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I recently wrote a thesis paper for graduation from Miami University. Part of the paper studied the decline of farmers and farming in Ohio, Southwest Ohio and Clermont County in particular. Overall, there has been a decline in farmsteads, family farmers and producers to the tune of 20 percent over the last 10 years. One of the key reasons that farming has declined in Ohio is that younger generations coming up in farming families have opted for other careers. Lets face it, farming is hard and while we come to the market and enjoy the bounty of all of the hard work, I know I do not have the fortitude to run a family farm. We need young, local farmers to grow our food and to carry on the legacy of our region. So, when you have a moment, encourage our young farmers, pat them on the back, buy their products, help them carry on the honorable occupation of the Family Farm in Southwest Ohio, where we need them desperately.
I am honored that we have a young couple, Adam and Aubrey Bolender of Heritage Hills Beef who have chosen to keep the family tradition of farming alive, and to raise hormone free beef to sell at the Anderson Farmers Market.
- Beef in moderation is a healthy part of your diet
I love beef, there are times when I just crave it. Really, I do! I know this sounds crazy, but there have been days when I run down to the local butcher shop to buy a steak for myself. I think it is the iron, our bodies tell us when we are deficient, and when I am running low on iron, steak is where I turn!
Because meat in general has become so expensive, I have stopped buying one steak per person when I am cooking for dinner. I have moved to buying one large high quality, sirloin steak, preparing it to medium (which seems to make the most people happy in my household) and then slicing. I usually place the steak on a large platter and surround with lots and lots of veggies. The portions of meat we are eating are smaller, but no one seems to notice or mind. The presentation makes you feel like you are getting so much more, your mind fools you.
I would like to give you some of my tips for cooking steak. I have had many steak failures in my day so let me pass on my expensive lessons to you.
- Lean is good, but you need some fat for flavor. Look for marbling in your meat.
- Look for meat that is cut correctly. You want the entire piece of meat to be the same thickness. If it is not, parts will be overcooked, while other parts will be undercooked.
- Pull meat out of the fridge 20 minutes before cooking. If meat is cold the outside, it will cook differently than on the inside.
- Pat your meat dry with paper towels before applying salt or pepper. I NEVER marinate meat.
- Apply only coarse salt and pepper right before cooking. If you apply salt too early it will draw moisture out of your meat and it will “stew” instead of turning that beautiful brown or get that char on the grill.
- Let your meat rest for 10 minutes after cooking. Use a foil tent to keep heat in while resting.
If you follow these simple tips, I am confident that you will enjoy your wonderful piece of beef from Heritage Hills Beef.
Are you thinking that a bowl of soup or a salad might not be enough to fill up your family for a spring meal? If you take a couple of extra minutes and throw together a simple crostini you take a humdrum meal and elevate it to an Italian feast.
When I say throw together, that is exactly what I mean, because there are no rules when it comes to making crostini. OK, well, I take that back, crostini means “little toasts” in Italian, so technically you need to slice and toast the bread to make it “official” but beyond that ,the sky is the limit.
The ingredients are simple, let me give you some ideas, you must start with magnificent bread, and I suggest you visit Gary from Shadeau Breads
and pick up a baguette as the base for your crostini. Once you have the foundation of this method, the rest is up to you. You can top with tapenade, hummus, procuitto, cheese, vegetables, anything you like, and more importantly, whatever is freshest at the market, or whatever you happen to have in your fridge or pantry. Crostini are a great way to use left over grilled veggies or meat from last nights dinner.You will find a great selection of veggies from Can-Du farms, Vintage Veggies, Maddux Farms. For this recipe we are using locally made vinegar from FARM BEACH BETHEL. These vinegars are unlike any I have ever tasted, they are AMAZING! Taste a sample on Saturday and pick up your favorite to use in this recipe and salad dressings this summer. You won’t be dissapointed, I promise.
12 slices of baguette, brushed with olive oil and toasted in oven at 350 degrees for 5 minutes.
1 can of cannellini beans drained, rinsed and mashed with a fork. Mix in 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 1 clove chopped garlic and salt and pepper to taste.
In a small bowl, chop spring vegetables and toss with 1 tablespoon vinegar from FARM BEACH BETHEL and olive oil and chives. Let sit for 5 minutes, then drain off oil and vinegar.
Spread crostini with the cannellini beans and top with the marinated vegetables.
Stop by and see me on Saturday between 10 and 12 and taste a sample of the crostini featured in this recipe. I always look forward to talking with everyone who comes to the market and hearing about how you plan to use what you bought that day.
Hello, and welcome back to Eatting Locally at the Anderson Farmers Market! I am Barbie Hahn, Suburban Chef on the Fox19 Morning Extra show. I always get excited when the market season starts. Excited to see and talk with all of the Farmers and Producers I have not seen since October and excited to hear about all the great things they are planting , baking and making that are at the market now and what will be available later in the summer as new crops are harvested.
One of the attributes I like most about the Anderson Farmers Market is the large variety of Producers that attend every Saturday. You can get everything from jams to breads and eggs, cheese, meats, herbs, and of course fruits and vegetables. You can even find goats milk skin care and soap. The market usually has one “artistic” booth each week as well. On any given Saturday you can find jewelry, pottery, blown glass and other beautiful things for your home or gifts for friends and relatives.
Some of the the first veggies that you can buy at the beginning of the season are lettuce(s), spinach, greens, strawberries and herbs.
Saturday I am going to pair the fresh lettuces and spinach with two different versions of Blue cheese dressing, made from LOCAL blue cheese. I will be giving out samples from 10-12.
I hope you will come out and try a sample, pick up some great food and enjoy the bounty of our region.
Creamy Blue cheese Dressing-makes 1 cup
3/4 cup olive oil mayonnaise,1/4 cup buttermilk, 2 Tablespoons sour cream, 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, 1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce, 2 ounces blue cheese broken into crumbles
Wisk together all ingredients except cheese in a bowl until smooth, add salt and pepper to taste. Gently fold in cheese. Will keep for 4-5 days if kept refridgerated.
Blue Cheese Vinegarette
Juice of one lemon, one garlic clove grated, 1 tablespoon flat leaf parsley chopped fine, 1/4 cup red wine vinegar, 1/2 cup olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, 1/2 teaspoon worcestershire sauce, 2 ounces of blue cheese crumbled. In a large jar, shake all ingredients but the cheese vigorously to emulsify. Add cheese and shake gently.