OLS: Week 7

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One Local Summer rolls into week seven.  This week it’s back to being all me and I went all out.  Let’s start in the front with the zucchini, from my very own garden.  Next around, clockwise, is a zucchini bread muffin.  Finally we have a DELICIOUS bison with pesto and sharp goat cheese ravioli.

Zucchini – Yep, zucchini.  Non-local salt, pepper, and olive oil.  This one was perfectly ripe and gosh I could’ve eaten the whole zucchini at once.
Zucchini Bread Muffin – I’ve been getting a LOT of zucchini from the garden and decided to give this recipe a try.  This was tricky since I was trying to keep as local as possible and the result isn’t quite perfect, but considering the amount of zucchini I’ll have this summer, there’s plenty of time to get it right.  I used my own garden zucchini, wheat pastry flour from the Mill at Anselma (stone ground there too from PA wheat), honey from Baues Busy Bees, eggs from Mountain View Organics, and goat’s milk yogurt from Shellbark Hollow Farm.  Non-local ingredients include salt, baking soda, baking powder, canola oil, and vanilla extract.  If you’re keeping tally, yes I left out the spices, walnuts, and apple sauce.  It still tastes delicious and I love what the honey adds to the recipe, but I think I need to add more flour or less wet ingredients since it didn’t rise as much as I had expected and is a little dense.  Still, incredibly good, and worth a repeat.
Ravioli – WOW.  Wow.  Wow.  This was the most labor intensive part of the meal, but it was 100% worth it.  I dug out the pasta roller for the Kitchen Aid mixer and went to town.  Used the same wheat pastry flour as above for the pasta along with some non-local salt (and tap water, of course).  The filling is ground bison from Backyard Bison, with basil and oregano from my back deck planters, some of the frozen pesto sauce from Week 1, and Sharp II goat cheese from Shellbark Hollow Farm.  Non-local salt, pepper, and olive oil were also used.  The sauce is from the same batch of tomato sauce I made last year with the tomatoes from our garden (there were lots, and lots, and lots of tomatoes, in case I haven’t mentioned that before).  I haven’t ever made ravioli, so it was a learning experience for sure, but now that I know what I’m doing, I expect next time, this will go MUCH faster and be much easier.  I’m not quite sure if it tasted so good because it really was that good or that the amount of effort I put into doing something new mentally enhanced the flavor. 

Really though, I’m quite proud of myself for pulling this whole meal off and not giving up in the middle, leaving the kitchen a complete disaster and my stomach empty.  Through doing this whole challenge, I’ve been finding myself spending less time inside grocery stores and more time outside at farmers’ markets – I might go once every other week to the grocery store for things I can’t get at the market, essentials, etc.  It’s neat, and I hope to continue this as long as possible, maybe even freeze some meals to pull out in the dead of winter when I need a dose of *real* food.

OLS: Week 6

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Week six of One Local Summer and it’s almost the mid-point of the thirteen week challenge. The husband decided to take the lead on this week’s meal with no objection from me.  In the back is a pile of mashed turnips and carrots with maple sugar added for flavor.  Clockwise, next is a Bison Meatloaf using ground bison, tomatoes, garlic scapes, swiss cheese, an egg, and last year’s frozen tomato sauce.  Finally, sugar snap peas finish the plate.  In the wine glass is a Strawberry wine.  It was a great meal, and even better, I didn’t have to cook it!

Rundown of ingredients:
Turnips: Willow Creek Orchards
Carrots: Willow Creek Orchards
Maple Sugar: Miller’s Maple
Bison: Backyard Bison
Garlic Scapes: Willow Creek Orchards
Tomatoes: Lancaster County (via Willow Creek)
Tomato Sauce: My garden, last year
Egg: Pleasant View Farms (via Willow Creek)
Swiss Cheese: Hendricks (via Willow Creek)
Snap Peas: Willow Creek Orchards
Wine: Mount Hope Vineyards

Congrats to Amber and Seth!

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Congratulations to Amber and Seth!  They invited me to be their photographer at their destination wedding in the Dominican Republic and I happily accepted.  They’re an adorable couple and it was hard to pick just two photos to post here! The small group at the reception felt like they had all been family for decades, it was a ton of fun to be there, and I’m really honored that I was invited to be part of the week. Congrats again, you two!

OLS: Week 5

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One Local Summer rolls on into week five.   I figured I’d switch it up a bit and do a breakfast meal this week before we left for the Dominican Republic.  Why yes, I spent most of June out of the country.   🙂

Potatoes in front are basic home fries in the skillet with potatoes (there were lots of potatoes) from last week’s run to the Anselma Mill Market.  The bacon on the side is from Country Time Farm and is becoming a fast favorite probably because it’s almost fresh off the pig with no nitrates.  In the back is a slice of frittata containing eggs picked up at Willow Creek Orchards from Pleasant View Farms, Tomatoes from Lancaster County, Garlic Scapes grown at Willow Creek, and Hendricks Swiss Cheese, and more bacon.

Non-Local ingredients used: Olive oil, salt, pepper

This was my first time visiting Willow Creek and I just love the store and the pick-your-own vegetable patch.  We brought home some turnips, snap peas, and carrots as well that I hope to use this week.  As previously mentioned, we were away most of the week in the Dominican Republic since I was flown in for a friend’s wedding to be the photographer – LOTS of great photos and I can’t wait to post them.  We had a lovely time and may even go back for a proper vacation maybe in the winter when it’s hopefully not quite so warm!

OLS: Week 4

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Week four!  This week was a full dinner for two and I may have cheated a little more than I usually do with the locality of all of the ingredients, but to do a meal like this, well, sometimes you have to do what works.  This week features most items coming from a trip to the Anselma Farmer’s Market.

The wine is the May Wine from the Mount Hope winery.  Not sure if the grapes in the wine are local or not though, but it was a great bottle of white wine.  In the back is a salad using red lettuce (still) from Week 3 and cucumbers from the Anselma Market.  There’s also a piece of Dillicious cheese from Week 3.  The blueberries for dessert are also from the Anselma Market and were perfectly ripe and delicious.  The main plate was the bulk of the cooking, but 100% worth the time involved.  The pork chops come from Wright’s Meats at the Anselma Market.  They were brined in a salt/water/maple syrup for about 5 hours.  The Maple Syrup we have is from Miller’s Maple in PA, so even though it’s not from around the corner, it’s closer than Vermont and still counts as local for me.  The chops were then browned quickly on the stove and put in a baking dish in the oven with a vinegar and maple syrup glaze that was basted over the chops every 15 minutes or so.  The idea isn’t mine, so I’m giving credit to Elise of Elise.com for the recipe which I modified a little, omitting the onions.  The potatoes are again from the Anselma Market and were tossed with olive oil and roasted in the oven.  There’s a dressing that goes on top of the potatoes, another recipe from Elise.com, which again I modified a bit to fit my local theme.  I used basil and oregano from the back deck, omitting the mustard and vermouth but adding vinegar.  Overall, pound for pound, the non-local ingredients I used when put in contrast with the local ingredients still keep the mileage total down.  So, even though it’s not 100% local, the spirit of local ingredients is there for sure, and the husband didn’t seem to mind if it was local or not, because he ate everything on the plate.  It was fun to make a nice dinner for two this week for something different and I’m glad I challenged myself to do so, especially when I’m the first to admit that I’m not a great cook and don’t necessarily enjoy the kitchen.  These past four weeks have taught me a lot already about my culinary skills (which I previously thought were non-existent) and that sometimes, cooking isn’t so bad, especially when the results taste SO good.

Not Local: Salad Dressing; sugar, vinegar, olive oil, pepper, salt (pork chops); olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, salt, pepper (potato dressing).

I really need to start bringing around a notebook to the markets with me so that I can keep track of what comes from where.  These incredible vendors deserve credit and I never seem to be able to remember what comes from which stand, especially after the dinner is done and the packaging is in the garbage.