Posted on June 17, 2011 by tangstein
No, we’re not talking basketball here, but something much more exciting: a fabulous local organization, SELMA Cafe, raises money and volunteers to help area farmers put up “hoop houses,” which are basically long plastic-covered greenhouses that enable the farmer to use passive solar energy to extend the growing season to 10-12 months of the year – even here in Michigan!
On June 15, SELMA started a project to construct 20 of the houses for 20 different farms in 20 days. Most of our gang at Fair Food Network signed up for a team work day, and I decided to lend a hand in a more concrete way – not by sitting in the office working on food systems projects in the abstract but actually helping to build a hoop house. And so on day 1 of the project, we (including my 11-year old daughter – honest, teachers, it was a worthy, educational project!) found ourselves out in Stockbridge performing hard labor.
I wanted to share some photos of the day – not much else to say, except that it was truly inspiring to see the approximately 20 volunteers, led by builder-in-chief Jeff McCabe (who ought to write the Hoophouses for Dummies book), put this thing together. We had to leave before it was done, but K’s conclusion (again, sorry teachers!): “I learned much more today than I would have on the last Wednesday of the school year!”
How it looked at 9:00am
Looking more like a hoophouse by 2:45pm
To view all the photos, go to my Facebook album.
Filed under: food systems | Tagged: Fair Food Network, high tunnel, hoop house, SELMA cafe | Leave a comment »
Posted on June 2, 2011 by tangstein
Another invention of mine, totally NOT Chinese but using some ingredients common to Chinese cuisine and very appropriate for that ever-popular summer activity: grilling! Fish sauce, a very salty concoction made from anchovies, is a predominantly Vietnamese ingredient but is widely available in both Asian markets and many well-stocked conventional grocery stores (in the Asian food section).
Serves 6 as a main course, 8-10 as an appetizer.
- 1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
- 1 T finely minced onion – red, yellow, or white
- 1 T rice wine vinegar
- 1 tsp fish sauce (optional)
- 2 T oil – preferably high-heat sunflower or safflower oil
- 2 T sesame oil
- 1 tsp sugar, preferably brown or “raw”
- kosher salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
- chili sauce (such as Sriracha) or chopped salted chilies to taste – start with a modest amount! (optional)
- 2.5 lb sea or bay scallops
- Combine all the ingredients except the scallops in a bowl and let the mixture sit at room temperature for 1-2 h.
- Rinse and pat the scallops dry, removing the small muscle that sometimes remains attached to the side – this can be very tough but makes wonderful seafood broth or stock when combined w/ fish bones, shrimp shells, etc.
- Mix the scallops gently with 1/2 the sauce until thoroughly coated.
- Refrigerate 1-3 h, turning gently 1/2 way through.
- Thread the scallops on skewers and grill over a medium flame, approximately 2 m for sea scallops, 1 m for bay.
- Brush with the reserved sauce, turn, and grill approximately another 2 m for sea scallops, 1 m for bay. Do not overcook, or the scallops will be tough and the sauce will burn.
- Grill the scallops ahead of time and serve them warm or at room temperature as an hors d’oeuvre.
- The scallops are also excellent served cold in a salad.
You can make the marinade up to 2 days ahead – best to leave the vinegar and chili sauce out until the time you plan to marinate the scallops.
Filed under: fish and shellfish, scallops | Tagged: cilantro, scallops, shellfish | Leave a comment »