Tag Archive: vegetarian

I made this for you. (#2)

I bought these golden carrots at Chicago’s Green City Farmers’ Market yesterday, and crafted this recipe this evening. If you aren’t familiar with Szechuan peppercorns, I commend them to you. They are very fragrant, not very hot, and pair beautifully with citrus. Whatever you do, you absolutely must NOT use fake maple syrup. It is a travesty against nature, and ought to be banned.

The carrots are plated with wild Alaskan salmon filet seasoned with Penzey’s Bangkok Blend and homemade rhubarb sauce. If you try it, please let me know what you think!

Farmers’ Market Carrots with Maple-Orange-Szechuan Pepper Glaze

1 lb carrots
1/2 cup orange juice, preferably fresh-squeezed, or at least not-from-concentrate
2 tablespoons maple syrup, preferably Grade ‘B’
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2-3 tsp Szechuan peppercorns, coarsely ground
fresh parsley, thyme or other herb, chopped, reserving some leaves for garnish.

Peel carrots. Cut into 2-3-inch long sections, then halve or quarter to a consistent size.
Steam approx. 8 minutes until tender but not soft.

Grind peppercorns in a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder.
In a skillet or sauté pan (approx. 11″), heat orange juice over medium-high heat, reducing to one half original volume.
Add butter, stir in until melted.
Stir in maple syrup.
Reduce heat to medium low.
Add peppercorns, warm gently until thickened and pepper gives of its aroma.

Stir carrots into the sauce, and sauté until well covered.
Sprinkle on chopped fresh herbs. Serve with herb garnish.


Meet My Farmer

Adam Perrin wants to be your farmer.

Hello. I'm Adam Perrin & I Want to Be Your Farmer.

Two seasons ago, I bought a dozen eggs at the Hamilton (NY) Farmer’s Market (held on Saturdays and now in its 36th year), for export to Takoma Park, where our Farmers Market’s eggs are always sold out by the time I arrive after church, if I can even get to the market before the 2 PM closing bell. Sunday morning markets are great for Seventh-Day Adventists, thick on the ground in Takoma Park; Roman Catholics, with their Saturday Option; Jews; Muslims; Wiccans; Atheists; Occasional Churchgoers… but not for your garden-variety Professional (read: paid) Protestant, who has to be there every week from before dawn (most of the year, now that Daylight Savings Time has become a farcical eight-month extravaganza, Thank You, George W. Bush and your Republican-controlled Congress and your Skanky Bedmates: Lobbyists for Movie Theaters and Shopping Malls and Big Box Stores, but I don’t want to use up all my blog ideas in one article) through the lunch hour, and on toward mid-afternoon. I opened the paper carton (remember my eggs?) and was taken aback, delighted by subtle color variations among the dozen individuals before me. Each egg was unique; together, they cast a tawny rainbow.

Last year, during another of my too-infrequent visits to the Hamilton Farmer’s Market (and to my homeland), I stopped at Quarry Brook Farms’ stand, and was again dazzled by a dozen beautiful eggs, this time artfully, enticingly displayed. I told the tall, thin, bearded young man working the booth that I had previously bought his eggs, and had gotten particular joy out of looking at them, almost to the point of not wanting to eat them. His response was quiet, laconic. (Maybe he thought I was some effete city boy who viewed food as art more than sustenance? Go figure.) He spoke in the local rural accent, the one that first intrigued me, years ago: how can people who live so close to each other, and who interact so much, possess such different inflections? I picked up his business card, and eggs, and moved on through the Market.

Back in Maryland, I visited Quarry Brook Farms’ website <http://quarrybrookfarms.com/&gt;, where I found out that Adam Perrin wants to be my farmer. I was pleased to meet online a young, articulate (if a bit taciturn in person) heir to a family farm in our area, who is working to change the terms of family farming in Central New York, an area full of struggling dairy farms, abandoned pastures and hope in short supply for the future of the industry and the culture. Pro-fracking signs seem to be more common on the grassy verge of a farm field than anywhere else in the region.

Around the start of Lent, my partner, who’s work has taken him deep into the difficult history of the Holocaust, began reading a troubling book called “Eternal Treblinka: Our Treatment of Animals and the Holocaust” (by Charles Patterson, ), and was moved to keep vegetarian for Lent, later continuing on well past Easter. I returned again to the Hamilton Farmer’s Market in late May, and, drawn back to Adam’s stand by my vivid memory of the beautiful eggs and his website, found myself caught in the collision between supporting Adam’s commitment to organic, humanely raised livestock (by buying some meat) and my ethical failure of eating any meat at all. I took the “low road”, and bought some veal, of all things; Adam cautioned that this wasn’t like supermarket veal, that it wouldn’t be as tender or mild-flavored, that the calves were pastured with their mothers and treated humanely. He said that each year, the cows produced more young than he could keep, and, rather than ship them off to be raised and butchered in the cruel, industrial way, he held onto them until the end of the season, giving them the best short life they could have.

But I was still troubled. Back in Maryland again, I e-mailed Adam to ask if, during another trip home, he would meet with me and talk about ethical farming.