Meat Week: 5 New Offerings At La Divisa Meats

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Back in January, the stand that formerly housed Border Springs Farm lamb changed hands, landing in those of the butcher who was already running it. When he took ownership, Nick Macri re-christened the shop La Divisa Meats.

His first move was to add some variety to the case, so in addition to Border Springs’ lamb, the shop now offers pork from Hamburg, PA-based Country Time Farm and grass and milk-fed veal from Birchrun Hills Farm in Chester Springs, PA. Why is this great news for Philly eaters? Because they needn’t plan a trip all the way to Kensington Quarters to access fresh cuts of local, pasture-raised meats butchered with care. Additionally, Macri’s culinary background means that, even though his dry-cured salumi won’t be ready for a bit, he’s bringing some serious interest to charcuterie and adding ready-to-cook options for those looking for convenience. Here are our picks for new meats to add to your grocery list next time you head to Reading Terminal.

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The Dirt: What To Get At The Farmer’s Market This Weekend

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Anybody see folks in shorts this week? Flip-flops? While it might not be so nice out yet as to warrant such fashion choices, that’s what a shred of warming weather does to us this time of year. It’s like we go crazy with relief at the confirmation that winter is finally beginning a retreat. Just as it’s not quite weather for short sleeves yet, you won’t see much change on the tables at the farmer’s market–except for a few delicate additions–but what can change this weekend is your outlook. Instead of suffering through another week of root vegetables, think of this as their last hurrah and a final few weeks to enjoy the warming foods of winter.

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Open Stove 35: When Mise En Scene Becomes Mise En Place

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We could have given them liver and a nice glass of Chianti to see what dishes they’d come up with, but Adam Ratmoko and Sean Korcal had it made from the start.

The theme of the 35th edition of Open Stove at COOK was “Celebrate the Movies”, a nod to the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s Philadelphia Flower Show. And when I say “a nod” I mean a direct rip-off, in the most flattering way possible.

Honestly, can you blame us? The contenders for the evening basically wrote the theme themselves. On one side of the stove, Adam Ratmoko was assisted by Joe McConnell, both representing team Strangelove’s which shares a name with Stanley Kubrick’s 1964 film. On the other side, Sean Korcal took lead, assisted by last month’s Open Stove contender, Geno Betz, both from Bardot Cafe, itself named for French film ingenue, Brigitte Bardot.

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The Dirt: What To Get At The Farmers Market This Weekend

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After a doozy of a snow day and piles of slush still lingering, the weekend ahead–with projected high temperatures above freezing and a sunshine-heavy forecast–is going to feel downright balmy. Since we’re sure you’ve already binge-watched enough Netflix and eaten enough calories for the weekend before it has even begun, tomorrow should be an excellent day to stretch your legs and head down to the farmer’s market…

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The Dirt: What To Get At The Farmers Market This Weekend

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By now, we’ve all pretty much given in to winter. We’ve settled for the idea that it’s just going to be cold and slushy forever and we’ve lost all hope of ever seeing a tomato again. But just when we’ve given up, we get a little reminder that it won’t always feel like this outside. Tomorrow, February 28th, is National CSA Sign-Up Day! Though summer, and even spring, still seem ages away, farmers are already beginning preparations for the season ahead. So get a jump on the season and sign up for one of our favorite CSA’s. That way, when you bundle up to pick-up the following tomorrow at your winter farmer’s market, you can do so while daydreaming of tomatoes.

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The Dirt: What To Get At The Farmers Market This Weekend

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While midwinter farmer’s markets lack the variety of the summer months, you can’t really argue with tables that still overflow with parsnips, potatoes, winter squash, and coolers of grass-fed beef, local dairy, and hand-made breads and baked goods. Plus, you can always add variety to your shopping trip by visiting a new-to-you market in a neighborhood not your own. This weekend boasts plenty of opportunities: Bryn Mawr (10-Noon), Chestnut Hill (10-Noon), Rittenhouse (10-2), Fitler Square (9-2) and Clark Park (10-2). A shortage of local food in winter? I think not.

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About Last Night: I Heart You THIS Much…

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Ladies and gentlemen, welcome once again to the drama, the suspense, the creativity (and the aftermath) of Philadelphia’s own cutthroat culinary competition! February 4th brought the 34th edition of Open Stove to COOK, this time a head-to-head fight to the death* between Geno Betz of Paradiso and Dominic Santora of Kanella.

There was laughter. There were tears. There were chicken hearts and candy. And luckily, I was there to document it all. So here’s how the night played out.

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The Dirt: What To Get At The Farmers Market This Weekend

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In Philadelphia, we love nothing more than talking trash, especially when it comes to weather. If it snows? We complain about the snow and its removal. If it doesn’t snow? It seems we complain about that, too. Snow or no, standing outside in the chill for a few hours would make anybody complain, and yet farmer’s market growers do just that every weekend and they still manage to bag up your apples and carrots with a smile. Maybe because their faces frozen in place…

Regardless, here are a few suggestions for vegetables to stock up on to offset (or on-set?) the gluttonous weekend of football food ahead.

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The Dirt: What To Get At The Farmers Market This Weekend

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Some weeks it seems as though everything on the market table follows the parable that if it grows together, it goes together. Sweet potatoes and greens, tomatoes and corn, and berries alongside the tender leaves of spring. But late January markets can feel just the opposite, instead of blossoming cornucopias bursting with potential combinations they can represent an assortment of odds and ends and good luck to the cook. Your Mystery Box challenge this week, should you choose to accept it, includes the following…

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The Dirt: What To Get At The Farmer’s Market This Weekend

Photo via Soup Cleanse

It’s officially soup season, people. Not only is soup the perfect warming food for cold weather, it’s also filling and healthy if you’re watching your waistline. If, instead, you’re watching your grocery bill in the face of those post-holiday credit card statements, it also happens to be a handy way to stretch ingredients into multiple meals. Sure, you could pick up some ready-made soups from Good Spoon at the Rittenhouse Market, but for maximum warmth you should make your own featuring some of the following locally-grown goodies.

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