Forky Friday: 6/21/13 by Michelle Tam

Is it Friday already? Hooray!

We submitted our pretty-much-final draft of the cookbook to our publisher late last night, and we’re more than ready to catch up on sleep and laze around with the Double-Os this weekend. 

Forky Friday: 6/21/13 by Michelle Tam

Oh, and our 13th (!) wedding anniversary is on Monday, and neither of us made plans to celebrate. Whoops.

But first: Forky Friday! This week’s edition is devoted to pork, berries, exotic spices, and some cool new Kickstarter campaigns.

Let’s dive right in, shall we?

Oh pork, how I love you!

Forky Friday: 6/21/13 by Michelle Tam

Forky Friday: 6/21/13 by Michelle Tam

(These are photos of Siu Yoke—a.k.a., crispy Chinese-style roast pork belly; the recipe’s in our cookbook.)

Sadly, the way most pigs are raised in the United States is downright scandalous. If you eat pork, do yourself a favor and read this article from the smarties over at Whole9 and this eye-opening guest post by farmer David Maren on Mark’s Daily Apple. Then, once the scales have fallen from your eyes, go pre-order Matt & Stacy’s new book, Beyond Bacon, to learn how to source a whole hog from a local farmer and what to do with a freezer full of pork.

Forky Friday: 6/21/13 by Michelle Tam

Forky Friday: 6/21/13 by Michelle Tam

Speaking of respecting the hog, I had the pleasure of attending a lecture by Brandon Sheard last fall at the Wise Traditions Conference about how to humanely and sustainably raise and harvest pigs. We should all support talented artisans like Brandon, whose dedication and passion for this traditional craft is remarkable. 

Forky Friday: 6/21/13 by Michelle Tam

Just this week, he and his wife started a Kickstarter campaign to fund a new traditional butcher shop and slaughter truck for meatsmith education.

Even if you don’t live on Vashon Island, this project is an important and valuable one. Please consider contributing.

Searching for another great Kickstarter campaign to back? How ‘bout supporting a Paleo-friendly restaurant in Portland, Maine? According to Chef David Levi’s video, Vinland will be the first restaurant in the United States to serve 100% local, organic food. Not only that, but Chef Levi has crazy cooking credentials: he staged at Noma, which some consider to be the best restaurant in the world, and many other awesome kitchens.

I live on the opposite coast, but I backed this project (and Farmstead Meatsmith, too) because I think it’s important to support others with similar ideals about good food. And frankly, I definitely want to visit these places and chow down someday.

Speaking of eating, let’s get to some great recipes to cook this weekend:

I’ve been eyeing this recipe for Butterflied Sumac Chicken from my buddy Cheryl Sternman Rule, and can’t wait to try it. (The recipe includes a story about picking up her sons from sleepaway camp; it’ll make you want to bear hug your kids.) 

Forky Friday: 6/21/13 by Michelle Tam

Forky Friday: 6/21/13 by Michelle Tam

Forky Friday: 6/21/13 by Michelle Tam

Whenever I see a recipe that calls for sumac or any other exotic spice, I smile and think of my buddy Melicious. She’s back in the States after a long jaunt in Eastern Europe; Henry and I were lucky enough to catch up with both Mel and her hubby Dave when we were in Austin a couple of weekends ago. She’s got a new recipe up on her blog for Muffaletta Salad and it looks like the perfect tangy accompaniment for charred meats from the grill.

Oh, and her new cookbook, Well Fed 2, is now available for pre-order! I got a sneak peek back in March, and believe it or not, it’s even better than her super-awesome debut cookbook, Well Fed. You’re gonna love it…

Forky Friday: 6/21/13 by Michelle Tam

Summer berries make me happy. But when these juicy, fragrant babies get mushy and moldy the next day, I wanna smash things. Fortunately for the breakable objects around me, Food52 has an ingenious tip about how to keep your berries fresh for at least a week. 

Forky Friday: 6/21/13 by Michelle Tam

I love the combination of summer berries and custard, so to wrap up this post, I’ve rustled up four scrumptious grain-free desserts for you to enjoy:

Yes, I know sugar is worse than Darth Vader. But the dark lord of the Sith wasn’t all bad. Remember how he was all wrinkly and smiley after he saved Luke? (Okay, he was still pretty evil.)


(My boys love this book.)

Now, go enjoy your weekend!

About Michelle Tam

Hello! My name is Michelle Tam, and I love to eat. I think about food all the time. It borders on obsession. I’ve always loved the sights and smells of the kitchen. My mother was (and is) an excellent cook, and as a kid, I was her little shadow as she prepared supper each night. From her, I gained a deep, abiding love for magically transforming pantry items into mouth-watering family meals.

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