Autumn in New Amsterdam: Tasty!
Autumn in New Amsterdam: Tasty!

I just spent all my allowance on food. But honestly, you would’ve done the same, right? It was a beautiful autumn day in New York, and there were rows and rows of tempting food vendors at the New Amsterdam Market. I attended the market for the first time in June last year, and it’s just gotten bigger and better in the interim. If you’ve not been, the New Amsterdam is kind of a cross between the Brooklyn Flea, the Union Square Farmers Market and the food markets at Essex Street and Chelsea.

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On Egg Labels and Grocery Store Tourism
Travel On Egg Labels and Grocery Store Tourism

An adorable goat’s milk yogurt label from Trento, Italy This may seem a bit strange, but one of my very favorite overseas travel activities isn’t visiting the museums or galleries (though they’re very nice, of course)… it’s touring the local groceries, markets and drug stores. I like to see how the average person lives. In Italy, for example, your average shopper has access to powerful traceability and sourcing information. The eggshells come with printed sets of numbers.

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Garden of Eve Farm Trip III: How to plan CSA Shares
Garden of Eve Farm Trip III: How to plan CSA Shares

As city-based CSA member, I’m on the receiving end of a long process. Vegetables, fruit, flowers and eggs just magically show up every week at my CSA drop-site in Brooklyn, leaving me with very vague notions of the machinations behind the mesclun mix. A recent trip out to my CSA source, Garden of Eve Farm, finally unveiled some of the hard work and careful planning that go into each bulb of fennel and head of cabbage I nestle into my weekly totebag of goodies.

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Garden of Eve Farm Trip II: The Antique Roadshow
Garden of Eve Farm Trip II: The Antique Roadshow

All-Crop Combine in the back, New Holland (a seeder, I think) up in the front. One of the most interesting things I learned while visiting Garden of Eve Farm just recently is the way that small-scale organic veggie farmers like Chris and Eve are looking to the technology of yesterday to help them streamline their work today. When you really think about it, this makes sense. It wasn’t until after WWII that American farmers started using industrial pesticides and fertilizers.

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Garden of Eve Farm Trip I: Farming Farmstands and CSA Sales
Garden of Eve Farm Trip I: Farming Farmstands and CSA Sales

Having been a CSA member for many years, it’s my great shame that I’ve only just visited the source of my delicious veggies. Thankfully, now I’ve been there and back, returning with armfuls of fun things to share. But first, a little context: Garden of Eve Farm spreads out across 120 acres on Long Island near the Long Island Sound. They farm a variety of fruits, vegetables, flowers and honey, and they supply a farmstand, as well as farmers market sales and CSA shares that are delivered to New York City and Long Island.

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Black Eyes, Green Thumbs: Roller Derby Gardening
Black Eyes, Green Thumbs: Roller Derby Gardening

I’m convinced that if there’s ever an apocalypse, you really want a roller derby girl on your side. Not only do they have rough and tumble skills and mighty muscles for fighting off the zombie hordes, derby girls tend to be some of the most ambitious, multi-talented people I know. Case in point: Suzy Hotrod — professional photographer, guitarist in a punk band, speed demon on a flat track, horchata aficionado… and urban gardener.

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Making the Best Amateur Cookbook Ever.
Making the Best Amateur Cookbook Ever.

“I think I need more,” she said, with only the slightest trace of sheepish guilt in her expression. “If I give you money, can you see if they have more?” Tomorrow is my CSA pick-up day. But today, my coworker, a fellow local food devotee, is hitting me up. She’s shoving money in my hands. For vegetables? Nah. For fruit? Nope. She wants cookbooks . Cookbooks produced by CSA volunteers, no less.

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Old World vs New World: a Ricotta Comparison
Old World vs New World: a Ricotta Comparison

I was up at Coach Farm with some of my coworkers in Upstate New York last Friday. In the days since, I’ve been trying to wrangle all the video clips together into a watchable form. Thus far, I’ve got a quick video that illustrates how they’re doing a brand-new product: ricotta cheese. If you’re a cheese person, you already know that ricotta is a classically useful product for cheesemakers because it’s made with the cast-offs of the cheesemaking process: the whey.

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Recipes Attack of the Monster Waffle Batter

Just in case you were wondering… yes. The rumors are true. Our Bee Sweet Bake Sale for Earth Day last week was a sweet success (probably one of our biggest in-office bake sales to date) with a menu consisting of such treats as: Honey Raisin Oatmeal Cookies Banana Bread with Honeyed Cream Cheese Chocolate-Honey Mini Cupcakes Spicy Ginger Brownies (honey-free) Honey Peanut Butter Cookies Whole-Wheat Honey Fruit Squares Honeyed Hot Masala Chai

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Bee Smart: 10 Things You Might Not Have Known About Honey

In honor of Earth Day this week, we’ll be doing the Bee Sweet Bake Sale at work to benefit honey bee research. With that in mind, I thought it might be fun to review some fascinating facts about our favorite bee-stuff: honey. Bet there’s at least a couple you didn’t know. (Unless you’re a beekeeper, in which case I really hope you do know all ten.) There are four honey grades (Grade A = Good; Grade B = Reasonably Good; Grade C = Fairly Good; Substandard = Poor), and although the USDA sets up the standards, the way a beekeeper grades honey is completely subjective.

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About Me

Miss Ginsu is a nom-nom-nom de plume of Leitha Matz, who worked at Tabla and FreshDirect in NYC, wrote about the food scene from 2004 to 2009 in Brooklyn and presently lives in Berlin. Occasionally seen on TV cooking segments, Leitha has also written for FreshDirect, contributed to Cee Cee Berlin, The Food52 Cookbook and has been interviewed/quoted in The Food Keeper as well as The Washington Times and Salon.

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