The Weekly Newsletter
Menus and Stories for August 1 - 6, 2005 **

Wet, wet, wet!
Boy! We've been having some thunderstorms around here these days.

Yesterday Karen and I had to go off on a site visit right when the skies opened up. We tried to stall for a while but, once we realized that this was not some casual, temporary sprinkle, but was a full-out gusher, we scrounged around and modified some locally-available materials and - voila!

By the way, I what a delight to find that we are both the PERFECT size for a large garbage bag. No hemming was needed.

** by the way, if this is your first newsletter - welcome! We write and send out these notes once a week. If you'd rather not hear about our weekly menu specials and thoughts, simply scroll to the bottom of the page and follow the simple prompts to "unsubscribe."

Rachel's first crop
Rachel works here. And she and her boyfriend have a plot of land up north which they tend. Way back in the early part of the spring we talked aobut what she was growing and what we could use.

"Bring it on!" I chortled. "Whatever you grow, we'll use."

This, I am pleased to show, is the first batch of basil from their garden. The other things, tomatoes, peppers, cukes, and such, are still growing, but we'll have them too - soon.

Can you imagine anything nicer?

Another great story
No, these are not simply tomatoes and basil.

We save all of our compostable materials here. We've been doing so since our beginning, in fact. And for the past few years we've been hauling them over to a school in Swannanoa where it is turned into rich soil.

But the best part is, the school is one of those places where troubled students learn how to do something other than cause trouble. They learn how to plan and plant and grow and tend and harvest and reap, transforming vegetable scraps into sellable goods.

The folks in this picture are the teachers. Life is very good these days, with people and programs like this. Come taste what they've grown.

Dinners to go
Dinners come with a freshly-made green salad, salad dressing of the day,
and made-right-here bread of the day. We take reservations until noon or so.

Please order by phone (252-1500), by FAX (252-02002)
or stop in to speak to one of us in person.

Dinners are ready at 4:30 and can be picked up until we close at 6:00 pm.

Monday August 1 Vidalia Onion and Chevre Roasted Chicken 9.75
Coconut Shrimp with Mango Salsa 12.25
Beef and Avocado Fajita 10.25
Balsamic and Blackberry Grilled Chicken with Potatoes au gratin 9.75
Lemon Snapper with Thai Herbs 12.25

Dinners for this week are:

Our website

Casserole of the week
We make a special casserole each week on Wednesday. Please give us a call by the end of the day on Tuesday and we’ll fix yours for you. Come by between 4:30 and 6:00. Get a half (for 4 appetites) or a full sized pan (for 9 or so.)

Wednesday, August 3
Lazy Herb Chicken with Hollandaise Potatoes
Full sized casserole: 33.00
Half: 16.50

"Jam Babes Jam"
Yup - Jam Babes' Jams are back in production.

We've been cranking up the stoves and filling the fars, putting up the sweet stuff for the time when, inevitably, it will get cold and we'll all want to think about the heat of the summer.

We'll be making Blueberry Jam soon. Right now we have Fresh Strawberry or Local Blackberry Jams for your breakfast (or ice cream) pleasure. YUM!

"Delicious Expeditions"
Um! European food markets. My favorite!

Did you know that we are considering a fall trip to Tuscany? October 21 - 29 is when we'd like to go. This will be late enough to coincide with the olive harvest, is far enough off-season that we'll miss the masses of tourists but is warm enough to still be comfortable for our visits to markets, craftsmen, and food producers.

Would you like to come with us? Jot us a note and we'll send you more information. These are small groups trips, by the way: just 10 or 12 of us. Very nice. Very fun.

A day at the Tailgate Market - August 6
Next Saturday is a day of celebrating the local tailgate markets. I'll be doing some cooking with local products in the morning so please be sure to come by the market right across the street from our shop.

Demonstrations will be at 9:30, 10:00 and 10:30. I'll use whatever the farmers bring, so it'll be a surprise for all of us. Hope to see you.

A Note from Laurey
July 30, 2005

The last days of July are upon us. August hovers. It is steamy or pouring or, rarely, dry. Wednesdays are my new favorite days, since the farmers all come to town with their gardens’ bounty. One of the markets sets up right across the street from the shop here, so it’s an easy thing for the farmers to drop off cartons and baskets and bags of just-picked delights.

Last week I went to Seattle to help Chris celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Flying Fish, her wonderful restaurant. This is the third year that her restaurant has been buying produce from one farm, and she decided to have her celebration right on that farm. One of the main parts of the meal was Yucatan-style Pork barbecue, which involves roasting the meat in a pit. Mike, the farmer, had used his back hoe to dig the pit, which was very helpful indeed. I went with Chris to buy paving stones and, one day ahead of time, we went and lined the pit and got everything ready for the cooking.

It takes seven hours to cook enough meat for 100 people and it takes 4 hours to get a thick enough bed of coals. Chris lives a half hour away from the farm. The guests were to arrive at 5. You do the math. The firestarters would need to set the alarm for a VERY early hour!

The nice thing about getting up that early in Seattle is that it is already light at 4:30. The drive to the farm from her home on the Puget Sound is a lovely one. Mount Ranier hovered in the distance, glowing and huge. As we laid the bed of wood and charcoal, we were serenaded by coyotes and herons, geese and cattle. Mike and his two interns, young agriculture students from Peru, stood with us as we fed the fire, swapping stories of how they cook in Peru, and how they grow things up in the Andes mountains. After a few hours the fire was ready. Chris and I lowered the roasting pans into the thick bed of glowing coals, covered up the heat with corrugated tin roofing, and shoveled on a fat layer of soil, leaving the whole thing to cook for the day.

In the afternoon we returned, after loading up with huge bunches of dahlias and delphiniums from the Pike Place Market. What a treat to have such color and variety available! Hmong women grow incredible flowers and have gigantic buckets filled with fat color. We made their day, asking for “two dozen of those” and “four dozen of these”, filling our arms with more and more.

Back at the farm, once everything was set, the guests arrived and had time to wander around the fields, admiring and beginning to understand the amazing amount of work it takes to grow things. Mike told us that he used to farm 50 acres with one helper and a tractor and a bunch of insecticide. That was before he switched to organics, of course. Now he can barely keep up 15 acres with 5 or 6 people, but he feels better about what he is doing to and for the Earth. His farm is a big rag tag mess in a way, but the produce is pure, clean, good. The tomatoes taste like tomatoes, and the sorrel is fresh and sharp.

It was good to be there and so important to realize, once again, that this place, this earth, is a fragile place, a place that needs attention if its going to last and support us all. We read about it. We know about it. We think about it – maybe. But we must be sure not to forget it.

In a broken Spanish-y/English-y conversation with the Peruvian fellows, we all talked about the land and the earth and food and farms and how essential it is to all of us.

It is a process, all of this caring. An essential pursuit for us all.

Thanks for being part of our path here at Laurey’s.

A Local Harvest dinner - August 25
We're part of a special dinner that is being put on at Hickory Nut Gap Farms. This is a fund raiser for Carolina Farm Stewards Association, a group whose mission is to work toward saving farms in the Carolinas.

The Marketplace, Early Girl, and Salsa's will also be a part of this event.

E-mail or call 919-542-2402 to make a reservation. We hope you come.

Contact Info:
"Gourmet Comfort Food"
Eat In - Take Out - Catering
67 Biltmore Avenue
Asheville, NC 28801


Monday - Friday 8:00 - 6:00 pm
Saturday 8:00 - 4:00 pm

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