Emilia Juocys has been my assistant for several years, first from Chicago now from her home town in Michigan. She has recently, at the age of 35, made a major transition in her life. Major transitions require reflection, reevaluation; curiosity and fear about the future are also inevitable consequences. When you are a cook you turn to food for some of the understanding and grace you need. – R By Emilia Juocys @jaldona Summer is nearly over, and the fall is closing in, and the bounty of the summer is entering our kitchen in droves. I devour the sweet summer corn and beautiful heirloom tomatoes, but for me summer would not be summer unless I had a specific summer treat. I’m also stuck in a great period of reflection, wondering where I will end up Read On »

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To help us enjoy our 50th and 51st birthdays, our friend Ingrid sent us some exquisite oysters from Maine. After we’d eaten them, perhaps still delighting in the pleasure, Donna became enthralled with the shells. Me too, and I just wanted to put this photo up. Because. In October, Brian Polcyn and I will be traveling to Ingrid’s territory for demos and cooking of the noble pig, not only to promote the new and revised edition of Charcuterie, but also to benefit Ingrid’s Island Culinary & Ecological Center. Can’t wait! If you have access to pristine oysters but have never shucked before, you will need a shucking knife (about the cost of an oyster and widely available), and this good video shows how to do it. If you liked this post, read: My past post on Read On »

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Toward the end of Forrest Pritchard‘s memoir Gaining Ground, about his becoming a livestock farmer, he writes a chapter that I want to call attention to, and expand on, as we are now at the height of farmers’ markets, and this is in fact national farmers market week. I requested a Q&A to address continual questions he gets from friends and customers. Forrest, why is food at the farmers’ market so expensive?! On our farm, the food we raise reflects our true cost of organic production. When we set our prices, we do exactly what every other business in America does: we factor in our expenses, and establish a modest profit margin. That way, we’ll always be around to farm the following year. It’s Economics 101. Everywhere we go, there’s a price-quality association in our Read On »

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An interesting website that provides information for farmers in today’s day in age, via Modern Farmer.    

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It made so much sense the second I read it. One of those “of course!” moments. It was, not atypically, while reading Michael Pollan in his NYTimes magazine story a few years ago about how no one cooks anymore (really?). Certainly in the 1980s and 1990s most of the country relied on reheating already-cooked food for their meals. And perhaps as a result, at least in part, we became a grossly obese country where seemingly the only people who dieted were the people who were already thin, and the rest made increasingly bizarre, unsustainable stabs at it. A physically sick country, a confused country—don’t get me started. The “of course” moment. It didn’t come from Pollan, but rather from a researcher he interviewed, Harry Balzer, who works for the market research behemoth NPD, and studies all kinds of Read On »

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