Posted on 1 September 2016
It may not be the world’s most exciting meal, but it’s classic Chez Sheetar comfort food – meat and potatoes. It was a quick and easy meal to make in the oven in one pan, and I get to show off the peach jam I made! Our single little peach tree yielded quite the harvest this year, so I was able to do two batches of jam, a run of canned peaches, and even froze two bags of skinned and pitted peaches for pies over the winter. Of course, the squirrels got a fair share of the peaches too, but it’s no big deal since there were SO many. Anyway, the meal is kielbasa with potatoes plus a small salad and some cheese and jam. The cheese is Birchrun Hills’ Red Cat that was washed in Tired Hands beer and it was OH SO DELICIOUS with the jam. It actually made for a nice little dessert!
Kielbasa – M&M Creek Valley Farm
Potatoes – Jack’s Farm
Cheese – Birchrun Hills
Lettuce – North Star Orchard
Tomatoes – Our Garden
Peach Jam – Our Honey, our Peach tree
Non Local – Salt, Olive Oil, pectin (for jam), Salad Dressing
Yep, still playing catch-up. It should be week 15 as I’m posting this, so I’m still behind. Life just keeps getting away from me and the first thing to go when things get to be too much is cooking. But hey, I’m still here making the effort, and I have to wonder if I’d even bother cooking at all if it weren’t for this challenge! So, this meal was a ham steak with grilled onions and eggplant and a cucumber and tomato salad on the side. Everything was cooked on the grill, so it was great to not have to heat up the house on a day that was already too hot to begin with! I may have ever so slightly overcooked the ham steak, but it was still delicious since it was given a little rub down with our own honey before it was introduced to the grill. I need to remind myself that I don’t have to be fancy, and it’s okay to slap meat and veggies on the grill and thats good enough (and better than a microwaved boxed dinner).
Ham Steak – M&M Creek Valley Farm
Tomato – Kimberton CSA
Eggplant – Kimberton CSA
Cucumber – Jack’s Farm
Blue Cheese – Birchrun Hills
Peach – Our Tree
Honey – Our beehives
Non Local – Olive Oil
I actually have TWO this week for One Local Summer, so I’m jamming them into one post instead of splitting them into two. This week was husband’s final week home before going out to a ship for quite a long while, so he took advantage of the time home to cook up a storm. This is me, not complaining. First up! A house favorite, biscuits and gravy with a side of yogurt and strawberries and of course, coffee. We made our biscuits with lard – I have no idea where the recipe came from, but if I find out, I’ll add a link – and they come out so delightful. We had the buttermilk for the gravy and it felt like it would be a slight not to include it in the biscuits as well. The flour is probably my favorite part of this. We actually have an old stone mill locally that buys their wheat from PA farmers and then mills it with a gigantic water wheel just a few minutes down the road. They sell it, along with cornmeal, to help fund the mill’s educational programs and it’s SUCH a delight to have locally grown and milled wheat available to us, not to mention the historic aspect of the fact that it was ground in a mill that’s 250 years old! In order to make the meal just a little more healthy, we added the side of strawberries and yogurt. The coffee? Not local, but I dare you to tell me that I can’t have it with breakfast.
Lard – M&M Creek Valley Farm
Sausage – M&M Creek Valley Farm
Flour – Mill at Anselma
Strawberries – Hoagland Farm
Yogurt – Seven Stars Farm
Buttermilk – Maplehofe Dairy
Non Local – Coffee, Salt, Pepper
I did mention this was a two-fer, right? Second local meal for the week features ribs with grilled vegetables, a cucumber salad and CHEESE. The ribs were cooked in the slow cooker first and then given a quick roast in the oven with our own homemade fruit ketchup using tomatoes and apples from the farmers market and peaches from our own tree. Pretty sure this is the same recipe we used from the Ball Canning Book for the ketchup. The veggies on the side were carrots, snap peas, and zucchini. Then there was the classic cucumber salad – cucumbers soaked in vinegar making not-quite-pickles, but a nice refreshing not-lettuce sort of salad for the side. Then there’s the CHEESE – I believe that’s all Birchrun Hills cheese between Fat Cat, Red Cat, and some Clipper. REALLY a good dinner – the ribs were absolutely perfect and it was a nice way to end a stormy evening.
Ribs – Countrytime Farm
Cucumbers – Jack’s Farm
Zucchini – Jack’s Farm
Snap peas – Jack’s Farm
Carrots – Charlestown Farm
Cheese – Birchrun Hills
Non Local – Homemade Vinegar, Salt, Pepper, Olive Oil
Week four, cooked and consumed already during our One Local Summer. Husband was home again this weekend, so I was happy to step aside and let him take charge of the kitchen! The vegetable supply is really starting to diversify since so many farmers start seeds early, so we already have zucchini and snap peas available. The meal is a veal chop marinated in vinegar, salt and pepper, cider, and cilantro then grilled with some cheese on top. On the side are grilled carrots, snap peas, and zucchini and some more cheese (because there can always be more cheese), paired with a nice leafy green salad tossed with some olive oil and vinegar, and a glass of homebrewed cider. The cider we had here actually finished off a 5 gallon keg we’ve been nursing for over a year now, but fortunately we have the next batch ready to go, made from apples picked at my grandparents’ home some four hours west of where we live. Since the apples followed us on a trip we would’ve made anyway, I include them into local summer since their “food miles” didn’t count as just transporting food. We crushed and pressed the apples into cider ourselves, gave the juice some yeast, and let it do its thing. The resulting cider came out tart and dry, just how I like it, so while I’m a little sad to see this keg go, I’m also eager to see how the second batch tastes! Anyway, enough about the cider, the meal was a nice way to cap off the long holiday weekend since this was Monday’s dinner before husband left again for the week. Hopefully he’ll get in one last OLS meal before heading out on a long stretch for work, and then it’s all on me! I may have to entice some guest chefs to visit and contribute (read: beg friends to cook for me) during the summer.
Moving right along! I’m a little late posting this (a theme you’ll see as we get into mid and late summer and I just get too busy to blog), but it was definitely made during week 3, I swear! Here we have my sad attempt at an omelette and roasted asparagus. I learned that while I make tasty omelets, they’re not very pretty to behold and probably work better as open face egg creations more than properly flipped and perfect omelets. Presentation is just not as important as the flavor, and I can assure you that this disappeared pretty quickly! Inside the egg are scallions, spring garlic, mushrooms, goat cheese, and spinach. On the side is sliced asparagus, roasted with some salt and olive oil, and then given a little cheesy topping for the last few minutes. You guys, I may never eat asparagus any other way ever again. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great grilled, but roasted? It comes out so much more tender and crisps a little on the edges which is so wonderful. Of course, you can never go wrong with putting cheese on top! I plan on doing this for breakfast a few more times since I still have spinach and goat cheese, but it will probably be more of an unsightly scramble than a nicely plated creation. Did I mention that I’m a lazy cook? Oh, and the coffee, not local, but absolutely necessary for survival.