Brussels Sprouts and Jowl

This isn't a recipe, it's a sob story--in two parts. Cry with me here...

Chapter One - Brussels Sprouts

Nolte grew Brussels sprouts for us this year, but like the typical middle child, they seem to have a bit of a problem. We think--and hope--that this harvest should be fine, based on the report from Nolte, but at the earlier sample harvest, about half of them had a little brown spot on the inside. Most of it is still fine, and they are easy enough to prepare, and cut out any bad you might find, but for such a slow-growing, high-labor crop, that apparently nobody wants to grow for these reasons, this is an enormous disappointment.

We told Nolte we would take them at the discounted price he offered because we know most of you can sympathize, plus you want to eat Brussels sprouts (and we can attest to the deliciousness of these crucifers since we ate the results of our earlier test). The unfortunate part is our x-ray vision only works on clothing, not on vegetables. But there are other ways to disrobe a sprout, and we know that you will be happy to cut each of these sweet brassica in half, and deal with them accordingly, like this:

Chapter Two - Jowl and Skins

Lindy noticed that our problem-child freezer (yes, it's the middle freezer) was at 5F on Friday, instead of 0 or below, so she emptied it, based on our track record with this particular miscreant. Yesterday, the freezer was up to 40 degrees, still well within refrigeration temperature, but above freezing. Thankfully she had emptied it, but...where did that bag of Blind Star pork jowl and pork skins come from?!?
Sale! (limited--there are only a few of each of these, but email--first come first served)
Blind Star Smoked Pork Jowl: $6 each ($1.00 off --pre-defrosted!)
Blind Star Pork Skins for Home-made cracklin': $1.50/lb. I honestly know nothing about this, so you're going to have to do your own research, so here's a resource:

Chapter Three - Brussels Sprouts Cooked in Pork Fat

And they all lived happily ever after. (sniff sniff, don't you love a happy ending?)

Tip: Remove the tops from your root vegetables

Woo woo. Take it off baby! When you receive root veggies with the greens attached, it's important to remove the tops from the roots. The greens are edible if they're in good shape--yes, even radish greens--and don't think that just because they are wilted that they are not good. They are just thirsty! Why?...Read more


Del Carmen has been a vendor for Fair Shares for 3+ years now.  We have developed a quality relationship based on trust. Our communications have been seamless. In addition, Fair Shares and its members have been great marketers for our products.  As a (very) small business, we are unable to advertise or market our products, so we have to rely on word of mouth.  Many of our customers are, were, or know Fair Shares members who have recommended our products.

Del Carmen has also benefitted from valuable ideas for use of existing products and suggestions in product development from the Fair Shares community.  I go to them for feedback, knowing I will get good, reliable and useful information.

We thank you, Fair Shares, for your support and commitment to del Carmen. We wish you much continued success.  After all, your success also helps the success of del Carmen and other local vendors and farmers.

Estie Cruz-Curoe, del Carmen Beans, St. Louis, MO