Brine and Dine
Brine and Dine
We cannot thank enough everybody’s support and especially patience for all these months. Absolutely we’ve learned a lot about what it takes to start a business not only for the first time, but also non-traditionally (collectively).. Finally, the last thing we need to move forward in our project has been completed: the label. Not only do we believe that you all will love what you will eat, but that you will also know exactly what it is as we tell it to you as beautifully as we know how. Behold. Thanks so much to Brian and Lizzi for this.
Banh Mi
The most insanely big farm share i’ve ever gotten.  With swaps (opted out of the swiss chard for an extra eggplant and celery for an extra tomato)
5 corns4 onions1 purple basil 2 purple eggplantsbunch of beets1 purple bell pepper1 red frying pepper2 purple cherokee tomatoes1 orange tomato10 grape tomatoes2 yellow plum tomatoes1 extra large beefsteak tomato3 large beefsteak tomatoes3 medium beefsteak tomatoes
Adventurous eating, for most, involves putting into your mouth the unfamiliar.  This is often obscure animals or obscure parts of the animals you do know.  For vegans, it is maybe limited to the potentially poisonous.
 Today I was taking an extra long route through the “woods” of central park and happened upon this mushroom at the base of a tree. Surprised since it hasn’t really rained in a good while and his mushroom was pretty young, i grabbed off what I could.  I was stopped by a guy from Manhattanville or maybe the eastern part of Morningside Heights.  He said he had seen that mushroom all over and wanted to know what it was.  ”I hope it’s Chicken of the Woods” I told him.  And I gathered the rest. 
We’re all raised being terrified of mushrooms we find in the wild.  Certainly anything but the button or portabella or oyster will mean instant death.  In fact, only 2% of mushrooms are poisonous which is not to say that the remaining 98% are pleasant to eat.
What’s good about the group (polypore) that chicken of the woods belongs to is that given three specific characteristics, all held, you can be sure the mushroom is at the very least safe to eat.  For a beginner (like myself) this is pretty comforting.  Those three conditions are:
Grows on wood
Grows in a shelf-pattern rather than like an umbrella (like the portabella or shiitake)
Pores underside the cap as opposed to gills (think porcinis or king oyster)
ALL THREE of those conditions MUST be met.
I first had chicken of the woods on a walking tour of edible foods in central park.  Though i walked away with some knowledge (but more valuable were the takings), I since swore the tours off if only for a particularly annoying member of the group who interrupted constantly to scream out that she had found whatever the tour guide was getting to.  She admitted to never missing a tour and as a result I’ve made sure to miss every subsequent one.  While I believe I’ve sufficiently retained a lot of the knowledge pertaining to wild plants, that fear of wild mushrooms persists.
However, back in the old country, my ancestors would routinely harvest and eat wild boletes (some of which ARE poisonous) and here I am.
So here I go…
See ya in the funny papersDavid 
And the results
Today I bought this book from one of my favorite, but more elusive, street sellers.  Her prices and selection are always the best.  Inspired by the design and knowledge, my CSA’s supply of tomatoes, and the rediscovery of my pasta maker with extensive collection of dice (so finally again I can make tube-shaped pastas), I rode to the Italian market at the Chelsea Market for some semolina.  I was convinced that this semolina might be more authentic or of better quality than Bob’s Red Mill.  That I can’t say now and it’s unlikely that if it is true I’ll know it, but I can say it is much cheaper.  I’ll for the future, though, probably just go to the International Market behind the Port Authority.  The cost is the same, but the location is not only closer it lends itself to a secret and magic.  There is something to respect about Hell’s Kitchen residents fighting the offer to change the neighborhood name to “Clinton” even if the move was fought only because grit is suddenly cool in a “post-crime” [sic] New York.  It is actually one of the more expensive neighborhoods now.
As cheap as pasta is, it’s quite easy to just want to buy packaged pasta in the interest of time.  I’ll say that with some practice and good timing, you can be efficient enough to produce a bowl of pasta in slightly more time than might take store-bought.  Also available to you now are such pleasures as herb- (roll dry herbs into the dough) or vegetable- (replace the water with vegetable juice) infused pastas, or extremely long linguine.
I’ve followed the rules as they are written, but found that understanding the appropriate texture of pasta is a pretty quick art to master.  This means it’s possible to get sloppy.  Pasta dough should be allowed to sit and settle for about thirty minutes.  The water will distribute itself more evenly in this time allowing for an easier to work with dough.  Repeat kneading through your pasta roller will recreate this effect, except messily at first and what time you think you’re saving by rushing this wait will  be lost in the pasta bits you now have to sweep up.  Similarly I’ve upped the water by just enough to create a sufficiently moist dough which means a neat and quick sheet formation, but invariably this leads to pasta that sticks together some after boiling.  Some solutions I’ve heard include drying the pasta first (this only makes sense to me if you’re making enough for several meals) or pouring some of the cooking water over the pasta.  It’s also wise to remove the pasta gently from the water using a spider or pasta fork.  
Never rinse Italian pasta!  I was raised doing this and it’s a huge mistake.  The starches actually help the sauces cling to it.  Instead allow it to simply drain.  If it seems like it’s sticking at this point, mixing with sauce will break it back up nicely.
Until I’ve actually read through this pasta book I can’t pair for you sauces with pastas, but I can in the mean time offer a basic recipe I’ve really enjoyed, courtesy of my friend, Nick. Thank goodness it’s tomato season.
A whole head of garlic, peeled and pressedQuality extra-virgin olive oil - Fairway’s oils are all reasonably priced and expertly chosen and described.  Right now I’m using Gata Hurdes Extremadura which is a great all-purpose oil.  If you go before 7 pm or so you can sample a lot of the oils for yourself.Either a 28oz can of whole peeled tomatoes or, if available, nice local tomatoes.Basil and other herbs/spices
I like to brown the garlic in the oil just a little, being careful not to burn.  Add the basil, some black pepper, and other herbs and let the oil take up the flavour.  If the tomatoes arelarger I’ll remove the harder core, but otherwise I don’t find this necessary.  Halve or quarter the tomatoes and add them to the pan* and then cover.  Simmer for as long as you’d like.  The longer you simmer the richer your sauce will become.  I’ve allowed nearly a gallon of canned tomatoes to become about a quart.  At this point you won’t need or want salt.  You can add to the sauce vegetables you have extra of but no use for such as squash or mushrooms.  Nick recently began adding hot pepper brine and swears by it, but tonight I’ll just be adding hot peppers.

*I have also read before, and will test tonight, that adding leaves from a tomato plant (to be removed when finished) will impart a nice flavor.  I know I always love smelling my hands after I handle my tomato plants.
Off to the kitchen!DavidBrine and Dine
we are the heroes of the Cyber-Scullery: ginger beer boring
First crocks finally came!  They are HUGE