Friday, June 28, 2013

Real Life CSA: week 4, produce

I can't believe we're already on our fourth week of our produce CSA from Kretschmann's. I feel like each week it's getting better and better (which is the way it goes in the summer!). Here's what we have this week (plus some random stuff on my kitchen island I was too lazy to move (frozen yogurt, eggs and some Ball spice jars, which are amazing).

I am really happy to see the rainbow chard - I squealed when I pulled it out of the bag. It is absolutely gorgeous. It sounds hokey, but the colors of nature always get me. The yellow is so vibrant.

Beets are not really my bag. Haven't found a preparation yet that I can stomach, though I've been told my grandma's Harvard Beets were pretty amazing. Thankfully Mark has a co-worker who loves beets, so off to work they went this morning. They certainly are lovely looking, though, especially the greens.

Then we have berries again, which is bittersweet because I know the season will be winding down soon. Thankfully we got an email this week that one of our favorite orchards that goes to our farmers market now has blueberries!

Another fun addition this week are the garlic scapes. Garlic scapes are the curly tops from the garlic plant, and you can eat them! Here's a link to some ways to use garlic scapes if you've never cooked with them before.

The greens and lettuce will go in salads, which we are enjoying immensely. It's great to always have enough greens in the fridge to whip up a side salad with meals. (We always eat salad at least once a week as our main meal - we call Tuesdays Salad Night.)

Counting down the days until the first tomato and the first pepper. I think I'm so excited for tomatoes I might lift it up to the heavens when I get that first one and offer prayers of thanksgiving!

Coming up next week, more garden updates after the storms we've had this past week, information about new studies on GMOs, and the influence of industrial agriculture and corporate food on the healthcare industry.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

reading (and making) this week

It's been a busy week at Next Gen House. This weekend we made a big batch of homemade bolognese sauce using the recipe from America's Test Kitchen's Slow Cooker Revolution book. (If you like the convenience of a slow cooker but don't like to simply dump cans of processed soup and packets of chemical flavor mixes over frozen chicken breast, this cookbook is for you.) We were able to use ground beef and ground pork from our meat CSA with Clarion River Organics.

We also canned two batches of strawberry balsamic jam. This is the first year we've done a jam with balsamic and now I'm kicking myself for not having used this variant before. You can't taste the balsamic in the finished product, but it makes the strawberry flavor deepen and burst. It's similar to the effect that vanilla extract has in baked goods. If you're making strawberry jam this year, definitely go for a balsamic variant. And also, cool your jars on a Christmas towel. Because it brings some festive cheer to a hot kitchen, apparently.

I also took some friends to our farmers market for the first time. It can be intimidating to go to a market like that if you've never gone before, but once you start to get to know the vendors and get a feel for what is available when, you gain confidence in your purchases. I even have a favorite farmer, and I try to buy at least one thing from his stand every week. (The last two weeks - snap peas!)

Going back to listening to a food studies book on my commutes, and this morning I started Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us by Michael Moss. It's riveting already and I'm only 45 minutes in.

Here are some other things from around the interwebs I'm reading this week.

13 Books on the Food System That Could Save the Environment (Food Tank)
I've read some of these and others are on my reading list. Really looking forward to reading Foodopoly as well as Behind the Kitchen Door, having worked at restaurants myself. 

The Controversial Science of Sports Drinks (The Atlantic)
An article from last year, but one that backs up my reluctance to consume sports drinks of any kind.

Food Companies Work to Make It Look Natural (AP)
When you buy products, look beyond the marketing hype. For example, the photo of the packaged turkey breast in the article: do you actually think someone stood with a white coat and a carving knife at a carving board to shave that off specifically for your sandwich? NO.

Natural Remedies for a Travel First Aid Kit (Mother Earth Living)
Great ideas for the summer from a great website and magazine I subscribe to.

Monday, June 24, 2013

garden update: june

June has brought some beautiful weather to western Pennsylvania and a lot of much-needed sunshine to our garden after a cloudy spring. 

The mystery wildflower seeds I planted are starting to grow. No idea what's going to come up, but that's half the fun of it.

The other flower I had planted was Night Phlox. (I'm going to choose to believe the flower was somehow named after Dr. Phlox from Star Trek: Enterprise because that is a way to bring geek in my garden.) It's perked up and seems to be doing well in its pot. No flowers yet, but I'm patient.

Herbs aren't doing so great so far, but thankfully we get a lot of those in our CSA to dry out, so we never end up going without.

This year we're also experimenting with natural pest control by planting flowers and extra basil plants in and around the other vegetables. We've got marigolds in with the tomatoes and petunias in with the dragon beans.

Considering how weak the seedlings were this year, the tomatoes and dragon beans are doing great.

Mark also decided to pick up one sweet corn plant. We're not expecting much, but it's fun to be able to say we are growing corn in our back yard.

The mound plants - cucumbers and melons, pumpkins and squash - are coming along nicely too, particularly since like the others, the seedlings were weak. 

 With the cucumbers, we added nasturtiums for natural pest control. 

We also realized that the vine that is creeping over from the neighboring property and grabbing my rose bush is probably a grape vine, though we haven't seen any fruit. (The property holds an old church and a storage building that someone uses to store auto parts. Relatively scenic from our back yard because the buildings are rustic, but from the street on the other side, they are a mess. Including the crazy overgrown plants. That come over the fence to choke my rose.)

Sometimes I see people who have these amazing gardens bursting with fruit and vegetables early, where everything looks picturesque and lush, and I get garden envy. But we're learning by trial and error, trying to use only natural methods of pest control and no synthetic fertilizer (and buying no Monstanto or Scott products EVER, for anything). We also don't have sunny springs, but each year we try to work with what we have and find ways to do it better than we did the previous year.

It's also a lesson in patience. When you work full time and have a significant commute, there aren't unlimited daylight hours to spend outside in the garden. We do what we can with what we have, and if we're patient and tend the plants to the best of our abilities, by the end of the summer, we'll have a lot to show for it. I can't wait until we can have dinner on the patio and look out in the yard and see the garden bursting with tomatoes. Then the waiting and the trial and error will all be worth it.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Real Life CSA: week 3, produce

Third week of our produce CSA from Kretschmann's. More berries, a new herb new greens and broccoli!

We're going to combine the rhubarb from last week with this week's to make a crumble, most likely this one. Berries are already in our lunches. Lettuce and spinach will make great salads and we can use extra spinach and broccoli in side dishes. Green onions are great on salads, or in the dish I made last night with ground pork from Clarion River - dan dan noodles.

These collard greens will become soul food, probably with some bacon. For people who are not familiar with different types of greens, this visual guide is great.

Thyme and sage will be dried out, as we're starting to get a large stash of fresh.

Last but never least, the extra purchase this week: a flat of strawberries. You know what that's jam time. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

How the AMA sold out, at our expense

Around the time I started getting interested in real food and knowing where my food comes from, I was also just starting a healthy lifestyle course that included a weight loss/body transformation component as well as exercise. My interest in food issues seemed to go hand in hand with the class, and I’ve never looked back since.

Here’s the thing, though. While eating real food from local, sustainable sources is good for the earth, for animals and for the community, it’s also good for your body. Many of the arguments for eating a diet of real food come from a health standpoint. Because America has an epidemic on its hands. As a country, we eat a lot of just plain horrible food. Junk. Chemical filled, calorie bomb, fake food. And we also don’t move very much.

The media loves to talk about the “obesity epidemic” in America. Just this week, the American Medical Association, against the recommendation of its own Council on Science and Public Health, decided to label obesity a “disease.” You might be thinking, so what? The AMA has no real authority, right? Well, sort of. They don’t have backing by the government, but their recommendations shape the way our health care is delivered and the way insurance works – by determining what insurance companies should pay for and how much. It helps guide the attention of physicians and healthcare practitioners across the country. So it’s important.

But it’s total crap.

AMA leaders said they were happy with the decision (again, against their own advisory panel’s advice) because it will (1) force doctors to pay more attention to obesity, (2) improve reimbursements and coverage for weight loss surgeries and drugs and (3) reduce the stigma surrounding obesity.

In regard to the first point, 51% of primary care doctors are overweight. Do you think the AMA coming out and “diagnosing” people with the disease of obesity is going to make doctors focus their attentions more on overweight or obese patients if they haven’t been able to focus on addressing their own weight and/or wellness?

In regard to their second point, surgeries and drugs for weight loss have shown very little clinical evidence of long-term success. So who wins if the reimbursements and coverage for these procedures and pills change? Primarily drug and device manufacturers and facilities that provide the procedures. It follows that you run the risk of doing unnecessary procedures just because the insurance will pay for it.

And people like to talk about gastric bypass being a miracle for weight loss. But what no one realizes is that you actually have to eat a very restricted diet and show that you can stick to it for several months before most hospitals will clear you to have the surgery if your insurance pays for it. So if you have the ability to eat a restricted diet to get the surgery, shouldn’t you just restrict your diet to healthy foods in the first place and avoid the risk of (many) complications? Yes, there are some people that really do need the surgery. But it’s not the miracle that everyone believes it to be, and it requires an unbelievable amount of determination and hard work. (Just like living a healthy lifestyle.)

In regard to the third point, the AMA says that it will help the public understand that some people have no control over their weight. That is partially true. There are people who have weight gain due to circumstances out of their control, or their bodies severely limit their ability to lose, even under the ideal conditions (hello, thyroid disease). But the way we reduce the stigma surrounding obesity is to start focusing on health, not weight loss. We have to stop equating skinny with healthy.

This brings me to the AMA’s Council on Science and Public Health’s objection to this classification. BMI (body mass index, or a ratio of height and weight) is the only real tool that clinicians use to diagnose “obesity,” and it is widely known to be flawed. (You have extremely healthy people with high BMIs and extremely unhealthy people with low BMIs because health is multi-dimensional.) If the only tool for diagnosis of a “disease” is known to be flawed, how can you actually determine whether or not someone has that particular disease? A logical argument, which was flatly ignored by the larger body.

The Council also raised the point that people could be automatically diagnosed with a disease (that could affect their health insurance premiums) simply because of their BMI. I currently have a BMI of 27.9, but my bloodwork (like blood glucose and cholesterol) is super humanly awesome, I eat a clean and healthy diet, and I’m so active that I get up at 5 a.m. so I can run up and down hills in cemeteries. I challenge any doctor to tell me that I have the “disease” of being overweight. Do I still continue to watch my weight and work toward a weight that feels right for my body? Yes. But never at the expense of my health and certainly not to please the American Medical Association and put more money in the pockets of pharmaceutical companies. Keep in mind that pharmaceutical companies need people to be obese to sell them obesity drugs. They don't make money when people start eating salads and taking a walk.

It’s common knowledge that our health care system is broken. But we aren’t going to fix it by taking more pills and having more surgeries. We’ve allowed the professional societies for dieticians to take sponsorship money from companies that sell sugary soft drinks and garbage foods. And now we’re letting pharmaceutical companies and lobbyists decide what constitutes a disease instead of research and evidence-based practice.

We need our health care practitioners to focus on wellness, not just weight loss. Eat healthy foods and be active because those are healthy behaviors, clinically shown time and time again to reduce (actual) disease risk and increase quality and length of life. Don’t follow fads and eat fake diet foods just to drop the pounds because the AMA wants to fear monger about obesity being a killer disease. Obesity can be a side effect of an unhealthy lifestyle and it is a risk factor for chronic disease, but it isn’t a disease in and of itself, by any definition. 

The AMA should focus its wellness efforts on increasing people’s access to real and healthy foods and give them the opportunity to learn healthy behaviors, not cater to Big Pharmaceuticals. Makes you wonder if a drug company will sponsor the next AMA meeting. I guess we'll see. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

make it yourself: strawberry shortcake

It's berry season in western Pennsylvania, and I've made no secret of my abiding love for strawberries. My grandparents live in northwestern Pa. and they have grown berries every year since I can remember. Some years aren't so great - late frost took them all last year. But this year. Finally. Berries galore. Mark was helping my grandpa with some work around the house Saturday and came home with a quart of fresh picked berries, straight out of their garden. And you know what that means. It's shortcake time.

My grandma has also made this shortcake as long as I can remember, and it's everyone's favorite dessert. We even have a running joke in the family that you're only a true member if you eat your shortcake with just strawberries. The outsiders always want to add some sort of cream or cool whip monstrosity to it. 

This recipe is different from your standard strawberry shortcake because it bears no resemblance to a cake, angel food or otherwise. It's more like a cross between a biscuit and a shortbread. 

Start by using a pastry tool to cut some shortening into flour. (I usually don't like to bake with vegetable shortening, but I make an exception for shortcake.)

 After a bit, it will start to get clumpy, like this.

Make a leavening mixture.

To that, some buttermilk. 

Here comes the fun part. Just mash it all together and plop it on a tray. It's really that simple.

Prep your strawberries. Put them in a cringe-worthy bright pink bowl.

Mash them like potatoes and add any sugar. Go easy though - ripe summer berries are already quite sweet.

Once it's baked, cut it into chunks. Put it in a bowl like a normal person (left) or in a giant bowl of whipped cream like a crazy person (right). You can guess which one was mine.

Top with berries while the shortcake is hot. This is dinner and dessert wrapped up in one. I've made this for a lot of people over the years and not once has anyone had anything but praise for it. It's truly one of those magical desserts that pleases every crowd.

Email me at nextgenhouse at gmail dot com or send me a DM on Twitter if you'd like the recipe!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Real Life CSA: month 1, meat and poultry

I've discussed before why we subscribe to CSAs at Next Gen House, and there I mentioned that we decided to join a meat/poultry CSA this year through Clarion River Organics. We've always been big fans of their stands at local farmers markets and the Pittsburgh Public Market. After reading Peter Singer's book The Way We Eat, I wanted to commit even more to sourcing meat carefully and with an eye to morality. While we haven't purchased "regular" meat from a grocery store in almost two years, we still would purchase a lot of our meat through Whole Foods (what we didn't get from our bulk purchases of meat from Weatherbury Farm).

While I definitely support purchasing meat at Whole Foods, with its Animal Welfare rating system and the fact that they don't even carry meat or poultry without a minimum standard (no hormones, antibiotics, cages or gestation crates, etc.), I felt like we could do better. I wanted to get closer to the farm for all of the meat/poultry we purchase - for the welfare of the animals, the stewardship of the land, the quality, health and taste of the meat we consume, and the economic value to our community. Even if meat from Whole Foods takes into account the first three factors, I am a believer in sourcing food as locally as possible, to reduce the length of the food chain from farm to consumer and also to put my money behind sustaining these local resources.

Enter Clarion River Organics. We attended a local food conference this year on a whim, and while we were touring the vendor booths, I noticed a sign that said Meat CSAs. We learned that Clarion River offers different shares for pork, beef and chicken, as well as a combination of those if you would like multiples. We definitely wanted to get full shares for each. We get a share once a month from June through November, at one of many pick-up locations. You can find more details here.

We picked up our first share last week, and this is what we got.

Beef: steaks, ground beef, stew meat and short ribs (~ 8 lbs. total)

Pork: ground pork, handmade parsley parmesan sausage, ham steak, pork chops (~ 8 lbs. total)

Chicken: 3 whole chickens (two 4+lb. roasters, 1 2+lb. stewing chicken)

(Stewing chickens were formally laying hens - their muscle tissue is flavorful, but different from chickens raised for meat. We're looking forward to using it for soup or stew, or braising it.)

This will last our family of two through the month until our next share, definitely. Everything is well marked and packed so as to last a long time in the freezer. I'm already planning some bolognese sauce for next week! (I'll pass along my recipe when I make it!)

I also have to note what most impressed me about this share. When we received our update email telling us the first share was ready to be picked up, it also told us that some of the pigs were not fed entirely organic grain because they ran out at one point and had to be fed conventional grain (still non-GMO) in the winter for awhile. I appreciate so much this transparency on their part. It is the mark of a business that has nothing to hide and that engenders trust and respect between the provider and the consumer. 

I'm proud to be a customer of theirs, not only because of the quality of their products but because of the way they run their business. We are very blessed in our area to have trusted options to choose from for sourcing ethically raised, nutritious meats.

Thanks, Clarion River (@ClarRvrOrganics)! Can't wait for next month!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Real Life CSA: week 2, produce

Second week of our produce CSA from Kretschmann's. Mark picked it up and hid what he knew would be my favorite at the bottom of the bag. STRAWBERRIES!

When you live in western Pennsylvania, you cherish the spring and early summer's ability to perk you up after a long and cold winter. Nothing perks me up for the summer more than June berries. None of those huge, tasteless California monstrosities for me - these tiny sweet red globes are the berries of my childhood. I remember sitting and watching a movie while cutting off the tops with my family after we returned from my grandma's house. I don't know how anyone can buy the plastic carton berries from the grocery store when they've tasted one of these.

When they have flats available soon, we'll be getting a ton so we can freeze them and can some jam! I obviously have a thing for strawberries. (And was too giddy to even focus the camera, apparently.)

But I'm pretty excited about the rest of the share too. Lots of fixings for salad, including pea shoots, which are a delicious, sweet addition to a salad that we discovered during our first year as CSA members. So many things you find out are edible that you never would have considered! A flower still attached!

Also exciting is the first large head of lettuce - it's gorgeous.

Tonight we finished off the spinach from last week in an easy garlic and olive oil saute. We made quick work of all the greens from last week in salads, but we had to compost the chard since it had turned before we had a chance to use it. The rhubarb was delicious in a galette that Mark whipped up. Radishes made it on salads, the basil on sandwiches, and the bread made delicious toast all week. So far so good!

On Monday I'll show you what we got in our meat share from Clarion River Organics. Let's just say our chest freezer is bursting!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Book Review: Cooked by Michael Pollan

As one of, if not THE, best food writers out there today, Michael Pollan's works get more publicity than many other writers today. His newest book, Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation is no exception. It's been featured everywhere, and I've seen interviews with Pollan all over TV and heard them on the radio. As a fan of his writing, I would have read this book anyway (and even had it preordered and got a signed bookplate). But after reading it, I am even more convinced that others should too, even if food writing isn't your usual reading fare. 

Let me first state that I wholeheartedly disagree with any reviews out there that suggest that Pollan is sexist or advocating a return of women to the kitchen as opposed to men. I'm convinced those people were looking for page hits and never actually finished the book (which is rather long, clocking in at almost 450 pages). He does point out that for much of history, the work of cooking was divided along gender lines, and when women entered the workforce, the amount of cooking done in the home was in general reduced. That is obviously true. But nowhere does he advocate that women are responsible for the destruction of American food culture or suggest that women should be cooking by virtue of their sex alone. (Trust me, had their been any whiff of sexism in this book, I would have detected it. I didn't get a graduate certificate in women's and gender studies for nothing.) So if you come across a review that even suggests it - stop reading the review and pick up the book instead.

Pollan divides the book into four sections that cover the four fundamental transformations that humans use to cook food and breaks it down by explaining particular foods in those categories. Fire (traditional barbecue), Water (braises), Air (bread) and Earth (fermented foods, alcohol) are all discussed at length, with the history of the processes and their development, how they are practiced today and what makes them unique. He also tries his own hand at the processes and describes those experiences.

Mark and I are both avid cooks. One of us makes dinner every night, even though it takes up precious time. We believe in the benefits of home cooked meals and feel they are better for our bodies nutritionally and we take joy in their preparation as well. To be honest, much of the reason I cook when I come home exhausted from a long day of work is because I don't want corporations doing it for me. I refuse to give up that independence and that connection to my food by relying on fast food or easy fix processed dinners in a box. We save money by cooking. And my food tastes better than most anything you can buy in the store. (Ask the people who smell the leftovers I heat up at work. I've seen more than a few raised eyebrows when they ask what's being heated up and I say oh, just rigatoni with my husband's homemade Sunday gravy. Yep, my husband cooks.)

So I didn't really pick up this book to be convinced that cooking is important. I've already been on that train for awhile. But it made me think about cooking in new ways and to appreciate more the value of it on a cultural level. The benefits of cooking are manifold, that much is clear. Not only does it set us apart from animals, but it bring us together in community. In a world that's forever multi-tasking, always having to accomplish more in less time, cooking makes you stop and develop the art of unitasking. That's right - just doing one thing. Chopping onions. Feeding a sourdough starter. Roasting meat over a cook fire. Pollan's descriptions of the benefits of these individual ways of cooking are poetic.

For those of us who work in an industry where we don't really produce anything tangible (and for that matter, sometimes, meaningful), cooking gives us the opportunity to make something with our own hands. I like that cooking doesn't involve typing. Pollan says it best here:
I doubt it's a coincidence that interest in all kinds of DIY pursuits has intensified at the precise historical moment when we find ourselves spending most of our waking hours in front of screens - senseless, or nearly so. At a time when four of our five senses and the whole right side of our brains must be feeling sorely underemployed, these kinds of projects offer the best kind of respite. They're antidotes to our abstraction. (p.407, emphasis mine)
For me, cooking is grounding. It connects me to my family and to the earth. It gives me immense pride to spend time cooking and create something infinitely more than the sum of its parts. In a world filled with noise, the swoosh of the knife coming down through onions followed by those same onions sizzling in a pan is calming. 

Is cooking a chore for some people? Yes. I recognize not everyone is going to get philosophical or wax poetic about the sounds coming from a pan when they are spending an hour prepping and cooking a braise. But chores are what they are because they are necessary. We find ways to make them less cumbersome or take less time because we know we need to do things like clean our toilets and wash our clothes. And how much more important is a chore tied to the nourishment we give our bodies? The answer is infinitely.

Monday, June 10, 2013

from grain to booze: touring Wigle Whiskey

To celebrate her 30th birthday, my best friend chose to visit Wigle Whiskey, the first whiskey distillery in Pittsburgh since Prohibition. I'll admit, I thought it would be fun to go, but I am not really a liquor drinker. I'm usually much more happy with a beer or a glass of wine in my hand. But apparently I was drinking the wrong whiskey - because Wigle blew me away.

As soon as you check in for the tour, you get a cocktail. Mine had pomegranate and ginger beer in it - delicious and probably the best cocktail I've had in years, at the very least. 

The space is cleverly designed and matches the fantastic graphic design. Check out this awesome light fixture - whiskey bottles!

The tour was entertaining and engaging. The owner started at the very beginning, with the grains that eventually become the whiskey and gin. As he explained the process, he'd also tell the story of the Whiskey Rebellion in the 1790s in western Pennsylvania. The distillery is named after Philip Wigle, a hero of the rebellion who was convicted of treason for his part in the rebellion, but was later pardoned by President Washington.

Mark and I were excited about how all of the grains used are organic and from local suppliers, including the farm where we purchase our beef. During the tour we followed the grain through a grinder and a masher, and learned that technically you make beer before you make whiskey, since the grains are fermented.

The still itself was impressive. In addition to the whiskey, the owner explained how their ginever (the predecessor to modern gins) is made (from a mash of barley and rye) and a mix of botanicals. Wigle sells white whiskey which is unaged, as well as whiskey aged in barrels, and ginever. 

After the tour, we got a tasting of each type. 

Each person also got a sheet with tasting notes and suggestions about how to  taste spirits in general. Many of the principles were the same as wine tastings. We also had water and ice at our tables to add oxygen to the spirit and open up other flavors.

I was shocked at how much I enjoyed the tastings. I will still never be a whiskey on the rocks type of girl, but it was great to really taste the difference between an aged and an unaged whiskey. I also found that Wigle's whiskey left a pleasant aftertaste. 

We also tasted their ginever, which was a far cry from the pine tree car air freshener tasting traditional gin I've had. You could really taste the botanicals (though none of us were really good at guessing which ones were in the blend!).

We came home with a bottle, and I'm excited to say I will be enjoying cocktails this summer. Pittsburghers definitely need to get out there for a tour and tasting. A great way to support a local business and have a refreshing drink this summer!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Real Life CSA: week 1, produce

Today marked the first produce CSA pick-up of the season. For an explanation of what a CSA is, why we are members of CSAs at Next Gen House and the benefits of signing up for one, see this post

Here's what we got this week:

Spinach, mixed greens and lettuce will all end up in salads this week. The mixed greens you buy in a bag at the store have nothing on these. They are so flavorful, and you really can tell they came straight from the earth (in a good way).

Radishes will also end up as a salad topping, most likely. Rosemary and thyme will be used in dishes this week, and whatever's leftover will be hung and dried. 

Basil can be made into pesto or used in a pasta dish. Chard will be sauteed down as a side dish. Look at these enormous leaves. 

That leaves my two favorite things this week: rhubarb, which will probably end up in a pie or galette, and 7-grain organic bread from Friendship Farms. Friendship Farms is in the Laurel Highlands and they sell their bread in the Pittsburgh area. They have a partnership with our CSA, and we got this bread sometimes last year. Their website describes it as containing "seven organic cracked grains (barley, corn, millet, oats, rye, spelt, and wheat) and organic whole wheat flour, sweetened with pure wildflower honey which complements its wholesome grain flavor." This bread is so good you can just eat it plain - no need to dress it up.

Can't wait for next week! Thanks, Kretschmann Family Organic Farm!