Yesterday a knock came at the door. It was a representative from Milk Not Jails
to deliver a bundle of goodies to us. I had almost forgotten that we'd made a contribution to their efforts back in August through their Kickstarter campaign.
Milk for Jails is a great organization. I'll try to explain without getting too political. Basically they have the radical idea that maybe rural New York is better served through supporting local agriculture than through continuing to support the largest prison system on planet Earth. Maybe a dairy farm is a better idea than another prison so that America can continue to have more of its own citizens imprisoned than any other country on the planet.
What a concept!
The great thing about having paid for this in August is that it was like getting a special early Christmas gift!
We got butternut squash from African Zion Organic Roots Farm; lemongrass tea from Evolutionary Organics in New Paltz, NY; a dozen eggs from pasture raised hens from Tellos Green Farm in Red Hook, NY; Chocolate raspberry truffle ice cream and mango drinkable yogurt from Ronnybrook Farm Dairy
; garlic from Streetlight Gardens in Albany, NY; Adirondack Red Potatoes from Conuco Farm
in New Paltz, NY; Sauerkraut from Greyrock Farm CSA
out of Cazenovia, NY; braising greens from 5 lbs. of Dirt Farm
in Montgomery, NY; baby bok choi from an unspecified location; lettuce from Finger Lakes Fresh
in Ithaca, NY; apple butter made by Bed-Stuy Farm Share
in Brooklyn, NY; Pea Shoots from Evolutionary Organics in New Paltz, NY; and honey almond granola from Hawthorne Valley Farm
Wow. That's a pretty good haul. We actually just donated because we supported the cause. I wonder how much they're making from our donation after they gave us back all this stuff? Did we donate to their cause or did we just shop with them?
As I looked at all these ingredients to try to figure out something to make I had some of this Imperial Pale Ale from Captain Lawrence Brewing Company
. I figured this was the right way to go in keeping with the local New York theme of the meal.
I have to say, I'm warming up to IPAs. I was never much of a fan but now I actually find myself looking forward to them. Perhaps my tastes are being refined. Maybe I've reached a new level in my appreciation for the ancient beverage of beer.
Maybe I'm just getting old.
For a first course I sauteed up some shrimp with garlic, olive oil, red pepper flakes, and fresh basil. When they were just about done I sliced up some freshly boiled Adirondack Red Potatoes and fresh sliced basil from our window box.
I also tossed the pea shoots with some lemon, shallots, honey, toasted poppy seeds, olive oil, salt, and pepper. I worked in a restaurant where we used pea shoots (or pea tendrils as we called them) all the time for garnish. I've never actually eaten them before tonight.
For a side dish I cooked the braising greens with some olive oil, butter, bacon, onion, garlic, molasses, the remaining beer, water, salt, pepper, and cayenne.
For dessert we were quite well taken care of by the chocolate raspberry truffle ice cream from Ronnybrook.
On this day, in 1933, we saw an end to prohibition in America with the ratification of the 21st amendment to the Constitution. Even though I wasn't really in the mood for it I figured there was no better way to celebrate than by having some gin. And what better way than with a gin and tonic made with the finest ingredients?
To cap off the night we celebrated with a screening of A Christmas Story
/. Well, we watched it. It just makes us seem like asshole film buffs if we call it a screening.
We also like to listen to things on vinyl. We're that
kind of jerk.