Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Chambersburg summer produce: an introduction and preview

Don't know why I'm doing this--not as if I don't have enough writing to do. But someone's got to point out some of the places to eat and buy the wonderful produce I've been finding here, there, between acres of corn and alfalfa fields, far from the interstate-crossing crowd.

The stuff in the photo above, for example, all bought during a wild foraging trip we took summer of 2014; thing is the places visited will be ready with their produce this summer, and you can find em too if you take the time and effort to try (I'll try help with whatever contact information and links I can find).

The impossibly bright strawberries, turnips, asparagus and green onions we found completely by accident at (took a wrong turn, wandered, braked hard and reversed when we nearly passed the sign of) Woodstock Market (1696 Woodstock Rd Fayetteville, PA 17222, (717) 372-1207). 

Berries nearly didn't make it home; they stained fingers and cheeks blood red (I'd hate to have passed by a police car at that point) and tasted as if they were dipped in sugar. The onions we roasted till smoky-sweet and dipped in a spicy almond romesco sauce

The turnips went into Luz's egg rolls, with a choice of garlic-and-Ilocano vinegar or sweet chili dip. More on those rolls one of these days, if enough folks are interested...

The creamy spinach and cheese quiche and the creme brulee with crispy burnt top are from Nathan Miller's (140 North Third St. Ste. 3 Chambersburg, PA 17201, 717 496 8229) and while the pastries are delicious (Miller apprenticed in a bakery in Strehla, Germany, is a graduate of the CIA at Hyde Park, and worked as pastry chef in The Kitchen in Boulder, Colorado before opening his own place), the little cafe-and-bakery's specialty are specially sourced and crafted chocolates. Too much to write about there, they deserve a whole post all their own...

Cheesecake shots of the strawberries and green onions. That terrifying plate of meats with what looks suspiciously like a cow's stomach--that was bought from La Hacienda Meat and Produce (342 Grant St Chambersburg, PA 17201, (717) 446-0269). Every 10 am Saturday customers can come in, grab a plastic sack, and pick from a deli counter's worth of carnitas--tender pork ribs, falling-apart pork shoulder, fatty pork belly--not to mention chicharrones (crispy slabs of fat and pork skin), either of which you can eat straight out of the bag (and die of a heart attack with a huge grin on your face), or you can save to make one of the supreme gems of Filipino cuisine, the pinakbet (a pork and vegetable stew--more on that too, one of these days)...

And yet another cheesecake shot, though frankly these mangoes rate it--they were slightly tart, milky-sweet, firm-fleshed and ridiculously cheap (can't remember the price, only that Luz thought they were, and bought ten pounds' worth).

That's what I got for now. Will try post once a week, at least once a month; let me know what you think, it might encourage me (or don't, in which case it won't). I've got plenty of material, places, recipes, suggestions; just glad I finally put something out.

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