When the 20 agents arrived bearing a search warrant at her Ventura County farmhouse door at 7 a.m. on a Wednesday a couple weeks back, Sharon Palmer didn’t know what to say. This was the third time she was being raided in 18 months, and she had thought she was on her way to resolving the problem over labeling of her goat cheese that prompted the other two raids. (In addition to producing goat’s milk, she raises cattle, pigs, and chickens, and makes the meat available via a CSA.)
But her 12-year-old daughter, Jasmine, wasn’t the least bit tongue-tied. “She started back-talking to them,” recalls Palmer. “She said, ‘If you take my computer again, I can’t do my homework.’ This would be the third computer we will have lost. I still haven’t gotten the computers back that they took in the previous two raids.”
As part of a five-hour-plus search of her barn and home, the agents — from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office, Los Angeles County Sheriff, Ventura County Sheriff, and the California Department of Food and Agriculture — took the replacement computer, along with milk she feeds her chickens and pigs.
Via flutterby. Would that they granted the same freedom to others that they claim for themselves. Unfortunately, no doubt many of the liberal hippies who buy from these farms cheer when the FDA cracks down on trans fats and cigarettes.
The steak is about about 10 oz of Safeway brand “Rancher’s Reserve Beef Round Top Round Steak”. Since this was an inexpensive cut, I assumed that it would be tough (which turned out to be correct), and tried the salt tenderizing trick suggested by daemonwolf. Here’s my version of the technique:
1. Cover both sides of the steak with a generous layer of salt. Leave the meat in contact with the salt for about 1/2 hour (at room temp).
2. Wash the salt off, and pat it dry with paper towels.
3. Dust both sides with McCormick’s Grillmate Montreal Steak seasoning. Pan fry in extra virgin olive oil over medium heat.
As for the asparagus:
1. Heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Add extra virgin olive oil. When oil is hot, add chopped green onions, garlic powder. Turn heat to low and fry until fragrant.
2. Add asparagus, cover with a tight-fitting lid.
3. Cook on low for 10-12 minutes.
Though tasty, the steak was still tough, and quite salty. Next time, I’ll try grilling it to “medium well” over higher heat, and do a better job of rinsing the salt off. I’m not sure it matters, but I also used iodized salt. Next time, I’ll try sea sealt.
The asparagus turned out well. Next time, I’ll try adding a less oil, and use fresh pressed garlic instead of the powder.
The meal took a long time to make — probably 3 hours total, including shopping. However, this is the first time I’ve cooked this particular dish, in a new kitchen. I took some time to clean my shelf in the fridge, and discussed cooking and cleaning protocol with Sara and Dave (whose kitchen and utensils I used). With practice, I expect the prep time to be substantially less.