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WATERMELON MILKSHAKE | FRESH CHICKPEAS | COLD BREW COFFEE

spenser personalizing food & drink.

magazine

MEAT MARKET barbecue

perfect SUMMER pickles green mountain

BUTTERMILK in search of STONE FRUIT

summer 2013 | ISSUE SEVEN spensermag.com


indie food . tasty gifts . open wide! mouth.com


features: 73|FLEETING ABUNDANCE: An introduction to summer pickling

by Kevin West

114|CULTURAL JOURNEY:

55| ANIMAL FARM:

Some buttermilks are more equal than others

by Heidi Murphy

84|SMOKE SIGNALS:

A Texas BBQ dynasty works to end a long-standing feud

Exploring Sevilla's history and heritage

by Asha Pagdiwalla

by Mike Dundas

98| ORCHARDVILLE:

Andy Mariani leaves no stone fruit unturned

by Denise Woodward


departments: BUTLER'S CHOICE: taking a break

16

STOCKING THE PANTRY: vinegar & sauerkraut

18

STOCKING THE BAR: sparkling seltzer & chili beer

24

FRONT OF HOUSE: local comfort

26

MEREDITH'S PAGE: stocking the... bath?

30

SEASON'S SWEET: watermelon milkshake

33

SEASON'S HARVEST: fresh chickpeas

36

BUTCHER'S BLOCK: beef tongue pastrami

41

SPECIAL! COLD COFFEE PRIMER: hot summer, cold coffee

45


Wine is our passion…

Lompoc Wine Ghetto There are no vast estates with rolling hills here, nor opulent tasting rooms with soaring ceilings. What this bustling industrial park has in abundance is worldclass wine created by people with a passion for their craft. The renowned Sta. Rita Hills AVA supplies many of our award-winning Pinot Noirs, while the warmer

climate a short distance away is the source for our delicious Bordeaux and Rhones. Come spend a weekend in this very non-traditional setting and discover the exceptional treasures of the Lompoc Wine Ghetto. Don’t be surprised if the person pouring the wine is also the person who created it.

photo credit: Sashi Moorman

19 tasting rooms, in the heart of Santa Barbara’s wine country

Ampelos Cellars Arcadian Winery Bratcher De Su Propia Cosecha Evening Land Vineyards

Fiddlehead Cellars Flying Goat Jalama Wines Joseph Blair Wines La Vie Vineyards

lompocghetto.com

Longoria Wines Loring Wine Company Moretti Wines Piedrasassi Palmina Wines

Samsara Stolpman Vineyards Taste of Sta. Rita Hills Zotovich Cellars


recipe index: buttermilk Ad Hoc Buttermilk Fried Chicken (Thomas Keller) | 67 Chilled Buttermilk & Shrimp Soup (Diane St. Clair) | 64 Mint-Lemon Buttermilk Ice Pops (Diane St. Clair) | 68 Summer Corn Pudding (Diane St. Clair) | 65

chickpeas Fresh Chickpea Salad with Sumac Vinaigrette | 38 Skillet-Charred Chickpeas | 39

cured meat Beef Tongue Pastrami (Ryan Farr) | 42

dips & dressings Creamy Malt Vinegar Chip Dip | 21 Malt Vinaigrette | 23

pickles Fermented Green Beans (Kevin West) | 82 Golden Beets with Ginger (Kevin West) | 79 Mrs. Dorsey Brown’s Green Tomato Pickle (Kevin West) | 83 Watermelon Rind Pickles (Kevin West) | 81 Zucchini Dill Spears (Kevin West) | 80

stone fruits Greengage Frangipane Tart (Denise Woodward) | 109 Grilled Apricots with Cardamom Cream (Denise Woodward) | 111 Peach and Pistachio Crisp (Denise Woodward) | 112 Roasted Plum Sorbet (Denise Woodward) | 110 White Peach, Rose, and Basil Hand Pies (Beth Kirby) | 121

treats Watermelon & Gardenia Milkshake (Russell Davis) | 34

8 | spensermag.com | spring 2013


letter from the editor:

I

n the first few pages of "The Great Gatsby," Nick Carraway says this of summer: “And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.”

I mention this quote not just for the eloquent accounting of the summer season, but for its use of the word conviction. Summer is all about stepping outside of the workaday week, traveling down the unmarked road to search out new experiences that, with a bit of fortune, will turn into lifelong passions.

With inspiration as our guide, this summer, we travel down to Texas to meet a family steeped in BBQ tradition, split apart by conviction of purpose years ago, and now on the way to reunion. We also venture up to Vermont, through the writing and photography of Heidi Murphy, to discover the commitment and fidelity that drives Diane St. Claire to produce quite possibly the best butter in the United States. And we head across the Atlantic to learn how devout religious and political forces gave birth to the vibrant culture of the city of Sevilla. We asked Denise Woodward to tell the passionate story of a stone fruit farmer whose return to his family’s small orchard in Northern California may have saved his life. And we asked Kevin West, who made a true leap of faith from fashion magazine editor to food blogger in search of the memory of his grandmother’s preserves, to teach us about summer pickling. This issue we are also introducing a new rotating department section, front of house, that will highlight our favorite restaurant designs around the country and we’ve included a special insert showcasing our favorite cold brewed coffees. Of course, this issue has new seasonal recipes like chilled buttermilk and shrimp soup, watermelon rind pickles, and grilled apricots with cardamom cream, as well as techniques and inspirations from experts like Thomas Keller, Ryan Farr, and Russell Davis.

Happy summer.

mike dundas editor-in-chief

summer 2013 | spensermag.com

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spenser

magazine MIKE DUNDAS

co-founder & editor-in-chief LEIGH FLORES

co-founder & executive editor JEN WHITE

design director COREY ABSHER

interactive producer MAX FOLLMER

lead copy editor HILARY KLINE

lead photo editor JOEL LEVANGIA & BRENDAN LYNCH

staff writers MEREDITH PAIGE

meredith's page editor & staff photographer contributing writers

HEIDI MURPHY, ASHA PAGDIWALLA, KEVIN WEST, DENISE WOODWARD

contributing photographers HEIDI MURPHY, ASHA PAGDIWALLA, RICK POON, DENISE WOODWARD

spring/summer interns KATHERINE FLYNN, ADRIANA LUCCI, MARGOT TUCHLER

staff dogs

JACKSON, KAUFMAN, OLIVER & SCOUT

advertsing & sales inquiries: leigh@spensermag.com

editorial & business inquiries, questions & comments: spenser@spensermag.com

cover photo: GOLDEN BEETS photograph by RICK POON

spenser’s commitment:

spenser magazine commits to donating 1% of profits to charitable causes in support of ending hunger in America and abroad this commitment supports spenser magazine’s desire to help promote the need to end hunger everywhere

spenser disclaimer: Spenser Magazine is published on a bi-monthly basis by Spenser, LLC. All rights are reserved. Neither the publication, nor any portion thereof, may be reproduced in any manner or in any form without the prior written authorization and permission of Spenser, LLC. Spenser Magazine and Spenser, LLC are not responsible for the accuracy of advertiser claims or advertiser content. Notwithstanding, every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the content contained in the publication and on the Web site.

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contributors:

DENISE WOODWARD | WRITER & PHOTOGRAPHER Denise Woodward is a photographer/writer who ed Northern Nevada at the tender age of 18. She has been calling the San Francisco Bay Area home for the past 20 years. She develops recipes and writes for the home-grown food site Eat Boutique, as well as the Mushroom Channel, and Key Ingredient. Her recipes have been published in the book Foodies of the World and her photography has been featured in Saveur, as well as online at Saveur.com, Gojee.com and FineCooking.com. She lives in the up-and-coming neighborhood of West Oakland with her partner, Lenny Ferreira, with whom she shares the popular food site Chez Us. They believe anything can be made at home, from scratch, as long as you have a little patience, and fresh ingredients.

KEVIN WEST | WRITER Kevin West is a journalist and preserver living in Los Angeles. For thirteen years he was on the staff at W magazine, with postings in New York, Paris, and Los Angeles. He now runs the blog Savingtheseason. com; writes about food, culture, and travel; and produces a retail collection of jams and marmalades. His first cookbook, Saving the Season: A Cook's Guide to Home Canning, Pickling, and Preserving was just published by Knopf.

14 | spensermag.com | summer 2013


ASHA PAGDIWALLA | WRITER & PHOTOGRAPHER Pampered by two generations of talented home chefs, Asha has always had a very discerning palate. In 2005, she moved to New York City, and discovered world cuisine. Along the way, she discovered a latent passion for creating food experiences, blending global flavors, and sharing it with family and friends. Asha is the creator of the blog Fork Spoon Knife (www.forkspoonnknife.com) and her recipes have been featured on Gourmet Live and Food News Journal.

HEIDI MURPHY | WRITER & PHOTOGRAPHER Heidi is a wedding + lifestyle photographer, and aspiring foodie. Though her heart belongs to Martha’s Vineyard, she lives north of Boston with her husband and their three dogs in a charming seaside town. She has an affinity for simple flavors + simple pleasures, farmer’s markets, organic everything, s’mores, corn from the grill, and champagne. Heidi’s work, on film, has been featured stateside and abroad; and her recent musings + imagery can be found on whiteloftstudio.com.

RICK POON | PHOTOGRAPHER Born in Thailand but raised in Southern California, Rick Poon is a Los Angeles-based photographer that’s had a long obsession with food. He’s been shooting it for as long as he can remember, and enjoys getting lost in a new city, immersing himself in the local culture and tucking into some good eats. Rick chronicles his culinary journeys on his blog, à la mode.


butler’s choice:

taking a lake break

We all want to take a break in summer. Longer days lounging in the sun lead to dreams and dreams often lead to thoughts of owning a vacation home. That’s a luxury right on par with having a large pantry for everyday use. So, for this issue, we thought we’d step outside the butler’s pantry and into a vacation home kitchen where you still have pantry items to store when vacationing, but space is often a commodity. Thom Filicia’s book, “American Beauty,” crossed our desk and dreams of our perfect vacation home came flooding in. The book begins with Filicia's journey finding, debating, and then, falling in love with a home, which is located in the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York. He made the purchase despite the need for a complete rehab. Filicia takes us through his sketching process, decision on floor plans, and meetings with contractors. He shows how peeling back layers of the house’s surfaces revealed parts of American history that ultimately impacted his design decisions. We love design details and Filicia shows them in spades, filling in his essential elements chapter with tips on how to handle those tough considerations we all make at one time or another—like choosing tile, doors, floors, and much more. He goes beyond the essentials. He reinvents the home by pulling off a mix of ease, functionality, whimsy, and a damn good lake view. Right off the entry hall, the kitchen’s playful tone - chicken wire cabinets, open shelving above the sink, bulkhead lights, and boat pulls - is on equal footing with its core functionality. And while there are deep cabinets on one side of the kitchen for storage, a five-stage étagère allows oft-used pantry items to remain easily accessible. Not shying away from the kitchen’s social function— people always tend to gather in the kitchen— Filicia created a distinct cooking space, a bar for entertaining, and room for weekend and holiday guests to hang out without getting in the way of the cook (his partner Greg) or bartender (Filicia himself). Smart man.


Photo Credits: (This page, clockwise from top left) The wet bar is surrounded by floor-toceiling storage; Just inside the kitchen near the entry is a handy étagère; The low windows behind the kitchen sink allow for shelving at eye level and above. Opposite Page: The cooking area is framed with open cabinets fronted in nickel chicken wire. Photos by Eric Piasecki. Copyright © 2012. Published by Clarkson Potter.

summer 2013 | spensermag.com

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stocking the pantry:

SWEET ON SAUER

Hanako Myers and Marko Colby are the owners of Midori Farm in Port Townsend, Wa. The farm, which is blessed with views of the majestic Olympic mountains, is located where the Puget Sound meets the Strait of San Juan, some 50 miles north of Seattle. Together, Myers and Colby grow a wide range of organic vegetables and garden starts for sale at local farmer’s markets. Their gardens grow on what was once an alfalfa field and cow pasture, giving this piece of property extraordinary fertility for the region. By practicing sustainable farming using methods like composting, cover crops, and crop rotation, Myers and Colby are able to grow their fruits, vegetables, and herbs without using any pesticides. Myers and Colby not only grow fresh produce, they turn their vegetables and herbs into traditionally fermented, handcrafted sauerkrauts and kimchi. These are delicious, handcrafted, live culture krauts and kimchis that are naturally fermented in large ceramic crocks. Each product is unpasteurized, raw, full of beneficial living probiotics and, because they are the farmers as well as the producers, made almost entirely with ingredients grown on the farm. While the choices range from a traditional kimchi to a savory kraut with dill and caraway to a sweet kraut made with beets and carrots, our favorite is the Horseradish Leek Sauerkraut, a sweet & savory kraut made using a green cabbage base flavored with horseradish, leeks, carrots, and sea salt. It will pair wonderfully with almost anything you are going to grill this summer, but we suggest serving it on our grilled pastrami-style beef tongue steamed buns (recipe on pg. 44). $8 for a 16 oz. jar. Available in and around Port Washington and Seattle.

18 | spensermag.com | summer 2013


AMERICAN VINEGAR CO. The American Vinegar Co. is a joint project between Bob McClure, of McClure’s Pickles, and Harry Rosenblum, of The Brooklyn Kitchen. The two have been friends for almost a decade—The Brooklyn Kitchen was the very first retailer of McClure’s pickles - so it was natural that they would eventually make the decision to work together. Back in 2007, Rosenblum says he discovered he had a white wine vinegar that had developed a mother in the bottle. He had good amount of top notch cider on hand, so he decided to make a cider vinegar by mixing the two together. The results were, in a word, delicious and led to further experimentation. Within a few years, Rosenblum was producing a line of red and white wine vinegars for sale in bulk at The Brooklyn Kitchen. His mind, however, was already working on the next big thing. “At some point in time, I was sitting around eating French fries and realized that there was no real malt vinegar on the market,” Rosenblum says. “So I went to my friends at the Brooklyn Brewery and said I want to try this experiment and they said, ‘Sure, come on by.’” Fast forward a few years and McClure and Rosenblum found themselves together, talking about their respective trials with making homemade vinegar. The conversation turned to the fact that there was an opening for a quality line of vinegar products and the American Vinegar Co. was born. McClure and Rosenblum made a decision to eschew speed in their production process, ditching the commercial acetators that efficiently produce quick high-strength vinegars that eventually get watered down. The American Vinegar Co. process relies on natural fermentation to yield a final output that is pretty close to what ends up in the bottle. “Most vinegars are good if what you want is something acidic,” says Rosenblum. “But what we are after is what results from a longer more natural process, which really shows the flavors of the liquid you are starting from.” The three flavors that will launch with the company in the next few weeks are a malt vinegar made with Brooklyn Brewery Brown Ale, a cider vinegar made with J.K. Scrumpy’s Hard Cider, and a honey-lemon vinegar made using a white wine vinegar base that is blended with Michigan honey and lemon. All three are uniquely American products crafted with care and precision and they are a welcome addition to the spenser pantry. $7.99 for an 8 oz. bottle.


stocking the pantry:

Creamy Malt Vinegar Chip Dip We love chips and dip in the summertime. Because there are a number of great store-bought potato chips out there, you may not think it worth your time to go the homemade route. But there is just something about a warm potato chip right out of the fryer and a cold, tangy dip that hits the spot. Each year, for the 4th of July, we thinly slice a few red and blue potatoes, dry off the slices with a paper towel, drop them in the fryer at 360° until brown and crispy. Take them out, sprinkle with salt, and we’re ready to go with our version of fries and malt vinegar. Makes 1 cup 4 tsp. malt vinegar ²⁄ ³ cup creme fraiche ½ tsp. kosher salt 1 tsp. chives, minced 1. Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl. Store, covered, in the fridge for at least one hour so the flavors have a chance to come together and the dip has a chance to firm up a bit. Serve with your favorite potato chips.


stocking the pantry:

Malt Vinaigrette I spent many summers in Vermont visiting with family when I was a child. Inevitably, we would make a day trip to Quechee to watch the glassblowers working at the Simon Pearce Mill. The building, which overlooked the falls of the Ottauquechee River, also happened to be home to the best restaurant in that part of the state. It seems like such a basic thing now, but the restaurant had a perfectly simple house vinaigrette that never failed to impress. This is our version of Simon Pearce’s original recipe. - Mike Dundas Makes 2 ½ cups ¹⁄ ³ cup malt vinegar ¹⁄ ³ cup lemon juice 1 garlic clove, minced 1 tsp. kosher salt ½ tsp. fresh ground black pepper 1 ½ cups extra virgin olive oil ¼ cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped 1. Add the first five ingredients to the bowl of a blender. Blend at medium speed for 30 seconds. Remove the cap from the middle of the blender top and, with the blender running, slowly add in the olive oil. Blend for another 90 seconds. Add the parsley and basil to the dressing and blend for another 30 seconds. Taste and adjust oil/vinegar, balance as desired. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to one week.

summer 2013 | spensermag.com

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stocking the bar:

FIZZ & FOAM

Tony Simmons is the President and Head Brewer of Pagosa Brewing. To Simmons, brewing is a life’s passion that started back when he was in high school (he jokes about getting caught “fermenting” in his locker). The alchemy of taking grain and turning it into something drinkable and delicious is what eventually drew him away from a marketing career working for Nestle in London to focus what eventually became Pagosa Brewing. The small brewery, in Pagosa Springs, a small ski town in southern Colorado, draws heavily on the surrounding region for ingredients and inspiration. They source their barley malt locally and even grow hops on site for a special fresh-hop IPA brewed each summer. Only five hours up the road from Hatch, N.M. and with a passion for local sourcing, it was natural step to experiment brewing a green chile beer with fresh roasted Hatch green chiles. Make no mistake, Pagosa Brewing’s Green Chile Cerveza is no novelty beer. The pure green chile flavor matches seamlessly with the flavor profile of the underlying brew resulting in one of the best beers we’ve tasted in a very long time. “It has made a huge difference to have that kind of quality chile to work with,” says Simmons. “They have great infusion and great aroma characteristics that really add to the beer.” Each time Simmons starts work on crafting a new beer, he focuses on developing a counterpoint of flavors. It is easy to make a chile bomb, he notes, but without balance - a little bit of hops and a little sweetness along with the heat - customers aren’t going to keep coming back for more. “We spent a great deal of time looking for the right chile for the beer, the right point in the process to add the chiles, and the right level of infusion,” Simmons says. “Quaffability is something that we really strive for. We are a small brewery and we turn product really quickly and have no time for esoteric beers.” However one might want to label it, the Green Chile Cerveza is refreshing and delicious, which makes it perfect for summer. Available on tap at Pagosa Brewing and bottled at liquor stores in Pagosa Springs, Colo.

24 | spensermag.com | summer 2013


stocking the bar: The sighting of a “fresh” soda jerk mixing together creative combinations of fresh fruit infused sodas at your local farmer’s market or food fair are more frequent these days. Still, the shelf-stable, syrupbased bottled versions, including the big name “fruit” sodas, still dominate at the grocery store. Back in 2009, Bill Creelman realized that no one was producing sodas with real, whole, fresh juices. So he and a few friends set about to change all that with Spindrift Soda Company. After a few initial setbacks, (pulp is no friend of carbonation - we’re talking exploding bottles here), there were the problems of finding fresh fruit nectar on the scale they needed and of finding distributors with refrigerated trucking (traditional sodas are shipped warm so Creelman found fish and produce vendors willing to move his product). With fresh fruit soda success under his belt, Creelman has turned Spindrift toward another task, finding a low calorie beverage that fits in with the company’s ethos. He knew right away that they didn’t want to use aspartame or some other artificial sweetener. “We recognized that there was an occasion where somebody would be looking for something lighter, more refreshing, and hydration oriented,” says Creelman. “That started our exploration into the seltzer space.” They quickly realized that every seltzer on the market used flavoring systems with no fresh juice. Drawing inspiration from fresh fruit flavors that are generally available year round, Spindrift launched their seltzer line of sparkling fruit flavored beverages with three fresh juice-driven flavors, including lemon, tangerine, and raspberry with lime. The biggest challenge of the launch has been educating customers that is ok to have color in seltzer. While the seltzers range from 0-10 calories per bottle, they are not diet replacements of the sweetened Spindrift sodas. At first glance, many assume the bright pink color of the raspberry and lime seltzer, for example, contains an artificial sweetener, but the drink is very dry. “I feel like that’s when you are onto something, when you don’t have a reference point,” says Creelman. “It has actually been a very positive development, reinforcing the fact that there is something real in the bottle.” That’s why, this summer, the Spindrift seltzers will be lining the spenser bar. Approximately $2.00 per bottle. Available nationally at select stores. summer 2013 | spensermag.com

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front of house:

LOCAL COMFORT

Dining out is an experience. Putting food aside (did we just say that?), the people, the location, and the design form the foundation of that experience. Our job, as diners, is to pick the company with whom we want to enjoy our meal and, of course, it is the chef’s job is to source the ingredients and create the menu. But, often overlooked are the architects, interior, landscape, and graphic designers who tire over the concept and execution of design’s integral place in the dining equation. Here at spenser, we get as excited about stepping into the front of house as we do about tasting the food coming from the back of house, which is why we are pleased to introduce a new revolving section, front of house, to highlight those architects and designers who create the spaces where we love to eat. Jar, a modern chophouse, blocks away from spenser HQ, is a natural choice for the debut of this department. Bret Witke, a Los Angeles-based designer, is the design force behind Jar. Witke studied in Paris, Milan, Zurich, and New York City in the early 80s before coming back to his native Los Angeles. He started his career designing nightclubs and bars, so his current approach to designing restaurant spaces is greatly informed by his knowledge of how customers and staff move in a crowded space.

26 | spensermag.com | summer 2013


“That’s the one thing I’ve got down to a science,” says Witke. I know flow.”

because this is LA, the iconic indirect lighting fixtures make everyone look good.

Witke came to know Suzanne Tracht, the chef/owner of Jar thanks to his frequent visits to the original restaurant. When a redesign was planned, Tracht turned to Witke and, immediately he knew the direction he wanted to take the space.

If you keep it simple, the design transcends time and provides sense of comfort,” says Witke. “I don’t ever want to design a restaurant that is the ‘special place’ you go to twice a year.”

“I grew up going to steakhouses in Encino, the old school 60s and 70s type and I knew I wanted to build a tribute of sorts to those spaces from my childhood,” says Witke. “Everyone has a relation or notion of those classic chophouses,” he continues. “They represent something with soul. I chose elements and scale that pull us back into a time when things were luxurious, big and comfortable.” In designing Jar, Witke used materials that purposefully slow the outside pace of life. The walnut on the walls throughout the space immediately calms those walking through the entrance. The rolling club chairs envelop and comfort the diner. The soft reflective metal at the bar highlights a cocktail perfectly. And,

That appreciation for the comforts of the past coupled with Witke’s focus on the diner and not the designer certainly has us coming back again and again. Jar is located at 8225 Beverly Blvd. in Los Angeles, Calif. (From left, across both pages) The iconic main dining area at Jar; The long bar is covered in reflective metal that reflects soft light; The entire restaurant is lined with walnut walls.


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meredith's page: STOCKING THE... BATH? I’ll admit it. I’m a product junkie. Kitchen gadgetry and entertaining bits and pieces aside, I relish discovering new bath and beauty products. Finding tomato, bergamot, parsley, and even Whoopie Pie inspired products makes this product junkie oh so happy—and isn’t that what summer’s about? Happiness.

– Meredith

Fruit, Vegetable, Fragrance I’ve been a fan of Demeter’s Tomato line for years. The fragrance is straight out of the garden. 4 oz. bottle, $25

meredith@spensermag.com

Wash Your Mouth Out

Aesop, a Melbourne, Australia based product line, established in 1987, has been a long favorite of mine. Their mouthwash, which launched earlier this year, combines essential oils of spearmint, anise seed, clove, and tea tree leaf for a perfectly balanced rinse. 500 mL bottle, $25

Caffeinated Shower

With this foaming body wash, I get a hit of caffeine even before my first cup of coffee. 17 oz. bottle, $15

30 | spensermag.com | summer 2013


Whoop! Whoop!

Yeah, that’s right, Whoopie Pie-inspired shea butter hand cream. Layered cake creaminess abound. 2.4 oz. tube, $14

Scent of an Orange

Blood orange from Italy, bitter orange from Spain, and red mandarin from Italy are combined in this cologne with jasmine, geranium, and black pepper notes—pure orange glory for a summer day. 200 mL bottle, $155

Guava Soufflé

Coconut oil, pure cane sugar crystals, and honey all whipped into a body scrub soufflé of delicious enjoyment. 16 oz. tub, $34

Goat Soap

A soap with oils of palm, olive, coconut, castor, and essential oils of bergamot and teak made on a goat farm south of Houston. 6 oz. bar, $14

Pepped Up Hydration

Goat’s milk and aloe vera combine in a black pepper, coriander, black tea, and basil fragrance used to soothe dry skin and perk up the senses. 250 mL bottle, $18

summer 2013 | spensermag.com

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TERRA COLLECTION SUMMER 2013

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season's sweet:

SHAKEN NOT STIRRED

The Ice Cream Bar in San Francisco is a throwback to an earlier time. A full service, 1930’s style soda fountain, it offers up house-made ice cream, malts, phosphates, and other sweet treats using herbal extracts, tinctures, and specialized acids. Owner Juliet Pries cut no corners when building out the interior, even transporting an old soda fountain to San Francisco from its original location in Mackinaw City, Mich. So it was no surprise that Pries turned to bartender Russell Davis of Rickhouse to develop the soda fountain program for The Ice Cream Bar. Davis relished the opportunity, devoting the same level of intensive research to soda fountain drinks as for his original cocktails. The end result may well be the most serious effort at playful drinking in the entire country. All of Davis’ syrups are cold agitated and the ice is hand cut. There are more than 75 house-made tinctures lining the back wall and the soda jerks build their ice cream drinks with the care and expertise of a great bartender. For a true taste of summer, Davis takes fresh muddled watermelon and shakes it with cream, egg, and ice in the old-fashioned style. This frosty drink is summer in a glass and our favorite new application of fresh watermelon in many years.


Watermelon and Gardenia Milkshake Makes 1 milkshake 6 oz. (1 cup) fresh watermelon + more for garnish 2 whole eggs 2 oz. turbinado fountain syrup (see below) 1 oz. heavy whipping cream 1 drop gardenia extract (see below) 1. Add the watermelon to a cocktail shaker and lightly crush with a muddler. Next, add the raw eggs, turbinado syrup, heavy whipping cream, gardenia extract, and 3-5 walnut sized ice cubes to your shaker. Shake vigorously and like you mean it for 15-20 seconds. Strain (with a Hawthorne and fine strainer) into a frosted parfait glass. Garnish with a fresh watermelon wedge. Note: At The Ice Cream Bar, they hand shake 3 parts turbinado sugar with 2 parts water until the sugar dissolves. To make one drink, mix 3 tbsp. turbinado sugar with 2 tbsp. water. For a larger quantity mix ž cup turbinado sugar with ½ cup water. The syrup keeps for 2 months, refrigerated. To make the gardenia extract, mix 25 drops gardenia oil into 1 oz. high proof neutral grain spirit in a bottle with an eye dropper.


The Pitcher Inn

Warren, Vermont

C ONDE N AST G OLD L IST 2008-2013

“T HE W ORLD ’ S B EST P LACES TO S TAY ”

Located in the heart of a Vermont village, the Inn has eleven imaginative and whimsical rooms and suites and a celebrated restaurant, tavern and wine cellar. 802-496-6350 www.pitcherinn.com


season’s harvest: FRESH (GREEN) CHICKPEAS

Fresh chickpeas, also called garbanzo beans, ceci beans, or Bengal gram, are a welcome sight at the market this time of year. Protected by a thin paper-like shell, fresh chickpeas offer a unique vegetal sweetness in addition to their nutty flavor. These farm-fresh beans have a softer texture than the dried version and they vary in color from pale to dark green. First cultivated in the Middle East thousands of years ago, the classically green colored hummus that results from the use of fresh chickpeas is a sign of a new growing season in that region. The vast majority of the modern chickpea harvest takes place in India and Pakistan. Extremely tolerant of drought, these versatile legumes provide a needed source of protein for the large vegetarian populations in those two countries, but have also become staples of cuisine the world over. Here in the US, fresh chickpeas are typically found at local farmer’s markets, specialty produce shops, and Mexican grocers from April to October each year. Providing a great source of fiber, protein, and vitamins, you should use fresh chickpeas in the same way you would fresh fava beans or edamame. Steamed lightly in their shells, or quickly charred in a hot pan, they offer an easy and healthy snack that is ready in mere minutes. Fresh chickpeas can be stored in their pods for up to one week, but they should always be eaten as soon as possible after harvest before the natural sweetness fades.

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Good Eggs brings farm-to-fridge groceries right to you! Order online from the Bay Area's best local farmers and foodmakers and we'll deliver your groceries to your door. From seasonal produce to fresh bread to chef-made meals (and more!), you'll find great eats on Good Eggs.

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season's harvest:

Fresh Chickpea Salad with Sumac Vinaigrette Serves 4 as a side salad 4 cups fresh (green) chickpeas, shells removed (about 2 ½ lbs. in the shell) 2 bay leaves 5 sprigs thyme 2 cloves garlic, smashed 1 tsp. + ½ tsp. kosher salt 1 small shallot, diced ¼ tsp. crushed Aleppo pepper flakes ²⁄ ³ cup grapeseed oil 1 tsp. sumac 3 tbsp. champagne vinegar 1 tbsp. tahini ½ tsp. fresh ground black pepper ¼ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped ¼ cup fresh mint, chopped 1. Add the chickpeas, bay leaves, thyme, garlic, and 1 tsp. salt to a saucepan and cover with water by about 1 inch. Set the pan over high heat. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer over medium-low heat. Cook until the beans are tender, but not mushy, about 5 minutes depending on the age of the beans. 2. Remove the garlic, bay leaves, and thyme sprigs from the pan and then drain the chickpeas. Toss the chickpeas in a bowl with the kosher salt, half of the diced shallot, and red pepper flakes. Set aside at room temperature. 3. Warm the grapeseed oil and sumac together in a small pan set over low heat. Cook for 1 minute, allowing the sumac to flavor the oil. Add the remaining shallot, champagne vinegar, tahini, black pepper, and 1/2 tsp. salt to the bowl of a blender. With the motor running, drizzle in the flavored grapeseed oil. Continue blending until smooth and emulsified. 4. To finish the salad, toss the seasoned chickpeas with the parsley, mint, and salad dressing. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper.


Skillet-Charred Chickpeas Makes 2 cups as a snack 2 cups fresh (green) chickpeas, shells on 2 tsp. + 1 tsp. grapeseed oil 1 tsp. kosher salt 1. In a mixing bowl, stir together the chickpeas with 2 tsp. of the oil. Preheat a large cast iron-skillet over high heat until the handle becomes hot to the touch. Add the remaining 1 tsp. oil to the pan. Tilt the pan so it is coated by the oil and then add the chickpeas in a single layer. Leave chickpeas alone, allowing them to char for about 30 seconds. Start stirring the chickpeas with a wooden spoon, cooking them for another 1-2 minutes. Stir constantly. Remove from the pan to a paper towel and toss with the salt. Serve in a small bowl. Eat as you would a peanut, by separating and discarding the shell.

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butcher's block:

NEW MEANING TO MOUTHFEEL

If you’ve always shied away from tongue, head straight for the local taco truck for your first taste. Braised, steamed, or pressure cooked for hours, the tasty beef tongue is finely chopped and served with salsa, onions, and cilantro on fresh tortillas. If you get no further with beef tongue, the lengua taco is a worthy experience. But, if you’re ready to take the next step, beef tongue isn’t too different from the brisket that you'd normally use to make barbecue, corned beef, or pastrami. It does well in a braise or in the smoker and offers a richness that can’t be matched by many other cuts of meat, in part because it derives some 70% of its calories from fat. We turned to Ryan Farr, owner of 4505 Meats in San Francisco, to talk tips for preparing tongue. Farr is one of the few modern butchers who routinely offers beef, pork, and lamb tongue in his refrigerator cases and is a master at making tongue appetizing to even the most squeamish among us. A tough muscle that needs long, slow cooking, Farr’s favorite method of preparation is to cure, brine and then smoke the tongue, turning it into a flavorful pastrami. When shopping for tongue at the butcher shop, Farr says freshness is key. Skip anything with any amount of slime on it. Tongue actually freezes quite well if it's cryovaced and frozen just after the animal is slaughtered, so that can be a good option too. When you get the tongue back home from the butcher, Farr cautions against trying to peel the skin off until it is cooked. If you "peeled" it before cooking, he says, you'd have to actually trim it, and you'd lose some of the meat from the tongue in the process. summer 2013 | spensermag.com

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butcher's block:

Beef Tongue Pastrami Recipe by Ryan Farr Since pepper is by nature coarse and insoluble, it does not penetrate meat as easily as salt and sugar. Therefore, you’ve got to be really aggressive with the flavor here to get through that thick skin. When it comes to simmering the tongue, there is so much flavor already that I use water, but you can definitely use beef stock—hey, it would just liven up the party. I love to grill the tongue and serve it hot in big pieces or cold in thin slices. Yields about 3 pounds For Dry Cure 3 cups dextrose or granulated sugar ²⁄ ³ cup black peppercorns, coarsely ground 3 lbs. fine sea salt For Meat 3 ½ lbs. grass-fed beef tongue, rinsed & patted dry 10 cups Master Brine (recipe below) 1 cup black peppercorns, finely ground 1. In a spice grinder, combine the dextrose and coarsely ground peppercorns and process until finely ground, then thoroughly mix with the sea salt 2. Put half the cure into a nonreactive container (only just large enough to fit the tongue), and place the tongue on top. Dump the remaining cure on top and massage the mix deeply into both sides of the meat, rubbing it in well. Cover the container thoroughly with several layers of overlapping plastic wrap, running it around the base of the container several times to be sure it is airtight. 3. Cure the tongue in the refrigerator without disturbing it for 2 days, then flip the tongue over, rub once more with the cure, and rewrap as before. Again, cure without disturbing for 2 days longer. 4. After 4 days, the salt cure will be slightly wet and crusty; scrape off the salt clusters, loosening the cure, and discard. 5. Combine the Master Brine and finely ground peppercorns in a tall, narrow nonreactive container only just large enough to hold the tongue upright and submerged. Once the brine is completely cold, add the tongue and lay a sheet of

parchment paper over the top so that no part of the meat will be exposed to oxygen; weight with a sterilized plate to keep the meat submerged. Cure in the refrigerator for 8 days. 6. Pat the tongue dry. If you like, hot-smoke the tongue over hickory chips at 275°F for 4 hours before the next step. (Ryan recommends that you not skip or deviate from this step - Ed.) 7. Place the tongue in a large pot and cover with water. Simmer very gently for 6 hours, topping off the water when necessary to keep the tongue submerged. When it has finished cooking, the tongue should be nice and tender. Leave it in the cooking liquid, and let cool to room temperature. Transfer the tongue, still in the liquid, to the refrigerator and let stand overnight (this resting time helps the smoky flavor fully penetrate the meat). 8. Discard the water, which will have a very strong salty-smoky flavor (or use it as part of the liquid for a tongue soup). To serve, peel off the skin and cut it crosswise into thin slices. Enjoy!

Master Brine

Recipe by Ryan Farr This recipe is a starting point, but there are many possible variations. If you’re not a fan of hot flavors, go ahead and omit the chiles. Always use a tall, narrow nonreactive container only just large enough to hold the protein, so the brine will go as far up as possible. The brine must cover the protein completely, so scale the quantities here up or down as necessary. Yields 1 gallon and 1 quart 2 cups granulated sugar 2 ½ cups kosher salt ¼ cup whole black peppercorns 6 tbsp. whole coriander seeds 3 small dried bird’s-eye or Thai chiles 16 cups water 1. Combine everything in a large pot and bring to a boil. Once the sugar and salt have dissolved, remove from the heat. Transfer to a tall nonreactive container that will fit in your refrigerator and let it sit uncovered to cool. When the brine is at room temperature, refrigerate until it is completely cold. Add the meat, and brine as directed.


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HOT summer COLD With the mercury rising, we’ve decided to pull together our favorite cold brewed coffees from around the country for our first ever single subject primer. The coffees listed on the next few pages are sure to hit the spot this summer. To be on the list, the cold brew had to be bottled and available retail, either in grocery stores or local coffee shops. A number of delicious brands are getting broader and broader distribution, but there are also single location coffee shops offering top-notch cold coffee across the country.


Dark Matter Chocolate City (Chicago, Ill.) This blend of natural beans from Brazil & Uganda is house roasted and shocked in cold water to preserve flavor, before being—surprise!—hot brewed to extract beans’ flavor. They named the chilled beverage after a 1975 Parliament song, perhaps due to its fitting lyrics: “Chocolate city is no dream. It’s my piece of the rock and I dig you.”

La Colombe (Philadelphia, Pa.) Beans from Corsica are steeped for 16 hours in stainless steel wine tanks, free from oxygen, before being pressed and filtered twice. The only heat that reaches Pure Black is during flash pasteurization at the end of the process. Each bottle is topped off with a drop of liquid nitrogen to enhance consumers’ experiences opening and pouring the brew.

Stumptown Cold Brew (Portland, Ore.) The long-reigning king of small-batch roasters originally decided to store their cold brew in 10.5-ounce dark amber stubbies (a la Red Stripe) in order to cut down on plastic cups, straws, and lids. The packaging is perfect for sitting on a porch swing in the summertime: load up a cooler, crack open a cold one (they’re twist-offs), and listen to the bottle glug.

Birch Cold Brew (New York, N.Y.) The affectionately named “Brrrch” comes in half-gallon growlers filled to the brim with Rainforest Alliance-approved beans, blended especially for the cold brew, roasted by New York’s own Coffee Labs Roasters, and Filtron-brewed. They’re even available for milk man style delivery direct from the shop to most of Manhattan via Birch’s unique jug subscription service.


READY TO DRINK

Chilmark Cold Brew (Chilmark, Mass.)

Passion House Cold Brew (Chicago, Ill.) This small-batch, independent roaster unites coffee culture and community in Chicago— their label was inspired by the Windy City’s red, white, and blue flag. The owners use single origins, often choosing to buy from family coffee businesses that have grown over generations. This particular brew, the El Limonar, tastes of brown sugar, chocolate, and maple.

The folks at Chilmark spent their very first winter of operation using local chef friends as guinea pigs while experimenting to find the perfect recipe for their summer cold brews. Named Menemsha Mud after the fishing village in the northernmost part of Martha’s Vineyard, these cold coffees are made with seasonal, organic, and fair-trade beans. Try the regular medium grind roast and an espresso roast, which are both steeped for 24 hours in crystal clear Chilmark water.

Barefoot Coffee Cold Brew (San Jose, Calif.) Barefoot, whose logo is a compass encircled by a stain left from the bottom of a coffee mug, prides itself on using seasonal Direct Trade beans, hand selected and purchased by the owners while travelling to various micro farms. Their bottled brew is crafted from these relationships, freshly roasted beans, and cold pressed via an 18-hour extraction procedure.


Seaworth Sludge (Costa Mesa, Calif.) Inspired by their love of the sea and hand-crafted coffee, the owners of Seaworth set out on a mission to manufacture a decent cold brew in So Cal. After extensive experimentation they’ve developed an 18 hoursteeped, double-filtered process using only locally roasted, fairtrade, organic beans, purified water—and to top it all off—glass bottles from L.A., only a 40 minute drive from where they brew.

Secret Squirrel Concentrate (Los Angeles, Calif.) A customized blend of organic, fair trade, non-GMO coffee beans are steeped for 18 to 24 hours in this potent beverage—the owners recommend milk or water to dilute. While other cold brew retailers are going with vintage-inspired package design, Secret Squirrel uses an aesthetically appealing two-tone logo to forward its unique personality that is both refined and playful.

Kickstand Cold Brew (Brooklyn, N.Y.) The team that started Brooklyn’s favorite coffee peddlers now delivers weekly batches of cold brew right to enthusiasts’ doorsteps. Each Filtron-brewed bottle of concentrate is made using single-origin beans from NYC’s own Café Grumpy, and comes without a label—instead there is a charming tag adorning the bottleneck with a hand-stamped roast date and hand-written bean origin.


CONCENTRATE

Slingshot Cold Brew (Raleigh, N.C.) Every bottle of either Concentrated or Ready-to-Drink Slingshot cold brew is handcrafted in batches of less than three gallons at their North Carolina location. Using only filtered tap water from the "City of Oaks" and carefully selected organic, seasonal, single origin beans roasted by Counter Culture Coffee, the owner adjusts her recipe depending on the specific beans in each blend. Every bottle is marked with a hand-applied label, complete with hand-written date and origin specifications that make each cup unique and personal.

Chameleon Cold Brew (Austin, Texas) Chameleon was established in 2010 as an experimental startup that only brews cold: the 100% organic, fair trade certified Arabica beans are steeped in filtered water, low and slow, for 16 hours before the dedicated team of entrepreneurs and “coffeenistas” strain and funnel the remains into 16 or 32 ounce recyclable glass bottles, playfully alluding to a chemistry lab.

Joe Van Gogh Cold Brew (Chapel Hill, N.C.) JVG has spent two decades cultivating relationships with farmers, co-ops, plantations, and brokers who provide their seasonal green beans. They consider roasting an art to be adjusted for each bean and its destination. The beans, roast, and process are all catered specifically to creating the ideal cup of cold brew—each bottle with a hand-written brew date so you know it’s fresh.

Kohana Cold Brew (Austin, Texas) Kohana Cold Brew is a first of its kind developed by its owners as a shelf-stable cold brew good for up to one year. Organic, fair trade, and highly concentrated—one 32 ounce bottle is good for 12 to 15 beverages.


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FLAVORED/SWEETENED

Dave’s Cold Brew Syrup (Charlestown, R.I.) While Dave’s cold brew isn’t a drinkable coffee but rather a tasty syrup, this family business takes ownership of their brew from start to finish. It all starts with a select Brazilian bean Dave’s roasts specifically for their syrup, then the beans rest for two days before they’re ground and brewed for 18 hours in a stainless steel kettle, drained and sweetened with pure cane sugar, simmered and slightly caramelized for over an hour, and finally bottled in glass. Try it shaken with milk and ice.

Grady’s New Orleans Style (Brooklyn, N.Y.)

Hop! Toddy Cold Brew (Kansas City, Mo.) In order to add dimension to their cold coffee, the owners of Oddly Correct decided to add an extra ingredient to their brew process—pairing different beans with complementing or contrasting varietals of hops, thereby distinguishing themselves from every other cold brew on the market.

Though they’re headquartered in Brooklyn, Grady’s pays homage to New Orleans—where cold brew has a long history—by steeping the ground beans with ground chicory and spices in water overnight before it is twice filtered. Each bottle is topped-off with a “born” sticker on the cap, so you know exactly when your coffee was hand-brewed and poured into the stylish, typographic bottle.

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story & photography by Heidi Murphy


I sit at the intersection of four dirt roads in an open expanse of rolling green deep in the state of Vermont. Lulled by the soft breeze blowing through the field and the gentle hum of the idling car engine, there is little urge to do anything more than stare off into the distance. This is God’s country if there ever was. I shift into gear, take a slow right turn and, with dust starting to kick up behind me, head towards a canopy of tree cover, through a tunnel of branches in some of the most beautiful land that I've seen. The bumpy ride isn’t long and I arrive at a white farmhouse, built in the 1800’s, complete with covered porch and metal porch chairs from a time gone by. A hand-painted sign next to the door quietly heralds my arrival - "Animal Farm Orwell Vt." Across the way, a herd of Jersey Cows lazily takes notice as they graze on a pasture in the mid-morning sun. Diane St. Clair, the farm’s owner and operator, gives a wave from the barn and meets me in the yard. Warm and welcoming and with true Vermont hospitality, she invites me into her home for a chat and a scone, still warm in its cast iron pan. And served on the side, butter. THE butter. Butter that is so special, it’s only served at restaurants of particular acclaim like Chef Thomas Keller’s French Laundry and Per Se, and Chef Barbara Lynch’s No. 9 Park. Put another way, this butter is such a treasure that Diane doesn’t even really eat it as “it’s just too special.” But there it sits, like a nugget of gold on the


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edge of my plate. I first taste it off of the end of my knife and comment on how sweet it is with the perfect touch of salinity. To my surprise, neither sugar nor salt had been added. I spread the butter over the end of the scone, break off a small piece, and pop it in my mouth. Once again, I catch myself just staring off into the distance at another expanse of green peeking out through the kitchen window. Diane’s butter is made the way butter should be made, the way it was made years ago, by hand, with milk from her small herd of Jersey Cows. The Animal Farm creamery is directly adjacent to Diane’s barn, where her eight milking cows are all individually milked twice a day. Each session produces a 50-pound bucket, holding about 5 gallons of fresh milk, which is then immediately hand-carried to the creamery. This process takes a bit of time, not only for the thoughtful process of milking the animals, but for all the head scratches and the individual attention that Diane gives to each of her “ladies.” Diane didn’t always work with cows, nor was she born on a farm. After years of working in public health in Manhattan, ten years ago she moved north with her family to live life at a different pace. She moved to a place that was defined by canning and preserving in the summer and fall, and by boiling fresh maple syrup right in your neighbor’s sugarhouse in the early spring. Farming wasn’t part of the plan. In fact, she bought her first cow simply “because I really liked cows.” But then faced with the problem “of what to do with all this milk,” she thought she would try her hand at butter since so many others were making cheese.

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Opposite Page: Diane St. Clair in the process of making butter at her small creamery in Orwell, Vt.


The process of making butter produces this amazing by-product – buttermilk, the liquid remaining after butter is churned from cream. This is not the buttermilk found on a traditional grocery store shelf, but the buttermilk of generations past, so wonderfully viscous and the perfect combination of rich and tart. Diane is a buttermilk expert and evangelist, so it is no surprise that her new book, "The Animal Farm Buttermilk Cookbook," is chockfull of sweet-to-savory recipes all based around buttermilk, the full of the history of butter making, the folklore around buttermilk, and snippets from life on a working Vermont dairy farm. As part of Diane’s daily process, she hand separates the cream that has risen on each day’s milk. She pasteurizes this cream, cools it, and adds a lactic acid culture. Over the course of the next 24 hours, bacteria cultures do their magic, increasing the acidity of the cream and lowering its pH. At the same time, the casein, the primary milk protein, precipitates, causing the “clabbering” (souring) of the cream. This ripened cream is now crème fraîche, and is ready to be churned into butter. Through churning, the milk fats separate from the other parts of the cream and bond together. What are left in the churn are butter “grains” and the water-based portion of the cream – buttermilk. The butter is then hand-rinsed of milk on a marble slab to avoid spoiling and the buttermilk is poured-off to be bottled later. As I watch Diane methodically perform this process, I ask how her butter, with its humble beginnings, made it to the tables of some of the finest restaurants in the world. It turns out, that is just an enchanting bit of happenstance. Diane thought that she spring 2013 | spensermag.com | 89


Diane St. Clair with her cow, Lena.


made pretty good butter. “It tasted great to me,” but “who would really know what great butter should taste like?” She thought of Thomas Keller, a rising star in the food world at the time, with his roots in classic French cooking. Diane decided to write him a handwritten note, not with the intention of selling her wares but really looking for expert feedback on her farmstead butter. The chef agreed to taste a sample and a package was shipped overnight. In less than 24 hours she received a personal call from him with a request that she send all of the butter she had on hand. The partnership grew from there, from one cow to a small herd – eight milking cows, 2-two years olds, and one yearling – and an elite clientele of some of the country’s most highly acclaimed chefs. Those chefs are an integral part of the process. Diane finds purpose through the feedback that she receives from those with whom she works. And with such a small production, she is able to engage in personal conversations with each of her customers. Last season, for example, the milk from her cows yielded, on average, only 10-12 pounds of butter daily. “I don’t make $4.00 a pound butter,” Diane says. “When it’s 5 a.m. and I’m in the barn and it’s 20 degrees below zero, this has to have purpose. Knowing where my butter lands, gives meaning to all of the hard work.” The small yield, however, isn’t of much financial concern to Diane. She isn’t planning to capitalize on her success with any rapid expansion. “My herd is manageable,” she adds. “If it were to get any bigger, it would become more about operating and managing a creamery instead of being hands-on with my cattle and what I produce.” After Diane has completed the rinsing, butter is formed into balls the size of a small peach. They are packaged, refrigerated, and shipped weekly around the country. If any odds and ends of butter remain, they are sometimes available at a Middlebury food co-op throughout the year and Saxelby Cheesemongers in New York City during the holidays.

Her buttermilk is available throughout New England through specialty grocers, which is thrilling because as I spy the iconic milk glass on Diane's counter, I think that this is not the last time that I will want her buttermilk. I watch the glass fill, fresh from the churn, and so thick that it coats the glass. The liquid tastes so perfectly tangy and rich that I imagine it blended with a small handful of fresh berries and a spot of Vermont maple syrup to make a perfect smoothie. As the afternoon milking starts anew, I wander out of the barn, crawling through the fence into the pasture with her awaiting cows. These gentle giants with the huge doe eyes are as curious as they are pretty and as wide as they are tall. They are a herd of varying shades of fawn and aren’t necessarily keen on being approached with my camera but quick to advance and deliver a big wet lick when I’m looking the other way. Jersey’s are a European breed, named after their place of origin in the British Isles, and valued for their rich milk that is high in butterfat. Even after just a few hours on the farm, it is supremely evident that Diane operates with ultimate respect for these animals, their needs, and for the milk that they provide. Of course, the very nature of a cow providing mother’s milk leads to questions about the circle of life here on the farm. Certainly, a relationship is developed with each of these animals and, as with everything else in life, there comes a time when that relationship has to end. Diane tell the story of one of her older cows – one that gave great milk for years but was getting older and had started to have some medical issues. The kindest decision was made to end her life. Diane made the appointment to have the cow humanely slaughtered, loaded her into a trailer and drove her there herself. The meat was donated to a local food bank and Diane left that experience with an incredibly poignant thought – this cow gave the milk enjoyed as butter by some of the wealthiest in the world, and, in the end, gave her life to feed some of the poorest. Quite a legacy.


Chilled Buttermilk and Shrimp Soup Recipe by Diane St. Clair This elegant but easy cold soup is almost austere in its restrained flavors. Greek yogurt thickens it up, a hefty spoonful of mustard powder adds sharpness and brightness, shrimp and cucumber add a little chewiness and crunch, and black pepper offers a pleasing spicy heat. It could not be easier to make. If you like, reserve several shrimp for garnish. Butterfly each one by slicing it down the middle, so you can open it like a little book and float it with a dill frond in the bowl just before serving. Makes 4 to 6 servings 4 cups buttermilk 1 6-ounce container plain full-fat Greek yogurt 1 tbsp. English-style mustard powder 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar 1 tsp. salt 1 tsp. sugar ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper 8 oz. medium cooked shrimp, shelled and coarsely chopped, plus 4 to 6 whole shrimp for garnish ½ seedless cucumber, peeled and diced 2 tbsp. chopped fresh dill, plus a few fronds for garnish 1. In a bowl or jug, whisk the buttermilk with the yogurt, mustard powder, vinegar, salt, sugar, and pepper. Chill in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours, until very cold. 2. Just before serving, stir in the shrimp, cucumber, and dill. Taste and adjust the seasoning as desired. Serve garnished with the whole shrimp and dill fronds.


Summer Corn Pudding Recipe by Diane St. Clair In the summer when the corn comes in, many people eat their fill of corn on the cob in the first week or two, and then start to wonder what else to do with it. This is a classic recipe for corn pudding, but adding buttermilk instead of milk makes a sort of cheesy curd that clings to the sweet corn kernels in the finished dish. The smoky, slightly sweet flavor of ancho chile powder is perfect with the corn, but if you leave it out, you’ll have a simple corn pudding that tastes purely of fresh corn. Try it both ways. Makes 6 to 8 servings 10 ears corn 4 eggs, whisked together 1 ½ cups buttermilk ½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted 2 tsp. ancho chile powder 1 ½ tsp. salt 1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 2-quart casserole dish. 2. Cut the kernels off the corn and place in a large bowl. Add the eggs, buttermilk, flour, butter, ancho chile powder, and salt and stir to combine well. Pour into the prepared dish and bake for 40 minutes, or until puffed and golden. Serve hot.


Ad Hoc Buttermilk Fried Chicken Recipe by Thomas Keller If there’s a better fried chicken, I haven’t tasted it. First, and critically, the chicken is brined for 12 hours in a herb-lemon brine, which seasons the meat and helps it stay juicy. The flour is seasoned with garlic and onion powders, paprika, cayenne, salt, and pepper. The chicken is dredged in the seasoned flour, dipped in buttermilk, and then dredged again in the flour. The crust becomes almost feathered and is very crisp. Fried chicken is a great American tradition that’s fallen out of favor. A taste of this, and you will want it back in your weekly routine. Serves 4 to 6 Two 2 1/2- to 3-pound chickens (See note on chicken size) Chicken Brine, cold (See recipe on our blog) For Dredging and Frying Peanut or canola oil for deepfrying 1 quart buttermilk Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper Coating 6 cups all-purpose flour ¼ cup garlic powder ¼ cup onion powder 1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. paprika 1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. cayenne 1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. kosher salt 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper Ground fleur de sel or fine sea salt Rosemary and thyme sprigs for garnish

2. Remove the chicken from the brine (discard the brine) and rinse under cold water, removing any herbs or spices sticking to the skin. Pat dry with paper towels, or let air-dry. Let rest at room temperature for 1 1/2 hours, or until it comes to room temperature. 3. If you have two large pots (about 6 inches deep) and a lot of oil, you can cook the dark and white meat at the same time; if not, cook the dark meat first, then turn up the heat and cook the white meat. No matter what size pot you have, the oil should not come more than one-third of the way up the sides of the pot. Fill the pot with at least 2 inches of peanut oil and heat to 320°F. Set a cooling rack over a baking sheet. Line a second baking sheet with parchment paper. 4. Meanwhile, combine all the coating ingredients in a large bowl. Transfer half the coating to a second large bowl. Pour the buttermilk into a third bowl and season with salt and pepper. Set up a dipping station: the chicken pieces, one bowl of coating, the bowl of buttermilk, the second bowl of coating, and the parchment-lined baking sheet. 5. Just before frying, dip the chicken thighs into the first bowl of coating, turning to coat and patting off the excess; dip them into the buttermilk, allowing the excess to run back into the bowl; then dip them into the second bowl of coating. Transfer to the parchment-lined pan.

6. Carefully lower the thighs into the hot oil. Adjust the heat as necessary to return the oil to the 1. Cut each chicken into 10 piec- proper temperature. Fry for 2 minutes, then carefully move the es: 2 legs, 2 thighs, 4 breast quarchicken pieces around in the oil ters, and 2 wings. Pour the brine and continue to fry, monitoring into a container large enough to the oil temperature and turning hold the chicken pieces, add in the chicken, and refrigerate for 12 the pieces as necessary for even cooking, for 11 to 12 minutes, until hours (no longer, or the chicken the chicken is a deep golden may become too salty).

brown, cooked through, and very crisp. Meanwhile, coat the chicken drumsticks and transfer to the parchment-lined baking sheet. 7. Transfer the cooked thighs to the cooling rack skin-side-up and let rest while you fry the remaining chicken. (Putting the pieces skin-side-up will allow excess fat to drain, whereas leaving them skin-side-down could trap some of the fat.) Make sure that the oil is at the correct temperature, and cook the chicken drumsticks. When the drumsticks are done, lean them meat-side-up against the thighs to drain, then sprinkle the chicken with fine sea salt. 8. Turn up the heat and heat the oil to 340°F. Meanwhile, coat the chicken breasts and wings. Carefully lower the chicken breasts into the hot oil and fry for 7 minutes, or until golden brown, cooked through, and crisp. Transfer to the rack, sprinkle with salt, and turn skin side up. Cook the wings for 6 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through. Transfer the wings to the rack and turn off the heat. 9. Arrange the chicken on a serving platter. Add the herb sprigs to the oil (which will still be hot) and let them cook and crisp for a few seconds, then arrange them over the chicken. We let the chicken rest for 7 to 10 minutes after it comes out of the fryer so that it has a chance to cool down. If the chicken has rested for longer than 10 minutes, put the tray of chicken in a 400°F oven for a minute or two to ensure that the crust is crisp and the chicken is hot. Note on Chicken Size: You may need to go to a farmers’ market to get these small chickens. Grocery store chickens often run 3 to 4 pounds. They can, of course, be used in this recipe but if chickens in the 2 ½- to 3-pound range are available to you, they’re worth seeking out. They’re a little easier to cook properly at the temperatures we recommend here and, most important, pieces this size result in the optimal meat-to-crust proportion, which is such an important part of the pleasure of fried chicken.


Republished with permission from Ad Hoc at Home. Copyright Š 2011. Published by Artisan Books.


Mint-Lemon Buttermilk Ice Pops Recipe by Diane St. Clair The unabashedly tart, flavor of these ice pops may make them seem decidedly for grown-ups, but they’re not short on sweetness, either, so don’t be surprised if you find children clamoring for them. The mint adds a delicate hint of flavor and a little color, but if you prefer, leave it out. They’ll still be delicious. If you don’t have four 6-ounce plastic ice pop molds (or six 4-ounce molds), pour the mixture into 4-ounce paper cups arranged on a baking sheet. Put the baking sheet in the freezer, and when the mixture is half frozen and slushy, push wooden craft sticks into the mixture and freeze until firm. If you don’t have craft sticks, you can substitute plastic forks or spoons. To eat ice pops, frozen in paper cups, don’t try to pull them out of the cups. Just peel the paper off instead. Makes four 6-ounce or six 4-ounce pops 2 ½ cups buttermilk ¾ cup sugar Juice and zest of 2 lemons 1 tsp. finely chopped fresh mint leaves ¼ tsp. salt 1. Place the buttermilk, sugar, lemon juice and zest, mint, and salt in a bowl with a pouring lip or into a large jug. Stir vigorously until sugar dissolves. 2. Divide among the ice pop molds and freeze for a few hours, or until firm. All Diane St. Clair recipes republished with permission from The Animal Farm Buttermilk Cookbook. Copyright © 2013. Published by Andrews McMeel.

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summer 2013 | spensermag.com

| 69


Enter July 1-31!

Enter your Good Food and be part of the national initiative to recognize excellence in taste and sustainability with past judges including Alice Waters, Ruth Reichl and Michael Pollan. BEER CHARCUTERIE CHEESE CHOCOLATE COFFEE CONFECTIONS OILS PICKLES PRESERVES SPIRITS

GOODFOODAWARDS.ORG FROM THE GOOD FOOD MERCHANTS GUILD


story by Kevin West

photography by Rick Poon


When I lived in Paris, there was a little traiteur near my apartment on the Left Bank, and on nights when I didn’t feel like cooking or going out, I’d pick up the plat du jour—chicken stewed in wine, duck confit, rabbit roasted with thyme—and a portion of potatoes baked in cream. The shop also sold patés and, to go with them—always—a scoop of cornichons, which would be ladled out of an earthenware jug and would include—if you were lucky—a pearl onion among the tiny gherkins. After I moved to California, I wanted to make cornichons, but could never find the right-sized cucumbers, until farmer James Birch of Flora Bella Farm showed up at the market one June with a crate of pinkie-long gherkins, spiny and gritty with sand. They may have been a smidge larger than the ones I ate in Paris, but their dense, crisp texture made cornichons exactly as I remembered: flavored with fresh tarragon, but not too much, and interspersed with a few cocktail-sized onions. By the time I made those California cornichons, I had been pickling hard-core for several years, and the cornichon recipe I developed was one of the last to get squeezed into my cookbook, "Saving the Season: A Cook’s Guide to Home Canning, Pickling, and Preserving." By rights it shouldn’t have made it in at all: I had already submitted a manuscript that more than doubled my original outline, with 220 recipes for sweet and savory preserves as well as fermented vegetables and other things in jars. But my book editor was a touch francophile, as are most East Coast foodies over 35, and she agreed when I insisted that we needed cornichons. And here’s why: the real secret ingredient to cornichons is not the tarragon or even the onions. It’s the most obvious ingredient, vinegar. You have to use the best quality vinegar, one you can sip straight and would use to dress a dinnerparty salad. If my California cornichons tasted like French cornichons, it was because I made mine with good French white wine vinegar. A general pickling principal, or perhaps even the cardinal rule of pickling, can be extrapolated from this one test case. Whereas sweet preserves depend largely on the quality of the fruit— good fruit makes good jam—the quality of a pickle is in the brine, and good vinegar makes good brine. Of course you should always use fresh, crisp, young vegetables for a pickle, but the strongest flavor of a pickle comes from the brine, so the brine has to count. (The same rule also applies to lacto-fermented pickles, described below.) The word pickle long ago migrated to England from Teutonic Europe, where it likely originated in the obscure past from a root word meaning “a thing that pricks or has piquancy.” In the decades after Chaucer’s death in 1400, early English cookery books described ways to “Pikkyll” wild ducks and “Pigell” fresh sturgeon. By Shakespeare’s day, the spelling had stabilized and the process of making pickles with either salt-brine or vinegar was familiar enough that the playwright could exploit pickling for dramatic purpose.

68 | spensermag.com | spring 2013


In Antony and Cleopatra, the smitten queen learns from a messenger that Antony is already married, and she vents her rage by hitting the poor servant as she screams:  Thou shalt be whipped with wire and stewed in brine, / Smarting in ling’ring pickle. --II, V, 65-66 The messenger was, to use our modern idiom, in danger of finding himself “in a pickle”—an uncomfortable situation that might “prick” or “smart.” On another usage note, pickle is one of those words that is both verb and noun— the process and the product. The pickle’s characteristic sour taste comes from acidity, which apart from adding the piquancy also prevents low-acid foods such as vegetables, meats, and eggs from spoiling: an acidic environment below pH 4.6 halts the growth of pathogenic bacteria including Clostridium botulinum, the cause of botulism. Fresh pickles can be safely stored in the refrigerator or other cool place, or they may be canned for long term shelf storage by using the boiling-water method. Just so this is clear: acidity is the silver bullet against botulism, so a properly tangy pickle will not—cannot—kill you. Vinegar pickles, sometimes called “quick” pickles, obviously get their acidity from vinegar, which is often

70 | spensermag.com | spring 2013

tempered by sugar and seasoned with salt and spices. Vinegar is the preservative, not an optional ingredient, so the recipe’s ratio of vinegar to water cannot be changed willy-nilly. (The general rule-of-thumb is 1 part vinegar to 1 part water. Straight vinegar is ok, too, but do not dilute the vinegar beyond 1:1.) Always use commercial vinegar, which has a controlled acidity, and check the label to insure that it is marked 5% or higher—most are. It’s acceptable to replace one type of 5% vinegar with another to swap apple cider vinegar for white wine vinegar, for instance. It’s also acceptable to change the amount of salt, sugar, and spice to taste. And you can scale up recipes to suit your quantities, but smaller batches are quicker, cheaper, and easier to manage. Another variation is relish—pickle by a different name— chopped or ground vegetables covered with vinegar brine or sweetened vinegar syrup. Fermented or brined pickles—which include kosher dills, dilly beans, kimchi, and sauerkraut— derive their acidity from the metabolic action of a host of beneficial bacteria. The process is sometimes called lacto-fermentation, because the brine’s teeming micro-ecology is dominated by lactobacillus bacteria, which also turns milk into yogurt and cheese. With brined pickles, the beneficial bacteria


acidify the pickling environment, creating a delicious flavor and protecting the pickled vegetable (and the pickle eater) against pathogenic microbes, including the bacteria responsible for botulism. From a 30,000 foot perspective, fermentation can be viewed as controlled decomposition, since the bacteria feed on the vegetable “substrate” and transform it from its fresh condition. But, ironically, their action also dramatically slows the less desirable kind of decay that leads to putrefaction. Sandor Katz, author of "The Art of Fermentation," talks about fermenting as the “creative space” between fresh food and spoiled food. He also notes that fermentation is very safe: the Centers for Disease Control has never reported a case of food-borne illness caused by fermentation. Fermented pickles are very easy to prepare—submerge vegetables in brine— but they require some patience and vigilance. The motto for fermentation is “tend your crocks.” Your two main responsibilities are to keep the vegetables submerged and to skim the brine, a daily task.

Once the ferment gets going, after three or four days, bubbles will burp up from the deep, and patches of foam will float like spittle. A gossamer crepe of yeast will grow on the brine’s surface, spreading like a glacier to cover the entire surface overnight. The occasional polka dot of mold will appear. Don’t be worried by these signs of life. Skim off the floaters with a slotted spoon or your own clean hand. Lift out any mold specks and the yeasty scum. You won’t get it all, but then you’ll skim again tomorrow. Wipe down the walls of the crock with a damp paper towel if you find any mold growing there. Smell the brine. Taste it. Eat a pickle. How else are you going to know when they’re ready? Fermentation is really a micro-ecological succession or, if you prefer, a lifecycle that runs from fresh vegetables to old pickles. The flavor, texture and palatability of the product changes along the way, and you may find that you prefer fresh, “halfsour” pickles, or mature pickles that are very tangy and perhaps even slightly soft. When you’re happy with what’s in the crock, you can halt fermentation by refrigerating the pickles. They will keep

for several months, assuming you don’t eat them all right away. Pickling is trendy these days, but pickles are also as old as civilization: the Cambridge World History of Food speculates that the cabbage pickle known as kimchi dates back to the dawn of organized agriculture itself. From that distant past until the spread of electrical coolers over the past century, pickling was an essential method to preserve food for long term storage. Anything conceivably could be covered with vinegar or brine and called a pickle--and almost anything likely has been. Pickled herring, pickled eggs and pickled pigs’ feet are just a few isolated holdovers from a once-great pickling tradition that has dwindled dramatically in the age of refrigeration. The Portlandia battle cry, “We can pickle that,” is historically accurate, and it still holds true today. The following recipes are republished with permission from Saving the Season: A Cook's Guide to Home Canning, Pickling, and Preserving. Copyright © 2013. Published by Knopf.


Kevin's Canning Basics Prepping Jars: Wash your jars and lids in hot, soapy water and rinse them well. It is not necessary to sterilize the jars. Keep the washed jars in a 200°F oven until you're ready. Put the lids in a small pan of boiling water, and cover them until needed. Headspace: A jar is not filled to the rim. A certain amount of room is left, to allow its contents to expand during the boiling-water bath. If you don't allow the amount of headspace listed in the recipe, the product may "vent," or boil out, during the water bath, which could prevent the lid from sealing properly. Sealing: Wipe the rim clean with a damp paper towel, settle the flat lid in place, and screw on the ring until fingertip tight. Do not overtighten the ring. Processing: Canning is the technique of pasteurizing sealed jars in boiling water, thus rendering the product shelf-stable for long term storage. Once the jars are sealed, lower them into the water bath. Cover the pot and rapidly bring the water to a full rolling boil. Only then do you begin counting the processing time. After the designated time, turn off the heat and remove the jars from the water. Don't leave jars to cool in the water bath. Finishing: Allow the processed jars to cool on a dish towel, set out on your kitchen counter, overnight. The next morning, verify that they are properly sealed. Remove the ring, and press on the center of the lid. If the lid moves, or if the "button" in the center flexes, the seal has failed to set. The product in a failed jar is still safe to eatMartin if immediately stored in the Shelley works the potter’s wheel in refrigand used in the near future. her erator home studio.


Golden Beets with Ginger Recipe by Kevin West

skinny “tail” intact. Boil the beets whole in unsalted water for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a skewer pierces them easily.

Cider vinegar works well in this recipe because of its gentle piquancy and mild apple taste. Or you could indulge the golden beet with champagne vinegar instead.

2. Meanwhile, prepare the syrup. Combine all the remaining ingredients in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat, and set aside to steep.

Yields 4 pints

3. When the beets are tender, drain and plunge them into ice water. Slip them out of their skins, tidying up the root and stem ends with a knife as necessary. Halve or quarter the beets, depending on their size, and pack them snugly into four prepared pint jars.

6 lbs. small golden beets (6 to 8 bunches) 3 cups apple-cider, white-wine, or champagne vinegar 2 cups water ½ cup granulated white sugar ½ cup light-brown sugar 2-inch thumb of fresh ginger root, peeled and sliced 6 cloves 6 allspice berries 3 inches cinnamon stick 2 cardamom pods, lightly crushed 2 tsp. kosher salt 1. Trim the beet greens 1 inch above the root (save them for other uses), but leave the roots

4. Bring the syrup back to a boil, and ladle it into the jars through a fine-mesh strainer to catch the aromatics. Gently shake each jar as you fill it to settle the beets. Run a skewer or other thin implement around the inside to release air pockets. If necessary, top up the jars, leaving ½ inch headspace. Seal, and process the jars in a boiling-water bath for 30 minutes. Allow to cure for at least a week before opening.


Zucchini Dill Spears Recipe by Kevin West The zucchini plant is tireless, and down south people compete for new ways to describe how fast zucchini grow. My mom says that, after you pick a plant clean and walk away, you can glance back over your shoulder and see new ones that already need picking. When they’re small, zucchini make a delicious pickle. Choose the smallest ones you can find, less than 4 inches, to fit into pint jars. (Larger zucchini can be cut into spears.) Soaking them in cold brine will firm the texture, and on a scorching summer day, the ice-water bath also does wonders for the preserver, leaving both you and the zucchini as cool as a cucumber. Yields 4 pints 3 lbs. small zucchini ¼ cup plus 1 tbsp. kosher salt 12 fresh dill fronds 2 tsp. dill seeds 2 tsp. mustard seeds 1 tsp. coriander seeds ¼ tsp. saffron threads 4 cloves garlic, peeled and halved 4 small dried chili peppers, split lengthwise 2 ½ cups white-wine vinegar 1 cup water ¼ cup sugar 1. Scrub the zucchini well, and cut away the blossom ends. If they’re small enough to fit into the jar, cut them in half lengthwise. Otherwise, slice them into 4-inch spears. Toss the trimmed zucchini in a bowl with ¼ cup of the salt, the dill fronds, and a double handful of ice cubes. Add cold water to cover, and weight the zucchini with a plate. Leave for 2 hours. 2. Drain the zucchini in a colander, and rinse. Distribute the dill fronds and all the remaining aromatics among four prepared pint jars. 3. Combine the vinegar, water, sugar, and the remaining tbsp. of salt in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Working in batches, cook the zucchini for 2 minutes, until khaki colored and pliable. Pack them snugly into jars. 4. Once all the zucchini are cooked, ladle the hot syrup into the jars, leaving ½ inch headspace. Seal, and process in a boiling-water bath for 10 minutes. For a firmer texture, you can instead use a hot-water bath, between 180 and 185 degrees, for 30 minutes.


Watermelon Rind Pickles Recipe by Kevin West I don’t recall eating watermelon rind pickles when I was growing up, but people have often asked me about “those watermelon rind pickles from the South,” so I decided I should develop a recipe. They are a picnic pickle to serve with cold fried chicken, sliced ham, and creamy church-supper dishes like macaroni salad and squash casserole. Traditional watermelon rind pickles are almost candied: mine are less sweet, and I use red-wine vinegar as the base. Note that this is a two-day process. Yields 4 pints 3 ½ lbs. prepped watermelon rind (see procedure below), from a 12-to-14-lb. watermelon ¼ cup kosher salt 6 cups water 2 ½ cups red-wine vinegar 1 ½ cups sugar 2 tbsp. molasses ½ tsp. allspice berries ½ tsp. black peppercorns 5 cloves 3 to 5 dried red chiles 1 inch cinnamon stick 1. First cut the melon in half, then into quarters. Cut each quarter in half, and cut the resulting chunk into 1-inch slices. Using a sharp knife, slice the peel away from the flesh. (Save the flesh for the watermelon milkshake pg. 34 Ed.) Finally, use a vegetable peeler to remove the outermost dark-green rind, and discard the peelings. What’s left to use for the recipe is the pale-green inner rind. Cut each piece of rind into 1 ½-inch pieces, and place in a large mixing bowl.

2. Make a brine of the salt and water, and pour over the rinds. Weight them with a plate, cover the bowl with a clean dish towel, and set aside overnight. 3. The next day, drain the rinds and rinse with fresh water. Combine the vinegar, sugar, and molasses in a large saucepan, and bring to a boil. Crush the spices in a mortar, and add them to the pan. When the vinegar syrup boils, add the rinds to the pan, cover, and cook gently for 10 minutes, turning them into four prepared pint jars, leaving a generous ½ inch headspace. 4. Bring the syrup back to a boil, and pour it over the rinds to cover, leaving ½ inch headspace. Run a skewer or other thin implement around the inside edge of the jars to release any air pockets, and top up with more syrup as necessary. If you run short of syrup, top up the jars with straight red-wine vinegar. Wipe the rims, seal the jars, and process in a boiling water bath for 10-minutes. Wait a week or two before eating.


Fermented Green Beans Recipe by Kevin West This is my favorite of all the summer fermented pickles. The technique is the same as for kosher dills, but there is something uniquely appealing about the green bean’s appetizer size and the rich, almost yeasty, fermented flavor. Adjust the seasonings as you like, with more or less dill, chilies, peppercorns, or other spices. Yields 3 quarts 1 gallon bottled water 6 oz. salt 2 lbs. small green beans or yellow wax beans 4 flowering dill heads (or 4 to 6 dill fronds plus 2 tbsp. dill seeds) 6 small cloves garlic, crushed 3 dried red chilies, such as cayenne or chile de årbol 1 tsp. black peppercorns, crushed 1. Heat the water just enough to dissolve the salt. Allow to cool to room temperature. 2. Trim the stem ends from the beans. Layer them and the other ingredients in a 2-gallon crock or jar. Cover with brine. Weight the beans (with a plate or Ziploc bag filled with brine). Cover the crock with a plate, and set aside at room temperature. 3. Bubbles will begin to show in 4 or 5 days. Skim daily. The beans will be fully pickled in about 2 weeks. 4. Lift the beans out of the brine, using a slotted spoon, and pack them into three scalded quart jars. Strain the brine, and pour it into the jars to cover the beans completely. Store in the refrigerator for up to several months.


Mrs. Dorsey Brown’s Green Tomato Pickle Recipe by Kevin West Yields 3 ½ pints 4 lbs. green tomatoes 1 green bell pepper 1 red bell pepper 1 lb. white onions 1 or 2 dried hot chilies, split (remove the seeds to moderate heat to your taste) ½ cup kosher salt 2 ¼ cups apple-cider vinegar ¹⁄ ³ cup water 2 cups organic sugar ¼ cup molasses 1 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper 2 tsp. celery seeds 2 tbsp. mustard seeds 1. Halve the green tomatoes, trim the stem and blossom ends, and cut into ½-inch slices. Halve and core the peppers, and cut crosswise into ½-inch slices. Thinly slice the onions. Combine all the vegetables as well as the chilies in a large nonreactive mixing bowl, and toss with the salt. Set aside for 6 hours. 2. Pour off the salty liquid, and cover the vegetables with fresh water for 15 minutes. Drain again. 3. Put the vegetables in a large pot with the remaining ingredients. Taste, and add more chiles if necessary - it should have a pleasant burn. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 1 hour, stirring no more than necessary, to avoid breaking down the vegetables. 4. Using a slotted spoon, evenly divide the cooked vegetables among seven prepared ½-pint jars, and cover with the hot liquid, leaving ½ inch headspace. Run a skewer or other thin implement around the inside edge to remove air pockets, and top up with more liquid, if necessary. Seal the jars and process in a boiling-water bath for 10 minutes. Cure for at least 2 weeks before using, to allow the flavors to blend and mellow.


o c m t i u n o g b a t o y gether r o t s a VIA POST OAK AND PATIENCE

story by Mike Dundas photography by Meredith Paige


spring 2013 | spensermag.com

| 53


I

n the spring of 1999, the House of Representatives of the 76th Texas Legislature declared the small town of Lockhart to be the Barbecue Capital of Texas. At the same time the elected officials over in Austin were celebrating the town’s “appreciation for the extraordinary alchemy of post oak and patience,” a family feud was rising out of the smoke filled pits that supplied Lockhart’s best barbecue.

Most anywhere else, this fight would have been seen as nothing more than a landlordtenant dispute, but here, at Kreuz Market, a 100-year-old family owned temple of barbecue in the state of Texas, it quickly became a national news story. Lockhart, Texas sits on the old Chisholm Trail, used in the late 1800’s to move herds of cattle from vast Texas ranches north to Abilene, Kan., the railhead for the Kansas Pacific Railway. The migratory nature of the life on the trail brought together Native Americans, Mexican vaqueros, and German immigrants, whose varied cultures and food traditions combined to form the foundation of what Daniel Vaughn, author of "The Prophets of Smoked Meat: A Journey Through Texas Barbecue," calls the Central Texas “meat market” style of barbecue. “This style of barbecue is epitomized at Kreuz Market,” Vaughn

folks wouldn’t make it far, sitting out in the narrow hallway to eat the meat with their hands, perhaps adding a few side items from store. Vaughn believes that beef brisket, the staple of Central Texas barbecue, is the hardest cut of meat to master on the smoker. It will be tough, chewy, and fatty if you don’t transform it under low heat and smoke, he warns. The necessity of slow and low leads some to over compensate. “Barbecue can turn into an additive process if put in the wrong hands,” Vaughn says. “By that I mean, folks think if you just add more stuff to it, that will make it better.” The special nature of Texas barbecue is what you don’t add to it, believes Vaughn. The meat isn’t braised in butter and apple juice; there aren’t 15 ingredients in the dry rub; there is no sauce. There aren’t a whole lot of people who can take the simplest form of barbecue, just meat and seasoning and smoke and make it incredible. “That’s what makes Texas pitmasters so special,” he says. Charles Kreuz’s sons eventually took over the market, running it until 1948, when Edgar “Smitty” Schmidt, who had been working there from the age of 13, bought the business. In the 1960’s, with the barbecue side of the operation flourishing, Edgar made the decision to close the grocery store. He kept only the most popular “grocery items”—cheddar cheese, pickles, raw onions, avocados, crackers, white bread, and Louisiana

“It’s all about the meat without any composed sides, just meat on butcher paper that you eat with your hands.” - Daniel Vaughn told spenser in an interview “It’s all about the meat without any composed sides, just meat on butcher paper that you eat with your hands.”

style hot sauce—after watching customers eat them along with the smoked meat in the building’s small dining room or out in their cars in the back parking lot.

Kreuz Market (pronounced Krites) first opened its doors in 1900, operating as a meat market and grocery store steps away from the town square. Frugality and a lack of quality refrigeration at the turn of the 20th century led owner Charles Kreuz Sr. to look for an easy way to preserve the fresh cuts of beef that did not sell. Rather than letting the meat spoil, Kreuz cooked any large cuts of beef, like brisket, on a barbecue pit and used the trimmings and scraps to make sausage, which was also smoked.

To this day, little has changed. The meat, cheese, onions and other sides are still sold by the pound, served only on butcher paper, without sauce or forks. (Forks “are at the end of your arms” a sign says at Kreuz.)

The brick smoke pit that Kreuz built at the back of the building is quite unique. Vaughn describes it colorfully in Prophets, writing: “There’s a big, roaring fire right there in the floor. While in line, you’ll be blasted by its heat. Standing directly across from it might be comfortable on the coldest January day. The fire says plenty about this place. It burns quite literally on the floor right in front of you - there is no barrier around it. They assume that you won’t step into the fire because, well, because it’s fire.” Eager customers would buy Kreuz’s barbecue by the pound and since there were no plates or trays the smoked brisket and sausage would be wrapped in the store’s butcher paper. Some

In 1984, after 36 years running the business, Edgar Schmidt sold Kreuz Market to his two sons, Rick and Don. As part of the deal, Edgar kept ownership of the building, thus guaranteeing himself rental income in his retirement. Six years into the twenty year lease (constructed in five year segments with options to extend), Edgar passed away, bequeathing the building and the underlying land to his only daughter, Nina Sells. For a few years, everything was great. The business was thriving, fueled in part by the strong praise being heaped by the national food media on Kreuz’s brisket and sausage. But then, shortly after Don retired in 1997, it came time for Rick to negotiate the last five year lease option with his sister Nina. “Coming up on 1999, dad starting talking to his sister about either extending the lease or buying the building from her,” says Keith Schmidt, Rick’s son and the current owner of Kreuz Market. “She said ‘no. When the lease is ends in 2004, you’re out.’”


Large pieces of post oak burn in the traditional open floor pits at Kreuz Market in Lockhart, Texas.


James Fullilove, one of Nina’s two sons, recalls it differently. He thinks Rick had already planned on moving on and was simply looking for a little publicity to support a new location. “He had outgrown this place,” says James. “The business was too big for this building and Rick was ready to move.” Given their self-described stubborn nature, neither Nina nor Rick was going to run off and let the other take control of both the business and the building and neither was going to put money into fixing the building, buying new coolers, or rebuilding the aging pits without some promise of a return on investment. For Rick, that meant ownership of the building or a long term, 20 to 30 year lease. For Nina, it was equity in the business or increased rent. “That was it,” Keith says. “That’s what caused the split. If you think about it, it’s family. You will say and do things to your family that you wouldn’t ever do to strangers.” story continued on page 92

(Top photo, this page) Roy Perez, pitmaster, head meat cutter, and huge Elvis fan, at Kreuz Market, in Lockhart, Texas.

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1024

RESOLUTION

WHEREAS, Of all the many culinary arts mastered in the Lone Star State, none commands the type of respect and admiration that is accorded barbecue, and no community in Texas can best the city of Lockhart when it comes to an appreciation for the extraordinary alchemy of post oak and patience; and WHEREAS, The buckle of the Lone Star barbecue belt, Lockhart's fortuitous location witnessed the confluence of Plains Indians, Hispanic vaqueros, and German immigrants; the technique, substance, and skill of a variety of cultures combined to establish barbecue as a favorite food of many Texans; and WHEREAS, The city's role as a major center on the historic Chisholm Trail spurred the continued refinement of barbecue, and today Lockhart is home to some of the state's most historic, and best, barbecue establishments; and WHEREAS, There is Black's, owned by the same family since 1932, and Kreuz Market, which first fired its pits in 1900; founded in 1978, the Chisholm Trail Barbecue is a relative newcomer but, like the others, draws its share of fans from across Texas and indeed the United States; and WHEREAS, From Amarillo to Brownsville and from El Paso to Nacogdoches, the renown which Lockhart barbecue enjoys is indeed widespread, and it is justly fitting to acknowledge that city's preeminence at this time; now, therefore, be it RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives of the 76th Texas Legislature hereby recognize Lockhart as the Barbecue Capital of Texas and extend to the city's pit masters and other residents best wishes for continued success. By Green Speaker of the House

I certify that H.R. No. 1024 was adopted by the House on May 26, 1999, by a non-record vote.

Chief Clerk of the House

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continued from page 89

Over the next year, Rick would build a massive new home for Kreuz market just a ¼ mile down the road with seating for more than 600 customers. During that same time, Nina, with her husband Jim Sells and her two sons, James and John Fullilove, started making plans to reopen their own barbecue joint in the original building. Jim, James, and John had all won awards at local competitions and know how to handle a smoker. The new restaurant would be called Smitty’s. On September 1, 1999, Kreuz market reopened; the brand new pits lit using burning embers pushed over in a wheelbarrow from the old building. Just a few weeks later, Nina followed through on her promise and opened Smitty’s, with her son John in charge of the pits. It went on like this for the next dozen years, with the two sides of the family split apart—Rick with Keith at Kreuz and Nina with John at Smitty’s. But then, somewhat out of the blue one night at Smitty’s, things took a change. Susie Schmidt-Franks, Don’s daughter, was having dinner with John and her husband, Chad Franks. “Out of the blue, John said ‘Hey, we should do a barbecue restaurant,’” Susie says. “So we all started getting together—John, Nina’s son; Keith, Rick’s son; and me, Don’s daughter—and after talking it out over wine and beer at our house in Driftwood, we put it together.” The new construction will be located at the corner of State Highway 71 and Bee Caves Road, in Bee Cave, Texas, just west of Austin, but the pit is being fabricated in Lockhart. It will be modeled off of the

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Scenes from Smitty’s Market, in Lockhart, Texas.


design used at Kreuz Market, with open wood fires burning the same post oak down on the floor right there in front of the customers. Recognizing that past is prologue, Susie says they plan to light the fire in the new pits using embers from both Smitty's and Kreuz. “I’ve taken what I learned from Roy (Kreuz Market’s pitmaster) and some of the other great barbecue places and put it into our design,” adds Chad, who is drawing up the blueprints for the new

restaurant. “We really tried to take our “If you look around, this old building is the church time with the layout since we have the of Texas barbecue,” says John, sitting inside the luxury of building from the ground up.” original pit room at Smitty’s. “It isn’t ours to change. Just salt, black pepper and cayenne. This There have been occasional arguments style was done before we were born and that’s the between the cousins along the way - way were are going to continue it.” “We’re German, we’re Schmidts, and we’re hard headed” Susie says - but one Keith feels the same way. thing’s for certain, no matter which side of the feud they’re from, each and every “The family philosophy is simple, we want you one of them still shows a deep reverence to taste the meat,” he says. “We don’t want you for the traditions that Charles Kreuz to taste hickory or mesquite or garlic or sage. The and Edgar Schmidt put in place. meat is the star. If you want to bring your own sauce, knock yourself out. If you want to bring a plate and a fork, knock yourself out.” They don’t see themselves as owners, but rather stewards, working to keep their family style of barbecue the same for the next generation. “The feud’s been good for Lockhart,” John says. “All of the barbecue places have benefitted from this media creation. But it’s time to move on.” Folks think the feud has been good for customers, too. Daniel Vaughn points out that if you had a bunch of family harmony, there would just be one Kreuz Market, in its original building in Lockhart, with the whole family working there. Today you have Kreuz and Smitty’s in Lockhart and now, the new Schmidt Family Barbecue near Austin, each with their own culture and atmosphere. It seems as if those Texas legislators knew all along how it was going to turn out, extending, in the last line of their official declaration, “to the city’s pit masters and other residents best wishes for continued success.”

(From the top) The post oak at Smitty’s fronts an entire city block; Both Smitty’s and Kreuz grind and smoke their own sausage. Opposite Page: An overhead butcher’s rail leads to the wooden door of the original coolers at Smitty’s in Lockhart, Texas.


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story & photography by Denise Woodward


The historic El Camino Real, or King’s Highway, is an old pilgrim’s trail that links 21 Franciscan missions and four Spanish presidios ranging from Sonoma down to San Diego. A few sections of the “highway” remain pastoral, separating the small towns that hide between the rolling hills of coastal California. As the seasons turn, so do the hills, changing from lush and green to dry and the color of hay. Closer to the state’s larger cities, those hills that once gently cradled small farms are now built up with housing communities, business parks, malls, and golf courses. Luckily, there are still treasures to be found even in the more developed areas. From the highway just south of San Jose, you wouldn’t even imagine it as you pass brand name stores and coffee shops, eventually making your way down a small country road. There, only a few blocks from the main business district in the City of Morgan Hill, sits Andy’s Orchard, waiting to welcome you. It was here that I experienced my first “real” peach. On a warm July morning, almost too hot, I found myself walking between rows upon rows of ripe summer stone fruit. Cupping the Baby Crawford peach with both hands, I inhaled its sweetness, and took a bite. The juices wet my lips and dribbled down my chin. I didn’t care. The bite was a moment of absolute perfection, almost intoxicating. And it wouldn’t have ever happened but for a farmer named Andy Mariani. Andy is of Italian descent but his parents, Joseph and Similia, were farmers from Croatia. Joseph brought his wife and two eldest sons to California in 1931, only to find that the depression would force him from farming to work on a local fishing boat.


The fishing business was still lucrative at this time and would guarantee a roof over their heads and food on the table. In time, Joseph and Similia would see Andy and his sister born; the family now living in their new home of Cupertino. In 1949, Andy’s father retired from the fishing business, and purchased 13 acres of orchard land located across the street from what is now the headquarters for Apple Inc. in Cupertino and another 5 acres of orchard land near Sunnyvale. Andy was 4 years old at the time. Despite finding success growing fruit, land prices were climbing as the area started developing into the “Silicon Valley” we know today. Farmers were selling and purchasing cheaper land elsewhere, or were simply retiring. So in 1958, Andy’s father sold the original 18 acres and used proceeds from the sale to purchase the 30-acre farm in Morgan Hill that is the current home of Andy’s Orchard. This property was once home to row after row of wine grapes, which were torn out at the start of prohibition and replaced with apricots and a few plums. Growing apricots was profitable for the Mariani family for many years. Most of the annual crop was sun-dried ‒ other means of preserving had not yet been introduced and refrigeration was not readily available – and their dried apricots did well on the market. That is until Turkish apricots began flooding into the US in the 1970’s. “The cheaper Turkish dried apricots appeared in the American market, and the California dried apricots became more and more of a rarity,” Andy says. “Dad had always loved cherries, and with this change in business, he pulled out a few rows of apricots and replaced them with cherry trees.” The decision was the right one to make. Even today, cherries produce most of the income for the orchard. Andy speaks warmly about his upbringing, noting, “We didn't speak English at home. In fact, I barely knew any when I started school. We spoke an ancient Dalmatic language but my mother was adamant that we would have an education. Schooling was never not an option.” The two elder brothers were encouraged to learn the farming business, but there wasn’t enough income from the farm to raise three families. Andy chose to follow his mother’s wishes and continue his education, earning a master’s degree and eventually becoming an assistant city manager in the nearby town of Saratoga. It was around this time that doctors diagnosed Andy with a rare, life threatening autoimmune disease. He was told there wasn’t much of a chance for survival so Andy returned home to the orchard to be with family while undergoing extensive and debilitating treatment for his illness. “I just kind of stayed. Farming was therapeutic for me,” Andy says.


Andy Mariani shows off freshly picked cherries at his orchard in Morgan Hill, Calif.


FOUNDING FATHERS OF FRUIT FARMING Edward Bunyard Edward Ashdown Bunyard (1878–1939) is considered to be the greatest English pomologist who ever lived. Authors and researchers who studied his life saint him as a gastronome and epicure who wrote three books of international significance: "A Handbook of Hardy Fruits," "The Anatomy of Dessert," and "The Epicure’s Companion." His interest in pomology (the study of growing fruit) came at an early age as Bunyard’s family was the owner of one of England’s most significant fruit nurseries, founded in 1796 in Kent. Bunyard’s written work was ahead of its time, focusing primarily on the cultivation and use apples, as well as pears and other fruits. Bunyard tragically took his own life in 1939. Andrew Downing Andrew Jackson Downing (1815-1852) was born in Newburgh, N.Y. He is considered by many to be the father of American landscape design and credited with popularizing the front porch. He wrote "Fruits and Fruit Trees of America, A Treatise on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening: Adapted to North America," "Cottage Residences," and "Architecture of Country Houses," all published within a decade of one another. The book Cottage Residences included designs for laying out gardens and orchards, highlighting the various plants to be used. He was commissioned to design the grounds of the United States Capitol, the Smithsonian, and Lafayette Square, which is still unchanged from his original design. He also worked with his friend Frederick Law Olmstead on the early design plans for New York’s Central Park. Downing suffered an untimely death by drowning in a steamboat accident on the Hudson River at only 36 years of age. Ulysses Hedrick Ulysses Prentiss Hedrick (1870–1951) was born in Independence, Iowa. He attended Michigan State Agricultural College (now Michigan State University), receiving both a B.S. and M.S. by the time he was 25 years old. After teaching botany and horticulture at Oregon Agricultural College, Utah Agricultural College, and Michigan State Agricultural College, he moved to New York to work as a horticulturist for the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, N.Y. Hedrick is considered to have written the definitive text on New York agriculture, entitled "A History of Agriculture in the State of New York," published in 1933, which is still cited to this day. Edward Wickson Born in Rochester, N.Y., Edward James Wickson (1848-1923) devoted much of his life to agricultural research. In 1872, he graduated from Hamilton College, one year after he was elected secretary of the New York Dairymen's Association. Wickson moved to California in the mid-1870’s and begin working at the University of California in 1879 as a lecturer in practical agriculture. Within eight years, he was promoted to full professor. From 1906-1912, he served as the Dean of the College of Agriculture and Director of the Agricultural Experiment Station. His most widely read book, "The California Fruits and How to Grow Them," published in 1889, is a definitive text on California agriculture.


Today, the disorder is in remission, and Andy is leading a full and happy life with the belief that returning to the farm and working with the land helped him to survive. His now 45-acre farm, planted with 250 different varieties of stone fruit, from classic heirlooms to newly invented cultivars, is thriving too. Each of Andy’s orchard plots is named after well-known 19th-century pomologists, such as Edward Wickson, Ulysses Hedrick, and Andrew Downing (see previous page). But, despite having a unique affection for centuries old horticultural practices, Mariani wants what any small farmer does, to produce honest fruit with a little help from Mother Nature. He wants you to remember his stone fruit even after just one bite. “The consumer purchases fruit from the supermarket, and they never really experience where that fruit came from,” he explains. “The pits are small, the flesh is firm, and the fruit was picked green.” Once a piece of stone fruit is picked, it stops ripening, which leaves a flavorless piece of fruit that is just firm enough to survive transport to the store. A good peach or plum is delicate and should be bursting with juice as you take your first bite. Andy says that Morgan Hill is the ideal place to grow stone fruit. The climate is perfect; hot days and cool nights. Photosynthesis doesn’t shut down and, at night, the trees respire and the fruit continues to hang on, which develops flavor. At the height of cherry season, in mid-June, Andy’s Orchard

begins to attract visitors from all over the country, and even different parts of the world. Among Andy’s followers are horticultural expert and food writer David Karp, Manresa Chef David Kinch, and jam and confiture maker Pim Techamuanvivit (Chez Pim). They all share a common interest, the love of rare stone fruit. They come to walk the orchards, hear the stories, and to sample Mariani’s prized offerings. Down a dusty dirt road, tucked away from the main property, is a passion of Andy’s, the Bunyard Orchard, named after Edward Bunyard, who was England’s foremost pomologist and wrote "The Anatomy of Dessert." Bunyard Orchard is home to the greengage plum. Gage plums came from Italy to France in the early 1500s and were named “Reine Claude” in honor of the queen of France at the time. In the early 17th century, Sir William Gage brought the plums to England, where they came to be enjoyed simply and traditionally as a dessert. I had no idea what to expect from my first harvest at Bunyard Orchard, just a hunger for what seemed like the unattainable. Andy had promised that the fruits of his labor would be like no other. Restlessly waiting for the month of July to pass, I was eager for the day when the gage fruit would be ready. My weekly check-ins with Andy would result in his simply saying, “not yet” again and again. Bunyard, himself, wrote of the greengage, “In no fruit is supreme ripeness more necessary.” The greengage season is short and sneaks up like a mischievous cat. One week the fruit may not be ready, the week after it can be too late. When I finally got the good word, I tossed my


camera into the car and took off before the sun had even thought of saying hello. Anxiously I drove to the orchard to experience my first greengage. As the sun peaked over the hills just east of the old King’s Highway, I made my path through the dewy orchard with Andy leading the way. At first glance, greengages are nothing impressive, just a small dusty-green gem waiting to be plucked. I reached in and grabbed one, lightly wiping off the morning dew. At first a small bite and then another. Andy just smiled without saying a word. Don’t be fooled by their slightly blemished appearance as the flavor is intense; sugary sweet with just the right amount of acidity. These plums are nature’s candy, gently warmed by the sun, plucked from the branch, and ready to be eaten right on the spot. Once the greengage is ready to be picked, you have to be ready to drop everything to have the chance to enjoy that small moment of summer bliss. I promise you, the pilgrimage will be worth it. Andy’s Orchard offers harvest walks throughout stone fruit season, and they are not to be missed. The event calendar for 2013 (which can change depending on weather and the availability of fruit) can be found at andysorchard.com.

Stone fruit is hand picked and packed at Andy’s Orchard.


Huge racks of fruit, mostly apricots, are still sun-dried in the traditional manner at Andy’s Orchard.


Greengage Frangipane Tart Recipe by Denise Woodward Serves 6-8 people ¼ cup unsalted butter, room temperature ¼ cup sugar ½ cup almond flour 1 large egg 1 tbsp. all purpose flour ¾ tsp. vanilla bean paste ¼ tsp. almond extract 1 prebaked tart shell (recipe below) 1 lb. greengage plums, pitted and cut into quarters 2 tbsp. orange marmalade, melted 1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Combine first six ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until thoroughly combined. Spread the frangipane mixture into the cool tart shell. Top with the greengage plums. 2. Place the tart pan on a cookie sheet and slide into the oven. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the tart from the oven and lightly brush the exposed plums with the marmalade using a pastry brush. Return to the oven and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes until the filling has risen slightly and the crust is golden brown. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let cool on a wire rack. Serve slightly warm.

Sweet Tart Dough Recipe by Dorie Greenspan 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour ½ cup confectioners’ sugar ¼ tsp. salt 1 stick plus 1 tbsp. very cold (or frozen) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces 1 large egg yolk 1. Put the flour, confectioners’ sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse a couple of times to combine. Scatter the pieces of butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until the butter is coarsely cut in - you should

have some pieces the size of oatmeal flakes, and some the size of peas. Stir the yolk, just to break it up, and add it a little at a time, pulsing after each addition. When the egg is in, process in long pulses - about 10 seconds each - until the dough, which will look granular soon after the egg is added, forms clumps and curds. Just before you reach this stage, the sound of the machine working the dough will change - heads up. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and, very lightly and sparingly; knead the dough just to incorporate any dry ingredients that might have escaped mixing. 2. Butter a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Press the dough evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the pan, using all but one little piece of dough, which you should save in the refrigerator to patch any cracks after the crust is baked. Don’t be too heavy handed - press the crust in so that the edges of the pieces cling to one another, but not so hard that the crust loses its crumbly texture. Freeze the crust for at least 30 minutes, preferably longer, before baking. 3. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375°F. Butter the shiny side of a piece of aluminum foil and fit the foil, buttered side down, tightly against the crust. Since you froze the crust, you do not need to use pie weights. Put the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake the crust for 25 minutes. Carefully remove the foil. If the crust has puffed, press it down gently with the back of a spoon. Bake for another 8 minutes or so, or until it is firm and golden brown. Transfer the tart pan to a rack and cool the crust to room temperature before filling. Sweet Tart Dough recipe republished with permission from Baking: From My Home to Yours. Copyright © 2006. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.


Roasted Plum Sorbet Recipe by Denise Woodward Makes 1 pint 6 large Burgundy plums (or other deep red fleshed plums), pitted and quartered Ÿ cup sugar 3 tbsp. water Juice of ½ of a small lemon 1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Scatter the plums on a baking sheet. Roast for 35 minutes, turning occasionally. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

2. In a small saucepan mix the sugar and water together. Bring to a low boil and cook until the sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. 3. When the plums have cooled, remove the skins and add the flesh to the bowl of a food processor. Add the sugar syrup and lemon juice, and then pulse until thoroughly pureed. Pour the mixture into a glass bowl and let cool in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Process in your ice cream maker according to the directions. Serve immediately or store in a sealed container in the freezer for a firmer texture.


Grilled Apricots with Cardamom Cream Recipe by Denise Woodward Serves 4 12 apricots, pitted and halved 3 oz. crème fraiche 3 oz. whole-milk Greek yogurt ¹⁄8 tsp. ground cardamom 1 tbsp. brown sugar 1. In a small bowl mix together the crème fraiche, Greek yogurt, cardamom, and brown sugar. Store in the refrigerator until time to plate. 2. Preheat your grill (or stovetop grill pan). Grill the apricot halves, cut side down, just until grill marks appear; about 2 minutes (the timing will depend on how hot your grill is). Flip each apricot over and grill for another 30 seconds to warm through. Leave the halves intact or cut each piece in two. Divide between four bowls. Top with a dollop of the cream mixture.


Peach and Pistachio Crisp Recipe by Denise Woodward Serves 8-10 people 1 stick unsalted butter 2 lbs. of peaches, with skins left on (they are tasty) 2 tbsp. brown sugar 1 cup all purpose flour ¾ cup granulated sugar ½ cup crushed pistachios 1 tsp. baking powder Pinch of salt 1 large egg 1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Melt the butter. Using a pastry brush lightly coat a baking dish with 1 tbsp. of the butter. Set aside. 2. Slice the peaches into wedges, discarding the pits, and put into a mixing bowl. Sprinkle the brown sugar over the top of the peaches and lightly toss with a spatula. Place into the buttered baking dish. 3. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, pistachios, baking powder, and salt. Lightly whisk the egg, just until beaten, then add to the dry ingredients. Using a fork, stir the mixture, until crumbly. Add half of the remaining butter. Continue to stir with the fork until very crumbly. Scatter over the top of the peaches. Drizzle the remaining melted butter over the top. 4. Place the baking dish onto a cookie sheet and slide into the oven. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until bubbly and golden brown.


story and photography by Asha Pagdiwalla


E

urope is a continent steeped in history and the legacy, or even, burden, of major events has shaped each country’s evolution and outlook. Spain, however, proved to be a countering experience in many ways. Spaniards, as we see them, are chivalrous, charismatic, easy going, and possessing an attitude that leads one to believe that this particular region must have had the utmost peaceful existence. In reality, Spain has weathered several intensely bloody turmoils in her long history. Religion and politics—the root causes of war—have played an especially heavy hand. Even today, the aftershocks of the Spanish Civil War continue to be felt in sporadic protests in the Basque Country and Catalonia. The protests have varied in intensity over the past 50 years from peaceful gatherings to sporadic stoppages of the transport system to bombings and other terrorist attacks. Yet, in Sevilla, one of the oldest cities in Spain, I witnessed co-existence and even resonance between the institutions of Islam and Christianity. The city was first the seat of the Caliphate of Córdoba back when the area was known as al-Andalus (the medieval Islamic state in control of what is now Spain). It was then made the capital of the Taifa of Sevilla, which was incorporated into the Christian Kingdom of Castile under Ferdinand III.

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Archeological explorations date the city back to 8th century BC, when the town was called Ispal or Spal by the Tartessians, the predecesssors of the Romans. The civilization of Spal advanced both culturally and economically through its peaceful trade with the Phoenicians. However, with the rise of the Persian, Ottoman, and Roman empires, the nature of activity changed and colonization began in 6th century BC. The city only grew in power and wealth as the Spanish Empire expanded overseas. Sevilla served as the crucial port of trade and became the economic epicenter of the empire as its location proved convenient for controlling the trans-oceanic trade routes. Set against this brilliantly rich history is a city that today pays homage to its past through architecture, food, and culture. There is no other place that reflects the Moorish and Roman with such equanimity. On a recent visit, I spent three days in the city, soaking up the history, sun, delicious tapas and, of course, wine. Amongst the twisting and narrow streets are jewels of local wonder in the form of spectacular structures of the past, hidden gems of century old food purveyors, and theaters of incandescent flamenco performances. It is very easy to wander about the city for days at a time, basking in the stunning sights and warmth of Spanish hospitality. But, if


you are in for a short visit, there are a few must experiences for every traveler to the city.

Sights Alcรกzar This Moorish palace is a spectacular example of the Persian influence in the city. I have witnessed many examples of Islamic architecture in India and, can, on that authority, say that this structure is indeed one of the finest you will see west of Iran. The structure itself is beautifully preserved and although small compared to the massive forts and palaces of North India, it makes a distinct impression on the viewer. With intricate scrolls, carvings and bejeweled ceilings, it is a sight that leaves one in awe. The palace was originally a fort that became the dwelling of Ferdinand I and was later restored by Peter of Castile and Charles I. The most stunning feature of the Alcรกzar is the Patio de las doncellas (Court of the Ladies) with its gorgeous interlaced (From left, across both pages) The walls of the Hall of Ambassadors are lined with stunning glazed tiles at the Alcรกzar; The famous white marble arches of the Patio de las Doncellas at the Alcรกzar; Cold-water baths (Banos de Dona Maria de Padilla) beneath the Alcรกzar.


(From left) A view of the fountain at the Plaza de España; The towering interior of the Sevilla Cathedral.

arches of white marble supported by 52 columns. When you visit, be sure to search for the faces of six cherubs carved into the façade of the arches. If you find all of them, it is believed to bring good luck! The Hall of Ambassadors with its jeweled domed ceiling and painted faces of the legions of royalty set amidst azulejos (glazed tiles) and Arabic decorations is a beautiful poetic manifestation of the Moorish style. My favorite part of the palace is in the gardens. Some of the fountains are still functioning and the lush flora provides a quiet opportunity for a leisurely walk amongst the orange trees and luxurious plantings. Plaza de España The plaza located in the Parque de María Luisa, itself a beautiful oasis resplendent in foliage, was built in 1928 for the IberoAmerican Exposition World Fair of 1929. Built in a revival of Renaissance style, it was meant to showcase Spain’s

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presence in industry and technology. The sweeping foyer of the plaza is dominated by a stunning fountain that both frames and plays as the center point of the plaza. Along the front, inlaid into the building, are the emblems of each of Spain’s regions, which makes for a fun stroll trying to learn the each region/ city’s name and discover the history as represented on its individual seal. Sevilla Cathedral Literally a stone’s throw away and facing the Alcázar is this gem of the Christian heritage of the city. While it shares the light with the Palace, it definitively dominates the sky line of the city with its steeple tower majestically rising into the sky with a distinct Catholic stamp. Much of the interiors are currently being renovated, yet, the building leaves a deep imperialist impression on the visitor. With its tall brooding arches richly engraved to Gothic heights and a dominating old organ, the church is reminiscent of its past splendor. However, perhaps because of the style of

architecture with narrow, tall windows that allow little natural light, Sevilla Cathedral leaves a dark and oppressive feeling despite the enormity and splendor of the space.

Food & Wine Some of the best places to eat are those that you perhaps pass by as you traverse the winding, criss-crossed streets of the city. Spaniards tend to dine later, so restaurants and tapas joints fill up late but very quickly. My two favorite meals came at Bodega Santa Cruz and Los Coloniales, but you can just keep a look out for overhanging crowds and the musical note of laughter in your search of a good savory bite. There are also any numbers of traditional Spanish pastry shops, like the 128-yearold Confitería la Campana, dotting the city with a variety of recognizable and unusual offerings that are all equally delicious and well worth a stop along your day of touring.


Don’t be daunted by the old décor and no-frills look of most places as they have some of the best food in the region. Pick up a conversation with the local next to you and you will have a thoroughly enjoyable evening despite language barriers. The warmth of the people is an enveloping experience. In sharp contrast to the bold flavors of the Spanish cuisine, the wines of the region are mellow, smooth yet full bodied. They pair perfectly with food whether you are in the mood for a casual flight of tapas or an elaborate degustation. While, most of us are most familiar with the Rioja family of wines as the Spanish export, while in Sevilla, I found a few really delicious wines and sherries from smaller, local producers.

Flamenco Finally, no visit to Sevilla is complete without an evening of spectacular dance and music performance, namely the Flamenco. For me, this art style is the best representation of the harmony of Spain’s heritages. A beautiful intermingling of Andalusian and Romani music and dance styles, the art draws on the deep, soulful Sufi ballads paired with heart pounding, rapid, and emotionally expressive dance forms. There are a few theaters that offer nightly performances and any of them is a great choice for an enchanting evening that leaves you inspired and spirited.


b.y.o.b. - local milk Beth Kirby, a native Tennessean and self proclaimed “strange breed” of Southerner, is the publisher of the beautifully poetic food blog, Local Milk. After studying philosophy & creative writing at Loyola University New Orleans, Beth found herself bouncing between Tennessee, the Netherlands, and Southern California before landing on the North Shore of Chattanooga. Along the way, she rediscovered a love of cooking that originated with her grandmother who passed away when she was still young. Not one for staged perfection, we love Local Milk because it showcases the texture of life itself from, in Beth’s words, “bone marrow to neuroscience, relationships to mortality.”

SPENSER MAGAZINE: You often write about your grandmother and the types of food you ate when growing up. Could you tell us a little bit about her as an inspiration for what you eat today? BETH KIRBY: My grandmother was really the only exposure I had to farmer’s markets and from-scratch cooking when I was younger. I spent a lot of time in her house as a child snapping beans and shucking corn and cracking walnuts on the back porch. I don’t really have memories of her outside of the kitchen. Even on the day she died, she had actually baked two loaves of banana bread that morning. So there was a gap in my life where I didn’t have that stuff after she was gone. Those were seeds that she planted, the tactile experience of cooking, which I returned to after I got older. SM: Do you have any favorite recipes of her’s that you still make? BK: Definitely her cornbread and her buttermilk biscuits. She also did this skillet fried okra that she made in an electric skillet. Somehow the electric skillet was of paramount importance. It’s not that deep golden, heavily breaded stuff. It was lightly tossed in cornmeal. I’ve never had anything like her fried okra. Half of it wouldn’t even make it out of the pan because of my father pilfering it while she fried it. SM: Picking up on the okra and cornmeal, do you think that there are certain essential ingredients for a Southern larder? BK: Yup. Lard is essential in any Southern pantry. I get leaf lard for baking from Link 41, a small sausage maker here in town. Cornmeal and grits for sure. There is a great local purveyor, Riverview Farms, which sells grits at the Main Street Farmer’s Market. And dairy, buttermilk from Cruze Farm Dairy up near Knoxville, or cheese from Sequatchie Cove Farm. There are certain vegetables, okra, cooking greens and sweet potatoes, that I get both from the farmer’s market and from this little store, P&P Produce, that my grandmother used to go to. SM: It sounds like you relish the European style of shopping, going to the butcher for meat, the farmer for vegetables, and so on. BK: Exactly. You can give a million good political reasons for shopping local, but there is an additional purpose as well and that is the fact that I am a mini glutton and I love foods that are delicious. A cook is only as good as their ingredients and when I get local, fresh, handmade things, they have far superior quality. And the more

home cooks make the effort to source local ingredients, the more availability there is and the cheaper those goods become. SM: Tennessee seems to have a number of local purveyors that have gotten a lot of national attention recently, like Allan Benton’s bacon or Earl and Colleen Cruze’s buttermilk, doesn’t it? BK: This has been a long time coming because the quality has always been there. These are producers that our grandparents knew about and it is great to see that they are getting their due. With the marketability of the slow food and local food movement, you worry about the production getting too big or getting bought out by a large corporation, but we are in a great moment in time here in Tennessee where we are able to celebrate these amazing people. SM: Do you think there is need for concern about the exploitation or industrialization of the local food movement? BK: You can go to the store, see milk from a “small farm” and buy it without realizing the company is actually importing milk to the farm for bottling. In that case, the consumer is being deceived. The typical person doesn’t have the time to do that kind of research, which is why I go to the farmer’s market and talk directly to the dude working on the farm. I recently interviewed a group of female farmers and they are all so small and hands on with such TLC. They know if one baby goat looks off or if one patch of crops isn’t doing well. Really, I'm a farmer fan girl. I can’t grow anything, so my part is to buy their stuff and eat and cook it. Ultimately, it’s about more than just what you are eating. It’s about connecting folks back to a certain way a life.


White Peach, Rose, and Basil Hand Pies Recipe by Beth Kirby Makes approximately 10 4” pies One batch of your favorite pie dough, chilled 2 cups diced white peaches 2 tbsp. packed roughly chopped basil 1 tsp. rosewater (or to taste starting at ¼ tsp.) Pinch of kosher salt ¼ cup of honey (or more if you'd like it sweeter) Squeeze of a lemon wedge 1 tbsp. cornstarch 1 egg, lightly beaten for wash Sugar for sprinkling (raw, sanding, or regular all work) 1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Mix all of the ingredients except the cornstarch in a bowl. Adjust

rosewater and honey to your liking. Let mixture sit 15 minutes to allow the flavors to come together. Pour off one tbsp. of the liquid from the peaches and mix this liquid together with the cornstarch in a small bowl. Fold this back into the peaches. 2. Generously flour your work surface. Divide your pie dough in two, leaving half in the refrigerator for now. Place the other half of the dough on the work surface and flour the top of the dough. Gently roll your dough out from the center until about ¹⁄8 -inch thick. Re-flour your surface as needed, continually lifting and rotating your dough to make sure no parts are sticking. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut an even number of circles (in your desired size) using a floured biscuit cutter or the base of a small glass. (I made 4" pies using a scalloped biscuit cutter.) Lay dough circles on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Chill dough for a few minutes in the fridge or freezer before continuing.

3. Fill a small bowl with cold water and keep it nearby. Top half the dough circles with a small amount of filling (about 1 tbsp. for 4" pies or 1 tsp. for bite-sized 2" pies). Using your finger lightly wet the edges of the dough circles with the water, top each with the remaining rounds, and seal edges by pressing gently but firmly to seal. Brush top with egg wash, sprinkle with raw sugar, and cut slits in each top to vent. Place prepped pies in the refrigerator to chill and repeat with other half of dough and remaining filling. 4. When second sheet of pies is ready, place it in the refrigerator to cool and while the first sheet bakes. Bake each sheet of pies for 5 minutes at 425°F and then reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and bake another 10-15 minutes until crusts are golden brown. Cool on wire racks. Pies can be stored in airtight containers but are best eaten within 24 hours of baking.


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s "Yes, I guarantee Things are sweeter in Tennessee" -The Wreckers "Tennessee" lyrics

our all Tennessee issue coming this fall

spenser magazine: issue seven - summer 2013  
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