BY JOSH DORCAK — MÄS is in its infancy in terms of a pantry or larder, whatever you may prefer to call it. What I mean by that is we are in our first seasons, spring, summer, fall, and winter. Each season has unique timestamps that we like to capture, to either showcase within its season or to save and bring out within another time. It is my dream to hold onto our preserves and ferments until the next year of that season, serving a fresh gooseberry with a pickled gooseberry from a seasons past.
Why is this important?
The importance of a pantry is have freedom with creativity. I may totally forget about preserved black walnuts and be rummaging around thinking of ‘what the hell do i have?’ BOOM, I see the black walnuts and then remember what I was smelling when I was picking them off the tree. What that timestamp was, how I had ideas of serving with sweetbreads or in a cream of locust flowers. Those are the moments that are captured with each jar. To me that is of utmost importance.
Fragile ingredients like herbs we make into potent oils and freeze so the chlorophyll stays strong. When we need to have an accent flavor, a flavor that is at the back end of your bite, we turn to these oils. The more individual herb oils we have the more dynamic our food can be. Our dehydrator is running 24 hours a day in the summer months. During our processing time we have many scraps of peelings, pulps, and tops from the vegetables. Instead of composting these items we burn, char, grill, toast, steam, ect…them and dehydrate and make powders. For example we have been reducing onion juice to a caramel sauce, the pulp that we have as a scrap product is charred heavily in our oven and then dehydrated, we then pulverize the onion into a caramelized onion powder. Huge in flavor but unsuspecting by the guests.
Building a home pantry or larder is a great way to look at the local farmers markets differently, stocking up on in season ingredients to use throughout the non growing months. By building better pantries we can offer more to the local farmers by purchasing more and ultimately using more of what we buy locally.