This is the last week of the Dark Days Eat Local Challenge meals.
First, there was beef tenderloin from Stuarts Family Farm and broccoli from Waldingfield Farm (courtesy of the freezer).
Then there were ribeyes from Stuarts Family Farm, with potatoes from Riverbank Farm and sauteéd fresh spinach from Starlite Farm.
But the best was the macaroni and meatball meal. I’d been meaning to make a local version of my Sunday meatballs and gravy since the challenge began, and finally, I did.
I made the meatballs using ground beef from Stuarts Family Farm dried parsley and basil from my garden, and eggs from Four Mile River Farm. I did use Progresso bread crumbs and imported Parmigiano Reggiano (mea culpa). I’ll save trying to reformulate the breadcrumbs with local ingredients for another challenge.
I made the gravy using my home canned tomatoes (originally plums from Don Taylor’s farm), paste I made from reconstituting dried tomatoes (originally from Waldingfield Farm), pork chops and sweet sausages from Ox Hollow Farm, thyme from my garden, and the meatballs.
The salad was from a red leaf lettuce bouquet from Two Guys from Woodbridge. The bread was from Wave Hill Breads (where else). Ziti were thanks to the folks at Barilla. And the wine was from Vista Riposa from McLaughlin Vineyards.
And the nephew is local too.
This week, I had a few Dark Days Eat Local Challenge meals. Could be the warm weather, could be the mad rush to cook as many local meals as possible before the challenge ends. Or it could simply be that I didn’t have as many evening meetings or dinners out last week!
One meal was a veal chop (from Beaver Brook), pan fried potatoes (from Riverbank Farm), and sauteéd spinach (from Starlite Farm). I’m happy, happy happy to be getting fresh greens at this time of the year.
Another meal was lentil soup. I usually mix in pasta or rice, but this time I used whole wheat berries (from Wild Hive Farm). They’re hard to differentiate from the lentils in the picture, even zooming in on the full res image, but if you look closely, you can see them. They lend a nutty flavor to the soup which is, well, different. The carrots and celeriac are from Riverbank Farm. The garlic is from Bluestone Farm. Here’s the best part: there are two kinds of tomatoes. The chunks you see are from Don Taylor’s farm (in Danbury) that I pressure canned in October. This was the first jar I opened (from the first time I canned) and I am proud to tell you that I lived and that the tomatoes were tasty. The other kind of tomato was one of the heirlooms from Waldingfield Farm that I dried in the dehydrator. For this recipe, I crunched it up, whizzed it a bit in the spice grinder and stirred a few teaspoons of the powder into the soup for loft. Lentil soup: still a comfort food.
My canned tomatoes:
And yet another meal was Coriander and Cumin rubbed pork chops (from Ox Hollow Farm) and cauliflower (from the freezer—not labeled, but definitely local). I defrosted the cauliflower then stir-fried it in the yummies left over in the skillet from the pork chops.
This week’s Dark Days Eat Local Challenge meal was my usual Mardi Gras meal, but all local:
And then we repent…
This week’s Dark Days Eat Local Challenge meal was pork chops with apples and acorn squash. The sweet and the heat together in this dish are really awesome.
- Pork chops from Ox Hollow Farm
- Cortland apple and apple cider from Silverman’s Farm
- acorn squash from Waldingfield Farm
- shallots and red pepper from Cherry Grove in Newtown
- garlic and maple syrup from Bluestone Farm
- rosemary from the window sill
- dried sage from our garden last summer
- olive oil from Italy
- dark rum from Jamaica
The hot pepper from Cherry Grove was this cayenne pepper I dried:
I crushed it with my own fingers.
If you do that too, do not rub your eyes, even if you rinsed your hands. I speak from experience.
Another dish I made this week was tandoori chicken with chickpea curry and basmati rice. Most of the ingredients were from away out there (almost sounded like a kiddie pool with all the shouts of Marco Polo) but I really wanted something different. Nonetheless, the chicken did come from Ox Hollow Farm, the yogurt from Trinity in Enfield, the garlic from Bluestone Farm, and the onion from Cherry Grove. Additionally, the paprika came from Amy LeBlanc’s Whitehill Farm in East Wilton, Maine. (I came upon Amy and her paprika by attending a workshop of hers at the NOFA conference over the summer.)
I’m about out of usable onions. I will soon need more garlic. Anyone know anyone local who’s still selling these?
This week features a few Dark Days Eat Local Challenge meals:
I don’t really care for salad–well, lettuce to be precise. It’s a summer food and even in the summer, it’s not my favorite. I like green vegetables that you can cook (like escarole, kale, Swiss chard). But, at this point of the year, I am so jonesin’ for fresh greens that I’m willing to eat a cold meal!