I typically write my weekly email on Sundays. It’s a time for reflection on what has happened in the last week and where we’re going. An exercise I have come to enjoy for its challenge and perspective. Today is Friday, and I want to write a quick note about Schmaltz.

We are so proud to raise chickens the way we do, and to offer them for sale. In honor of this effort and the lives of the chickens we strive to make full use of every thing they give us. We take all the slaughter waste and compost it to spread back on the fields. We process the excess bones leftover after parting into chicken stock. During a conversation with chef Adam who makes our chicken stock at the Hub on the Hill he mentioned that there is excess fat on the chicken bones, and he found it worthwhile to remove the fat before roasting the bones then making the stock. I suggested that we could do that during our parting process, and I wondered out loud if there was some fun thing we could do with the fat? Adam offered that we could make Schmaltz.

Schmaltz, derived from the Yiddish word schmelzen meaning to melt, is both a Yiddish and German word for rendered fats. Common in many Jewish recipes like matzah brei, latkes and matzah balls this rich and flavorful fat can also deepen your stir fry or you can even spread it on toast!

In honor of this new addition to our kitchen I decided to put it to the test. A dollop in the hot pan with some minced garlic to start. Add some onions, then chopped kale from the garden. I dribbled some chicken stock to keep the veg from sticking. I’m hooked. Even the kids ate some.

I love Thanksgiving. It is one of the few Hollidays that remain relatively un touched by the hand of materialism. Most of us leave Thanksgiving behind with little more than full bellies and some turkey in a Tupperware. It is a Holliday that brings families and friends together from all over. This year, however, Thanksgiving has a different tone. Many regions across the country are seeing a dramatic rise in Covid-19 cases, even in our rural area of New York State. So our thanksgiving table will look different this year, and there will only be a few of us. But if you’re hankering to try some new things for a smaller audience this year, try some of our Schmaltz! If a turkey is too big for your gathering, try the turkey’s smaller cousin: chicken🙂

Eat well and be safe.

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