The 2008 Acres U.S.A. Conference


Mark your calendar . . .
The 2008 Acres U.S.A. Conference
Thursday-Saturday, Dec. 4-6, 2008
Pre-Conference Intensive Study Options, Dec. 2-3, 2008
Hyatt Regency Union Station, St. Louis, Missouri

The annual Acres U.S.A. conference sets the standards for innovation and learning. It is where you find farmers and consultants from every side of eco-farming who come together to share their experience and expertise. Attend the non-stop event, learn the latest in cutting-edge technology and methods, and return home ready to make your farming operation the best it can be.

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Flying Pigs Farm


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I know this isn’t a cheesemaker, but this family is doing something that is important and dear to my heart. Flying Pigs Farm. They breed and raise heritage breed pork. Michael Yezzi and Jennifer Small keep Glouchester Old Spots, Large Blacks and Tamworths. These 3 breeds are very old and very rare these days. The farm is located in Washington County in the great state of NY.

 

 

Our pigs are Large Blacks, Gloucestershire Old Spots, and Tamworths. These breeds are quite old and now rare. Pork from these breeds is more moist and has a better flavor and texture than the pork from conventional hybrids.

It may seem odd to use rare breed pigs for pork, but these breeds simply will not survive unless a market for these animals can be created. Already 6 of the 15 breeds of pigs raised in the United States in the 1930s are extinct.

 

For more information about conserving breeds of farm animals, contact the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy (www.albc-usa.org).

The pigs on Flying Pigs Farm are able to roam freely on the grounds and assist the farmers in managing their land. You can order direct from Flying Pig Farm…but if you are heading to NY or the east coast anytime soon, their products are found in the following restaurants:

 

Applewood (Brooklyn)
Beekman Street Bistro
(Saratoga Springs, NY)
Cleaver Company/Green Table (Manhattan)
Craft (Manhattan)
Diner (Brooklyn)
Fiamma (Manhattan)
Gramercy Tavern (Manhattan)
Il Buco (Manhattan)
Lunetta (Brooklyn)
Mas (Manhattan)

Mezze (Williamstown, MA)

Pangaea (North Bennington, VT)

Savoy (Manhattan)

Telepan (Manhattan)

 

9th Street Deli: Soulard


We went to lunch at the 9th Street Deli the other afternoon. When I think of deli’s I think of meat and cheese counters. I forget that in St. Louis, deli = sandwich shoppe. And that is fine with me. I had the Philly. And after living in Philly, I have come to appreciate a true Philly cheese steak. And 9th St. Deli delivered. WOW…the bread was toasted perfectly, the meat was tender and had lots of onions and peppers…seasoned really well…then they topped it with Cheez Whiz! Nice. Just like Philly. I admit, I prefer provolone on my cheese steak but the whiz was a trip down memory lane. The soups were fresh and house made…everything was piping hot…and we even ate it at home. So if you find yourself hungry for a cheese steak…check out 9th street deli in Soulard. Corner of 9th and Shennandoah. It’s good.

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An Evening Meal: By Kevin Binkley; Part Deux


11. Seared Foie Gras served with a lemon popover, lemon cream, blackberries and micro-greens: the biggest piece of foie I have ever seen on a plate. Perfectly seared on the outside, leaving the interior unctuous and creamy. The lemon popover was a great compliment to the richness of the foie. A piece of candied lemon slice and the blackberries added a sweet aspect that finished the plate on a high note. big plate: warm appetizer

12. Morello Cherry and Grapefruit sorbets. No need to tell you all that Si had the grapefruit and I had the cherry. I don’t do grapefruit.

13. Kobe with creme fraiche potatoes, sherried button mushrooms, romanesco broccoli and demi glace. Perfectly cooked little cubes of Black beef from about 60 miles outside of Kobe. Good. But I am still not sold on Kobe. It’s beef…it’s good…don’t know why it’s so expensive. I’ve had better American grass feed beef here. My opinion. I’m sure other’s prefer Kobe. The potatoes were my Achilles heel. Served in a small copper pot….warm, creamy, rich….I ate them all. Did not share with the husband. It’s okay…he isn’t crazy over whipped potatoes like me. Big plate: meat course.

14. A lemon puff of air. I know what you are thinking…lemon air? Yep. CB has really taken to using the progressive culinary methods such as sous vide, liquid nitro, etc. This was fresh lemonade, that was foamed and then flash frozen with liquid nitrogen. You just put it on your tongue an then POOF!…gone…all you are left with was an immense lemon flavor. Great palate cleanser.

15. Root-beer meringue: a small dollop of meringue with a root-beer candy base. put onto the tongue, it dissolved and left you with the essence of root-beer…then turned into pop rocks in your mouth.

16: Black Truffle Fondue served with popcorn, brioche toast points, celery, potatoes, and dried fruit. Need I say more. We will attempt to recreate this at our next dinner party. You can make a meal out of it. Again….fabulous twist on a cheese course.

17: Mini lollipops, hand made: bubble gum and sesame banana flavor.

18: Fresh berries with zabaglione. Sounds plain…it wasn’t. They placed mound of tender berries in a large white bowl, and poured the zabaglione over…then they followed with liquid nitrogen (table-side) and what you had left was a quasi berry ice cream. Topped with fresh roasted cashews (they were still warm). It was an amazing desert.

19. Raspberry chew, chocolate fudge cake and white chocolate with peanuts and cinnamon. One bite of each.

20. Strawberry numb: a spoon of red powder comes out. You place it on your tongue and it dissolves. You have a strong strawberry flavor left in your mouth…then…you feel something….all of a sudden it’s like there is a electricity on your tongue..in a good way. Your entire mouth begins to tingle. Si didn’t get it…but I did. it was like electricity on your tongue. so interesting. They mix the strawberry with the stamen of a West African flower and it’s causes the sensation.

Then there were some other tastes that I forgot to write down. I know for one we had a pork rillette. So incredibly rich. We had just a small serving. It is on the a la care menu and comes in a hefty portion. I don’t know how one could it that much of it.

By the end of our meal, the restaurant was empty. CB and the other chefs had taken to our enthusiasm and watched us eat. Lots of great discussion on new culinary methods, the use of chemistry in the kitchen, local products and how hard it is to open a restaurant at the age of 30. It really puts into perspective how hard Chef Craft of Niche has worked and how accomplished he is…and he’s not even 3o yet!!

Kevin Binkley makes visiting my in-laws that much more fun. Knowing that when we visit, we can dine at his restaurant my entice us to travel to AZ more often. 😉

Just not in the summer. It’s too darn hot.