This week we have a very exciting bag for all. We also have lots of extra sausages, burgers, and cheeses available at the back of the truck to make your holiday picnic easy. See the bottom of this email for some descriptions of each product.
Also, please refer to the email that came out last week about this week's delivery schedule. For the most part, except a few corporate accounts, the delivery schedule is as usual. If you lost that email, please see here.
This week's bag has evolved one time after another as more food becomes available. The highlights this week are the season's first blueberries and another tasty batch of cherries. This week's cherries will be slightly different than last week's cherries. These ones are a semi-tart cherry whereas last week's cherries were sweet.
For vegetables, we'll have beautiful carrots, snow peas, green onions (bunching onions), kale, radishes, onions, and cabbage. I'm particularly excited about the cabbage this week and all the options it creates for a beautiful picnic coleslaw. I'll be using my cabbage to make a coleslaw incorporating some of last week's beets, some shredded carrots and julienned radish, and a dressing made with Snowville plain greek-style yogurt (also available at the back of the truck). For some recipes and suggestions of how to do this, please see this week's newsletter listed at the top of this page.
In a nutshell, your coleslaw is going to require some adjustments from you due to how much cabbage you use. If you start with about 4 cups of shredded cabbage (and whatever other veggies you want to add, such as carrots, onions, or radish), you'll want to season the cabbage with about a half teaspoon of salt and a quarter teaspoon pepper. Then make your dressing. Whip together about a cup of greek yogurt, a few tablespoons of oil, a few tablespoons of vinegar or lemon juice, a few tablespoons of mustard or pepper butter, a tablespoon or so of honey. Taste the dressing to see if it is to your liking. Adjust as needed and mix with the cabbage. Let sit in refrigerator for a few hours then serve.
Last Week's Cheese
Wow. In the spirit of writing this section of the email I had to run down to the cooler and grab a wedge of the Charloe cheese. Just excellent.
Anyhow, I should have explained last week what I meant by bloomy rind cheese. The charloe is a 60 day aged cheese. During that time a mold grows on the outside of the rind. At the end of the 60 days, the cheese is "ripe" and the cheesemaker (Brian in this case) pats down the mold with his hands to form a rind. He then moves it to a colder cooler to stop the ripening process and then starts packaging it.
We had several emails from folks last week worried that their cheese was no good because they could identify mold on the rind. That is correct! When Robert and I first saw these wheels aging we were just ecstatic about the mold and funk on the rind. That is intentional. The rind to this cheese is not perfectly smooth so you will find little pockets of mold. They are not dangerous and can even be eaten. If you don't like the mold, simply cut off the rind and eat the creamy interior of the cheese. If you like some extra earth and mushroom notes in your cheese, eat it with the rind.
In short, don't throw out your cheese! On the other hand, if you enjoyed your cheese much, please pick up another piece this week. We have about 50 more pieces left. If they don't sell this week they will go to restaurants. We expect to have another batch of this cheese available again in September or October, so we will be out of stock until then.
Other cheeses of note this week: fresh cheddar cheese curds, aged cheddar, and an assortment of raw milk cheeses from Canal Junction (same as Charloe)
Extra Fruits this Week
For Wednesday at least, we are going to be relatively lucky on fruit supply. I've talked to several growers today who have black raspberries and the tale end of strawberries. We are getting in all we can and will have them available at the back of the truck.
Here is what we expect to have extra and the price:
Strawberries - $5 per quart or 2 for $9
Black Raspberries - $5 per pint or 2 for $9
Sweet Cherries - $5 per lb or 2 for $9
These are not available for preorder because we can't guarantee that we can get them in on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday due to weather predictions and the holiday. Sorry!
Some Holiday Picnic Suggestions
Independence Day is one of my favorite holidays. Miss Allyson and I will be heading back to West Virginia this weekend for a family picnic ourselves and we are looking forward to some time boating on the Ohio River, a family soccer game for ages 7 to 70, and of course, picnic food. I like to show off so we'll be taking an assortment of cheeses, sausages, and coleslaw.
For anyone interested in extra grilling meats this week, here is a quick rundown of what we will stock on the trucks. All sausages are MSG and Nitrate free of course.
Andouille - $8 per 1.25# package - this is a smoked sausage with medium heat and a fine grind. It is excellent for grilling, use in gumbos and soups, or to even serve cold with a cheese tray.
Chorizo - $7 per 1# package - fresh, spicy pork sausage that is excellent with mexican foods and even on a sandwich for that guy who likes a little extra heat
Kielbasa - $8 per 1.25# package - this is a smoked sausage with garlic and salt. Excellent with kraut or grilled and served with some grilled onions and a spicy mustard.
Green Onion Bratwurst - $7 per 1.25# package - this is a mild, fresh sausage in large links that is our most versatile grilling sausage.
Chicken Bratwursts - $7 per 1# package - this is a lower fat, tasty alternative to a pork sausage. The chicken bratwursts are employee favorites around here.
Grassfed Ground Beef - $6 per lb - lean, tasty and versatile, ground beef can be formed into burgers, crock-pot meatballs, or chili sauce for your holiday picnic.
Other popular picnic items include our salsas and chips, of which we will try to stock a wide variety at the back of the truck.
My personal favorite condiment (and I think 8 of the 12 employees) is the pepper butter. Pepper butter is the orange condiment in the glass jars on the table each week. It is essentially a sweet and spicy homemade mustard made with hot hungarian peppers, honey, vinegar, and spices. I know many people who can't tolerate heat but love this product. It is spicy but not hot, and has an excellent flavor. It can be used on a burger, on sausages, on a cheese tray, on eggs in the morning, and we even have one customer who raves about it on her pizza. We will have the half pints available for $5 and the full pints for $7.
Other condiments of note include:
Brussels Sprout Relish - $8 - like the Charloe cheese last week, this product was one of 7 winners out of 450 different entries in the Good Food Awards last year. As Clark Pope claims, "Ann sold her soul to the devil for that recipe." Yes, its tangy and unique. Try it on a sandwich with one of the green onion bratwurts or kielbasa, or simply spread a little of it on a plain cracker with a nice piece of cheese like the charloe, a chevre, or most any other mild cheese.
BBQ Sauce - $7 - two years ago I was at a BBQ at Clark's house and tried his sauce. It was amazing. I asked him what was in it and he told me ketchup, etc etc. I asked him to reverse engineer it for me from scratch using no ketchup or corn syrup. He started with real tomatoes and three months later he produced a product better than the original in all ways - better flavor, better texture, and better mouth feel. This product is great on sandwiches, with french fries, and especially slathered on some ribs.
Radish Relish and Pickled Red Onions - $4 each or both for $7 - while their uses alone are somewhat limited, together they make a great dressing for a healthy, cold wheat berry/spelt berry salad. Robert came up with this recipe a few months back. Check it out here.
How to Properly Cook a Sausage
I cringe and clinch my teeth when I go home and see my dad grill a sausage. He takes it from fresh meat in the refrigerator to a hot grill and cooks it all the way through. The final product - usually a dry sausage.
There are generally two types of sausages - fresh and smoked. Smoked simply means that they are cooked in a smoker at the packing house. Hot dogs, andouille, and kielbasa are all good examples of this. These products cook (reheat) faster on the grill and are usually easier to grill.
Fresh sausages, like an Italian sausage or bratwurst, are raw meat and require thorough cooking.
The best way to cook a fresh sausage (and it won't hurt a smoked sausage) is to poach it first. Start by getting a pan of salted water up to poaching temperature, so between 160 and 190 degrees, uncovered. Add your sausages and cook thoroughly. For the size of our sausages, this takes about 25 minutes. Remove the sausage from the water and finish them on a medium-hot grill, so about 350 degrees. You can also finish them in a covered skillet with a little bit of butter or oil to prevent sticking. The direct hot heat will crisp up the skin but won't dry out the meat.
Summer Week 5:
1 package Italian Sausage
1 bunch carrots with tops
1 bag snow peas
1 head cabbage
1 fresh candy onion (no skin yet, which would be a dried onion)
1 bunch radishes
1 lb semi-tart cherries
1 pint blueberries
1 bunch curly kale
Small package plus:
Approx 1 lb hoophouse slicing tomatoes
1 lb fava beans
1 package spare ribs*
*Be sure to pick up a jar of Popes BBQ Sauce at the back of the truck. $7
Vegetarian Substitutions (in place of sausage)
2 ct cucumbers
1 piece Siberian Night Beer Cheese
1 head broccoli
Vegan Substitutions (in place of cheese in Vegetarian share)
Vegetarian items except cheese, add
2 ct zucchini
2 ct yellow squash
1 package Luna burgers
Approx 1 lb tomatoes