Michael is taking a break from the blog for 10 days. He remains, he says, “very grateful to the readers and especially to the commenters who have offered so much great thought, information, skepticism, and humor.” He hopes to be back a week from Wednesday, provided he does not lose his way, and until then is reposting some of the posts other readers have found useful. — Emilia  Charcuterie at Home: Beef Jerky Originally posted March 2, 2009 Among the most easy and satisfying preservation techniques is beef jerky: cut strips of lean beef (the less expensive the cut, the better), salt and season them, let them cure for a day in the fridge, then spread them out on a rack to dry. When my daughter asked me to buy some at the store, I Read On »

Share

So, out of nowhere, Donna says, “Hey.” She was just heading down to the basement for something. She stopped. She said, “What if you took the skin off those thighs, boned them out, chopped up the meat, and added aromats and stuff and rewrapped them in the skin and roasted it all till the skin was really crispy? Wouldn’t that be good?” Then she left. Just. Left. Left me there with this idea hanging like a slow curve over home plate that is sweet to knock out of the park. Damn her! When I buy chicken parts (no, can’t always buy the best pasture-raised birds, alas), I buy thighs, because they’re the tastiest part of the chicken and have a good meat to fat ratio, perfection for what Donna just described. Using the skin as Read On »

Share

What follows is an example of the best of all possible processed foods. In an effort to be better connected with the food I eat, I visited the Schmidt Family Farms in Medina, Ohio. It’s managed by Susan Schmidt, whose specialty is honey. She gave me some of her good stuff and it’s the best honey I’ve ever tasted. By far. Tastes like the actual wildflowers around her home. Susan’s farm is organic. She gives Bradley Cramer, who works in a music store in Medina, a small part of it to raise chickens on during the summer. (“People don’t realize that chicken is a seasonal food,” he told me.) He keeps them in large hoop cages that he wheels around the pasture every day so they have fresh bugs and stuff to eat. He tried letting Read On »

Share

Several weeks ago, New York Times columnist Ariel Kaminer created a contest asking people to argue that eating meat is an ethical decision. Kaminer was pleased by the response. Judges included carnivores, vegetarians, and perhaps the most thoughtful and compelling vegan living, Peter Singer (and it’s worth clicking the Kaminer link for the judges’ overall responses to the many essays they read). They chose as winner an article by teacher Jay Bost. It’s no secret that I am a vigorous and unapologetic carnivore. After visiting the above, Schmidt Family Farms, where Bradley Cramer not only processed more than 100 chickens but also trained Burmese refugees how to do it so that they, relocated to the Midwest, might try to earn a living farming, I’ve decided to weigh in on a subject I’ve been thinking about for Read On »

Share

Chef Edward Lee discusses the importance of slaughtering meat and how it connects us, via Gastronomica.

Share