Three Cheers for Bluegrass Foods

Elmwood's Frozen Vegetables First Cheer: For Elmwood Stock Farm's first Winter CSA, which included the promising package of "Frozen Summer 2011" (above), processed and preserved just for me. Anyone who has talked with me for more than 30 seconds about my childhood has endured my complaints about canning and freezing until all hours of the night, along with my insistence on how delicious our own food was, growing up. Yes, those two things are linked, the semi-misery of putting up food during peak growing season and the miracle of continuing to eat homegrown food right through the winter.

It was a fine CSA surprise, the nearly four pounds of Elmwood berries, peas, tomatoes, greens, and more that someone else had to stay up late and freeze last year. The frozen produce topped a large, heavy box of squashes, daikon, turnips, onions, sweet and white potatoes, garlic, fresh greens, and more.

The cooking report so far:

  • Diced daikon, sweet potato, turnip and an onion shone in a modified version of Martha Stewart's Glazed Turnips and Parsnips with Maple Syrup. Modifications: added 1 teaspoon ground cardamom and, from our own garden, 2 Tablespoons fresh, finely slivered sage.
  • Kale Chips, in a Mollie Katzen style, made with both kale and collards, chopped in very thin shreds. Mistakes: too many veggies baked in too small a roasting pan, so real crisping did not happen. This was totally operator error, driven by competition for limited oven space. Intentional (as opposed to accidental) modification: a squeeze of fresh lime at the end (whir of the rotary beater to the intrepid PP). The resulting dish was more Kale Chew than Crisp, yet still perfectly delicious.

Thank you, everyone at Elmwood.

Second Cheer (belated): For Jonathan at Gratz Park in downtown Lexington. In October/November, 2011, Garden & Gun named Jonathan's Sea Scallop Hot Browns one of the 50 Best Southern Foods. Congratulations, Jonathan!

Third Cheer: For Jim Betts and Bluegrass Baking Company on Clays Mill Road in Lexington. Southern Living magazine has just named Bluegrass Baking Company one of the South's best bakeries. The magazine praises Bluegrass Baking's "magnificently dense European-style breads," and "lovely Danish and croissants." We agree!