Archive for January, 2014


Survive the Winter Blues: Save 25 – 60% Off

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

There is no denying it: the days are shorter and unless you planned for a winter garden, fresh vegetables from your backyard have long passed.

But don’t let the winter get you down. There are plenty of recipes to last you through the cold season and into the ‘hungry gap’.

Winter Sale: 25 – 60% Off Selected Titles
Until February 15th

We’ve shared a few easy, DIY recipes: from growing your own sprouts, a new take on flank steak, fermenting, baking, and of course day dreaming (and planning) for spring.

For next year, don’t limit your harvest to summer months. Dive into Four Season Harvest and The Winter Harvest Handbook so you can grow cold-hardy winter crops through the most biting cold.

Happy reading (and eating) from your friends at Chelsea Green Publishing.

Discount codes do not combine with other offers—our books already on sale for example.
Free shipping for orders $100 or more is applied after the discount is applied. (U.S. Orders Only). 


Sprouts: Breath Life back into Winter

Is your root cellar down to potatoes and onions? Fear not – growing sprouts is one of the simplest things you can do to breathe life into the deprivations of winter. Grow it »»
 


The Gourmet Butcher’s Pig in a Flanket

 

Looking for a new take on the flank steak? Let master butcher Cole Ward guide you with this easy and tasty recipe. Make it »»

 


Chop, Salt, Pack, Wait: Four Simple Steps to Making the Best Sauerkraut on Earth

Four easy steps are all you need to turn veggies into a long-lasting, tangy condiment perfect to serve alongside sausage or eggs.

So go ahead, make friends with the microbes in your life. Make it »»

 


Sweet Desserts: Cinnamon Spiral

Warm up your kitchen this winter with this sweet temptation. This isn’t just any bread – the crumb is firm and reminiscent of pound cake, while the crust is soft.

Cinnamon Spiral is comfort food with style.  Bake it »»

 


Start Seedlings in a Cold Frame

Are you ready to get a start on the gardening season? With a cold frame you can jump in now.

Farmer Eliot Coleman is the master of growing vegetables year-round, and he has some simple guidelines for using cold frames to start seedlings right. Build it »»


~ ~ Winter Savings: 25% Off  ~ ~
Gourmet Butcher's Guide (Coming in Jan)Retail $49.95
Sale: $37.46
The Resilient Farm and Homestead
Retail $40.00
Sale: $30.00
From the Wood-Fired Oven
Retail $44.95
Sale: $33.71
The Sugarmaker's Companion
Retail $39.95
Sale $29.96
The New Cider Maker's HandbookRetail $44.95
Sale $33.71

~ ~ Winter Deeper Savings: 40% Off ~ ~

The Winter Harvest Handbook
Retail $29.95
Sale: $17.97

Wild Fermentation
Retail $25.00
Sale: $15.00
Wild Flavors Cover
Retail $24.95
Sale: $14.97
The Grafter's Handbook
Retail $40.00
Sale: $24.00

Four-Season Harvest
Retail $24.95
Sale: $14.97

Gaia's Garden, 2nd Edition
Retail $29.95
Sale: $17.97
The Resilient Gardener Cover
Retail $29.95
Sale: $17.97
Slow Gardening
Retail $29.95
Sale: $17.97
~ ~ Need More? Clearance Selection: 60% Off  ~ ~
Chasing Chiles
Retail $17.95
Sale: $7.18
Home Baked
Retail $39.95
Sale: $15.98
Growing Healthy Vagetable Crops
Retail $12.95
Sale: $5.18
Sharing the Harvest
Retail $35.00
Sale: $14.00
Full Moon Feast
Retail $25.00
Sale: $10.00

Discount codes do not combine with other offers—our books
already on sale for example. Free shipping for orders $100 or
more is applied after the discount is applied. (U.S. Orders Only)
 
per inceptos himenaeos.

Reclaiming the Lost Culinary Art of Butchery

Monday, January 27th, 2014

Do you know a butcher? Chances are, the answer is “no.”

True butchery has become a lost art, and many people have no idea how an animal gets from the pasture to their plate.

In The Gourmet Butcher’s Guide to Meat, master butcher Cole Ward aims to revive this traditional culinary art that is an often overlooked, but vitally important, aspect of the farm-to-table movement.

“A good butcher is an ethical professional who knows the provenance of his or her meats,” Ward writes in the book’s introduction. “I want to give everyone an understanding and appreciation of my craft and its culinary artists, and I want to celebrate and support our struggling small farmers and quality-meat producers. So my mission is nothing less than to bring back culinary butchery—a craft that we must never lose.”

Throughout the book, Ward debunks ten common myths about meat:

  1. All butchers and meat-cutters are the same.
  2. Eating meat has nothing to do with being human.
  3. The more you pay for a cut of meat, the better it will be.
  4. Farmers are not very sophisticated (they live in the country, after all).
  5. Meat just happens.
  6. If it’s in your supermarket, you can trust it.
  7. Cattle can’t digest grain.
  8. Pigs are dirty.
  9. Sheep are stupid.
  10. Chickens are dumb.

More importantly than busting these common myths, Ward teaches readers how they can butcher an entire animal—a skill that has been lost on many homesteaders and culinary enthusiasts. His book includes an 800-slide CD that provides step-by-step images illustrating how to cut up a side of beef or pork, and a whole lamb or chicken.

The Gourmet Butcher’s Guide to Meat slideshow by Chelsea Green Publishing

Written with Ward’s trademark humor and insight, The Gourmet Butcher’s Guide to Meat is the ultimate guide to traditional butchery. It includes recipes, a detailed glossary, and information on:

• The real definition, work, and role of a culinary butcher;
• The roots of butchery from prehistory to modern times;
• What goes on behind the scenes at meat markets large and small;
• The truth behind meat-marketing claims of “organic,” “natural,” “free-range,” “grass-fed,” and “pasture-raised”; and,
• Processing your own meat, including what you’ll need in terms of tools, safety training, and preparation.

After reading Ward’s book you’ll not only be able to ask your local butcher key questions to determine the provenance of what’s going on your plate, but what to look for in a cut of meat, and tips on how to start cutting up meat at home for your family.

So, get those knives sharpened up – and get cutting.

The Gourmet Butcher’s Guide to Meat (with CD): How to Source it Ethically, Cut it Professionally, and Prepare it Properly is available now and on sale for 25% off until Feb. 15. Read an excerpt below.

 

Chapter One: What is a Butcher? by Chelsea Green Publishing

President Obama on Marijuana: Yes, We Cannabis?

Monday, January 27th, 2014

It’s been a remarkable week for supporters of marijuana legalization. Topping the list of reasons is Pres. Barack Obama’s statement in The New Yorker that he doesn’t think marijuana is more dangerous than alcohol.

No fooling. As in marijuana is safer than alcohol.

I think we’ve heard that phrase somewhere … hmm … where could it be? Oh right! In 2008, Chelsea Green published the book Marijuana is Safer: So Why are We Driving People to Drink? The core message of the book helped win the public relations battle against prohibitionists, particularly in Colorado.

Last fall, we released a revised and expanded edition of the book to take stock of the victories in Colorado and Washington state, and to demonstrate to other states considering legalization efforts that it can be done.

Obama on Marijuana

Here’s a portion of what Pres. Obama told David Remnick of The New Yorker about marijuana legalization:

“As has been well documented, I smoked pot as a kid, and I view it as a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as a young person up through a big chunk of my adult life. I don’t think it is more dangerous than alcohol.”

Is it less dangerous? I asked.

(…)

Less dangerous, he said, “in terms of its impact on the individual consumer. It’s not something I encourage, and I’ve told my daughters I think it’s a bad idea, a waste of time, not very healthy.” What clearly does trouble him is the radically disproportionate arrests and incarcerations for marijuana among minorities. “Middle-class kids don’t get locked up for smoking pot, and poor kids do,” he said. “And African-American kids and Latino kids are more likely to be poor and less likely to have the resources and the support to avoid unduly harsh penalties.” But, he said, “we should not be locking up kids or individual users for long stretches of jail time when some of the folks who are writing those laws have probably done the same thing.” Accordingly, he said of the legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington that “it’s important for it to go forward because it’s important for society not to have a situation in which a large portion of people have at one time or another broken the law and only a select few get punished.”

We’ll let Jon Walker detail the importance of Obama’s comments, as noted on his blog Just Say Now:

This shift in opinion is a huge victory for organizations like Safer Alternative For Enjoyable Recreation (SAFER) founded by Mason Tvert back in 2005 and the resulting book Marijuana is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink? In retrospect it maybe the most important book for helping to spread support for legalization at the beginning of the 21st century.

Instead of focusing primarily on the economic benefits of legalization or the libertarian case for personal autonomy SAFER promoted the science proving marijuana is simply much less dangerous than alcohol. Once people realize marijuana is safer it logically leads to the question: why is marijuana the one that is illegal?

Hear, hear!

Let’s hope the president and his administration follow through at the federal level to decriminalize pot possession (as well allowing folks to grow industrial hemp, but that’s another story).

Congrats to Steve Fox, Paul Armentano, and Mason Tvert, the authors of Marijuana is Safer, as well as the countless volunteers and activists out there working to decriminalize marijuana. This is no small feat, however, when you still have “Reefer Madness” devotees like Nancy Grace out there. Tvert held is own recently as Grace doubled-down on some rather outdated and overzealous misinformation about people who smoke marijuana.

Here’s the original interview as posted and analyzed by our friends at Raw Story.

And, in case you missed it, here’s a parody of that Nancy Grace interview from the most recent episode of Saturday Night Live.

 

Original Photo by AFP/Getty Images

 

RECIPE: The Simplest Pot Roast Ever

Friday, January 17th, 2014

Beat winter’s chill with this warm and hearty pot roast recipe from Shannon Hayes’ book Long Way on a Little: An Earth Lover’s Companion for Enjoying Meats, Pinching Pennies, and Living Deliciously.

The simple secret to this recipe is a good sear, followed by time in the slow cooker with very little liquid, resulting in concentrated beef flavor and an intense sauce. With the added benefit of using a low energy cooking method—less than 25 cents per day—this dish is sure to keep your belly and your wallet full.

Simplest Pot Roast Ever

You can download the recipe here >>>

Maple Syrup 101: When Do I Tap My Tree?

Monday, January 13th, 2014

With sugaring season almost upon us, many folks are already setting their eyes on a nearby stand of maple trees and getting ready to set taps, run lines, and collect sap.

If you only have a couple of trees nearby — say in your backyard — author Mike Farrell (The Sugarmaker’s Companion) has some simple advice for you to get started tapping a few trees and collecting the sap by bucket. The following is adapted and condensed from Chapter 5 of his book.

Happy sap collecting!

Backyard Sap CollectionWhen to Tap

One of the most difficult decisions you have to make from year to year in your sugaring operation is deciding when to tap. I always recommend tapping just a few trees in January and February to determine what is going on with sap flow conditions. In relatively cold areas, even when the temperatures get above freezing in January and February, the amount of sap flow can be negligible. The trees are basically frozen, and it takes an extended period of warm temperatures to induce substantial sap flow. In warmer regions where the winter isn’t as severe, optimum temperature fluctuations usually happen all winter and the trees may be producing a decent amount of sap in January and February. If you see this happening in your test trees, you’ll want to tap the rest of your sugarbush to catch the early sap runs.

How to Tap

Finding the Right Spot

The first step in tapping is to find a good spot to drill the hole. It doesn’t matter how nice a hole you drill, what type of spout you use, or what level of vacuum you are pulling if you have drilled into a bad section of the tree. To get a decent amount of high-quality sap, you need to drill into clear, white sapwood. It is important to avoid previous tapholes and the associated stain columns as well as other defects and rotten areas on the trunk. Large seams and wounds are easy to identify and avoid, but it takes a trained eye to locate old tapholes.

Drilling the Hole

Sugaring Tap

Some people advocate drilling the hole directly into the tree whereas others recommend drilling at a slight upward angle. I usually try to achieve a perfectly straight hole but always err on the side of making it at a slight upward angle whenever necessary. No matter how you drill the hole, be sure to use a relatively new, clean, sharp drill bit that is intended for drilling into maple trees.

When you are pulling the drill out of the tree, always examine the shavings to make sure that they are pure white. If you get brown or dark-colored shavings, you have drilled into a bad part of the tree. Your sap yield will be negligible, and any sap that does flow may have a yellow tinge to it and impart off-flavors to your syrup.

Setting the Spout

The final step is placing the spout in the tree. It takes some practice to figure out how hard to tap on the spout to get it nice and snug without overdoing things. Not tapping in hard enough can cause the spout to be too loose, creating a vacuum leak. On the other hand, tapping too hard can potentially cause the wood to split, which in turn leads to vacuum leaks, lost sap, and increased wounding at the taphole. Most sugarmakers use regular hammers to set the spouts, but you don’t necessarily hammer the spouts in. Just a few gentle taps will usually do the trick until you hear a thumping sound. As soon as you can hear the difference, stop tapping on the spout.

Row of Sugaring buckets

Sprouts: breathe life back into winter

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

The following is an excerpt from Wild Flavors: One Chef’s Transformative Year Cooking from Eva’s Farm by Didi Emmons. It has been adapted for the Web.

 

Growing sprouts is one of the simplest things you can do to breathe life into the deprivations of winter. As an urbanite who doesn’t have much space or sun to grow food, sprouts are one thing I can grow at any point in the year. Sprouts are replete with vitamins, minerals, proteins, and enzymes. Sprouting is easy, as easy a process as cooking rice. And there is a satisfaction in fostering and watching them grow and prosper. It feeds my maternal side, without the crying and diapers.

Most any edible seed can become an edible sprout, but I like to sprout wheat berries, kamut, quinoa, lentils, and chickpeas. Other possibilities include hulled sunflower seeds, buckwheat groats, spelt, soybeans, peas, brown mustard seeds, radish seeds, broccoli seeds, rye seeds, cabbage seeds, and herb seeds. You can also sprout raw peanuts, black-eyed peas, adzuki beans, green channa, and, more commonly, alfalfa, clover, and mung bean. Tomato and potato sprouts are said to be poisonous.

Growing Sprouts: The Eva Way

There are two main ways to grow sprouts at home: in a jar or in a bag (of any sturdy mesh fabric, whether natural or synthetic fiber).

  • In either case, start by rinsing about 1 cup of legumes or seeds and then letting them soak overnight.
  • Drain, rinse again, and transfer the legumes or seeds to a big glass jar or mesh bag large enough to hold five times the quantity of seeds or legumes that you have.
  • Tie the bag closed or secure cheesecloth over the mouth of the jar to keep debris out and to facilitate easy straining. Hang the bag or store the jar in a dark, humid place if possible, and rinse morning and night.
  • Eventually, after somewhere between two and ten days, depending on the type of seed, you will notice that the seeds have sprouted.

Sprouts in Cloth BagYou may have noticed that there is a lot of rinsing involved here, and watching all of that barely used water head down the drain goes against every fiber in Eva’s body. When she rinses the seeds or legumes the first time, she catches that liquid in a bowl. To rinse the seeds or legumes afterward, she simply dips her bag into the captured water, lifts it up, and shakes the liquid out. Once the seeds or legumes have sprouted and the rinsing has ended, she uses the liquid for a variety of creative uses, from cooking her morning cereal to watering (and nourishing) plants.

Sources

Don’t buy your seeds at a garden center, there is a risk they may be contaminated with chemicals or bacteria. I get my seeds at a local natural foods store and they sprout—no problem. But if you are serious, there are plenty of websites like Sproutman.com that sell seed grown specifically for human consumption. “The Sproutman” also offers a helpful circular sprout chart for $5 that lists an array of seeds you can sprout, with the corresponding sprouting times, the suggested method, the level of difficulty, uses, flavors, and so on. It is worth getting.

Storage

After giving sprouts one final rinse, put them back in the same container you grew them in or in a plastic bag poked with a knife to ensure air circulation. Sprouts are living plants. They last about a week in the fridge in a plastic container, though legume sprouts may last longer.

 

~~~~

What to do with all your new sprouts? Wild Flavors, has a tasty (and easy) hummus recipe using sprouted chickpeas:

 

Sprouted Hummus From Wild Flavors by Chelsea Green Publishing

Forget Something? Holiday Sale Extended!

Monday, January 6th, 2014

Our Holiday Sale has been such a success we’re extending it through January 15, 2014! So, while the holiday’s may have passed, you can still save 35% site-wide with discount code CGS13 (plus free shipping if you spend $100 or more).

Need some inspiration? Browse some of our Classic and Best Selling Books. Or maybe you’re planning ahead for spring? Check our gardening, homesteading and permaculture titles. Want to beef up your foodie skills? Give our preserving, fermenting and cooking books a look.

And don’t forget about our New Releases and Award Winning books of 2013.

Happy New Year from the Employee Owners at Chelsea Green

P.S. We’ve highlighted some books below but you can always browse our full online bookstore here: http://www.chelseagreen.com/bookstore


*Discount codes do not combine with other offers—our books already on sale for example.
Free shipping for orders $100 or more is applied after the discount is applied. (U.S. Orders Only).

Classic and Best Selling

The Art of Fermentation
Retail: $39.95
Sale: $25.97
Gaia's Garden
Retail: $29.95
Sale: $19.47
Four-Season Harvest
Retail: $24.95
Sale: $16.22
The Straw Bale House
Retail: $34.95
Sale: $22.72

View More

Gardening, Homesteading and Permaculture

Paradise Lot
Retail: $19.95
Sale: $12.97
The Resilient Farm and Homestead
Retail: $40.00
Sale: $26.00
The Winter Harvest Handbook
Retail: $29.95
Sale: $19.47

View More

Preserving, Fermenting and Cooking

From the Wood-Fired Oven
Retail: $44.95
Sale: $29.22
Preserving Food Without Freezing or Canning
Retail: $25.00
Sale: $16.25
Wild Fermentation
Retail: $25.00
Sale: $16.25

New Releases

Fields of Farmers
Retail: $25.00
Sale: $16.25
The New Cider Maker's Handbook
Retail: $44.95
Sale: $29.22
Keeping a Family Cow
Retail: $19.95
Sale: $12.97
The Sugarmaker's Companion
Retail: $39.95
Sale: $25.97


Discount codes do not combine with other offers—our books
already on sale for example. Free shipping for orders $100 or
more is applied after the discount is applied. (U.S. Orders Only)

Holiday Bread Favorite: Learn to Make Pain d’Epices

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

This is an old-fashioned gingerbread-like quick bread—the name means “spice bread” — that is a holiday favorite among bread bakers. I’ve sold it, given it away as gifts, and eaten it at Christmastime for years.

The main leavener is baking soda, which creates carbon dioxide when it comes into contact with the acidic honey. Unlike baking powder, which makes carbon dioxide when it becomes wet and again when it meets the heat of the oven, baking soda creates carbon dioxide only once. Make sure your oven is ready to go once you start mixing this one. Unbaked batter that sits around will lose its carbon dioxide and become heavy.

Like other dense rye breads, this bread has an impressive shelf life. It will become a bit chewier after several days, but I find it delicious toasted and served warm with butter.

Pain d'Epices bread ingredientsYield: 2 loaf pans, 1 Pullman pan, or numerous mini loaves
Prefermented flour: 0%
Wood-fired oven temperature window: 350°F (177°C) and falling
Home oven: Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).

Sift together the rye flour, baking soda, and spices into a large bowl and set aside. Whisk the milk and honey together over medium heat and bring to a gentle simmer. Add the orange and lemon peel and remove from the heat. Before you add the yolks, you must first temper them so they don’t cook in the hot mixture. To do this, slowly drizzle a little of the hot mixture into the yolks while whisking. Now add the tempered yolks back into the liquids.

Add the liquids to the dry ingredients and mix gently just until smooth. Divide evenly between two greased loaf pans. Arrange the almonds in a decorative pattern on top of the unbaked batter.

Place the pans directly on the hearth in the 350°F (177°C) zone, and bake for 15 minutes. Then move the pans into a 325°F (163°C) zone in the oven and bake for approximately 25 minutes more, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The loaves may need to be tented with foil to prevent excessive darkening.

If you’re using a home oven, bake at 350°F for 15 minutes. Reduce the temp to 325°F and bake for approximately 25 minutes more, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The loaves may need to be tented with foil to prevent excessive darkening.

Let the loaves cool for 10 minutes, then unmold them and cool them completely before slicing.
Richard Miscovich

This recipe was inspired by a recipe in Saveur magazine, issue 30, and appears in Richard’s book, From the Wood-Fired Oven.


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