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Posts posted by StanSherman

  1. Thanks to everyone. As you can guess, this may be one of the meals I’d like to nail. They do have some similar habits so there is some material to work with.

    An easy to eat idea is good. One of her favorite meals in the past ten years was at Aquavit in Minneapolis a few months prior to their closing. I don’t remember any fish soups by Marcus Samuelsson, but a Bourride may be a great idea.

  2. I need to make a special reunion dinner for my honey. She is to meet her birth-mother for the first time next February. They are brought together by a genetic study being conducted at Mayo. They both possess a very rare disease. The odds on them both being alive are astronomical.

    Mom has had a pretty tough life and her fondest food memory is a French seafood soup she had in Belgium in 1962. My first guess is Bouillabaisse. Can any of you think of any other possibilities?

  3. Faith,

    Currently it's difficult to calculate what a fair profit on chickens is since there is currently almost no profit. Companies like Tyson are making their profit on the processed food products.

    A small chicken producer just can't keep their costs low enough to overcome the price spread. They pay an extra 50 cents or so for the baby chick, a little extra for processing extra for packaging etc. A friend with a specialty processing plant just shut it down. They hadn't made any profit in a few years. There are two almost brand new chicken houses nearby set-up for a Kosher plant. With just under a million per building in them they could be had for less than $200K.

    The recent Salmonella outbreaks crashed the egg market. That may be good for the specialty producers, but it is still a tough sell in this economy to pass up .69 per dozen eggs.

  4. One of the big misunderstandings regarding poultry is the difference between egg and meat production. The link you show is happy free-range hens. They live much different lives than meat birds. The key word is "access".

    In New Zealand the definition of free-range is quite similar to the US. According to the Code of Welfare 2005:

    "A system providing birds with access to an

    extensive outdoor area and which typically

    includes housing (either fixed or moveable)

    similar to a barn, aviary, or perchery without


    According to the Egg producers of NZ 88% of eggs are produced in cages. Egg laying hens will roam around, while meat birds will normally not. Hens will "work" for 2-3 years while 99% of the meat bird breeds will not live much more than 8 weeks. They get too fat to survive.

    With meat birds 90% of NZ is controlled by three companies. A small operation has a difficult time with the breeding and processing efficiencies, plus very little of the meat bird production is likely to change with current biosecurity concerns. Typically a grow house will have 60,000 birds hatched on the same day. They are also transported in that group and processed together. They are counted for security and traceable purposes as one lot. If you truly free-range meat birds every animal is a different lot, so bookkeeping is greatly increased.

    I'm not sure how much price difference the economy is willing to accept, but typically the "nice to the animal" versions are 3-4 times more expensive at retail with eggs and meat. That is the main reason for producers to try and trick consumers into thinking their products are being raised by sweet little old grandmothers on the small family farm.

    One of the large organic producers touts that they feed their birds a "vegetarian" diet. All commercial chicken is fed a similar mix of corn and soy. They all add some mineral supplements.

  5. Just a couple of clarifications for people who are unfamiliar to raising meat birds.

    Free range is different than pastured.

    In the US Free range means that the birds have access to the outside. Unfortunately 99.99% of the genetics are some form of Cornish Cross. If these birds actually did walk outside and away from their chow they would be either blind or lost. They actually only do three things: eat, crap and sleep. They are at full butcher weight at 7 weeks and if you have ever raised them you can't wait to kill them.

    Pastured birds are placed in small batches (usually in movable pens)on grass pasture. They pick at grass and bugs along with their feed mix. They have much better flavor.

    For more info: http://www.apppa.org/

    Most pastured birds are sill Cornish Cross since they are available and they develop large breast in a very short time.

    There are small numbers of flocks that were originally bred for the Label Rogue label. These birds range in flavor and breast size. They naturally like to roam around, but they take 10-14 weeks to reach butcher size.

    A few years back we made the mistake of mixing the flocks together. They have a large area to roam with a hay bale house. The French birds loved pecking at the bales and generally were a pleasure to have around. Unfortunately they are quite smart and they figured out how to escape us when we were rounding them up for butcher time. They would use the Cornish Crosses' to block us from catching them, they would duck under brush and generally do a great job of getting away. I really hate livestock that is smarter than me.

    We usually did 50 birds a week. We could gather CCs in 10 minutes normally but the other birds necessitated getting in the pen at 3am while they were sleeping. After we grabbed the first 10 so they were all up and the rest took at least another hour.

    Currently I can't have animals because of time constraints, but even so, it would be impossible to turn a profit with little or no feed expense. We could take a truck 100 yards to the feed bins and grind it for free. Our cost would still exceed the current market.

  6. I understand! I just took two hogs to the processor yesterday. I have their suggested beef cut up on my desk and posted it directly.

    Although the largest Kosher meat packing plant in the US is nearby, you can't find a brisket anywhere within 100 miles.

  7. For the city folk, how much cow is half?

    On average about 330 pounds per side.

    Here is a typical cut up in Iowa. (people in this area don't understand brisket and flank steak)

    12 T-Bone Steak (3/4” thick) 12 Ribeye Steak (3/4”)

    7 Top Sirloin Steak (3/4”) 16 Round Steak (3/4”)

    2 Sirloin Tip Roasts (3lb) 7 Chuck Roast (4lb)

    3 Arm Roast (3lb) 3 Rump Roast (3lb)

    8 pkg Stew beef (1lb) (can be ground) 4 pkg Short Ribs (1.5lb)

    5 pkg Soup Bones (1.5lb) (can be trimmed) 1 Slab Back Ribs (2lb)

    4 pkg Boiling Beef (1.5lb) (can be trimmed) 80-100 lb ground beef

    (liver, heart, tongue, and oxtail. Brisket & Flank

    are automatically ground unless otherwise requested.)

  8. We live right in the middle of corn fields (grain). Last week I took a trip with the neighbor, who farms hundreds of acres of corn, to Madison, WI. He wanted to do some shopping at a mall and pick up some goodies for the holidays. He insisted on getting some fresh corn.

    Nothing beats pulling it off the stalk and into the boiling pot, but in December it can still be a nice treat.

  9. Beef, pork, lamb, chickens, turkeys, dairy and eggs are all produced within 20 miles.

    Breads are baked at home or locally but I can’t be sure the wheat didn’t travel a few hundred miles.

    We grow about 80% of our vegies and about 60% of our fruit. We can about 800 quarts of garden product each season.

  10. The local farm womenz won't let me go to their apple pie bake. No menz allowed. Their apple tree is almost ready to be picked. Either I throw a party for the raccoons or I learn how to make a better pie. One way or another they aren't getting the last word on this one. Really, kinda of, hopefully, maybe.

  11. I seriously doubt any analysis by any news reporter regarding energetic materials. They usually only manage to get their own name correct.

    This article came to me via a chemical engineer. There seems to already be a huge hole in the story including the good news that they saved one hand. Meanwhile everyone covers up what they did so we may never find out what actually went wrong. It's all in the name of safety.

  12. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/...n-accident.html

    The 24-year-old chef was experimenting with a recipe involving liquid nitrogen, which is used by chefs including Heston Blumenthal to freeze food, when there was suddenly an "enormous explosion", according to a report in the Berliner Morgenpost.

    The young man, from Stahnsdorf, near Berlin, lost one hand in the explosion, which occurred at his girlfriend's mother's house.

    He was rushed to hospital, where his other hand was amputated and his condition was described as life threatening and he remained on artificial respiration. <snip>

  13. As for the discussion about brand reliability, one reason I bought the Jenn Air was that it's made by the same company as Amana, and my previous Amana fridge was quiet and trouble free.

    Whirlpool bought Amana, I hope you don't get the poor service too. I use my old Amana when the KitchenAid is broke (quite often). It just frosts me that we need to wait 10 days for service when we live within 100 miles of the original Amana factory.

    They tell me to only expect 8-10 years out of the new models. I find that unacceptable so we'll probably just build a walk in and buy cheaper units for the staples.

  14. For the fourth or fifth time, our less than five year old Kitchen Aid stopped keeping temperature correctly. You would think the technology that has the perfect timing to malfunction immediately prior to a large guest gathering could be applied to just having the thing work properly. It broke 6/29 and the first repair date they could accommodate me with is 7/9.

    While shopping for the eventual replacement for this overprice pile of crap I became aware that Electrolux and soon Frigidaire are making bottom drawer 28 cu ft ones. While somewhat more expensive their design seems far superior. Anybody with real experience.

    BTW how difficult would it be for refers to include a temp alarm? I'm sure it can't be any more expensive to install than the reminder mechanism to buy more water filters from the manufacturer. Surely temperature control is a more important safety issue than a plugged filter.

  15. I agree with you Anne. We have every type of pig farm within a few miles of us. None of these labels discuss genetics of the breed. I'm not a pig expert but have raised chickens. Free-range chickens is a joke. 99.9999% of the meat birds in the US come from three basic and very similar breed lines. The common name is a Cornish Cross. They are breed for large white breasts. You can give them 100 miles to roam but the will rarely stray more than 10 feet from the feeder.

    There is a small group of Berkshire hogs down the road. They have several acres to roam but tend to stay within 100 feet of the chow.

  16. I used to have clay baked chicken at a place in Glendale, CA years ago. They would season the bird, wrap it in parchment and mold a clay chicken around the bird and bake it. It was served on a platter for two with straw around the base.

  17. If past is the way to go I would think a portable propane stove with large pots would speed up the process. We've got a Camp Chef unit with 90,000 and 120,000 btu burners and they cost around $150. (We set up in the field when we process tomatoes.)

    I would think a 48 quart crock pot for around $50 would also earn it's keep.

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