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LilBrownBat's Profile

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Meat Buying Club in Boston?

Boston is a little closer to the farm than NYC, and you don't have to join a club or go very far to find farms that will sell you what you want. The best source is CISA's local food finder at http://www.buylocalfood.org/buy-local...

Local meats/eggs w/o breaking the bank...recommendations?

I wish I could say that it's that well thought out! I have a slight advantage in that I live in farm country, with many truly local producers, but that still doesn't give me an enormous price break. By that I mean that I'm sure there's a substantial markup if you're buying at retail establishments in the city, but you won't often see prices dip below $6 a pound for any kind of local meat (with the exception of soup bones and the like). To get an idea, here's the price list at a farm where I've been buying beef for about 10 years now: http://www.wheelviewfarm.com/pricelis.... At the same time, though, supermarket beef is not exactly cheap these days. There's a good reason for that and it's not about to change. So the difference between supermarket and farm is less than it used to be.

Chicken is often not the cheapest option. This surprises many people who think about the relative prices of chicken and beef in the supermarket, but unless they're factory farmed, chickens are not that cheap to raise. It's a matter of literally killing the goose (or chicken) that lays the egg: traditionally, among farmers who raise chickens, it's rare to kill a bird -- you keep them for eggs instead. Same with any kind of meat animal: you slaughter it and you're done. So, finding farmers who raise meat birds is not easy -- the production doesn't meet the demand. And chicken is difficult because you usually have to buy whole birds, frozen, which means you can't portion them. Pigs are pretty economical because they mature quickly, without a ton of feeding, and they produce good-sized litters...but, again, not what we'd call cheap.

So, yeah, most of the time I use the less expensive cuts and just don't eat as much. Beef shank or shin is a great cut for anything that involves braising: chili, spaghetti sauce, beef barley soup, etc. And I eat fish, but not shrimp, as much as I love it, because it's an ecological catastrophe. I just don't eat as much meat as what you find in the average American diet, and it works out okay.

Local meats/eggs w/o breaking the bank...recommendations?

The prices you list are pretty good, tbh. I don't think you're going to beat those and get local humanely raised meat. The stuff just isn't cheap to raise and bring to market.

This is not what anyone wants to hear, but I think we, the buying public, need to reexamine what we mean by "so expensive it's prohibitive". You need a big budget to eat local humanely-raised meat...IF you eat meat the way the average American does, that is, in large quantities and on a daily basis. But if local and humanely raised is a concern to you...at the risk of sounding like I'm tut-tutting, maybe it is worth thinking about the true cost of eating a lot of meat, not to your wallet but to the world. We don't like factory farming, but it's a chicken and egg problem, metaphorically speaking: factory farming is simply the only way you can bring large amounts of meat to large numbers of people. So, if these are issues that matter to you, maybe the best route is to eat local humanely-raised meat, but eat less of it.

Chinatown up and coming?

You seem to have completely lost track of who I was responding to. Hint: it wasn't you. So, maybe you should stop preaching at me.

And yeah, I know plenty about small-plot gardening, composting, and any other related subject you'd care to hold forth on. I've got a garden that I've been hand-tilling and improving the soil for going on fifteen years now. I know exactly what it takes. There's more to gardening than paying someone else to build a raised bed and trucking in a load of soil.

Chinatown up and coming?

It's "doable" in the sense that you can grow crops on a rooftop (with a lot of effort -- you can't just truck the soil in once and be done with it). But it won't scratch the surface of demand. It's a tiny "farm", and it still needs to truck its goods to the consumer -- the only difference is distance (plus a lot of aggravation that a non-urban farm does not have...it's easier to load from the field into your truck than from the top of a building).

Finding the Seaweed Used in Japanese Seaweed Salad

The type of seaweed typically used in Japanese restaurant seaweed salad is wakame. Dried wakame can be found at most Asian markets and reconstitutes just fine. Hijiki (a dark brown spaghetti in strands) may be a little harder to find, but also makes a great seaweed salad (usually served with carrot strands).

Help! Best takeout soup or other spicy stewish thing to defy a monster cold??

Rod Dee, tom yum noodle soup with chicken. Works EVERY time.

Chinatown up and coming?

A so-called "farm" on the roof of one building is hardly going to compete with any real farms. The square footage of the rooftop is barely more than an acre.

Chinatown up and coming?

The cheap, ethnic and authentic eats left town with the Chinatown Mall.

Rye bread?

I rave LaGrassa's, have not had Moody's yet. Dammit. Want pastrami NOW. Damn slow food!

Rye bread?

Where I got the brisket: Greenfield MA, at Foster's Market, $4.49 a pound. Sorry, it's pretty far from Boston!

Is this the recipe you're using? http://blogs.forward.com/the-jew-and-...

Recipes up for contention:
http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/20...
http://amazingribs.com/recipes/beef/c...

Rye bread?

Brisket's on sale and I'm going to take the plunge and try to make pastrami at home. I need some good rye bread, though. Who's got the best in Boston? And if you buy fresh rye bread, how long does it keep?

ISO fresh rice noodles in Boston

I see them at stores in Chinatown...but they're not like the noodles sold in bags, they're really wide (think like a lasagne noodle rolled up).

Cream Cheese

If the cream cheese ends up being a serious obsession, it's not really hard to make your own (but you need some special ingredients). There is a danger you'll never be able to go back to the silver box, though.

Have You Heard of Any Boston Based Kickstarter Food Projects?

"Great idea" as in "sure would be nice if this magically descended from the heavens", I'm guessing. To really be a "great idea", I think you have to factor in the reality as well as the fairy dust.

thanksgiving turkey

I think my thanksgiving turkey is gonna be a brisket. I just got a beauty on sale.

Where can I find black raspberries?

I get black raspberries from Nourse Farms in Whately MA. They're a pretty big name in the berry biz.

Heritage Turkey

Farm sources? I dunno, all the farms around here are small producers, so if you want a turkey for Thanksgiving, you sign up for it in the spring (i.e., when they decide how many birds they're going to raise). But maybe somebody's got extra. All I can say is go to the CISA website and start calling around.

Where can I find black raspberries?

You're a few weeks past the local fall raspberries (black raspberries are summer anyway). You could try substituting blackberries if you can find them, but blackberries are somewhat sweeter.

Where to buy bulk chocolate?

Moment of silence for Dairy Fresh...

...and now that that's out of the way, if you were going to make a substantial number of truffles, where would you do your buying? Yes, I know about online. I also know about shipping fees. Are there any decent brick-and-mortar retail alternatives left?

Deciphering local Chinese delivery

Are you quite sure you live in Boston and not somewhere else? I don't know when I've ever seen any of those options at a Chinese restaurant in Boston.

second year of no Maine shrimp

Goddammitall.

Local mail order food gifts

Here's another one I haven't tried but read a review of today: Nervous Nellie's jams and jellies, from Maine. http://www.nervousnellies.com/

Great Soups Downtown

It is a true life-saving soup in the cold and dark months. When all seems lost, Rod Dee's tom yum noodle soup can make you want to live again.

Great Soups Downtown

I'd go for the wonton noodle soup at Hong Kong eatery, with roast duck. One of my favorite meals.

(it's not near dtx, but my very favorite soup meal in the Boston area is the tom yum noodle soup with chicken from Rod Dee...especially if I'm getting a cold)

Cider Days, Franklin County, MA

It's local to me, so I go every year -- wouldn't miss it. At this late date, many of the events requiring tickets are sold out, but there are many others still available, and lots of apple and cider-themed menus and happenings in the area. If you are interested in making your own hard cider, you can get the supplies including bulk cider at Pine Hill Orchard in Colrain (you may want to bring your own sanitized carboy if you have one).

CiderDays THIS WEEKEND!

It's in Franklin County MA, Shelburne Falls, Deerfield etc. But many of the events involve hard cider, so if alcohol is an issue for you, perhaps it's not a good choice.

Bagelsaurus - new Cambridge location.

Wow, and I was feeling bad for paying $9 for a half dozen excellent bagels from a local pizza shop (they make them on Saturday mornings and sell them at the farmers' market).

CiderDays THIS WEEKEND!

http://www.ciderdays.org/

CiderDays 2014 is happening THIS weekend! Featuring workshops, marketplace, salons and supper, CiderDays celebrates all things apple and more besides! Learn how to make hard cider (and get all the equipment and ingredients to start your own batch), taste more than 65 hard cider brands at the salon, visit local orchards for celebrations and tastings.

Local mail order food gifts

Cabot cheeses and Lake Champlain chocolates pretty much always go over well.