One Local Summer 2011 – Week 23

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We had to quick throw together a meal before another trip (short one to Fort Lauderdale, FL for husband’s work), so I found all the vegetables in the fridge, and threw in a whole bunch of stuff.  Beets, goat cheese, onions, bison bacon, and fennel all went inside the easy crust (2 cup flour, 2/3 cup yogurt) and VOILA!  Dinner.  There are still leftovers in the fridge, and I love how the beets turned everything insdie a pretty shade of red.

Bacon and Beet Galette:
Whole Wheat Pastry Flour – Mill at Anselma
Goat’s Milk Yogurt – Shellbark Hollow Farm
Chevre – Shellbark Hollow Farm
Beets – Jack’s Farm
Onion – Hoagland Farm
Fennel – Charlestown Cooperative Farm 
Bison Bacon – Backyard Bison
Non Local – Olive Oil, salt

One Local Summer 2011 – Week 22

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This is one of my favorite meals that the husband makes. We weren’t sure if it could be done locally, but once we sat down and figured it out, it was SUPER easy to find (almost) all the ingredients. This is a Steak and Ale pie, a traditional British meal that’s a great way to warm up on a chilly day. It’s basically a chicken pot pie, but with beef and beer and mushrooms instead of the chicken and vegetables. The beer we used was a homebrew made with a pound of Pennsylvania Maple Syrup from Miller’s maple, so even though the grain used in the beer is not local, it’s at least more local than other beers we could’ve used. The only other exception is the pepper and a little bit of oil. The leftovers are already gone, that’s just how good it is.  We’re not sure at this point where the original recipe came from since ours has been heavily modified (bison instead of beef, etc), but this recipe is pretty close.  We made the ‘beef’ broth this time using a stew bone from the bison vendor with a few vegetables thrown in the pot for flavor – worked out PERFECTLY and was super delicious, not to mention very low in sodium.

Steak and Ale Pie
Bison Sirloin – Backyard Bison
Crimini Mushrooms – Oley Valley Mushrooms
Eggs – Mountain View Organics
Flour – Mill at Anselma
Onion – Hoagland Farms
Garlic – Jack’s Farm
Sage – Jack’s Farm
Milk – Camphill Village – Kimberton Hills Dairy
Smoked Sea Salt – Pureblend Teas
Non Local – Pepper, Olive Oil, Maple Porter Beer

One Local Summer 2011 – Week 21

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This week, the husband is back home and cooking!  He made chicken wings (from our favorite local chicken vendor) the night prior which involves boiling the wings and then finishing them to crispy perfection on the grill.  But that’s not what this post is about.  The broth left behind from boiling the wings is perfect for soup!  Add in some carrots, celery, onions, sage, garlic, cilantro, sausage, and turnips, let simmer for a while, and VOILA!  SOUP!  It’s gotten colder, and I just love soup season, mostly because the husband is such a fantastic soup chef.

Sausage and Vegetable Soup:
Italian Turkey Sausage – Mountain View Organics
Smoked Pork Sausage – Countrytime Farm
Carrots – North Star Orchards
Garlic – Jack’s Farm
Celery – North Star Orchards
Sage – Jack’s Farm
Cilantro – Jack’s Farm
Turnips – Jack’s Farm
Potatoes – Jack’s Farm
Onions – Hoagland Farm
Smoked Sea Salt – Pureblend Tea
Chicken Broth – Mountain View Organics (from chicken wings)
Bread – St. Peter’s Bakery
Wine – Sand Castle Winery 

Eurotrip 2011 – Amsterdam

Rome > Siena > Florence > Venice > Munich > Brussels > Amsterdam

 

March 26.  We caught the train from Brussels to Amsterdam at 9am, and arrived around noon.  It was a relatively short trip, and we found our B&B pretty easily via the tram.  Hans at the RAI Bed and Breakfast checked us in and we headed back out to the downtown area for some lunch.  We ended up finding a place that had Dutch food which was proving to be hard to find since typical Dutch food is comfort food and really only made at home.  We headed out to the Heineken Brewery/museum afterwards and found it to be a complete waste of time and money.  They don’t do any brewing on site anymore, and the whole thing is one long, drawn out Heineken advertisement filled with drunk or nearly drunk obnoxious tourists.  Random side bit, the cashier who took our money was actually from the area where we live now!  The brewery site did make for pretty pictures (to the right) but it was a big disappointment especially for the 15 Euro per person cost that included two beers.  We walked back to the hotel later that evening, after walking around and taking in Amsterdam and were passed by a group of people marching in solidarity for the victims of the tsunami in Japan (bottom photo, right). DSC_7451

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March 27.  Got up and Hans made us breakfast and we chatted for a while.  It’s one of the nice things about staying at a smaller B&B, and I’m glad our last hotel-keeper was SO friendly and accomodating.  We decided to rent the two bikes he had, but they turned out to not be all that great, and we turned out not to really be able to handle the hordes of skilled bicyclists on the streets.  The most we get to ride at home is on trails and such, not in busy traffic.  Plus, the seats weren’t quite securely fastened and wrenched themselves free and wiggled around more than was comfortable.  Oh well, it was worth a try.  Tried to go to the Van Gogh museum, but the line was around the block even at 10am.  Walked around and made it to lunch with a fellow knitter who ran a bit of an errand for me (it was for Wollmeise and she was going anyway, and I still love her to bits for offering!).  Had a great time chatting with her!  We found out about a proper brewery (you know, one that actually makes beer and isn’t just a building that used to make beer) that was next to a windmill.  Well two birds, one stone, right?  The Brouwerij ‘t IJ was FANTASTIC.  We really just went for the tour, but ended up hanging out all afternoon enjoying the beer and cheese and sausage.  The brewer was trained in Belgium, so the beers were mostly Belgian and were all absolutely knock-you-over amazing.  So, my advice?  Skip Heineken, GO TO THE IJ!  Also?  Check out the prices on the wall in the bottom photo – you can’t beat that with a stick.  We wandered around for a while, checking out some of the little shops, trying to see if they made wooden shoes in Doug’s size (they did!  Size 14 US!), and eventually wandered back to the B&B. DSC_7486

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March 28.  We signed up for the countryside Mike’s Bike tour.  I’m really glad we did this because we were both getting tired of the touristyness of the downtown/old city area.  We made a little stop at the Albert Cuyp Market just to check it out (and, we were out and running VERY early for the bike tour).  Having not found a stroopwafel, we headed onwards.  The bike tour was four hours long and took us out of the city, to a windmill, and then to a farm where they made cheese and wooden shoes.  They showed us the cheese making process and then the wooden shoe making process which was all done by machine using a template.  There was a fair bit of hand finishing involved from the sanding and then painting and decoration, but they said it made no sense to make them exclusively by hand anymore since they’re shoes.  You wear them in the garden and get them muddy.  They are also pretty darn comfortable for being made of wood.  After that we headed deeper into the countryside, checked out the system to control flooding in the city (those Dutch, they’re pretty brilliant that way), rode through some parks, and really learned a lot of history and backround detail about Amsterdam.  HIGHLY recommended.  We were completely beat but managed to find dinner and then head back to pack for an early early flight.  Hans (our B&B owner) was kind enough to offer us a great deal on a ride to the airport which we got to with time to spare. DSC_7518

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Slideshow of photos from Amsterdam