Growing up, I was always pleased when my mom was making a roasted chicken for dinner. The rich, savory aroma filled the house for hours as it cooked. If I was really lucky, there would also be a heaping bowl full of mashed potatoes too and some crunchy, steamed green beans.
Recently, as I walked through the Ann Arbor Farmers Market, I was inspired to recreate this favorite childhood meal with local ingredients and some of my own twists. I decided to prepare a Crispy Skinned Spatchcocked Chicken, garlicky green beans, mashed potatoes, and a lemony pan sauce out of the backbone.
Almost every decent meal starts with onions.
Baste. Blanch. Chiffonade. Roast. Saute. Zest.
Ever see these terms on recipes and wonder “what the heck does that mean?” ? Well, if you have, you are not alone! One of the biggest challenges many of my clients face when changing their diet is navigating the kitchen and new recipes. Culinary education is no longer a staple in public education and our lives have become increasingly hectic. As a result, many people feel intimidated and overwhelmed in the kitchen and with cooking for themselves.
I’m not bragging, but there are a lot of cool things about my job as the NE Local Food Coordinator with Taste the Local Difference. I get to hang out with other local farmers, producers, and small business owners; I get to eat the food they’ve grown or created; drink the libations they’ve conceived; partake of their businesses’ inventions; help put on events celebrating their work; and tell everybody how great this region of Michigan is because of these people and their labors of love. It’s a pretty sweet deal.
The holiday buzz is here— covered in tinsel and flooding your inbox with cyber sales. But a look past the shiny, brash exterior reveals an activity at the heart of the season: gathering together with friends and family.
What brings us all together this time of year?
By Bill Palladino
“Alone among the animals, we humans insist that our food be not only ‘good to eat’ —tasty, safe, and nutritious— but also, in the words of Claude Levi-Strauss, ‘good to think,’ for among all the many other things we eat, we also eat ideas.”