Dibs and Dabs Add To Our Plates and Pleasure

Bits from the Campsie garden, late summer 2010

Bits from the Campsie garden, late summer 2010

It surprises me how much I still find in the garden well after the peak of the harvest. The tomato vines look stressed by heat and thirst, the late green beans have lots of insect holes in their foliage, and yet for a small household, in early September I can find little dibs and dabs of vegetables that make our meals so much finer.

In somewhat the same way, well after I publish a blog post, I sometimes continue bumping into interesting bits related to the post topic. I did one post about these add-ins at about the halfway point of the "Savory Bites," Savoring Kentucky's set of 116 daily posts in honor of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, which launch on September 25, 2010, here in the Bluegrass. Today's post comes 18 days before the Games begin, or about 70 percent of the way to the finish line for the 116 Savory Bites, which is October 10, closing day of the Games.

We had Bite 60, New Sprouts: Kentucky's Food Blogs and Websites, and then I learned about new additions to the list:

  • Gourmandistan, with a home base on a former tobacco farm not far from Louisville, invites readers to a new bloggish country, "where food and the people involved in bringing  it to a plate are celebrated. Its people enjoy discovering, procuring  and preparing food almost as much as they enjoy eating it. Those  entering Gourmandistan should be prepared to endure tales of farmers,  farm shares, fancy and not so fancy restaurants and features of a good  kitchen " as well as recipes, amateur food porn and scathing contempt for  industrial 'food.'" I enjoy every trip to Gourmandistan, and appreciate that no passports are required.
  • At Ashbourne Farms, in Oldham County, there's a new blog subtitled "Local farms, local food." Ashbourne Farms raises beef and pork on pasture, using sustainable methods, and avoiding antibiotics and hormones. Ashbourne owner Layla Mussleman says of plans for the blog, "We will be telling you about our life on the farm, what products we have available and how we are using them." The blog makes it easy to contact the farm about buying some of their beautiful products.

We had Bite 64, Personal Watermelons or Community Watermelons? The Washington Post printed Watermelons: What happened to the seeds? (Free registration required)

We had Bite 66, A Savvy Take on Lexington, about a certain print preview of the Bluegrass for people coming to WEG. Chicago Tribune food writer Phil Vettel did Grazing in Horse Country, a sweet WEG preview that mirrors back to us a bit our habits and manners, but concentrates primarily on our restaurants.

I agree with most of Vettel's article -- especially his praise for Holly Hill Inn -- but I take exception to the notion that Dudley's menu is "simple -- a burger here, a Reuben there." Dudley's food is simply wonderful, and I would call it clear, true, and easy to love - but surely not simple. To me, Dudley's food shines at understated complexity in preparations of premium ingredients, many of them local and cooked in ways that concentrate and heighten flavors -- whether in a hamburger or in the beef carpaccio appetizer that is served with pickled shallots, cayenne oil, and béarnaise sauce.

We had Bite 68, Know Your Chicken Farmers' Name?, a suggestion that small scale farming, and sound relationships between growers and customers, could prevent some of the diseases of factory farming. Even though relationship cultivation is messy, it seems a lot easier than the extreme efforts and costs involved in salmonella prevention in factory egg farms in California, according to a Los Angeles Times story, Battling salmonella squeezes egg farmers.

We had Bite 69, Blurring the Lines Between Fruits and Veggies, and we may have mentioned adding an herb to something sweet now and again, but I still found two stories about savory ice creams surprising. In No Plain Vanilla Here, the Baltimore Sun featured ice cream flavors like ranch, olive oil, garlic, buttered popcorn, along with slightly more friendly sounding ones like cucumber and sweet corn. In Fresh herbs make sweet and sophisticated ice cream, from oregonlive.com, the focus is on herbal ice cream add-ins. How about some Cinnamon-Basil Ice Cream with Peach Compote for dessert?

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The world is coming to visit central Kentucky this year for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. To help our visitors know more about Kentucky's food and food ways, Savoring Kentucky is rolling out 116 Savory Kentucky Bites, one for each of the 100 days before WEG begins, and 16 for the days during WEG, September 25 - October 10. Today's Savory Bite is number 82.

116 World EQ Game Postrona