08 Jul Poultry Farming And Sustainability Practices
When I was a child we would occasionally have chicken for dinner, it was a treat. A whole bird was purchased from the butcher. My grandmother prepared it carefully in our kitchen: any stray feathers or quills would be plucked out, the neck, giblets, kidneys, feet and other excess parts were used to make the soup stock. I remember tiny sprinklings of golden chicken fat blobs glistening in the soup plates. Livers were prepared as a ‘country’ style pate. The bird was then roasted with plenty of vegetables snuggled alongside in the pan, caramelising in the juices and the fat. Later, the carcass bones joined the soup stock. Nothing was wasted. Meals over coming days were augmented with this delicious chicken broth. But over the years chickens changed their appearance. They arrived in bits, sanitised in polystyrene trays and clingfilm. There was no skin. We were compliant consumers, convinced the skin would give us heart attacks or cellulite, shunning the less desirable parts of the bird such as the livers, kidneys and giblets. It was easy to become a vegetarian. Then I went to live in France and there I was faced with a wholly different experience. Birds were sold whole in the markets, often still in their full glossy plumage: you had to admire them. The vendors seemed to know the provenance of their poultry and took time to discuss best preparation methods. Would madame like the head left on or taken off, and the feet? Yes, I embraced eating meat again and while it felt nostalgic for me it also felt a whole lot more respectful. Here was a bird carefully selected, we would eat it, and I diligently used every part, just as my grandmother and mother had.
So, our next Slow Food Winter Dinner considers the question of eating birds: can this be a sustainable practice? Can we go back to buying a whole bird, and if so, how do you prepare it at home? How are they raised, how much energy and feed has gone into growing that bird for our table? How can we make the most of all the nutritional value in a 1.5 or 2kg bird? There are many questions around the matter of consuming ‘poultry’. We will enjoy a duck meal where you will get to eat pretty much every part of the bird and really think about duck from many dimensions. Alongside the deep dive into duck we will explore the delicious Central Otago Gibbston Valley organic Peregrine Wines, and just to add more dazzle to the palette, a selection of cheeses from Over the Moon. See all the details below.
It was such a fun night at our last dinner with the teams from Heron’s Flight, Durham Farms (did you see them on Country Calendar?) and Grinning Gecko Cheeses. I think our Tete a Queue (Nose to Tail) evening will be another delicious, adventurous and fun evening; There are still some tickets available.
Our Earth Harvest Dinner in August is now sold out, but we will have our August Restaurant Month Menu available at lunchtimes throughout this period and it is also a vegan menu.
Finally, I wonder who was listening last Sunday to Kim Hill’s interview with Dr Gary Fettke. Fettke is a passionate advocate of eating animal proteins, he dismissed vegetarians and vegans as consumers of processed and industrialised foods heavy in sugar loaded carbs and excess fats. I felt there was little understanding or respect shown to whole food plant based diets, and people making choices that were well considered and informed, not simply servants to large corporate cereal companies. Mostly it rankled with me as I think we do not fully acknowledge the impacts of climate change and its manifold ramifications if we dismiss outright the impacts of traditional large animal farming. Fettke did reference regenerative farming and the importance of top soil regeneration but there was limited time to explore this aspect. I hope Kim Hill keeps exploring this subject.
Over the Moon
It turns out our Fran is quite the fromage fan! This week, Fran is loving Over the Moon Cheese. “I absolutely love the Triple Cream Brie & Creamy Blue. The first goes amazingly well with Murphy’s Black Garlic (also in store), and the second is great on crackers or fresh bread.” Founder Sue Arthur believes that in NZ, where we produce some of the world’s best quality milk, there are no excuses for making boring cheese. We’re delighted to welcome Sue as one of our guest speakers for the upcoming Winter Dinner on 24 July.
Peregrine Organic Wines
Taking a ‘hands on’ approach to winemaking since 1998, the McLachlan family strives to produce wines that embody the absolute best of Central Otago. This passion for the land runs in the family, and is a hallmark of Peregrine as a business, which is why we think Peregrine is the perfect wine match for our upcoming Slow Winter July dinner. Justin Hart from Peregrine will be talking us through his selected wines for each of the 4 courses on the evening. There are a few remaining tickets available – don’t miss this one!
The Tete-a-Queue Slow Winter Dinner is selling out fast!
After a wonderfully successful Matariki Dinner (stay tuned for photos of the evening!) the second in Scarecrow’s Winter Dinner Series is the Tête-à-Queue Nose to Tail Dinner on Saturday 24 July, looking at ways we can reduce waste by cooking with the whole animal. Featuring duck from Quack-A-Duck, who focus on sustainable practices & ethical poultry welfare; boutique award-winning cheesemakers Over The Moon Dairy, and one of our favourite organic wineries Peregrine Wines from Central Otago (as seen recently on Country Calendar). We’ll be learning more about these producers’ commitment to sustainability & lessening our collective environmental footprint.
The Kiwi Artisan Co
One of our favourite new products to hit the shelves, the team cannot get enough of Kiwi Artisan Smoked Olives… so good! Originally a simple market stall in Central Otago supporting local producers, The Kiwi Artisan Co came to fruition off the back of the Covid-19 Pandemic, as a way to support the small batch artisan community and broaden artisan platter options for Kiwis who love to entertain at home. These are certainly very more-ish. Come into Scarecrow Grocer @ 811 Mt Eden Road to get your week’s supply!
Handmade Penan Bags
We’ve been Penan fans for some time now. All Penan bags are exclusively supplied by Helping Hands Penan, an organisation dedicated to the betterment of living conditions in Penan communities, facilitation of education for Penan children and youth up to tertiary level & the economic empowerment of Penan families through the production & sale of their craft, known for its high quality of workmanship and beauty. We have stock arriving regularly. Stand out this season with a gorgeous Penan Bag – in store at Scarecrow Grocer!
Meet Mary Jane
We simply must introduce you to Jane our florist’s latest creation. Meet Mary Jane! After chatting with Scarecrow barista Jeff, Jane discovered Jeff’s grandmother, Mary Jane, had been a florist for many years. Inspired by Mary Jane’s favourite colours & flowers (think Baby’s Breath & pink carnations), Jane has created this stunning tribute; vintage pink & white blooms inspired by florists of a bygone era. Gorgeous right? Send a Mary Jane bouquet to someone you love today! Order online or call the florist on 09 377 1333 ext 4.
Kokako Coffee Tasting
This Saturday between 10am – 1pm we’re thrilled to have the wonderful Kimberley from Kokako Organic Coffee in store at Scarecrow Grocer with coffee tastings of the ever popular Aotea Blend & a Single Origin coffee to compare. Browse our shelves & grab your weekend flowers & wine, all with a delicious Kokako Coffee in hand. Call the Grocer to find out more on 09 377 1333.
Divine Duck – Instore & Online
As the theme of the month is duck, we should remind you of our House Cured Duck Prosciutto, a must have for any platter or light lunch; and Scarecrow Duck Leg Confit, which you must have in your fridge at all times for a last minute mid-week dinner! Just crisp up in a hot pan for a few minutes, and add our Potato Dauphinois to complete the picture. Order online or grab a few when you’re next in store: 33 Victoria St East or 811 Mt Eden Road.