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Football Food for the Forty-Six Percenters

Like forty-six percent of women in the United States I love American Pro Football. Especially the Super Bowl. I love crowding with my peeps around a spread of tasty morsels. I love lively conversation straight through the big plays. Which is why I/we dislike watching ball with our guys. Their flailing elbows are a hazard, their flying mouth crumbs super gross. Plus they’re know-it-alls who think we don’t ‘get it’ and shush us during two point conversations. Fun fact: chatting during the play doesn’t impair anyone’s ability to SEE the  screen nor does it impact the outcome of the action.
We do get the game, btw. We get the blitz schemes. The trick plays. All mostly stupid. If the offense hadn’t mishandled the ball for the last six possessions an angel stunt wouldn’t be necessary. Kay? Kay.

Acorn Squash Soup

Ever sat at a Thanksgiving Day table and daydreamed about the potential for glorious leftover recipes? Yeah, me neither. So on a completely unrelated note, here is a beautifully simple leftover recipe that upcycles a classic squash dish.

Thyme Infused Dinner Rolls (with homemade cultured butter)

These herbed pull-apart dinner rolls, with their rustic crust and fluffy sweet interior, possess exactly the right density and flavor for sopping up pan drippings and gravies at Thanksgiving. The dough comes together like a velvet symphony when ingredients are allowed to reach room temperature and the mixing bowls warmed before combining. The secret to the light and fluffy interior is to add only as much flour as necessary and not a pinch more.

Carnivorous Contemplations: Beef

Byrne Black Angus Farm, Skaneateles NY

Byrne Black Angus Farm, Skaneateles NY

One of the pleasures of living in the vicinity of many small, in-dependently run, farms in Central New York is our ability as a community to build relationships with the people who produce our food and to see with our own eyes how crops and animals are cared for. A prominent figure in my own family’s local food network is Jean Byrne of Byrne Black Angus farm. The Husband and I met Jean two years ago when we began our biweekly trek to the Skaneateles Farmers Market; after visiting her farm and seeing for ourselves her family’s commitment to raising quality beef, Byrne Black Angus has systematically replaced store-bought beef on our dinner table.

Kisses on Byrne Black Angus Farm, Skaneateles NY

Kisses on Byrne Black Angus Farm, Skaneateles NY

Let’s face it folks, there are some seriously gnarly things lurking in the mega mart meat isle. For my family red meat is an occasional treat and when we do buy it we demand a few assurances: in the words of Joel Salatin, we want to know the farmer ‘embraced the cowness of the cow’ – meaning it was fed the kind of food it was designed to eat and it was allowed to move about in open air on properly-maintained pastures; we want to know the animal developed without the influence of artificial growth hormones that are so damaging to the animal, damaging to us, and damaging to the soil and ground water it leaches into; and we want to know the animal was treated humanely. Since these assurances are impossible for chain groceries to make, we’ve moved to Byrnes Black Angus farm.

And oh, my carnivorous compadres, no commercially-raised steak – and nothing off a steakhouse menu – compares to the flavor of fresh, grass-fed, locally raised Angus prepared on your own back-yard grill. As a matter of fact, here is The Husband’s recipe for a delicious grilled Byrne-raised Black Angus hanger steak with blue cheese butter and French fried onions. The flavor of this dish is so divine when you eat it you’ll swear you hear the sweet music of Copeland’s Rodeo ringing in your ears.