Sunday, August 15, 2010

Governor's Island birthday trip

Oliver turned 2 on Thursday!! To celebrate, we took a rare family excursion to Governor's Island today, a process that involved travel by 1) foot, 2) shuttle bus, 3) subway, 4) bus, and 5) ferry. We would have employed the services of a family cart-cycle thing (what are they called??) on the island except that they were in short supply. The weather was not exactly ideal, but we preferred it to one of these all-too-recent scorching hot days, and a good time was had by all.

I prepared quite a spread for our picnic lunch. A bit much perhaps? (we did leave one of these watermelon containers at home)

We enjoyed local pastured chicken breast "nuggets" in cashew flour crust (fried in lard of course, served with honey and honey-mustard dipping sauces), local watermelon, "sun" cheese and summer sausage from Raindance Organic Farm (untouched until we got home), local cucumbers with lime juice and Mexican chili powder, homemade lacto-fermented pickles, homemade lacto-fermented ginger ale, homemade raw milk kefir in Oliver's bottle (for naptime), and local pastured beef sticks (jerky-like). It actually proved to be too much food, oddly enough (perhaps the strain of carrying this heavy load depleted Hugo's appetite...).

The chicken was especially delicious. I started with a whole bird which I cut up, then pounded the breasts thin, sliced them into nugget-like shapes, rolled them in beaten egg, then dredged in fresh cashew flour (cashews from Wilderness Family Naturals ground in the food processor, mixed with salt & pepper, dried thyme, and some garlic powder), then fried in pastured-pork lard. Wonderful served with raw honey! Also very good with my impromptu honey-mustard sauce (more or less equal amounts of raw honey and Dijon mixed together -- surprisingly like the "real" honey-mustard from a package.)

Here are a couple of cute pictures from our picnic time. At first Oliver got right into the spirit of it and did a lot of lying around, taking up most of the picnic blanket. After eating it turned into a gymnastic session with Hugo.

Oh yes, and my homemade pickles? Nothing but a Mason jar stuffed with whole kirbies (small pickle-sized cucumbers), with a bunch of coriander seeds and mustard seeds shaken in, 1 tbsp. unrefined sea salt (I use Celtic sea salt or Eden brand), a handful of fresh dill (couldn't find the kind going to seed, so just used what they had at the store), plus a small amount of whey from dripping yogurt (1/4 cup I think). I let them ferment for 3 days at room temperature. They are not bad at all -- quite pickly and tasty! Next time I will use some garlic and ferment them a little less time.

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