Welcome to Painted Hand Farm

Painted Hand Farm is a 20 acre Civil War era farm located in Cumberland county, Pennsylvania. We raise meat goats, veal calves, turkeys and organic vegetables using humane and sustainable agricultural practices.

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Monday, January 19, 2009

Good Food for Exciting Times

We've also thrown in a little shameless commerce, like everyone else, capitalizing on the upcoming Presidential Inauguration. Traveling to sell their farmstead artisan cheese in Washington DC for the last several years, Keswick Creamery decided to show their excitement by renaming Bovre, one of their signature cheeses, "Bovama" this past weekend. With Jessica attending the Presidential Youth Inaugural Conference this week, I covered her spot helping out at the Dupont Circle Farmers Market. Although I've worked at the market previously and done other markets in the DC metro area, the vibe in the air was like never before. Alice Waters from Chez Panisse and many other celebrity chefs sampled and purchased cheeses for the upcoming meals they would prepare in the coming days. I think that their choice to support local farmers by shopping at the market spoke volumes as to the overall message the new administration hopes to deliver and instill.

Another reason for going along to DC on Sunday was I was packing more than just cheese from Keswick Creamery. In a cooler were cheeses from Stone Meadow Farm, Fallsdale Farm, Shellbark Hollow, Otterbein Acres, Three Belle Cheeses, Calkins Creamery and Birchrun Hills Farms which were destined for a private inaugural event involving the transition team in regards to agriculture. We met a lot of wonderful people from all over the United States and were able to share a diverse variety of Pennsylvania farmstead & artisan cheeses with them.
Thanks to the generosity of all the cheesemakers when there are events such as these, there was a bit of cheese leftover, one being some of Stone Meadow Farm's incredible Leigh Belle, a Camembert-style bloomy rind cheese. I, personally, think it's a mortal sin for people to consume a good bloomy rind cheese at anything less than room temperature, preferring my paste to ooze languidly as in Salvador Dali's Persistence of Memory. Plus, people are often reluctant to cook with brie, camembert and epoisse-type cheeses, which is a true loss.
Armed with a round of this marvelous cheese and several other fresh goodies from the farmers market, I decided to build a memorable meal around a chunk of nice Ahi (yes, the tuna isn't 'local', but it's from Ted's Seafood at the Carlisle Central Farmers Market). Mushrooms from the Mother Earth Organic Mushrooms and Leeks from Creekside Farm were sauteed with my shallots & farmstead butter and then draped over the seared fish. Spring Valley had an interesting winter squash that provided a creamy pulp which was slathered with a dripping spoonful of warmed Leigh Belle. Can life get any better? Yes, for dessert I snagged a pair of Napolians from Boneparte Breads.

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