Local shopping and weekend cooking

It’s January which means that our local farmers market is shut for the season. There are two others within a very short drive of here, but we don’t often make it. The Beef Guy has been stopping in Palo Alto on a weekly basis to drop off meat to people. Today they had pork, too. We picked up quite a bit of meat: rib eye steak, boneless pork chops, pork tenderloin, brats and some stew beef. The marrow bones were tempting, but we were concerned about freezer space. 

After stocking up on meat, we headed down to The Milk Pail for veggies, milk and cheese. They’ve recently modified their store, to try and help flow through and it is a more pleasant shopping experience. They have a very nice selection of veggies, today we even picked up baby roma tomatoes. Yeah, yeah, I know, it’s January, so not tomato season. But they looked good, and we’ll leave them on the counter to sweeten up a bit. 

Having a source of mostly-local meat has really changed our shopping habits. Most of the meat is vacuum packed and frozen at the processor, so there isn’t anything to stop us from just storing it in our freezer. Prior to this, we’d buy fresh meat and cook it that day or the next. Now we’re shopping a lot less frequently and a lot more locally. Besides, the $60 worth of veggies from Whole Foods turns into $30 worth of veggies from The Milk Pail. 

When we got home, I noticed we had 5 chicken carcasses and a bag of wing tips in the freezer during the course of attempting to store all the meat. Definitely time to make stock. I have enough chicken bits for two batches. Today I’m making a fairly classic chicken stock: celery, carrot, onion and parsley. I think I’m going to try a chinese style stock with the rest. We’ve been eating a lot of stir fry recently and a gingery chicken stock will be good for that. 

Tonight we’re having the pork chops. They’re currently brining in a recipe out of Bruce Aidell’s Complete Book of Pork. There is a herb rub that goes along with the brine, and then we’re going to grill them. I think we’re going to try a variation on this braised red cabbage recipe from Top Chef. Serve with some buttered egg noodles and voilà! Dinner!

We set up the light tent and tripod to play with the camera. I have some cute rubber ducky photos.

A study in plastic duckness

A study in plastic duckness

I also found the Intel Spaceman and took some photos of him, too.

Spaceman

Spaceman

The backdrops really need to be ironed before they can be used for photos as the creases are showing as you can see in this shot of our brass cookie press.

Someone needs to do the ironing!

Someone needs to do the ironing!

The house is smelling lovely from the stock. Steve just brought me a nice glass of beer. It’s actually turning into a relaxing Saturday.

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