Please Boycott McFadden Organic Products

27 06 2010

I’m in the process of adopting the horse of my dreams, literally a lifelong dream being realized…  The rescue organization I’m adopting my mare from posted this story on their blog today:

Mendocino organic farmer charged with animal cruelty

Suspected of neglecting, shooting aging burro


By GLENDA ANDERSON
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Published: Monday, May 17, 2010

A well-known Mendocino County organic farmer and wine maker is facing trial on misdemeanor charges of animal neglect and cruelty. Guinness McFadden severely neglected his aging burro, then shot it multiple times while attempting to put it out of its misery, according to a report by Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputy Christian Denton.

McFadden, an outspoken Potter Valley rancher who specializes in organic winegrapes, herbs, rice and cattle, declined to comment on the charges filed by the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office.

According to the Sheriff’s report, the burro had been neglected for years. Its hooves had been allowed to grow to more than a foot in length, causing them to spiral and bend at 90 degree angles, according to the report. The deformities forced the burro to walk on its fetlocks instead of its twisted hooves, photos of the animal show.

“The animal appeared to be in pain and had extreme trouble walking,” Denton states in the report. The burro also had an oozing, volley ball-sized tumor on its chest, according to the Sheriff’s report.

McFadden had been aware of the hoof problem since at least June 2007, when Animal Control officials first warned him to have the burro’s hooves trimmed, according to the Sheriff’s report.

He was again warned in early 2009, when the burro’s condition was reported to the Humane Society, according to Denton’s report. McFadden claimed he had a farrier trim the hooves, but the overgrown hooves would have required multiple treatments.Guinness McFadden severely neglected his aging burro, then shot it multiple times while attempting to put it out of its misery, according to a report by Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputy Christian Denton.

McFadden, an outspoken Potter Valley rancher who specializes in organic winegrapes, herbs, rice and cattle, declined to comment on the charges filed by the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office.

According to the Sheriff’s report, the burro had been neglected for years. Its hooves had been allowed to grow to more than a foot in length, causing them to spiral and bend at 90 degree angles, according to the report. The deformities forced the burro to walk on its fetlocks instead of its twisted hooves, photos of the animal show.

“The animal appeared to be in pain and had extreme trouble walking,” Denton states in the report.

The burro also had an oozing, volley ball-sized tumor on its chest, according to the Sheriff’s report.

McFadden had been aware of the hoof problem since at least June 2007, when Animal Control officials first warned him to have the burro’s hooves trimmed, according to the Sheriff’s report.

He was again warned in early 2009, when the burro’s condition was reported to the Humane Society, according to Denton’s report. McFadden claimed he had a farrier trim the hooves, but the overgrown hooves would have required multiple treatments.

The burro also apparently suffered from laminitis, a hoof inflammation usually brought on by eating carbohydrate rich grass or clover, said county Veterinarian Robert Shugart. Untreated, the inflammation can result in abnormal hoof growth as the animal shifts its weight to its heel to lessen the pain, he said. Hooves can become as long and twisted as those of McFadden’s burro in about a year, Shugart said.

In the wild, burros don’t have access to rich grass, and their hooves are naturally worn down by hard, rocky ground. Their hooves may get longer as they age and become less mobile, but predators are likely to cut short their suffering, according to county Animal Control and Bureau of Land Management officials.

“Typically, they won’t live that long,” said BLM spokesman Jeff Fontana. Wild burros’ typical life span is about 20 years, he said. McFadden’s burro was about 35 years old. By January of this year, its hooves had grown to almost 16 inches, according to the Sheriff’s report.

Appalled, Potter Valley PG&E power plant employees phoned the Sheriff’s Office, which oversees animal control enforcement. The burro was grazing on land adjacent to the power plant, which McFadden leases from PG&E for his cattle.

When he saw the burro’s condition, Denton told McFadden he needed to get the animal immediate care or put it down. He said he was surprised by the animal’s condition. “McFadden is well to do and raises cattle, among several other businesses, and could easily afford veterinary care for his animals,” Denton said.

McFadden told him he infrequently sees the burro, the last of four he adopted about 30 years ago through the Bureau of Land Management’s wild horse and burro program. McFadden asked Denton to help him shoot the burro, but Denton was ordered to another assignment and had to leave, according to the report. He instructed McFadden to shoot the burro behind the ear.Guinness McFadden severely neglected his aging burro, then shot it multiple times while attempting to put it out of its misery, according to a report by Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputy Christian DentoMcFadden, an outspoken Potter Valley rancher who specializes in organic winegrapes, herbs, rice and cattle, declined to comment on the charges filed by the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office.

According to the Sheriff’s report, the burro had been neglected for years. Its hooves had been allowed to grow to more than a foot in length, causing them to spiral and bend at 90 degree angles, according to the report. The deformities forced the burro to walk on its fetlocks instead of its twisted hooves, photos of the animal show.

“The animal appeared to be in pain and had extreme trouble walking,” Denton states in the report.

The burro also had an oozing, volley ball-sized tumor on its chest, according to the Sheriff’s report.

McFadden had been aware of the hoof problem since at least June 2007, when Animal Control officials first warned him to have the burro’s hooves trimmed, according to the Sheriff’s report.

He was again warned in early 2009, when the burro’s condition was reported to the Humane Society, according to Denton’s report. McFadden claimed he had a farrier trim the hooves, but the overgrown hooves would have required multiple treatments.

The burro also apparently suffered from laminitis, a hoof inflammation usually brought on by eating carbohydrate rich grass or clover, said county Veterinarian Robert Shugart. Untreated, the inflammation can result in abnormal hoof growth as the animal shifts its weight to its heel to lessen the pain, he said. Hooves can become as long and twisted as those of McFadden’s burro in about a year, Shugart said.

In the wild, burros don’t have access to rich grass, and their hooves are naturally worn down by hard, rocky ground. Their hooves may get longer as they age and become less mobile, but predators are likely to cut short their suffering, according to county Animal Control and Bureau of Land Management officials.

“Typically, they won’t live that long,” said BLM spokesman Jeff Fontana. Wild burros’ typical life span is about 20 years, he said. McFadden’s burro was about 35 years old.

By January of this year, its hooves had grown to almost 16 inches, according to the Sheriff’s report.

Appalled, Potter Valley PG&E power plant employees phoned the Sheriff’s Office, which oversees animal control enforcement. The burro was grazing on land adjacent to the power plant, which McFadden leases from PG&E for his cattle.

When he saw the burro’s condition, Denton told McFadden he needed to get the animal immediate care or put it down.

He said he was surprised by the animal’s condition.

“McFadden is well to do and raises cattle, among several other businesses, and could easily afford veterinary care for his animals,” Denton said.

McFadden told him he infrequently sees the burro, the last of four he adopted about 30 years ago through the Bureau of Land Management’s wild horse and burro program.

McFadden asked Denton to help him shoot the burro, but Denton was ordered to another assignment and had to leave, according to the report. He instructed McFadden to shoot the burro behind the ear.

A witness to the shooting said McFadden began shooting the burro with a pistol from a distance of about 30 feet. The first bullet skipped off the animal’s head, according to power plant manager T.K. Vaught. The second shot was into the animal’s neck, causing it to fall to the ground, she said. McFadden reportedly continued walking toward the animal while firing. The fifth and final shot he fired was at point blank range into the animal’s head, Vaught said. “It was awful,” she told Denton.

Three high-profile attorneys have been involved with McFadden’s defense. They include David Eyster, a candidate for district attorney on the June ballot; Keith Faulder, former assistant district attorney; and Ann Moorman, a candidate for judge. Eyster declined to comment on details of the case, but said he thought it was poorly handled. “I don’t think the right thing is being done,” he said.

************************************************************

As mentioned in the article, the accused markets organic products, and so he does.  Here is his website: http://shop.mcfaddenfarm.com/

Please boycott his products.
Anyone who could do that to an animal doesn’t deserve your business.

Advertisements




Cooking Italy: Salsa Verde~

26 06 2010

Salsa Verde...Piquant Green Sauce

I’m still catching up from April and May with Cooking Italy.  This recipe was from early May, and now it’s almost July, but…with this recipe I’ll finally break even having executed 2 recipes from each month!!

Salsa Verde…Italian Salsa Verde is vastly different from Mexican Salsa Verde!  The Italian version isn’t at all hot, and contains parsley, capers, garlic, optional anchovies (I included them, but used only a portion of what was requested in the recipe-I didn’t want the sauce to be too salty; I decided if the sauce needed more salt, I’d add the last portion of anchovy fillets.), lemon juice or red wine vinegar, depending if you plan to use the sauce on fish or on red meat, and olive oil.  Couldn’t be much easier than that!  The ingredients are whirred through a food processor, but seeing there were directions for using a mortar and pestle, I did so.  I like textures.  It was also very easy to amalgamate (what a fun word!!) the olive oil into the salsa.

I had planned to serve the Salsa Verde with pan broiled cod fillets, but that didn’t work out.  Since we were literally at the point of putting the fish into the pan when I discovered Murphy’s Law was in effect (cryovac’d fish was totally freezer burned-dry as the Mohave!), I used a great fall back…breaded tilapia fillets from Trader Joe’s.  We had a chopped salad topped with Salem Bleu Cheese crumbles and spicy candied pecans, and a cup of Cream of Mushroom soup that remained from last night.  It was just as good the 2nd time around!  It wasn’t a mistake! LOL!

Tasting Notes~
We liked the Salsa Verde a lot!  The breading made it difficult to really get a good taste of the sauce with the fish though.  There was 1 good tablespoon left though…  I think it will make and excellent mayo for ??  Maybe Artichokes…  Let me think about that…  That could be really, really good…or not so much.  Marcella has another recipe for Salsa Verde that was anchovy free…made with cornichons…that might work better.  I’ll bet we try this before the week is over though! *giggle*  Cuz eating is an adventure!!





Jousting with Mushrooms, Yogurt and Nuts~

25 06 2010

I love the Royal Foodie Joust…it always pushes me just outside my comfort zone!  This month is no different.  Although none of the ingredients are particularly unusual, the combination is a bit…well, odd.   Pairing any two of the three is imaginable, but the three together certainly leaves one some room to ponder.  And ponder I did!

Initially, I was convinced I was going with crepes, made with yogurt and filled with mushrooms and…something…and somehow I’d add some nuts in there somewhere.  That didn’t work out in my head no matter how long I fussed with it.  Time kept ticking away, and as the final week kicked in I knew it was time to get down to serious business.  Commit…right, wrong, or draw…just commit and cook.

Cream of Mushroom Soup garnished with Spicy Pecan Brittle

My submission for the month of June is~

Cream of Mushroom Soup garnished with Spicy Pecan Brittle

Inspired by a Food Network Kitchens recipe
Yield:  4 to 6 first course servings

Ingredients

2 ounces dried mushrooms, shiitake, morel, porcini, oyster, portobella, etc.
4 cans (14 oz.) chicken broth, homemade or low-sodium canned
1/2 cup unsalted butter, divided in half
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 sweet onion (Vidalia) thinly sliced, and chopped
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 3 parsley sprigs
* 3 sprigs fresh thyme
* 1/2 teaspoon dry marjoram leaves
* 1 bay leaf
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/3  cup Plain Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon Sauvignon Blanc
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Bring broth to a boil and add * ingredients in a muslin bag. Add the dried mushrooms.   Set aside to rehydrate for at least 3 hours (shiitakes), or let cool and refrigerate overnight (best).

Using a slotted spoon, remove the mushrooms and reserve the broth. Roughly chop the mushrooms.

Strain reserved broth through a wet coffee filter or paper towel to remove dirt and sand.

Heat the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the rehydrated mushrooms, onion and garlic and
cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and somewhat dry, about 6 to 10 minutes.   Pour in the reserved mushroom broth.   Lower the
heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Remove and discard the herb bundle. Working in batches, transfer the mixture to a blender and puree until smooth, or use an immersion blender.  Strain if a smooth soup is desired, leave as is for a soup with kind of a peasant quality to it.  I prefer to leave it with a little texture.   Reduce heat to a bare simmer to keep mushroom puree hot.

In a non-stick skillet, melt the remaining 1/4 cup butter and add the 4 tablespoons flour to create a blonde roux.  Cook at least 2 minutes, but do not allow to color.   Ladle the hot soup into the roux, whisking with each addition to avoid lumps, adding soup until most of the soup has been added to the roux, then pour the roux mixture back into the soup pot.

Whisk the heavy cream, wine, and salt into the yogurt.  When smooth, stir the cream and yogurt into the warm soup and season with pepper to taste.  Keep soup warm, but do not allow to boil until time to serve.  Garnish with crumbled Spicy Pecan Brittle and serve.

Spicy Pecan Brittle
My adaptation of a recipe adapted from Bon Appetit by Smitten Kitchen
Makes 1 1/2 cups.

3 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon (generous) freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 cups toasted pecan pieces

Mix the corn syrup, sugar and salt in a small heavy sauté pan and cook syrup until golden.
Remove from heat as soon as a straw color is achieved, as it colors quickly and will burn, and stir in pepper and cayenne, then nuts. Transfer quickly to silpat mat.  Thin out with buttered fingers into as thin a brittle as you can, or separate into small clusters.
Allow to cool.

Tasting Notes~
I always look to my beloved spouse for his judgment on a recipe.  When he says…”I could eat that again,”  I know a recipe is worth another turn sometime.  When he says, “Not so much…” I can lose the recipe and he wouldn’t mind a bit.  After being together for (within days of) 29 years, we’re to the point where he can say honest things like that.  Especially when I do things like explore cuisines we don’t know about, and take on Food Challenges.

“I could eat this, like every week!” means we have a major-keeper recipe.   When I asked if he meant the soup, or the nuts, or…both?  The answer was, “Yes!!”  We agreed…we could snack on the pecans, happily.  In fact it would be good to seal them air-tight in a bag, in a tin where we couldn’t SEE them.  It’s an “umami” thing.  Sweet, salty, hot, spicy, buttery…kicky and soothing by turn.  The mushroom soup was thick and creamy…so rich and full-flavored.  I used The Flavor Bible to see what flavors matched up and found that marjoram brought out the earthiness in the mushrooms.  So, marjoram went into our muslin with the other herbs.  What else goes with mushrooms?  Yogurt.  Go figure.  What goes with yogurt?  Pecans.  Ok.  What else?  Cayenne.  And cayenne goes well with pecans.  Works for me.   So what we had was a lower fat cream soup…we subbed half the cream with plain Greek yogurt, but by adding the spicy, sweet, crunchy pecans on top, we added another layer of flavor and texture…one that had an interesting buttery quality that made you totally unaware that the soup could possibly be lower in fat.  And the pecans are addictive.  We thought they’d also go well on a salad, not to mention eating out of hand.  Did I mention that they keep you coming back for more?  The soup was really good too…even in the heat of the summer.  It wasn’t overly bold in flavor, but delicate, and though a cream soup, not overly heavy.  The flavors melded together just as I’d hoped they would!  Mmmmm!

This one was fun!  I learned a lot about mushrooms, and how to work with dried mushrooms.  I’m really glad I let them rehydrate throughout the night in the broth.  They picked up a really great flavor that way.  The herbs teased the flavor of the mushrooms to the forefront and didn’t let them get lost with everything that was going on.  This is a really great soup & salad night soup.  If made with just the water from soaking the mushrooms, it could easily be a meatless dish.

Oops…I need to chase the “hubby-mouse” out of the pecans…excuse me, please!





Cooking Italy: Thin Lamb Chops in Parmesan Batter~

23 06 2010

Cooking Italy is kind of in “catch up” mode.  Many of us have been caught up with real life events that have made cooking on schedule a little difficult.  Personally, it makes me laugh.  Every group goes on vacation about the time I can finally get away from work and put my energy toward them! Oh well.  It’s how it goes!  So I am catching up…as much as I can.

This time around, I was finally able to locate a lamb rib rack to make the thin lamb chops with the parmesan batter.  It’s more of a parmesan crust than a batter, but that’s ok.  It’s darn tasty!  Marcella has us dust pounded lamb chops as thin as the rib bones themselves, just like you would if you were making scallopini, then press grated parmesan onto the meat, dip it in egg wash and crust it with plain bread crumbs…here’s a little East meets West…I used Panko.  It made a perfect crisp crust over the parmesan which was fabulous seasoning.  Just to make sure the coating didn’t fly off the meat when I cooked it, I let the breading set for about 15 minutes after all the pieces were coated.

Then, into a hot skillet with about 1/4 inch of hot vegetable oil to cook the lamb and brown the crust.  Meanwhile, in a grill pan, we had half a pound of asparagus grilling with olive oil and spritzes of lemon juice.  Everything was sprinkled with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper as it completed cooking.

Tasting Notes~
I wasn’t sure what to expect…  I thought it would be plenty salty enough, between the salt in the Parmesan cheese and the kosher salt.  I was wondering if it would need a sauce of some sort…would it need a starch side to pick it up…maybe garlic mashed with a demi-glace…and that wouldn’t have been a bad thing…  However, this dish carries itself quite nicely.  The cheese does a really good job of covering the typical lamb flavor some folks find objectionable.  I had mint jelly ready, but mint jelly wasn’t something that seemed to pair with this.  In retrospect, I’d try a chutney another time.   The asparagus was a great “go with” especially with the lemony seasoning.  We liked this so well, we’d like to try the method on other meats, particularly pork.  Both of us had the same thought.  Pork cutlets done this way could be downright tasty…I’ll post those results when I give that a try.  I’ve got boneless pork loin chops, and they’d be just perfect.

Angela~ This was a wonderful selection!  I think pairing this with parmesan mashed potatoes and a colorful vegetable would be simply fabulous!!   Thanks for this one!!





Cooking Italy: Chicken alla Diavolo~

5 06 2010

One of the curriculum dishes at Cooking Italy for the month of May was Grilled Chicken alla Diavolo Roman Style.  Let’s just say Mother Nature refused to cooperate.  For days.  Here’s what it’s supposed to look like, as exhibited by Angela of  Spinach Tiger.

I followed Angela’s lead, and dry-brined my bird, a la Zuni Kitchen (someday I’ll get back there for dinner!).  I salted and wrapped my chicken (which once again required a trip out of town to purchase) Sunday night with the expectation of grilling on Wednesday.  Wednesday brought thunder and lightning and rain at grilling time, plus I neglected to note that 3 hours in olive oil and lemon juice AFTER rinsing the dry brine off.  We enjoyed hot pastrami and creamy potato leek soup instead.  Thursday, we tried again.  I even picked up a small charcoal grill…but this time we got rain AND wind, but not until the dinner hour.  I finally threw in the towel and roasted our chicken in the oven.

I pulled my already marinating chicken from the wrapper and let it come to room temp while the oven heated.  I found a nice flat roasting rack and ended up cutting my bird in half to make it more manageable.  After a 450° start, I dropped the temp to 350°, and 20 minutes later turned the chicken skin side up to finish.  I don’t know about you, but finding anything less than a 5# chicken is getting harder to find than hen’s teeth.  I simply need to remember to add 10 to 15 minutes to all my cooking times, making sure to add some of it to the first stage cooking as well.

This is a really flavorful recipe!  The peppercorns add a lot of zip to the dish without being diabolically hot.

Tasting Notes~
I’d fix this again, without a doubt, but I’d change a few things more to suit me.  I’m a wet brine fan.  I’d brine with salt, sugar and lemon with toasted peppercorns for 45 minutes to 4 hours.  Drain, pat dry and proceed with the recipe as stated, with the only other exception being toasting the peppercorns to bring their flavors out even more and add a bit of smokiness to the mix.  It’s a wonderful choice for a summer dinner!