Brie, Farm Cook at Polyface Farms, Swoope, Virgina
Somebody has to feed all those people who feed us!
Okay, so you have an extra 35 people coming over for dinner, leftovers in the fridge, chickens to catch, marketing to do for Polyface Yum and a blog to write—where do you start? Meet Brie Aronson, Farm Cook for the iconic Polyface Farms. Chaya catches up with Brie as she tells us about cooking for large crowds, foraging, her favorite cookbooks and kitchen tools, and how she stacks that larder deep for all those hungry farm hands. Join us as we listen in to a conversation with a vital part of the Polyface Farms enterprise who prepares nutritious and delicious food for all those people producing food.
We talk about:
-A day in the life at Polyface Farm. It is a place that many people come to work and learn from the Salatins.
-Different projects on going at the farm—constant buzz of activity in the peak season of summer
-Farm cook works about 6-8 hours a day cooking and working closely with the vegetable gardener besides working at the farm store and other chores
-Menu planning on the fly for twenty-three hungry farm hands (plus guests, TV crews, or bands like Train)
-What is the trick to pleasing picky eaters or accommodating food allergies?
-Cookbooks Brie relies upon:
Good Food Fast by Martha Stewart (Great for cooking seasonally)
Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon (Classic Foodie Recipes
America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook (Iconic TV Show and Cooking Wisdom
Asparagus to Zucchini by The Madison Area Community Supported Agriculture Coalition (MACSAC)
-Being creative with leftovers!
-Brie’s bio and how she got to work at Polyface Farms
-Working your way back from a negative relationship with food to becoming the person bringing everyone together with this beautiful medium. Encouraging health one meal at a time.
-Brie heard about Polyface from Michael Pollan’s Omnivore’s Dilemma
-Bringing more healthy practices to the table by using WAP principles
-Where is a good place to start eating healthy (without losing yourself in super technical jargon or politics, etc)? “Get rid of your microwave.”
-“Finding your kitchen again.” Cooking is a basic skill and a very necessary part of being human
-Simplify your kitchen, it will make it less daunting
-What is Brie’s favorite kitchen tool (other than cast iron)?
-Eating locally and what is Brie’s favorite thing to get locally? (You will probably never guess what it is)
-Foraging and wildcrafting
-How can a homesteader leverage chickens to manage kitchen waste and build soil?
-Chickens vs. the HOA, Ducks: the undercover suburbia chicken
-What is is like going from an intern to the farm cook? What are other duties or chores are there?
-Getting to go from producing the food, to selling the food to cooking the food—farm life is very satisfying.
-What is Brie’s favorite time of year?
-Brie’s favorite method for baking bread Ratio by Michael Roman
-How does Brie build up her larder? What does Polyface Farms preserve and how? What is her favorite “go to” food item on her shelf?
-“Lard is wonderful. It makes everything right.”
-What is Brie’s favorite comfort food?
-The joy of sharing food with people
Be sure to check out her blog, where she posts brilliance like this video below: