Tag: local foods

Weekly Lean Protein Baskets from Friends & Farms

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Friends and Farms

catch of the day fish (2)As though Friends & Farms wasn’t already awesome enough, they’re now going above and beyond with their latest offering: a weekly grocery basket focused on lean protein. “We’ve been working on this basket for some time and we’re thrilled to finally make it available to the public. It’s been a long time coming,” says Friends & Farms co-founder, Philip Gottwals. The launch of the Lean Protein Basket is part of the company’s goal to appeal to a broader audience and offer even more options for those looking to eat whole, local foods—which is what Friends and Farms is all about.

The Charmery is Open! And not a minute too soon…

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Charmery

catch of the day fish (2)It’s only been a few years since Sylvan Beach (now Taharka Brothers) closed their ice cream shop in Mount Vernon. But those few summers without our favorite locally-made ice cream shop have been long and hot—made livable only by the consolation sweetness of snowballs. So when I heard that a new ice cream shop would be taking the place of the old pharmacy on the corner of Chestnut and the Avenue, I knew it would all be okay. I also started peeping through the paper-covered windows every time I walked by, and compulsively checking their Facebook and Twitter feeds. When, oh when would they open??? Didn’t they realize how hot it was? And how much we all just wanted some dang ice cream? Well, even if patience is a virtue I was not born to have, the wait is over. The Charmery (hurray!) is open.

CSAs from Local Farmers

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CSAa

catch of the day fish (2)Garrison Keillor (whom we consider a trustworthy source on most things) once quipped that , “sex is good, but not as good as fresh, sweet corn.” We’re not sure exactly where we come down on that one, but certainly there are times when it’s a tight race. And now that the ground has thawed and things are beginning to bloom, you may want to consider reserving your weekly allotment of fresh, sweet everything from one of the many local farms that offer season-long Community Supported Agriculture shares, or “CSAs.” If you live in Baltimore, there are plenty of options for joining a CSA, including One Straw Farm—providing sustainable produce with a responsible ecological footprint, and whose booth at the farmer’s market is always packed with interesting varieties and tons of shoppers. Other options include the Real Food Farm, and 5 Seeds Farm & Apiary.

Eddie’s of Roland Park Celebrates 20 Years on North Charles Street

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Eddies1

I love grocery shopping. Absolutely love it. I’m proud to say that I think part of my grocery shopping success — what makes it feel more like a pleasant outing than a chore — is that I don’t subject myself to the giant chains. It’s not hard, since Baltimore is a town with a spectrum of options when it comes to stocking the kitchen, and among the crowd one store stands out: Eddie’s of Roland Park. How, exactly? Well, for generations it has offered the finest meats and produce, fancy foods and one-of-a-kind customer service that families in North Baltimore have come to rely on and cherish.

Eddies3

This Saturday, the Baltimore culinary landmark celebrates 20 years (and three generations) at the Charles Street store with a “Shop Local” anniversary event.  The event is meant as a way to say “thank you” to customers old and new, while offering tastings from some of Maryland’s finest food purveyors. This doesn’t just mean tasty samples (though of course, there’ll be plenty). It also means a meet-and-greet with local vendors.  As Nancy Cohen, President of Eddie’s (and the daughter of its founder, Victor Cohen) tells us, “We have always prided ourselves on our relationships with local vendors. We like to say that we promoted local products before it was fashionable to do so.” And in terms of selecting local products for its shelves, Eddie’s certainly knows how to pick ‘em. The store has been a dedicated carrier of Zeke’s Coffee (the treasured local roaster currently has Orioles themed coffees available in the stores) as well as of Albert Kirchmayr—a noted local purveyor of top-quality, hand-crafted chocolates. They also carry Vanns Spices—locally bottled herbs, spices and seasoning blends favored by chefs and home cooks across the country. “What makes these vendors special,” says Cohen,  “is the care they take in making their products. They use the best ingredients in products that make Baltimore proud. We know our customers like to support local businesses and small businesses, as do we. These vendors are not big corporations, they are small, closely held businesses, just like Eddie’s of Roland Park.”

Baltimore’s Newest, Tiniest, and Least Predictable Hotspot: Cafe Sage

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Cafe Sage

catch of the day fish (2)You may recall a few months ago, when we raved about Oakhill Honey—the locally produced honey made by bees whose hives sit right in the center of the city, overseen by local artist and food genius, Dane Nester. A seeming extension of Nester’s enthusiasm for all things epicureanly local, Café Sage is Baltimore’s new, tiny hotspot for those seeking a place to enjoy finely crafted coffee, tea, snacks, and above all, atmosphere.

Blacksauce Kitchen Pop-Up Biscuit Shop at Trohv

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If you frequent the Waverly or JFX farmer’s markets, you’ve likely seen the guys from Blacksauce Kitchen serving up some of the most enticing biscuitry (can we get a copyright on that word, please?) you’re likely to come across. This weekend, (just like their biscuits) Blacksauce will be popping up—on Sunday afternoon at Trohv in Hampden. The event is a trifecta  of sorts—gift-shopping, biscuit-nibbling, and coffee-sipping. Since you’ll surely be out and about this weekend finishing up the shopping, and since the Avenue is always a good bet for unique finds, be sure to stop by Trohv between noon and three on Sunday to get in on this special event.

Kinderhook Snacks

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Kinderhook Snacks in Baltimore

One of the truest aphorisms is the old, “it takes all kinds.” So many different kinds of people are needed to keep this world running. We need people who can build, people who can teach, and people who can plan. We need people with extraordinary patience, and people who simply spring into action. We need people who are dedicated to local roots and people who reach out and explore new territories. What we maybe didn’t realize—until now—is that we also need people who are dedicated (I mean dedicated) to the art of snacking. Kinderhook Snacks is a company,  “committed to sharing our love of food by crafting wholesome, delicious snacks and building a lively snacking community.” A lively snacking community? One that extends beyond my own kitchen counter and sofa? One that includes other people? Just tell me where to sign!

Artifact Coffee

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Artifact Coffee in Baltimore

Talleyrand once wrote that, “Suave molecules of Mocha stir up your blood, without causing excess heat; the organ of thought receives from it a feeling of sympathy; work becomes easier and you will sit down without distress to your principal repast which will restore your body and afford you a calm, delicious night.” Well put for a man whose enduring reputation after a couple hundred years is that of an apostate who managed to betray both Napoleon and the Catholic Church in completely separate incidents. Perhaps the moral of the story is that coffee and its ritual really has something for everyone.

Whether we spend our coffee time meditating on the daily tasks ahead of us or as an excuse to sit down and dish with a friend, it does seem that coffee often acts as punctuation—marking a moment allotted for something special or different. It’s a grown-up’s self-imposed time out. That’s why we’re so grateful for the opening of Artifact Coffee, the perfect place to seek such respite and enjoy the perfect cup (engineered by head barista Allie Caran). Artifact features an amazing variety of specialty coffee and non-coffee drinks, and a menu of light eats that of course reflects the sensibility (and expertise) of owner Spike Gjerde (Woodberry Kitchen ring any bells?).  Highly recommended for those seeking a place to sip, think, and sip some more.

Artifact Coffee is located at 1500 Union Ave, Baltimore. Look for the sign with the big “A”. Visit www.artifactcoffee.com for hours and specials.

The Buzz: Oak Hill Honey

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Oak Hill Honey an apiary in Baltimore

Go local, right? Tell that to a bee. Those tiny creatures will travel up to five miles to collect just the right pollen to bring back to the hive. They’ll even bypass plants and flowers closer to home in order to find pollen that offers the exact nutrients they’re looking for. Sure, five miles might not seem like much, but it’s the equivalent of a human traveling 3,885 miles for a few sandwich fixings. We’re pretty sure we did that math correctly. Anyway…

The point is, regardless of how labor intensive the honey-making or how far flung the pollen-collecting, if our buzzing little friends make their home in Baltimore, we’re calling that honey local. Extremely local. One small and newish apiary operating within the city limits is Oak Hill Honey. The hives live right in the middle of Baltimore City, at two separate locations. The honey is harvested and packaged by beekeeper Dane Nester, an artist also engaged in the urban farming and local food movements here in the city. Though Oak Hill Honey is still a fairly small operation, you can pick up some of its sweetness at local farm stands and markets.

Oak Hill Honey is available at the Waverly Farmer’s Market, Hidden Harvest Farm, and at Milk & Honey. For more information, visit www.oakhillhoney.com.

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