Fresh food news and new food experiences:
~Those marble-y yellow green fruits are groundcherries, of the Physalis or nightshade family, cousins of tomatoes and tomatillos. Stonehedge Farm Produce in Woodford County has brought these paper-husk covered, vanilla-custard-tropical-fruit tasting fruits to Lexington Farmers Market locations in the last week. The grower's suggestions for using them: Eat as they are, add to muffins in place of raisins, or, my favorite: toss them into a stir fry.
~The good gleaners at Faith Feeds invite all of us to their first fund raising event, Burgers and Beats, at delightful Wallace Station this Sunday evening. Fantastic burgers, kid-friendly gleaning, and good dancing music!
~Duck, Duck! Chefs like duck eggs for their richness. Good Foods Market often offers fresh duck eggs, but has none right now. A Kentucky duck egg on an exquisite salad at Dudley's Restaurant once so enchanted me that I impulsively committed to write 116 posts about the wonders of Kentucky food in the next 116 days, and then did it. Those were the 100 days leading up to the World Equestrian Games in Lexington, plus the 16 days the Games delighted us.
~I'm surprised to be including a link to a second story about Singapore in two weeks, but this one appeals because of the fantastic photo of durian, a particularly distinctive Asian fruit I first encountered while serving as US Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines. The fruit, according to every Filipino who helped educate us about it, "smells like hell, tastes like heaven." Airlines ban transport of durian, and some hotels don't welcome it, either. Now smart Ph.D. students in Singapore have made durian wine for the first time.
~While we're talking about tropical Asian fruits, let's consider the longan, called lanzones in the Bikol language of the Philippines, and called my all-time favorite fruit in any language at all. I assumed I would have to travel back to Asia to eat it again, but the world, our climate, and our options are changing. If you live near Homestead, Florida, longan can be a local fruit for you. For the rest of us, $79 for five pounds of fruit, even with free shipping, may be a bit much, but perhaps supply and range will continue to increase. Not that I'm not greedy. I'm stunned at the marvelous fruits of central Kentucky this year: strawberries, cherries, mulberries, plums (bonus: a striking, simple recipe for grilled plums and lemon ricotta), peaches, blackberries, black and red raspberries, blueberries, apples—and it's only mid-July.
~Apparently Lazy Eight Stock Farm sold their wondrous foods at Lexington Farmers Market years ago, but I must have been asleep. They are back this year. Happiness! This beautiful farm, offering lovely produce and pastured meats, is transitioning to certified organic. That's a huge commitment, good for our world, that deserves customer support anytime growers take it on.
~My worlds coalesce: Jun Belen, who hosts the exquisite, award-winning Jun-blog: stories from my filipino kitchen, usually offers guidance on making Philippine foods in the US. This week, though, he dedicates his post to home-cured bacon for a completely home-made BLT, featuring his homegrown heirloom tomatoes and homemade pan de sal rolls. Jun Belen takes an American classic and makes it superbly. My main food happiness when I lived in the Bikol region of the Philippines? Foods cooked in coconut milk, the signature preparation of the Bikol region. I don't remember a single BLT during those two years, and I do remember every single hamburger I ate at Taza de Oro restaurant in Manila: five total. I have never loved burgers—except for the two years when they could not be had without an arduous journey. (Apparently Taza de Oro, the original, is no longer with us, though it had a decades-long run. A newer Taza de Oro Food Garden now serves traditional Chinese food in a different sector of Manila.)
Sneak Preview: I'm at work on a short digital book that does something similar to Jun's article. It will guide you through making a summer cookout from scratch.
~You may find a new tip or trick among the collection of 25 mind-blowing food prep techniques to save you time & frustration. Most include short videos. My favorites are numbers 2 (How to: Peel many cloves of garlic at once) and 3 (How to: Remove husks from ears of corn, though for this one I suggest shortening the suggested 4 minutes per ear a bit if you like your corn to taste really fresh and crunchy.)
~Alltech invites your original two-minute video submissions for its third Farming Film Festival. Enter by August 4; the winner takes home $2,000.
Good Foods Market and Wallace Station sponsor Savoring Kentucky.