Saturday, April 16, 2011

Pretzel Croissant

Do you like fun? Well then, boy do I have something to shove in your pie hole!

We have this little thing called a pretzel roll that we serve as part of our bread service and we sell it in the Carriage House Market. I think it's a good little roll. I also happen to really like a dark, flaky, buttery croissant. They're VERY hard to find....usually you find pale, barely baked and soft croissants with NO flavor. Yippee!!

Ever wonder what happens when a pretzel roll has a couple 40's of Natty Boh and makes eye contact with a croissant who has had a few too many wine coolers? Well, first a lot of sweaty dough bumping happens and then the pretzel croissant happens. Simple as that. Not much else to say here other than they are available only on Saturday(still warm from the oven at 8:30am) and only at The Carriage House Market in Hanover, PA.

Go ahead.....treat yourself and 10 of your closest friends. These beauties sell out quickly, so I'd recommend calling The Market and reserving a dozen or 3. Local IS Luxury!

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Culinary Gardens - Soil Preparation

I'm excited. Yesterday, we were able to get our hands dirty digging in the dirt. Did we plant anything you might ask? Nope. We spent the day simply on soil preparation. Removing clumps of grass from the expanded portion of our garden and taking out what seems like a never ending amount of rocks and stones from the soil. We were also able to dump the last of our kitchen compost on to the soil. OK, now that i've given you the garden update, let me tell you what I'm excited about....(as if that wasn't enough)

If you read closely, you'll notice my continued use of 'we' not 'i' or 'my dad and i'. Sunday was a really special day at the Garden because the whole Sheppard Mansion team took part in what amounts to serious grunt work. That's right. The whole team. Cooks, dishwasher(yes, dishwasher), baker, waiter, and store clerk all took part in getting the soil ready for what I know is going to be an AMAZING season for us in the garden.

Here's a short little video to update you on our garden progress....does anyone else think that rich, Spring dirt is sexy? Maybe it's just me...

If you follow my blog(if not, read some other posts, they're good for your health), you'll know that I'm a little frustrated with the over use of the term 'farm to table'. Suddenly every restaurant that buys food from a farm is calling themselves 'farm to table'. Congrats. Listen, I use WebMD, that doesn't make me a doctor. If you have a farm connected to your restaurant, you're 'farm to table'(hello, Chris Edwards and Patowmack Farm, wassup?)....if you don't, you're simply sourcing good ingredients.(small caveat...growing your own herbs, while a great idea, doesn't qualify either) Simple as that. If your cooks, waiters, clerks, bakers and dishwashers help in the garden you're, well, let's think of a term....SHEPPARD MANSION.

It MEANS something to work with produce that you've grown. It MEANS something to eat at a restaurant where the staff has worked in the fields to bring you the most amazing produce. Think about that the next time you tuck into a bloomin' onion. Here are some words from Sheppard Mansion Sous Chef Brent Golding on the importance of working in the garden.

Certainly, there is a realization that we can't grow produce for ourselves year round. That's when our brilliant group of local farmers comes into play and quality sourcing is key. We also don't grow everything under the sun. However, when we can grow it, we are. It is difficult to describe how working in the dirt to raise produce informs your cooking. The very best way to get it across is for you to come eat the food.(maybe it would help to take a walking tour of the Culinary Gardens....anybody interested?) Taste carrots again for the first time. Taste leeks, beets(yes, beets), snap peas again for the first time. It's gonna be an amazing grooking(that's my new word....growing and cooking) season in the 717. Have you make your reservations yet?

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Sheppard Mansion - The Herb Garden - Seeding Radish

Okey Dokey.....We're still cleaning up and preparing the culinary garden, but today was a perfect day for seeding some radishes in our herb garden. The video pretty much says it feels great to put my hands in the almost warm soil and get the season started.

The radishes are seeded in the area where we grow basil during the summer. Right now, it's a little too cold for the basil and by the time the weather warms up, the radishes will be out of the ground and ready for summer herbs.

Don't forget....the best place to grab the very same seeds we're using on the property is The Carriage House Market AND the best place to learn about working a home garden is THE CARRIAGE HOUSE MARKET!!!!

ON April 30th at 2pm, I'll be sharing a presentation with our head culinary gardener, Jim Little. We'll cover topics ranging from starting your home garden to cooking the produced picked from your garden. I know what you're thinking....'hey, how much does it cost?' Here's your answer.....FREE. Come, hang out, talk about gardening and food, have a few snacks plucked from our gardens and take a guided tour of the on-site gardens.

It's a beautiful time to be outside and thinking about Spring!!!