buy fresh, buy local, cook deliciously

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Sundays invariably become a cooking day for me. I often get things lined up for the week ahead. Today I made another batch of fresh Gazpacho and put a small beef roast and chicken breasts into marinades for cooking over the next couple of days.

I toss the meat and chicken into their own (as in individual) ziplock bags with either a homemade or semi-homemade marinade which includes fresh herbs out of my garden, garlic cloves peeled and sliced.

Marinades are easy. There are tons of recipes out there, or you can use a prepared one and tweak it. I like Stubb’s marinades and Pete’s Produce has their own line of marinades too which are very good, and KC Masterpiece has a couple which aren’t bad. I seem unable to use these marinades on their own, I tweak them to what I want. I never add more salt, but I might add herbs, spices, lemon juice, lime juice, fresh ginger, and so on.

We buy our meat and poultry from a local Chester County butcher who in turn buys from a lot of local farms. We use Worrell’s Butcher Shop on King Street in Malvern (Borough). You can’t beat the quality, and truthfully their prices are competitive with supermarket chains. If you have never tried them, you should. They will prepare custom freezer orders for customers too.

Since I have moved to Chester County I have made an effort to source our food locally. I love the East Goshen Farmers Market and West Chester Growers Market, but am becoming increasingly fond of Pete’s Produce on 926 because they pull in from a bunch of local farms, including for dairy products. Also on my list is Sugartown Strawberries and Strattons’ Wynnorr Farm. Also to be included in the rave category is the Phoenixville Farmers Market.

The locavore movement is continuing to grow in this country and there is more than a little truth in local food is better on so many levels. In Chester County we are lucky to have so many farms and farmers markets, so why not support the local farm economy?

Buy fresh, buy local, cook deliciously.

Thanks for stopping by!

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simple joys

DSC_0029I was at the East Goshen Farmers Market taking photos (and shopping!) yesterday.  It was a fabulous market and the layout is even better than last year (it would remind you of more of an European market)  and I really liked that there were more actual farmers and fewer prepared meals people.  I like to cook, so that is my preference.

The East Goshen Farmers Market is under new management which I am very excited about because they are so nice and working so hard for everyone – East Goshen’s market is township sponsored.  Some of the new faces I saw yesterday included North Star Orchards whom I visit on Saturdays in the summer at the West Chester Growers Market. Of course I also had to visit Carmen of Carmen B’s Honey which is pretty much the best local honey available!

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Anyway, in spite of the many silly rumors that East Goshen wasn’t having an outdoor market this season, it had a large crowd yesterday and many new vendors.  And it’s all about the farmers (or should be) so I hope you check them out!

If you were on LAST year’s market list for notifications and what not, you will need to register again.  Apparently something corrupted the old list, which happens.  Send an e-mail to marketcoordinator@eastgoshenfarmersmarket.org or click on their website http://www.eastgoshenfarmersmarket.org/ and follow their site for the same thing. Or your third choice is to message them through their Facebook page.

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I know it gets a little confusing because the former market manager who left to form her for profit business with a model oddly similar to my friend Janet’s Clover Market has somehow forgotten to take down the OLD East Goshen Farmers Market website/blog (http://www.eastgoshenfarmersmarket.blogspot.com ) can you believe it?  Anyway, I heard there is a lot of drama going on with that new Malvern market and I don’t understand why that Market Manager can’t live and let live?

I really want to support all three markets, but heck even with Kimberton Whole Foods as a named lead sponsor, until they work out those issues, how can I?  I attend these markets to support (and follow) certain farms whose products I like and I don’t have time for middle school turf wars do you?

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Anyway enough of the vinegar, enjoy these first photos.  I snapped them of the Amish children who were playing as their parents worked their booths.  These kids were just so lovely and I loved the fact they could enjoy the simple pleasures of a nice afternoon without having their heads in an iPhone or video game.

I call the photos Simple Joys.  I will have more market photos later. Support your local farmers markets wherever you live – it supports local farmers and we need them in our communities!

Enjoy the beautiful weather today!

 

 

 

farmer’s road drive thru, chadds ford: try it!

Courtney Rozsas, Owner of Farmer's Drive Thru (center)

Courtney Rozsas, Owner of Farmer’s Drive Thru (center)

Today we were invited to the grand opening celebration of Farmer’s Road Drive Thru.  It is located in the Painter’s Crossing Shopping Center at 210 Wilmington Pike in Chadds Ford. It used to be a KFC there.

5Anyway, this is the brain child of Courtney Rozsas and Executive Chef Ryan Sulikowski the fine people behind Lotus Farm to Table in Media.

It was a beautiful afternoon to take a ride down to Chadds Ford and well worth the trip.

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The decor is total reclaimed chic. Old barn wood and other recycled materials. Simple, open and pretty.  Terrain at Styers provided the landscaping – which is also eco-friendly including carbon reducing plants in the outside cafe area.  There is also a drive thru.

21The staff was pleasant, knowledgable and well spoken.  Inside on the wall was a giant chalkboard listing the farmers and purveyors (and all farms are ones you know or wish to patronize and we’ll leave it at that! I like them ALL). All the meat is locally produced, and 80% or everything else will be locally sourced as well.

Farmer’s Road takes the locavore movement and marries it to a healthy alternative to fast food.  There will be traditional fun burgers and hot dogs as well as heart healthy, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options, along with seasonal offerings to highlight what is available depending upon the time of year.

Chef Ryan Sulikowski

Chef Ryan Sulikowski

I admit it, I am a carnivore so I loved the little slider version of their grass-fed beef burger they served at the grand opening – their grand opening featured mini sizes of their menu items – more than an amuse bouche, so I can’t say that.

They also have sodas from New Hope Soda Fountain. They will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner six days a week.  Sundays they will be open for breakfast and lunch only. Breakfast will include an oatmeal bar and fun things like french toast sticks.

Their menu is one of clean and fresh flavors – nothing overly complicated 10and a fresh taste we crave when dining out.  This is fresh food served fast, a far cry from fast food as we know it now.  I mean think about it, ever known a McDonald’s or KFC that had fresh flowers? Sells local honey? Uses fresh herbs? Uses non-toxic cleaning products and has a recycling station?

They open tomorrow for a regular day at 7 a.m. They are open until 9 p.m.

I think they will be a welcome addition to the local food scene, and I wish them much success as that could mean expansion into other areas.  It’s a great idea – and their food tastes as good as it looks! Kids and adults alike will love this place!

You can like them on Facebook too!