Archive for July, 2011

This week, my daughter asked for my hamburger recipe, so she could show a French friend how real hamburgers taste (she is a big fan of the Pink Panther movies). This got me thinking that I’m not all that confident I know what the ideal hamburger recipe is, especially if we are trying to impress the French. So I went straight to my go-to video chef, John Mitzewich at foodwishes.com. I was surprised that his cooking method was great, but his seasoning was very plain: salt & pepper. I like to keep burgers simple, too, so you can appreciate the flavor of the beef. But to me, it’s just not a burger without garlic. So now I’m wondering, does anyone out there have a favorite hamburger recipe? If so, please share!

Here is my recipe:

1 lb. ground beef

1/2 tsp table salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1 clove crushed garlic (or 1/4 tsp garlic powder)

optional: 1/2 onion, grated or chopped fine

optional: 1 Tbsp minced parsley (my mother’s secret ingredient)

Gently mix all the ingredients (too much mixing toughens the meat), and form patties. By the way, I think the perfect burger size is 1/3 pound, so the above serves 3. Here is Chef John’s method:

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We started building this mobile chicken house back in March. With the help of welder Sean Azarowski and carpenter Frank DeGennaro it is finally finished!

The layers are slowly getting accustomed to the new digs. When we moved them in last week, many of them jumped the fence to return to their old laying house in the greenhouse (in the background of the photo above). Watching a grown man trying to catch an escaped chicken is a lot of fun. But that show will soon be over. We plan to launch the mobile house this week and move it down to the lower fields—out of sight of the old house.

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I have been scouring Craigslist daily for used egg sorting equipment. Today, I hit on this ad for a job opening in a Colorado egg-packing plant. I thought it was interesting, because it highlights another difference between our small-scale farming system and large-scale industrial farming not just for the animals, not just for the land, not just for the food itself and the health of the consumer, but for the farm worker.

There is a trade-off between efficiency on the one hand and all the benefits of small-scale farming on the other. Perhaps there is a sweet spot where the need for efficiency and the benefits of small-scale are perfectly balanced. As we grow, we too are searching (daily) for ways to be more efficient. This ad is a sobering reminder that we have to keep a constant watch to make sure we don’t get on the wrong side of that sweet spot.

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