Factory Farm Project gives a lecture on “Reclaiming American Agriculture,” Monday Sept. 7 at Colorado College. Refreshments will be served following. His talk will be held in the Gates Common Room in Palmer Hall at 7 p.m. CLICK HERE for more details.

Forgiving bread

Good food loving friends, hosting me for dinner outside on the patio near their garden, introduced me to — along with gazpacho, eggplant and olive tapenade and fresh cantaloupe sorbet — what they called a non- temperamental, fail-proof loaf of dense whole grain bread so delicious I immediately wanted to make some myself. It comes from Mark Bittman, author of Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating. It requires a short time to make, but can rest for anywhere from 12 to 24 hours, allowing for welcome flexibility. CLICK HERE.


Celebrating all things local
September brings Peak to Plains Alliance Local Food Week

Susan Gordon, of Venetucci Farm, will offer a canning demonstration on Sat., Sept. 19 as part of Peak to Plains Alliance Local Food Week. The morning will also include a trip to Venetucci Farm to pick-your-own produce, most likely beets and beans, which will be available for sale at wholesale price (weather permitting.) Starting at 9 a.m. with the canning demo, the event includes food and going out to pick produce at Venetucci Farm for $20 a person (produce purchased is extra.) Part of the proceeds go to the Peak to Plains Alliance.

Many exciting events are going on as part of Peak to Plains Alliance Local Food Week, including a chance to meet your local farmers during a reception at Adams Mountain Café on Monday, Sept. 14 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Several of our favorite restaurants will be offering discounts on local specials, including 20 percent discounts on certain items at Jake & Telly’s and Nosh, and 10 percent off specials at Pizzeria Rustica and the Margarita at Pine Creek.

Pikes Peak Urban Gardens is also offering an afternoon urban gardening education program from 3 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 19.

Get full details on the Peak to Plains Alliance website, by CLICKING HERE.

Food with class, at Colorado College

Classes are resuming this month at Colorado College. And thus begins the second year in which trailblazing sustainably oriented Bon Appetit Management Company will fulfill the food service needs at all campus eateries and most college functions.

Since Bon Appetit took over the food service contract, General Manager Beth Gentry says meals consumed in the main cafeteria have gone from 6,500 a week to more than 10,000. “Colorado College students and staff are spoiled to eating local, healthy gourmet food,” adds LeTina Matheny, Director of Catering.

But more and more community members are recognizing that the benefits aren’t reserved for the students: all campus eateries are open to the public and the catering department is available to do off-campus private events, everything from weddings to family gatherings to office parties and luncheons.

“Our catering department is full service, and one of our passions is bringing creativity to everything we do,” Matheny says. In August, they helped put on the first of three Starlight fundraising dinners at Venetucci Farm. They’ve created beautiful cheese, nut and fruit displays, elaborate Harry Potter-themed Wizard and Wine dinners for hundreds of generous donors at Bemis Hall, and teased palates with molecular magic like carbonated fruit and a salted caramel powder that re-hydrates in your mouth. But the best part is that Bon Appetit is committed to featuring locally sourced quality food, a rarity these days.

“With a lot of corporations, it is just more work, and they don’t want to go there. That’s what makes us unique,” Matheny says. “We are a corporation but with a small business mentality.” Many food service providers and large chains require centralized ingredient purchasing, which keeps small local suppliers and farmers out of the game. Not so at Bon Appetit. “Each individual unit has the ability to purchase locally,” says Angelina Rice, the catering manager.


The Arkansas Valley Organic Growers, coordinated by Fowler farmer Marcy Nameth, helps consolidate purchases from an array of area farms. Executive Chef Ed Clark, shown preparing fresh peaches in wine and a wheat and basil salad for the August fundraising dinner at Venetucci, meets with Marcy once a week to plan his menu, which will supply the dining halls, snack bars and as many as 50 catered events a day across campus. (He came from Portland to help kick things off in Colorado Springs last year and decided to make the assignment permanent.) Bon Appetit also buys a considerable amount of produce from the Colorado College Student Garden, which is about as local as you can possibly get. “We serve a lot of it at president’s house dinners,” Rice says. And of course Bon Appetit buys much of its meat from Ranch Foods Direct.

Don’t overlook Colorado College’s Bon Appetit as a source of healthy sit-down or take-out meals on campus or for planning the food and drinks for a special event. On-campus eating options include the Rastall Dining Hall — with the natural burger bar, featuring Callicrate Beef — Colorado Coffee, Benjamin’s, The Preserve, Local Goods and Chas Coffee Cart. Menus are posted weekly on- line at http://www.cafebonappetit.com/coloradocolle ge/cafes. Check ahead as hours vary throughout the school year. Helpful catering guides are also available for download at http://www.cafebonappetit.com/coloradocolle ge/catering/  Or call LeTina Matheny, Director of Catering, at (719) 213-8460 to discuss the creative possibilities.

Top of the Range collection offers home-style recipes with Southern flair

Front Range Barbeque owner Brian Fortinberry's mom, Mary Boname, was a special guest of the Old Colorado City food scene last month as the two launched their first collaborative cookbook, featuring family favorites and many of the popular dishes served at Brian’s award-winning restaurants.

As soon as you pick up a copy, Top of the Range: A Recipe Collection has you debating whether to make the whipping cream pound cake or Amy Graham’s peaches-and-cream pie for dessert. Amy, by the way, now operates Smiley’s Bakery and Café at 323 N. Tejon Street, where her pies have generated a huge following, and several of those pie recipes are included in the book.

Brian calls the collection “simple recipes with Southern flair.” It took them three years to put it together, and they were diligent in finding the attractive binder design which lays open for easy use and the colorful but durable cover that should hold up well in the kitchen. They’ve also filled it with handy cooking tips and recommendations as well as fun tidbits and a rich sampling of family history. The full color cover art is a food painting by Brian’s artistic grandmother Martha Smith.

Mary Boname is a vibrant attractive woman who visits her son from Birmingham, Alabama, once or twice a year. She’s well familiar with Front Range supplier Ranch Foods Direct. “We need a Ranch Foods Direct in Birmingham,” she said enthusiastically20at the first mention of the name. For a special cookbook signing in August, she spent hours in the Front Range kitchen preparing a special menu of old family favorites including chicken tetrazzini and braised pork with root vegetables, recipes that can be found in the book. Brian says when she comes to visit she spends most of her time at the restaurant cooking. For her part, Mary says the restaurant crew has the family treasury of recipes down to a science, so much so that the classic dishes taste even better here than at home.

Lots of loving attention to detail is evident in the book they’ve put together. “We tested every recipe,” Mary assures. “Our neighbors were thrilled when we said we were doing a cookbook. I’ve already sold 25 boxes of them in Birmingham.” Here in Colorado Springs, they are available at both Front Range locations (www.frbbq.com) and sell for $22.95.

Find a sampling of great side-dish recipes from their collection in this month’s Recipe Box.

Recipe Box

Southern classics, featuring Colorado’s seasonal gems, CLICK HERE.

Have an Early Octoberfest

East-siders in Colorado Springs are surrounded by chain stores and restaurants, while individually owned shops with character are harder to find. Fortunately, Anke and Mitch Verburg are now serving homemade hearty German meals out of a new strip mall north of Powers on Tutt Blvd. Schnitzel Fritz German Deli and Restaurant sources all of its beef and some of its other meat products from Ranch Foods Direct.

Back in October 2007, this newsletter featured their Fountain location, Elke’s German Deli, which remains in operation and continues to provide a wide-range of German items. (CLICK HERE)

Their recent expansion has them shuttling back and forth between the two shops, often stopping for a friendly chat with customers as they do. Their new deli opened on January 15 and hosted a grand opening back in June. They are now in the process of planning some special activities for October. Expect specials on bratwurst and sauerkraut and other traditional favorites.

Currently, the daily specials include a meat dish and sides like homemade sauerkraut or shredded red cabbage and made-from-scratch German dumplings. Their delicious “German hamburger” is a mix of ground beef and pork from Ranch Foods Direct they make into meatballs and serve with mashed potatoes on Wednesdays. The dishes can be dense and filling but don’t confuse that with a lack of healthfulness. “We do everything here from scratch,” Anke says. “We don’t have a deep fat fryer. We bake everything in the oven. We fry our potatoes in a pan. We don’t do things to speed up the food. We get a lot of repeat customers.”

Full menus are available online at www.schnitzelfritz.com, CLICK HERE. Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. six days a week (closed Sunday.) They can be reached by phone by calling 719-573- 2000.


Did you know?… The average American spends more than twice as much on taxes as they do on food. It takes just 40 days for most Americans to earn enough money to pay for their food supply for the entire year. In comparison, it takes the average American 129 days to earn enough money to pay federal, state and local taxes.

Grain by the glass

Last month, our friends at Bristol Brewing Company began hosting a series of informative and entertaining lectures on beer making and its history. Colorado State University- Pueblo’s continuing education program in Colorado Springs is offering the non-credit 11-month, 20-lecture series on everything beer. Lectures are held at 7 p.m. each second and fourth Monday through June 2010. Coming up on Sept. 14, the topic is “the craft beer movement.” Courses are offered in the Bristol Brewing Company Tasting Room at 1647 S. Tejon Street. Individual lectures are $15 each.
• Phone Holly Nordholm at 719-442-2264 for more info. For a schedule of lecture topics, CLICK HERE to visit the Bristol Brewing website.

Customer’s book eases language barriers for travelers

Ranch Foods Direct customer and psychologist Pat Boone is releasing a new book for travelers.

How To Get What You Want in Any Language helps make it possible for travelers to communicate their needs in any language. Dr. Boone designed what she calls the “Magic Sentence” for really busy people who only have time to learn one sentence before they travel, and the “Combo-Language” for those who don’t get a chance to finish their language study before their trip.

Using the analogy of building a house, Dr. Boone researched, identified, and now reveals the less than 100 "foundation" words and phrases that will allow you to "get what you want" when visiting another country. After all, most travelers stay in a country only 3-7 days, Dr. Boone notes. She also designed the book’s 4" x 7" size to fit easily into a man’s back pocket or a woman’s purse.

"I determined that you didn’t need to know every word in a language in order to ‘get what you want,’” she says. “Once you have a 'language foundation,’ you can easily add 'building' words (also provided) to your 'language house.' I wanted to make it simple enough that anyone could communicate their needs in another language."

For more information on this and other books she has written over the years, visit Dr. Boone’s website at www.drpatboone.com, CLICK HERE.

“I liked how the starry blue lid
of that saucepan lifted and puffed,
then settled back on a thin
hotpad of steam, and the way
her kitchen filled with the warm,
wet breath of apples, as if all
the apples were talking at once,
as if they’d come cold and sour
from chores in the orchard,
and were trying to shoulder in
close to the fire…”

—From the poem, Applesauce, by former poet laureate Ted Kooser (CLICK HERE)

... 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 (www.peaktoplains.com)

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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