I really sort of love having visitors over for One Local Summer meals because they’ll bring new and fun ideas to the One Local Table. There were a TON of beautiful eggplants at the market this week, so I grabbed two thinking, hmm, well I’ll find something to do with them. Talking about it with my sister-in-law who was visiting, we ended up with Eggplant Parmigiana using local ingredients. We didn’t have mozzarella, but I had plenty of blue cheese on hand, so it was a little different, but the flavor was incredible! And, unintentionally, we ended up with a vegetarian dinner. While the spaghetti squash was roasting in the oven, we prepped the eggplant by slicing thick slices then breading them with flour and an egg/yogurt mixture. We double dipped a few of them (egg then flour, repeat) and those seemed to come out better. They got a quick pan fry in the cast iron pan, then were set on a wire rack in the oven to finish baking for about 15 minutes. I found some sauce from summers past in the freezer, so we heated that up on the stove to top the spaghetti squash once it was done. On the side, a small bowl of tomatoes with oil, vinegar, and a sprinkle of salt finished off the meal along with a glass of wine. Really a great dinner, and we even used the leftover eggplant on sandwiches the next day!
A quick note on the flour.. it’s not ENTIRELY local. I picked this up at the Phoenixville Farmer’s Market a year or two ago. From what I remember, the owner was visiting family in the area and brought along his flour from Minnesota to sell at our local market. In that sense, it travelled along with a person who was making a trip anyway, and wasn’t using up extra “food miles” just to get to my doorstep, so while it’s not local, I’m going to allow it since it still follows in the One Local Summer ideals of a lower food carbon footprint and not using excess food miles to transport food from across the country when I can find it basically in my backyard. I do occasionally make exceptions for things like this that come home with us on our travels. The Sunrise Flour Mill also uses varieties of wheat that are heritage wheat varities and more along the lines of what one might have eaten 100 years ago, so it’s pretty unique and will be fun to work with!
Eggplant – North Star Orchard
Tomato Sauce – My Garden
Spaghetti Squash – Jack’s Farm
Flour – Sunrise Flour Mill
Eggs – Deep Roots Valley Farm
Goat’s Milk Yogurt – Shellbark Hollow
Tomatoes – My Garden and Jack’s Farm
Non Local – Wine, vinegar, oil, salt.
Another one down, and just six more to go till my goal of 14 for the summer. So far, it looks like we’ll more than surpass the goal of 14 meals, and I really do like the pacing of meals vs. weeks MUCH better. It feels less like an obligation and more like fun this way. What’s on that plate? A sort of remix of chicken parm. I breaded the chicken using goat’s milk yogurt and cornmeal for more of a cowboy sort of version of chicken parm, topped it with tomatoes, blue cheese, and mushrooms (MUSHROOMS! Oh how I love fungus). Some potatoes and zucchini on the side and KABAM. A pretty easy one local summer meal. Instead of frying the chicken, I popped it on a tray and baked it which kept it lighter and, in a weird way, crispier. Sometimes the greasiness of pan frying just doesn’t work, and I’m glad I baked it instead. The leftovers from this are already gone even, it was that good.
Goat’s Milk Yogurt – Shellbark Hollow
Zucchini – My Garden
Potatoes – Jack’s Farm
Chicken – Deep Roots Valley Farm
Mushrooms – Oley Valley Mushrooms
Blue Cheese – Birchrun Hills
Cornmeal – Mill at Anselma
Tomatoes – Jack’s Farm
Non Local – Salt, Pepper, Oil
When I saw the prompt photo for this week’s Sepia Saturday, my mind immediately went to an old postcard in the collection because it had a very similar feel to it, even if the man in my photo isn’t running away. I’ve posted the front and back of the postcard which has a stamp, but no cancellation or message on the back of the postcard. I have to imagine that someone meant to send it, but never quite got around to it. The stamp is dated to 1954, which helps date the postcard as well. With a town name like, “Coalport,” in Pennsylvania, you can be sure that the main industry was coal. The majority of my family that comes from that area were coal miners. I posted another old photo of family members who were coal miners here, if you’re interested. Awful jobs, terrible conditions, and perhaps at times, they wanted to run away from it all. As far as the orientation of the photo, on the far left side of the photo, about dead center horizontally, there’s a church. The church is the one in the Google Street View just below the postcard. I know I’ve driven down that street before when out visiting family, so I’ll have to see if I can go back out and set up a photo similar to the postcard and do some comparison!
Once a quarter, Goodebox offers these clearance boxes featuring an assortment of ‘leftover’ items from boxes during the prior few months. This was the first time I opted into one of the bonus boxes, and the gamble turned out alright! I got a few dupes from my prior boxes and a few items that I’m SO glad were included. There are two that I’m going to foist off onto friends, but the one full-size product (that lip gloss!) is AWESOME. Listing below, in no particular order.
- Pangea Organics Eye Cream – .5oz/$60 – I hadn’t received this before, and likely won’t buy it since I have really sensitive eyes. I will give it a try though and see how it goes over, but it’s way too pricey for regular use. I do like the smell of rose though, so it’s definitely something I’ll try once!
- Balanced Guru No Frizz Balancing Oil – 1oz/$25 – A product I really loved when I received it in the July 2014 box! I was really thrilled to see this again, and will definitely use it up. The sample is half the size of the full product, so between this and the other box, I basically have a full product.
- Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Repair CC Cream - 1.7oz/$39 – I had received this in the April 2014 Goodebox and still haven’t used the first sample, thinking I was going to save it for going under makeup for a special night out. But hey, now I have two, so I can give it a try whenever, right?!
- Pure Natural Diva Whisper Body Spray – 16oz/$40 – Ehhh. The scent is barely even there, and isn’t one I’d use on a daily basis really. It’s okay, just nothing spectacular.
- Evofem Softcup – 14ct/$7.99-$9.99 – These again. I don’t have a period that needs protecting (or any at all), so, a total loss. I figured they’d be in this box since they were in almost all the boxes in July.
- Seventh Generation Hydrating Boost – 1.5oz/$14.99 – This goes such a long way, that even from using this pretty regularly from the April box, the little sample tube still has plenty of life left in it. Having a second means I should make it through the whole winter and be able to treat the dry corners of my nose on the samples!
- LA Fresh Nail Polish Remover – 20ct/$10.99 – I wasn’t a big fan of these from the July box and now I have more. Oh well, they’ll find a good home, even if they’re not a good fit for me.
- Celsus Scar Cream – .7oz/$19.99 – Looks like this was from the March box before I joined. I don’t really have any awful scars that I care about reducing (I think they make me unique), so I’ll probably find another home for these two little foil packets.
- Sumbody Let My Muscles Go Salt Bath – 4oz/$7.80 – When I opened the mailbox to grab the Goodebox, something smelled like lavender, and it’s definitely this little bag of bath salts. WOW. It’s funny because lavender isn’t at all in the ingredient list, but it smells so strongly of lavender. I’m not a big bath person, but I’ll stash this away for some future vacation that may involve a fancy whirlpool bath tub. Looks like this was from the February box before I joined.
- Garden of Life Raw Protein Powder – 15pkts/$44.25 – I’m not big on protein powders or shakes or any of that, but hey, I have the sample, so I’ll try it! The flavor is Vanilla Spiced Chai, so this would be really nice in the morning with some almond milk.
- Diva Stix White Highlighter – $4.88 – Another item from the February box. I’ve never really used a highlighter before, and this one seems to not be very opaque which is great for me. It’ll definitely be worth trying, and this seems to be a full size product.
- Revolution Freedom Gloss – .23 oz/$26 – From January 2014. Color is “Truth” and is spot on perfect for me. This is the real winner of the box and completely paid for the box! It’s a full size sample and was in a box before I joined, so it’s wholly new to me. This will be getting plenty of use. The smell isn’t all that pleasing – kind of smells like raw vegetable oil – but it goes on nicely, has a great sparkle, and feels nice on.
So, overall, 12 products like promised, one definitely full-size, and I think the Diva Stix is full size as well. Not a bad haul!
Okay, so this one was OUT OF THE BALLPARK good. I know I say that often when I talk about One Local Summer meals, but seriously. I’m not sure there is too much that will top this. We finally found a local source for butter and husband immediately remembered that the only thing holding us back from making these pretzel rolls was the butter. BINGO! Thus, dinner was Pretzel roll burgers with watermelon, grilled peaches with blue cheese, and a wonderfully delicious salad. Even though there are some non-local ingredients in the rolls (baking soda, yeast, oil), they’re still really minimal in comparison to the whole of the meal, and we were even able to substitute the required sugar with honey. Our rolls came out a little flatter than the recipe’s photos, and I had a feeling we should’ve used more flour (the dough seemed a little too squishy), but for a first time, they’re still 100% edible and delicious. I was really glad we had leftovers of this meal so I could enjoy it a few more days, and we even have four more rolls tucked away in the freezer. Definitely expect to see more pretzel rolls in our One Local Future!
Flour – Mill at Anselma
Watermelon – Hoagland Farm
Peaches – Hoagland Farm
Blue Cheese – Birchrun Hills
Egg – Deep Roots Valley Farm
Veal & Pork Patty – Countrytime Farm
Lettuce – North Star Orchard
Mushrooms – Oley Valley Mushrooms
Tomatoes – Brogue Hydroponics
Cheese – Lambsquarters from Valley Milkhouse
Butter – Spring Creek Farms
Honey – Baues Busy Bees
Non Local – Baking soda, yeast, oil, salt, pepper, dressing.