One Local Summer 2015 – Week 11b

DSC_8198

Another catch-up post, and I’m a week behind on posts!  Getting caught up (again) though – it’s crazy how summer can just fly by like this.  Husband is away and I decided to try out a few new things.  I know he’s not a big fan of fennel or farro (really, wheat berries in this case), so I decided to go crazy and combine the two!  I found this recipe (Roasted Fennel & Farro Salad) and went for it.  The wheat berries came from North Star Orchard and we’ve had them hanging around in the freezer for a while.  They do take a while to cook, but the results are absolutely worth it.  Combined with the fennel and peppers, it made for a dish that was great warm or cold.  The simple cucumber and tomato salad was a recurring theme for the rest of the week too.  Drizzled with a little balsamic vinegar, it made for a great afternoon snack, and there’s just something about fresh tomatoes and cucumbers.  The cucumber is an Armenian cucumber and something I’ve never had before.  It has a soft fuzz on the outside that I scrubbed off with a vegetable scrubber brush, and I found it a little more crisp and less acidic than a regular cucumber.

Also on the plate are peaches with blue cheese, another summer favorite, and beet chips which didn’t come out all that well.  My slices weren’t uniform, so they were too crisp on one half and just barely baked on the other.  That didn’t stop me from eating the whole beet though, and I really like how they taste when roasted.  One final piece of the plate was another new recipe I tried called gougères – it’s a fancy french savory puff pastry made mostly with flour, butter, eggs, and cheese.  The recipe was part of the Birchrun Hills Kickstarter campaign rewards and I was really psyched to try something new.  It was easier than I thought and I sort of felt like a super hero having produced results that tasty and perfect on the first try!

Altogether a delightful dinner and really rather filling!

Ingredients:
Peaches – North Star Orchard
Cheese – Birchrun Hills, Blue and Equinox
Beets – Jack’s Farm
Wheat Berries – North Star Orchard
Fennel – Jack’s Farm
Eggs – Canter Hill Farm
Peppers – Clover Hill Farm
Cucumber – Full Circle CSA
Tomatoes – Full Circle CSA
Butter – Handmade by Abby
Honey – Baues’ Busy Bees
Flour – Mill at Anslema, Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
Non Local – Balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper

One Local Summer 2015 – Week 6

DSC_7634

Well I really have no reason to cook since the husband enjoys it so much and I find it such a chore.  That said, I did help out this week by making the spaetzle!  We had bought a spaetzle maker (basically a slotted metal plate like a cheese grater with an open-bottomed container that slides across the plate) but hadn’t tried it out yet, and this week seemed like a great opportunity to use it and fill in some space on the plate!  We followed the recipe on the spaetzle maker package which gave us a really thin batter, but I’ve tried it once now and know what sort of consistency to shoot for.  Also on the plate is a pork rib roast, cooked on the rotisserie on the grill, covered in maple sugar, salt, and crushed pepper and brushed with homebrew amber ale, vinegar, salt, and pepper while on the rotisserie.  Then we have bacon wrapped asparagus, a bowl of cucumbers with salt and pepper and vinegar, and a nice glass of Blaufrankich from Chaddsford Winery.  Everything came out AMAZING and made for a really nice dinner.

Ingredients:
Pork Rib Roast – M&M Creek Valley Farm
Asparagus – Clover Hill Farm
Spaetzle – Whole Wheat Pastry Flour from the Mill at Anselma and butter from Handmade by Abby
Bacon – Countrytime Farm
Cucumber – Clover Hill Farm
Maple Sugar – Miller’s Maple
Wine – Chaddsford Winery
Non Local – homemade vinegar, salt, pepper, homebrew amber beer

One Local Summer 2014 – Meal 21

DSC_1295Husband cannot get enough of cooking One Local Summer, so we’re still marching along!  The idea for this one came up two months ago when we purchased a waffle iron.  Husband spent a while researching irons to get the right combination of affordable, easy to use, and durable, and we came up with a winner.  It’s surprising for a brand of appliance I don’t generally associate with reliability and quality, but hey, nearly 1500 amazon reviewers can’t be wrong!  Anyway, in case it’s not obvious at this point, we made Chicken and Waffles!  The version we’re familiar with is the PA dutch version that used something that looks more like pulled chicken with gravy (or creamy chicken soup) instead of fried chicken.  Adding a little more food history for you, the PBS program The History Kitchen has a great article on the origins of Chicken and Waffles (thank you again, Holland).  In any case, they came out DELICIOUS and so very filling.  Both of us barely managed to finish off one waffle heaped generously with the chicken mixture and we both quickly lapsed into a deep food coma post-dinner.

Ingredients:
Raw Milk – Camp Hill Kimberton
Butter – Spring Creek Farms
Flour – Mill at Anselma
Chicken thighs – Deep Roots Valley Farm
Eggs – Deep Roots Valley Farm
Leeks – North Star Orchard
Red Onion – Jack’s Farm
Non Local – Salt, pepper, beer

One Local Summer 2014 – Meal 17

DSC_0806

I suppose it’s not even One Local Summer anymore – it’s One Local Fall!  Some of my favorite foods are available in the fall.  Pumpkins and squash, apples and asian pears!  The day the meal was made was rainy and chilly which made for perfect baking and cooking conditions.  And yes, I actually used recipes!  Usually our One Local Summer meals end up on the wing-it spectrum, somewhat simple, and tend to be basic stuff that doesn’t involve a lot of thinking and prep work.  Grilled cheese and soup are still pretty basic, but I needed a bread recipe and hunting around for soup ideas gave me the soup recipe.

A few weeks ago, we were in central PA and picked 160 pounds of apples at my grandparents house.  We came out with 4.5 gallons of juice that’s being fermented for hard cider, but we threw in the towel with about 10 lbs of apples remaining since it was getting pretty dark and late and we were dead tired from crushing and pressing all the apples.  Husband went back out to sea and I was scratching my head, trying to figure out what to do with the remaining apples.  I’m not a huge fan of applesauce, but figured it was the easiest way to use them up.  I cut them into chunks, steamed them in batches for 5 minutes, then ran them through the press.  That press made SUCH quick work of the apples that I was done in about an hour!  I added nothing to the sauce – no sugar or cinnamon or spices – and actually like it a lot as just straight up applesauce with nothing else added.  Then came along the bread recipe for Applesauce bread.  It’s a basic sandwich bread with the only non-local ingredient being yeast (and flour, kinda, since the one flour imports wheat from the midwest but they’re both still milled at the historic grist mill nearby).  I used both blue cheese and a nice alpine style cheese to melt between the slices.  The soup is made from delicata squash and leeks for the most part with water instead of broth and a little goat’s milk yogurt.  Those “apple croutons” on top are slices of apple sprinkled with maple sugar and crisped up in the oven.  I didn’t quite follow the recipe and decided it was easier to leave the skins on the squash and just immersion blender them to pulp which was easier than trying to take the skins off the roasted squash.  Add a warm cup of hot cinnamon spice tea, and it was a great meal for a dreary day.

Ingredients:
Flour – Mill at Anselma (Whole Wheat Pastry Flour and Bread Flour)
Applesauce – grandparents house (no sugar added)
Cheese – Birchrun Hills (Blue and Equinox)
Delicata Squash – Jack’s Farm and Charlestown Farm
Butter – Spring Creek Farms
Leeks – North Star Orchard
Apples – North Star Orchard (for apple croutons)
Goat’s Milk Yogurt – Shellbark Hollow
Maple Sugar – Miller’s Maple
Non Local – Olive oil, salt, pepper, sage, tea