Sunday, July 6, 2008

New source for sliced sandwich meat

With all the local pastured meats in the various farmers' markets these days, it's been a surprise that I couldn't find any that were sliced for sandwichmaking. I pack a lot of lunches, so today when I found some thin-sliced meat perfect for sandwiches, I was pretty excited.

Tom Cail of Rising Sun Farm in New Paris, OH, who brings his eggs, pork, and produce to Hyde Park Farmers' Market, was offering today smoked ham sliced thin for sandwiches. I tried it and bought a couple of one-pound packages, and I'll definitely be going back for more. It's a smoky, lightly salted ham, and it's good. Tom's offered ham steaks in the past, but they haven't been as popular as he'd hoped. So he's experimenting with this as an alternative. The sliced ham freezes well, so if you'd like to be able to pack lunches with local pastured meat this school year, stop and give it a try.

Tom's pigs are all Berkshires, an heirloom breed prized by many chefs, and they're 100% pastured- raised.


Anonymous said...

Val -

O.K., now I'm feeling downright silly for attempting to give you a market shopping tip last time we met. I had no idea you were doing the Locavore blog, but it sure is great!

I missed Findlay yesterday in favor of a bit more sleep and a volunteer committment, but will see which other market I can hit in its stead before Northside's on Wednesday.

I did hear from Dennis of Backyard Orchards this week that his peaches are unusually prolific this year, and that he'd be buried in them as of August. I'm going to happily take a couple of boxes off his hands, but I'm sure he'd like to hear from more people than just me.

valereee said...

Anon, I'm always up for a market shopping tip! Any time you have one, you just pass it along!

I tried Dennis' peaches at the Northside market on Wednesday when I was there -- boy, they're good. I'm trying to figure out how to preseve some of them this year. We're not huge jam eaters at my house and probably won't even finish the strawberry preserves I put up, so I'm thinking of canning them in halves. I saw him again yesterday at Hyde Park, but as I still have three peaches in the bowl on my kitchen table I passed them up.

Anonymous said...

Val -

Sorry to have signed on as "anonymous". I'm new to a great deal of this.

For the peaches, if you're o.k. using them from the frozen form, I've had great luck with just dropping them in boiling water long enough to loosen the skins, moving them to cold water to finish the process, peeling and slicing them, and bagging them in their own juice for the freezer.

Since they become one big hunk, it's good to size your bags towards your intended recipe, but we've been very happy to have peaches for winter pies, thickened over pancakes, eaten frozen (by my daughters who think ANY fruit is better frozen solid), and blended into smoothies once the weather gets warm again.

I also bought a dehydrator over the winter, and am going to give that a try. I have a great recipe for apricot scones using dried fruit that would probably work nicely with peaches instead.

valereee said...

Alice, oh, that's you! Good to see your ethers.

I'm trying to guard my freezer space as much as possible because I'm getting a side of beef in November. Anything that can be canned and come out well, I'm canning. Right now I'm considering doing some pressure canning of peppers -- this would be my first experience with pressure canning, so it's a big step for me. Whenever I try a new preservation method I feel as if I really need to eat the stuff first and wait a day to make sure I'd only be poisoning myself. :D

Anonymous said...

Heh heh. I know what you mean. I've thus far avoided canning for similar reasons. (That, and I have vivid memories of my mother sweating over a vat of tomatoes in jars.)

One other non-jam option for peaches might be chutney. It's still sweet-ish, but opens up the possibility of using the stuff as a meat marinade, or topping to a grain dish.

Freezer space is an issue. We've dropped our meat consumption enough to keep it in a small corner and augment it with something fresh now and again, but I'm definitely pushing the limits with cooked ahead meals, fruit, veggies, and miscellaneous leftovers.

There's definitely an art to deciding what goes in and cycling through everything effectively.

valereee said...

Alice, did your mom do pressure canning? I've done strawberry jam, dill pickle relish, and pickled peppers this summer, but those are all hot water bath canning. I don't mind that -- it's quick, and I know what I'm doing. It's that whole risk-of-botulism thing that kind of freaks me out.