Each week I’ve watched Deb and Lisa cook the Farm-to-Fork meals with the same strange fascination that I imagine my grandmother would have felt if she ever lived to watch “Jersey Shore.” I never understood how Deb and Lisa actually LIKE to cook. I long ago filed cooking under the category of Things-In-Life-To-Be-Avoided (right next to taking “selfies” and bumping into people at the supermarket).
Chopping vegetables, however, I can do. During our meal prep of Southern Indian Lamb Curry on Monday, this girl was an onion-chopping master!
I sliced the vegetables, wearing my ridiculous sunglasses, while Lisa and Deb bustled back and forth around the kitchen, doing the actual cooking. Sometimes Deb tended to the stew, sometimes they switched. Every so often, Lisa would hurry back to flip the vegetables in the cast-iron skillet. Knowing I didn’t cook, she always offered up bits of culinary advice to me.
“In order to add taste, you want to sear the meat in the same juices,” she’d say, glancing over to where I was prepping vegetables.
“Cooking is all about building layers of flavor.”
Until I began spending time around Lisa and Deb, I didn’t realized how much was actually involved in the process of cooking. The way Lisa talked, she reminded me of those artists on TV, explaining their use of lighting and brush-strokes. I’d always enjoyed art and eventually it occurred to me that maybe I could learn to enjoy cooking too..
Chef Extraordinaire Number One! Miss Lisa Cassettari, also Woodstock Sustainable Farm’s Director of Operations
Will Kirk- Official taste-tester and Woodstock Sustainable Farm’s Farm Manager
Some benefits of our pasture-raised lamb vs. conventional store-bought lamb include:
- A less fattening cut of meat (Studies have shown grass-fed animals to have as low as a third of the fat of their grain-fed counterparts, the same amount of fat as skinless chicken breast!)
- Higher levels of Vitamin A: This contributes to a list of health benefits, including healthy skin, healthy vision, tissue healing, and cancer prevention
- Higher levels of Vitamin E– A strong antioxidant that helps stabilize cell membranes and protects body from free-radical damage. It also protects the tissues of the skin, eyes, liver, heart, and lungs.
- Higher levels of Omega-3 Fatty Acids– This is known to reduce symptoms of depression, ADHD, rheumatoid arthritis, and memory loss. Grain fed animals contain so little, that most people have come to think of fish as the only source.