Reciprocity

Bona Fide Farm Food

February 16, 2011 • 47 Comments

There are thousands of cooking blogs -- each week, we bring you highlights from the best.

Cardamom and Orange Scented Kugelhopf

He churns out simultaneously traditional and inventive recipes each week like butter. His photos are top-notch -- and by "top-notch", we mean so good that even us jaded food media vets are left awestruck. Ex-restaurant chef, father of two, self-proclaimed "hobby farmer" and home cook extraordinaire -- in short, a Renaissance man for today's food world. 

Thirschfeld's daughter  Thirshfeld's daughter fishing

On food52, you know him as thirschfeld -- he's answering foodpickles, dropping thought-provoking essays into his recipe headnotes, and generally inspiring the lot of us. Tom Hirschfeld seems to pack 25 hours into a day and still wear the calm smile of the idyllic farmer. But, as Hirschfeld himself points out, there really is no such thing: "If you have ever spent much time around a farm, then you know first hand the romantic notions people project onto rural life are often dreamy and unrealistic." And so, Hirschfeld documents real life on the farm on his blog Bona Fide Farm Food, yet another fruit of this jack-of-all-trade's labors.

Hirschfeld's aim is to get back to the land and cook "the way our grandmothers and great-grandmothers may have on the farm. That farm may be in India, Mexico or France but the food there is made with just as much love as your grandmother's." Friends, this is bona fide food made with great ingredients (Hirschfeld grows and raises practically everything he cooks himself) prepared using good recipes and a healthy dose of integrity.

Carrots  The Homestead

With photographs to rival, well, just about anybody, a visit to Bona Fide Farm Food's homepage feels a bit like a trip to the homestead itself. From Living High on the Hog (where this Charcutepaloozier documents his meaty progress) to the leafier spoils of The Garden Basket, the site is a direct reflection of its founder's personality and aesthetic that we've come to know and love on food52.

The recipes are the real deal too -- with precise and instructive directions, historical tidbits, and photographs that leave you jonesing for, say, Pan-fried Trout with Prosciutto, Pine Nuts and Crispy Sage, Pancetta-Wrapped Dove with Baby Turnips, and even the Southeastern Pennsylvania heart-stopper, Scrapple (see below, left, for the prettiest specimen we've ever seen). 

thirschfeld's Scrapple  Tom Hirschfeld

We can't wait for more Contemplations from this world-class recipe wrangler and are duly inspired by his Chef du Jour section -- in fact, we'd posit that if David Chang and Alice Waters (two of his credited sources of inspiration) had a love child, it would be thirschfeld himself.

 

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Comments (47)

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about 3 years ago thirschfeld

For any interested I finally have a subscription button I am happy with. So if you want to subscribe here is the link to my site http://tinyurl.com/43ausno...

Phoenix

about 3 years ago Phoenix Helix

Done! Thanks.

20071208_cru_themomma_7027

over 3 years ago DeArmasA

Nice and well deserved shout out!

btw, with Chris making more batches of albumen, I'm gonna need a staple recipe that calls for 18 egg yolks so they don't go to waste... any ideas?? ;-)

Hib_kitchen

over 3 years ago MyCommunalTable

I have been looking for you in the spotlight. Glad to see it shining here. Your blog is great. Your food is even better. Thanks for sharing and teaching me so much.

Ashtaco

over 3 years ago wanderash

A well deserved spotlight!!!

Dsc_0675-x2a

over 3 years ago Sagegreen

So great to see your blog! If we ever do get serious about a Food52 road trip to the west, you know we will be a key highlight!

Dsc_0675-x2a

over 3 years ago Sagegreen

.....meant to write you know you will be a key highlight...long day.

Kay_at_lake

over 3 years ago Kayb

Well, well deserved spotlight, and congrats on the blog shout-out too -- wonderful recipes, wonderful photography, wonderful writing. And that recipe for the Guinness whole wheat quick bread? I make that EVERY Saturday morning; my son thinks it's the finest thing in the world! Congrats, and keep churning out those glorious recipes!

Dsc00426

over 3 years ago vvvanessa

zomg! that picture of the girls together with the bunny ears on? oh, my heart! and the recipes ain't bad either!

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over 3 years ago Kelly Clark

Yes, this is great stuff. bona fide is the perfect name.

Phoenix

over 3 years ago Phoenix Helix

This just made me think of the movie, "O Brother Where Art Thou." Holly Hunter was comparing the 2 men in her life & she said, "You're no account. He's bona fide." It was a great movie & Tom is definitely the latter.

Steve_dunn02

over 3 years ago Oui, Chef

Congrats on this shout-out, it is absolutely well deserved and (if I dare say) long overdue...you rock, man! Love your blog and your gorgeous food, keep it all coming! - S

Winnie100

over 3 years ago WinnieAb

You're awesome thirschfeld...so nice to see your blog featured here!

Mrs._larkin_370

over 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Thirschfeld, you're like the Yoda to my Food52 world. When I create recipes now, I often find myself thinking WWTD? (what would thirschfeld do?)

Zester_003

over 3 years ago pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

T Rex, you the man!

Phoenix

over 3 years ago Phoenix Helix

Tom, would you consider adding a feed to your website? I'd love to add your blog to my Google Reader.

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over 3 years ago thirschfeld

I am getting ready to change a few things that being one. I use a mac and use iWeb but once you get a host server many of the things on iWeb don't work, rss feed being one, comments being the other so hopefully soon you will see some changes

Phoenix

over 3 years ago Phoenix Helix

When the feed's up & running, would you leave a comment here? That way, we'll all get notified. Thanks!

Monkeys

over 3 years ago monkeymom

we are so lucky to have you here at food52, but I'm also so glad to find you elsewhere as well! your new blog is gorgeous. thank you for all the inspiration!

Dsc_0205

over 3 years ago Daphne

Just one reason or recipe why I'm such a fan... Sunday salad with apples. I open the recipe and there sits the most stunning photo. Speechless, I realize after staring at it for a minute that it must have been captured in the fleeting morning light. Beautiful! I wonder if it had been taken that same morning? When I go on to read the story, I feel like we've had a conversation, confirmation! Thank you thirschfeld for this and so much more!

Ry_400

over 3 years ago melissav

Well deserved shout out. You're an inspiration to all of us on Food52!

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over 3 years ago nancyjbrownlee

As I look at your ALWAYS amazing photos and ever so yummy food I count myself lucky to actually get to taste it from time to time. I marvel at your journey and how you have used your life experiences and turned them in to a thing of beauty.

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over 3 years ago Laurat

What else to say except YOU ROCK, Hirsch!

Chris_in_oslo

over 3 years ago Greenstuff

Chris is a trusted source on General Cooking

Excellent choice. I like the setting, the story, and (of course) the food. Oh and those lovely photographs of young foodies.

Christine-28_small(1)

over 3 years ago cheese1227

You already know I am a huge fan and it's great to see you getting some glory for your work!