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DIY food: Finding the sweet spot

(article, Culinate staff)

A recent series of DIY food stories in Food & Wine magazine highlights an important attribute for anyone getting back to the land rather than the supermarket for food-sourcing: adaptability.

Oakland, California-based farmer Novella Carpenter went gourmet with a garden pest:

bq.One day, while throwing snails into the busy street near my garden (it seemed as good a pest-management technique as any), I stopped and looked more closely at a particularly large specimen. I realized that it reminded me of something I had seen in France, on a plate: escargots. 

New Yorker William Grimes wanted a fruit tree. And then he got lucky:

bq. Nancy and I believe every farm worth the name has fruit trees. Even if our space limitations allowed for just a single tree, we were determined to have one. Seven years ago, nature obliged by striking the blowsy hydrangea bush in our backyard with lightning. 

Finally, hunter Jonathan Miles will never forget one particular boar he shot in Mississippi — all 150 pounds of it:

bq. As a hunter, I’m sanguine about gamey flavors and the unruly variations in taste from one wild animal to the next. But the meat of this boar — an elderly specimen that doubtlessly would have succumbed, within weeks, to old age had I not intervened — was beyond gamey. No matter how I prepared it — marinated, braised, smoked, smothered with exuberant sauces — eating it was always like chewing on dirty pennies.