Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Never Satisfied

No this is not what my wife tells me, it is how I am about the weather right now.

We had rain when we needed to plant so then that meant our harvest would be late because planting was.

We needed late season rains and warm weather and we have had that of recent.

Now we need it to quit raining and dry up and stay warm. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be the near term forecast.

Except for an occasional shower to make the ground ripe to dig peanuts, I would be happy for the rain to stop now and wait until harvest is complete before starting back.

Much more of this will cost us yield and money.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Association for Dressings and Sauces

I had the opportunity to speak to the ADS membership on crisis management at their annual meeting this past weekend. They have a small but seemingly active group and many of their members also have a peanut interest.

Every time I review what we went through earlier this year I become more and more convinced that there need to be severe penalties for those, on whom the evidence is conclusive were malicious bad actors. The converse of that needs to be that when the Government makes a mistake because they didn't have all the facts, as happened in the tomato scare, the government should have to compensate those injured to the extent of their injuries.

The best crisis management plan is to do a good job and never have a crisis to deal with.

We produce a food product and from the farm supplier to the supermarket must keep the consumer in our focus.

To that end we are working on a food safety certification program for farmers. It would work somewhat like the current system for acquiring and maintaining a pesticide license. It is truly my belief that this approach of education and certification is far better than a regulatory approach which should always be a last resort in making gains toward even greater food safety.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Nutty Stuffed Chops

½ cup salted roasted peanuts, very finely chopped
1 cup packed raw spinach, chopped
4 oz. crumbled blue cheese
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.
6 boneless 1” thick pork chops
6 slices bacon
Stand pork chops on edge and cut a slit lengthwise to make a pocket for the stuffing. Fill pocket with the peanut, spinach, and blue cheese mixture. Wrap bacon around the edge of the pork chop, covering slit. Secure with toothpicks.
Cook in covered cast iron dutch oven over medium high heat for 22 minutes turning occasionally to insure uniform cooking.

God Looks Out for Fools, Little Children, and Farmers

I am pretty well convinced that the current weather has been more a blessing than a curse to the peanut farmers of Georgia.

We had said all along we needed it to be wet through the first part of October and rains were pretty general earlier this week. We also wanted it to be warmer than normal and with highs in the 90's that is coming true.

If we could get this next rain this weekend and then stay frost free for several weeks it would go a long way toward making a crop in Georgia.

Maybe we can make 3500 pounds but if we do then you had better believe that miracles do happen.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Back in the Test Kitchen

I was back in the test kitchen today and finished the testing on my stuffed pork chop recipe I am using at the GA National Fair and the Southern Women's Show in Jacksonville.

It is stuffed with finely chopped peanuts, chopped spinach, and blue cheese crumbles. Then you wrap it with bacon, covering the pocket and stuffing and hold that in place with two round toothpicks (flat toothpicks are worthless for this and other purposes including picking your teeth.)

I cooked them in a cast iron dutch oven on medium high for 22 minutes turning several times during cooking to keep them from getting done on the outside before the inside was done. I kept the dutch oven covered while cooking.

I served it today with cranberry-nut couscous (you know it has coarsely chopped peanuts in it), steamed green beans, and a spoon of whole berry cranberry sauce.

We should have the recipe for the chop in print some time tomorrow.

Here is the picture to make your mouth water. Let me know what you think?