This week I had local foods with just about every meal, but often in combination with many non-local foods. For this meal, I had some ideas in mind, but really didn’t know what I was going to make from one step to the next. So I took a few pictures since I never knew where it was going to end up.
Not sure where the corn comes from, but it’s milled right on the premises, within a 15 minute drive or so from my town. What to make with it was the big question. Ah……
Corn pone! Easy to make with just water, corn meal, salt, and then I threw in a handful of defrosted frozen corn (non-local) and fried it all up in butter (non-local). But then what else? Hmmm….
Well, I love cheese, and I’ve got a lot of CSA greens, so there you go. I put it together and topped it with the pone. The end.
I’m coming in just past the nick of time this week, but that’s not due to any lack of local food. Despite the cool start to the growing season, our CSA has given us loads of great greens and other veggies, herbs, and some strawberries to work with. We’ve been eating a lot of great, fresh food as a result, but usually in the form of a salad with added non-local ingredients, or just plain. We’ve been out enjoying the nice weather a lot lately, but I finally took some time to come up with something a little different:
Wrapped in a large leaf of CSA provided greens (Erehwon Farm provides a great newsletter with news from the farm, and a list of what’s coming that week with recipes, but I’m not familiar with everything by sight so am not quite sure what this is..it tasted a bit like spinach (Aha, looked up photos for the greens online, this leafy wrap is Swiss Chard)), is CSA radishes, garlic scapes, sugar snap peas, and Lamb’s Quarter (which includes some from my yard, as well), with some melted Monterey Jack cheese with dill and garlic from southern Wisconsin. On the side, Michigan strawberries (the CSA berries were gone as soon as I got them home.) The only non-local ingredients are the butter I sauteed the veggies in, and salt and pepper.
I’ve never cooked radishes before, but read about people roasting them so thought I’d give them a try sauteed. They, and everything, turned out great. Even better than I expected. I’ll definitely be making something like this again.
We had a lot of pretty plain salads this week, which were tasty but nothing new, so I thought I’d submit this meal as the local one for this week since it incorporated quite a few local items from different sources. This salad even made another appearance.
I’m planning on getting some locally milled cornmeal this week, so we’ll see what happens with that.
Since we had a large Father’s Day brunch earlier today, I thought that a nice, simple salad would be good to have around to munch on later in the day. Using a bunch of spicy greens from our first CSA basket (which was preceded by a newsletter with farm news, information on what the basket would contain, and recipe ideas…good stuff!) along with some mellow cheddar from Wisconsin and some super sweet strawberries from Michigan, I made this:
No oil, no spices….it didn’t need anything!
The CSA farm, Erehwon, is about 37 miles away…the cheese and strawberries a bit further than that, but as we get more into summer I’m hoping to tighten the radius for most local meal ingredients.
Went to the French Market again today, as well as Whole Foods during the week. Here’s what came out of it:
Salad made from local lettuce, head and romaine, from southern Illinois, Wisconsin goat’s milk feta, southern Illinois grape tomatoes, olive oil and freshly ground pepper.
Local chicken (farm within 100 miles!, same as where the eggs came from) stuffed with local dill from southern Illinois, with olive oil and salt, and then some semi-local asparagus (Michigan) with olive oil, salt, and lemon juice (very not local on the juice.)
Everyone in my family has been running around today so nobody has had this meal all together on a plate yet. But that’s the plan!
CSA starts this Tuesday!
Well, I’m a little slow out of the gate for this first week. For some reason I thought I had until next Sunday to get the first meal ready, and was spending quite some time trying to figure out just how I’d do that as my CSA hasn’t started yet. Luckily, I went to my local French Market this Sunday, June 1st, and found a farmer there with local chicken, eggs, and beef, as well as a farmer with a few veggies, so I felt pretty much under control….to submit a meal for next week. Both of these farms are within about 100 miles….I’ll get better information on them later as I’m sure I’ll be buying from them again. Luckily, once I got home the kids were psyched to try out “real eggs from real chickens” right away, so I made a quick and easy meal for them (read: eggs) and took pictures in case I needed a backup dish. Looks like I need it for this first week!
Quick and Easy Real Eggs from Real Chickens
First, oil your pan. Then, crack your real eggs from real chickens into the pan.
My kids don’t like full yolks, so that last one was broken right after the photo.
Add salt (I used Himalayan Pink Sea Salt), and cut them up as you lightly scramble them about. Then serve!
In his haste to eat the eggs, some bites fell to the wayside, but were easily recovered.
My kids loved these eggs and wanted more more more. They usually have their eggs scrambled with milk, butter and cheese, but these, with only a little salt, were delicious to them. I thought that they had a robust yet subtle flavor (does that sound like a wine description?) and were delicious on their own. And you can’t get simpler than this!
In reading up online about green alternatives to household cleaners, I kept coming across recipes for liquid laundry soap. Boiling and then storing liquid soap was not appealing to me, so I would skim over these ideas. Then, a friend of mine found a recipe for a dry homemade version, which she loved so much that she gave me two loads worth to try. I was hooked, and so proceeded to make my own and then give a bunch away to interested friends who also all really like it. It smells great, cleans wonderfully (better than anything I’ve used before) is environmentally friendly, and wow, is it cheap compared to commercial brands! (estimates are about 2-4 cents a load for this stuff…compare to your current brand!) I’m running low so made some today. You need the following:
Grate your Fels Naptha. This yields a little over two cups. I use it all, though the recipe only calls for 2 cups, so you can save the little bar left if you want to use it as needed for other things. Then mix it with 1 cup Borax and 1 cup washing soda. Wala! Done. You only need 2 tablespoons per load to get everything really clean and fresh smelling. Now, here’s a bonus…the dishwasher soap recipe. Recently I tried out Seventh Generation’s dishwashing detergent by ordering online from Gaiam.
I liked it, it worked great, but it’s a little pricey and hard to find locally. So, I looked up homemade dishwasher detergent and what do I find but recipes calling for 1 tablespoon Borax + 1 tablespoon washing soda per load. Sold! Apparently you can also add some distilled white vinegar to the anti-spotting receptacle instead of a gel, but since I never used that anyway I’m going to happily skip that part (I’m not too fond of the smell of vinegar, which is proving to be something I’ll have to try and get over as it’s used for LOTS of cleaning endeavors.) I just found out about this dishwashing bonus today, and there are still are few 7th gen loads left to go, so I won’t be trying it for a few days. When I do, I’ll post back how it works, but I’m feeling optimistic based on the great results from the laundry soap.
Just wanted to add that you can get all of the ingredients solo, mixed, or just the Fels Naptha alone grated, from Soaps Gone Buy. I found all of the ingredients at my local grocery store.