Blog Archives

One Local Summer 2016 – Week 8

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More than 5 ingredients this week for One Local Summer!  I decided to get a little more ambitious after having seen dill at the farmers market and decided to go for chicken pitas (pita recipe) with a tzatzki-ish sauce.  Unfortunately, I neglected to run back and grab a cucumber, but managed to cobble something together that worked well enough.  The pitas were done on the grill using our pizzaque – they seem to work best this way since the stone gets really hot and a quick open and close of the grill keeps the internal temperature high enough for them to puff up perfectly.  After the pitas were done, on went the mushrooms and fennel with the zucchini sliced right beside it and then the chicken with a healthy spring of dill on top.  Then on the side is a simple salad with some cheese and more of the tzatzki-ish sauce as dressing.  The sauce is a goat’s milk yogurt base with garlic scapes and dill added to the yogurt.  It was a really nice meal for a warm summer week, and being able to cook everything outside on the grill made everything easier since I didn’t heat up the house!

Ingredients:
Chicken – Deep Roots Valley Farm
Zucchini – Jack’s Farm
Fennel – Jack’s Farm
Garlic Scapes – North Star Orchard
Dill – North Star Orchard
Cheese – “Pepito” from Yellow Springs Farm
Goat’s Milk Yogurt – Shellbark Hollow Farm
Lettuce – Charlestown Farm
Mushrooms – Oley Valley Mushrooms
Flour – Mill at Anselma
Honey – Our Hives
Non Local – Olive Oil, Salt, Pepper, Yeast

One Local Summer 2016 – Week 7

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Another week of One Local Summer!  Still a little behind, but this was honestly cooked and consumed during week 7, I’m just a lazyass blogger.  Oops.  So anyway, we’re beekeepers, and this past week I robbed the hives and extracted about 30 lbs of honey from one hive which is pretty damn awesome for our first actual honey ‘harvest’ from the hives!  I was trying to figure out a way to incorporate that into the meal since honey from the beehives in your backyard is about as local as it can get when I stumbled across some recipes for honey ginger chicken.  Ginger falls under the allowable-spice-exemption clause to One Local Summer since it was used sparingly and isn’t a main feature of the meal.  The chicken was cooked with garlic scapes and set next to some roasted broccoli.  Then there’s a well overfilled bowl of salad greens, splashed with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Not bad!  I think next time, instead of cooking the chicken in a pan, I may toss that in the oven whole, then coat with the sauce and set under the broiler for a few minutes to allow the honey to caramelize a little.  The flavor didn’t come out quite as much as I had hoped, but it was still delicious!

Ingredients:
Garlic Scapes – North Star Orchard
Broccoli – North Star Orchard
Chicken – Deep Roots Valley Farm
Lettuce – Charlestown Farm
Honey – Our Beehives
Non Local – Salt, Pepper, Ginger, Olive oil, Balsamic vinegar

One Local Summer 2015 – Week 1

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This is our SEVENTH year of One Local Summer and it’s hard to believe it’s been that long already.  If you’re not familiar with the One Local Summer thing, it was a challenge started locally by Farm to Philly.  The basic rules were make one meal a week using only local ingredients allowing for exceptions like salt, pepper, and oil.  The challenge encouraged participants to visit farmer’s markets, farm stands, and get to know your local producers.  It reduces “food miles” (the amount of resources from gas to man hours spent on getting a product to you) which means less of a tax on the environment to make a meal, thereby reducing your carbon footprint.  I know that sounds a little hippie crunchy granola, but it makes sense.  If you can get amazing locally grown asparagus, why eat asparagus that was trucked in from California?  Plus, it supports your local economy and helps local, hard-working farmers who take pride in what they do and care about the crops/animals they raise.  Over the years we’ve found everything from butter to flour, beef and bison, eggs and an amazing array of vegetables, but there’s always something new to make!  It encourages us to eat healthy (free-range eggs, beef, bison, etc all are far healtheir for you than their commercially-raised quivalents) and be creative in the kitchen.  In fact, during the summer months, it’s fairly likely that all of our meals are 90% or more local at this point!  It’s become more of a way of living for us than just an annual challenge, but it’s still fun to concentrate on that one special meal a week that’s all local.

Explanation out of the way, our local farmer’s market, the Phoenixville Farmers Market, had their opening weekened on May 2nd.  It was SO nice to see our favorite vendors back for the regular season – you really get to know these folks, seeing them every weekend for so many years, and it brightens my week to see familiar smiling faces and have a quick chat with my favorite vendors.  Words can’t really accurately describe the wonderful little community we have in this market and I am truly grateful that it exists and has grown SO much.  I’m rambling on again, aren’t I?  That plate!  Okay, back on track.  Lots of greens!  Earlier on in the season, there are SO many delightful greens available (mustard greens, pea shoots, lettuce, bok choi) and I HAPPILY scoop them up to include in our meals.  Asparagus is another early season favorite, the mushroom guy grows year round in a climate-controlled mushroom house, plus the chicken (grilled with home-grown saffron on top!) which all made for a really full plate for dinner.  It’s paired with a cool glass of homebrewed mead made with honey from local bees.  The whole thing was enjoyed on a warm evening on the patio, and it was just the perfect end to the day.

Ingredients:
Chicken – Deep Roots Valley Farm
White Trumpet Mushrooms – Oley Valley Mushrooms
Snap Peas – Jack’s Farm
Pea Shoots – Jack’s Farm
Mixed Greens – Charlestown Farm
Asparagus –Hill Creek Farm
Non Local – Olive Oil, Salt, Pepper, Balsamic Vinegar

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 13

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Meat and potatoes.. can you guess who cooked?  Yep, the husband!  But, no complaints from me, because chicken and potatoes is a great dinner, especially with fall slowly taking over summer.  This meal was cooked the day after the prior meal, because we happened to have the food on hand for all of it, so we figured we might as well!  A basic tomato and onion salad with oil in vinegar in the bowl using our own tomatoes now that they’re finally ripening on the vine.  The darker color is because they’re mostly Brandywine Black tomatoes, a house favorite.  The vinegar is the stuff we make ourselves using either our own mead or Yuengling lager – we very seldom use commercial vinegar anymore!  Purple mashed potatoes you say?  Yep, made from blue potatoes harvested from the garden earlier that week.  The potatoes didn’t grow so well – our soil is full of clay despite 6 or 7 years of tilling in compost, it still can’t quite handle growing potatoes.  They still have a wonderful color and taste, and cook up well, they just look like massive clumps of 3 or 4 potatoes that didn’t split up.  The chicken was cooked a-la-beercan-up-the-chicken-butt and came out nice and tender.  The beer used was Landshark, so not local, but it’s basically used for steam and isn’t a major contribution to the meal.  Overall, really delcious!

Ingredients: 
Chicken – Bendy Brook Farm
Potatoes – My Garden
Tomatoes – My Garden
Onion – Brogue Hydroponics
Blue Cheese – Birchrun Hills
Butter – Spring Creek Farms
Cider – North Star Orchard
Non Local – Olive oil, vinegar, chicken seasoning, pepper, salt, beer