Sunday, February 26, 2012


On Bull City Burger and Brewery

"Meat – 3 The beef patty still had that rancid-like smell that turned me off during my first two BCBB visits, along with a strange aftertaste. However, now that I know more about BCBB’s grass-fed beef (which is supplied locally by Farmhand Foods and fresh ground daily), I realize that this bad smell must just be normal for this particular meat. Farmhand Foods also explained to me that they have several different local farmers who contribute to their beef supply, rather than just one. The first time I complained about the meat smell, BCBB’s owner Seth told me that perhaps I am not used to eating grass-fed beef, which may be why I think their meat smells funny. I disagree with him. For example, I eat Geer St. Garden‘s grass-fed beef (supplied by Baldwin Beef) all the time and do not experience this same smell at all. In fact, I find the GSG burger patty quite fragrant. Despite the odd meat smell and aftertaste, I appreciate BCBB’s commitment to quality and locally-sourced food. The patty I had on my burger at BCBB yesterday was juicy, well-seasoned and cooked nicely (with a touch of pink, just the way I ordered it). Just FYI, it appeared to be griddle cooked rather than grilled. (I think both ways are delicious.)"

I was struck when I read this today because I totally agree.  Does anyone out know why BCBB's meat tastes gamey?  Can beef have venison-like gamey-ness if the cow is too skinny (from grass-feeding I presume) when butchered?

Philosopher's Song

Week 47

The product: Both the chocolate babka (sold or bartered all but one of 55 loaves) and mandel bread (sold or bartered 47 of 55 pounds) sold well this week. 

Our awesome customers: MG, Erin and Jeff, EC & SG, Nat&Harris&Madeline, Marybeth, Karen, Andrew and Libby, Katia and Anya, SSS&Jamie&Roxy, Allie & Jeff, yoyo&EB, Jessica, MN, Tim&Noah.  We also had Dr. Christine Muth and her class of 15 biology students from NCSSM come by the stand for an intro to what we do as part of a unit on sustainable agriculture that included a visit to the Farmer's Market.  Farm to fork education starts early in Durham!

Katia and Anya, our Berenbaum's giveaway winners

Bartering: Piedmont Biofarm, Piepushers.  (I think Piepushers has some of the best biscuits and gravy in the Triangle.)

AR pictured with Adam from Piedmont Biofarm -- always bartering good stuff!

The crew: Big up to AR for his help with the mixing, baking, and bagging.  I really look forward to our sessions on Deleuze.  We are at around p.125 if anyone else would like to catch up.

Also many thanks to RML (pictured here with EB)

Nosh of the weekend: Tilston Point Blue (purchased at Reliable Cheese) melted onto toasted house Miso Buckwheat Rye bread.

Retail Biz: Reliable Cheese and Respite Cafe are carrying Berenbaum's Chocolate Chip Mandel Bread this week.  Thanks Patrick and Courtney!

This week: Let's get ready for Purim (March 7th)!

Friday, February 24, 2012

What to do with all the wild garlic popping up in your backyard

From Darina Allen:

I would recommend adding the cleaned wild garlic flowers to a cream, veggie, or meat broth, simmer briefly, puree, then serve with our without garnish.

Wild Garlic (It has the taste of chives):

Monday, February 20, 2012

Week 46

Writeup this week in conjunction with RML -- thanks man!

The Scene: It was another beautiful day in Durham. The weather was cheerfully sunny and about 60 degrees. Birds were chirping, food trucks were humming, and customers were smiling. I think our breads had a lot to do with all customer smiles.

The Product: Our Chocolate Babka made its highly anticipated return along with a hearty Birdseed Whole Wheat Bread and Brioche Rolls. In this week’s babka, the chocolate we swirled inside was a little wetter than we usually make but it made for a pleasant outcome. Chocolate oozed from the breads while baking and then cooled into an enticing finish on the outside, which only added to the decadent presentation. We sold out of babka quickly; about 25 in the first 25 minutes. Even if late-arriving customers missed the babka, they were still pleasantly surprised by the Birdseed Whole Wheat Bread.  Alex, per usual, did a great job with the pre-fermented starter which gave a nice tang to the wheat loaf. The “birdseeds”, a topping of sunflower seeds and sesame seeds, rounded out the flavor and texture of the loaf excellently. Our wheat breads are never boring.  The Brioche Rolls also received great comments. It had a lot of people sharing their dinner plans, which the crew at the stand always enjoy hearing.

We also had our coffee and Ceylon tea with Cardamom. This is the second week the Ceylon tea has been back. Previous fans welcomed its return and it made some new fans as well. Give it a try! We always encourage sampling.

Our awesome customers: Beth, Jeff, Marybeth, A&A, Harriet, J&J, Leia, Leela, Adam, Kara, EC et al.

Da Crew: Many thanks to SZ, RML, and AR.  AR did the levain build for the Birdseed Bread -- it really gave the bread a great depth, flavor, and tang.  Big up to RG&KG on the bike deliveries (pictured below).

Ryan and Karen, our Watts Hillandale / Old West Bread Bike Deliverers Extraordinaires

This week: Testing some bialy recipes, putting up a house batch of kimchi, and getting ready for the Purim hamentashen.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

David Chang on The Moth

I really enjoyed this story from David Chang of Momofuku, but especially at minute 8:15 where he talks about his fears of the "fraudulence" of his chicken-snail sausage served for Michelin guide director Jean-Luc Naret.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Week 45

The product: Our red velvets came out very well.  I think they stacked up favorably to Monuts, who was also doing a Red Velvet Valentine's Day Special.  We also had origami valentines at the stand (courtesy of yoyo) for little kids and gave more than a few to grown-ups as well!

Our wonderful customers: Amy, Adam, SSS, Meg, Cat, J&J, A&A, Matthew, Daniel, yoyo & Anjali & EB.

Bartering: Cafe Prost, Piepushers, Piedmont Biofarm, Monuts.

The crew: Many thanks to AR for all his donut cutting, frying, and building the bread starter this week.  Your help is appreciated!  RML, thanks for helping at the stand -- watching you hold little man EB is always a highlight of my day.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

What To Do With All That Kale

I made a version of this salad last night -- pretty good.  The kale becomes macerated by the salt and vinegar (I used rice vinegar instead of lemon juice), thereby bringing out its hearty flavor.  I would let the salad sit for a minimum of thirty minutes prior to serving.  Also, if you subtract the pancetta (as I did), adding toasted sunflower seeds is a nice touch.

Survival-of-the-Fittest Kale Salad
from The Foodzie Blog by Sean

There’s a cafe a couple blocks from the Foodzie headquarters that has a certain kale salad on their menu that has won the hearts of everyone in the office. It’s hearty and crunchy, with a perfect balance of salty and sour in the dressing. It manages to feel at once healthy and decadent, and totally satisfying.

Whenever someone pipes up asking what’s for lunch, this salad invariably is the first mention. Unfortunately, everyone else in the neighborhood apparently has the same instinct. As a result, the lines at the cafe can get absurdly long. To make matters worse, as we discovered one lunchtime, they don’t allow individuals to order more than four things at a time. We’ve had to send backup.
Competition for the salad was too strong, but we couldn’t live without it, so we decided to take an evolutionary approach: We adapted. Or, rather, we adapted their salad. And now we get to enjoy it in just a few minutes, rather than standing in line for more than half an hour (not joking), and for pennies on the dollar. It’s become a fixture in the Foodzie kitchen.
Foodzie’s Favorite Kale Salad
Massaging the greens helps to tenderize the 
kale, which otherwise can be a little tough; it also allows the dressing to penetrate into the greens.

2 bunches of dino (lacinato) kale
1 small head radicchio
1/2 c. shaved manchego
3 – 1/4″ slices of pancetta, cut into 1/4″ cubes
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp of olive oil
1 Tbsp Balsamic Glaze (see below)
salt and pepper to taste

Rinse, dry and slice kale and radicchio into approximately 1″ squares. Fry the pancetta until crispy; remove from heat and remove pancetta cubes to a paper towel to cool. Add pancetta and rendered fat to greens. Add cheese, olive oil, balsamic, and lemon. Massage for two minutes, using your hands to gently crush the greens. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
Balsamic Glaze
We have a bottle of balsamic glaze in the Foodzie kitchen. (Actually, we have a bottle of EVERYTHING in the Foodzie kitchen.) But you can easily make this with inexpensive, store-bought balsamic vinegar. Just pour some balsamic in a small saucepan, put over medium heat, bring to a simmer and reduce to about half. Allow to cool, and use to flavor salad dressings, or drizzle over roasted meats, hard cheeses or even macerated strawberries.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Week 44

We had a really spectacular day on Saturday, and much of the credit needs to go to our cake donuts (Sugar and Spice & Chocolate Glazed).  Nothing rouses the base like a good donut.

Our awesome customers: I love it when our customers barter with us -- Allie, the pint of pimento cheese you brought for us was delicious!

Also, big ups to Courtney, Mariya, Don, Kara, Tom+1, EC&SG&RG&SSS, Crystal, and Marybeth+1.

AR and our giveaway winner, Kelly L.

The crew:  Big up to AR on the donut cutting and frying.  Frying 250 donuts took several hours, and I admire your fortitude and stamina.  Also many thanks to RML for holding down the stand with your usual swagger, and to RG and KG on the bike deliveries.

This week: Preparing a special Valentine's Day donut!

Linkage: Our friends at Tarts by Tarts in D.C. are doing a host of special Valentine's Day tarts that sound tasty.  Wish I could be there to sample.