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One Local Summer 2016 – Week 10

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Still playing catch-up, but here’s One Local Summer week 10!  I had originally looked up recipes for Polenta Pizza, and came up with a recipe that had that name, but it much more resembles cornbread pizza than polenta pizza.  I figure once you add anything other than water and butter/oil to cornmeal, especially when the extra ingredients are flour and baking powder, it ends up being cornbread and not polenta.  Still, for cornbread pizza done in the cast iron skillet, this was pretty decent!  I think the blue cheese and chorizo actually worked out well with the cornbread base so it wasn’t a traditional pizza on top of cornbread.  The quick jolt near the end of cooking under the broiler was really key to really bubble the cheese on top, and the crust ended up with a nice, crunchy bottom (not burnt, just nicely well-baked).  The leftovers are even good!

The recipe came from here (http://www.simplehealthykitchen.com/skillet-margarita-polenta-pizza/) and let’s forgive them for the misspelling of Margherita because even though the recipe was a little misleading, it was still good and cooked up as specified!

Ingredients:
Flour –  Mill at Anselma
Cornmeal –  Mill at Anselma
Smoked Chorizo – Countrytime Farm
Tomatoes – Jack’s Farm
Basil  – My Garden
Goat’s Milk Yogurt – Shellbark Hollow Farm
Blue Cheese – Birchrun Hills
Egg – Deep Roots Valley Farm
Non Local – Olive Oil, Salt, Pepper, Baking Powder

One Local Summer 2016 – Week 5

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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.

Ingredients:
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

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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.

Ingredients:
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

One Local Summer 2015 – Week 19

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The weather turned crisp and cool over the past week, and I decided it was time for chili!  Usually husband is the chili master, but the pork shoulder was on special sale at the farmer’s market, so I went for pulled pork chili done up in the crock pot.  I used the remainder of the leftover tomato sauce, added some spices, onions, and peppers and let the whole thing simmer for hours until the pork fell apart.  I added some beans towards the end, and topped the whole thing off with blue cheese and a biscuit from that biscuits and gravy breakfast.  A juicy asian pear on the side and a glass of homebrewed cider, and we have a meal!  It was just the thing for a cool evening.

Ingredients:
Buttermilk – Maplehofe Dairy
Pork Shoulder – M&M Creek Valley Farm
Lard – M&M Creek Valley Farm
Flour – Mill at Anslema, Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
Asian Pear – North Star Orchard
Beans – North Star Orchard
Onion – Jack’s Farm
Peppers – Clover Hill Farm
Cider – Homebrewed from apples picked at the grandparents’ house
Cheese – Birchrun Hills, smoked blue
Non Local – Spices, salt

One Local Summer 2014 – Meal 19

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Still chugging along into October.  We should be winding down in the next month or so since the availability of fresh vegetables tends to fall off after the first hard frost.  Fortunately, our mushroom guy grows indoors in a climate controlled environment and still has PLENTY of fresh mushrooms every week.  I used a recipe this week, kinda.  As usual, I used the recipe as an idea and then modified it to suit the local ingredients available, putting the whole thing into one large casserole dish instead of individual ramekins to save on cleanup time.  What I should’ve done is made mashed sweet potatoes and made a sort of mushroom shepherd’s pie, adding in other root vegetables, but this still came out really great and surprisingly filling.  I used three types of mushrooms – Shiitake, Crimini, and Chicken of the Woods.  I’d never had Chicken of the Woods before, so that was a new mushroom to me.  It cooked up a lot like chicken with a thicker, more solid texture that was a little reminiscent of  extra-firm tofu.  The beer used was our “house” beer, the Flying Pig Stout named for a hilarious incident involving a pig shaped dog toy on a rope and a pot of boiling wort.  We pretty much keep a keg of that on tap throughout the year since stouts are a big favorite in the house.  It’s not really local, but it is brewed and poured in about a 50 foot radius which is far fewer food miles than trucking in beer from California.  What’s best about this is it’s all for me!  Husband would never touch a meal made nearly entirely from mushrooms, so the leftovers are safe.  Add some butternut squash ‘fries’ and a couple of slices of asian pear on the side and it’s a full plate!

On a side note, my annual saffron harvest is now over and I need a recipe that uses saffron and local ingredients.  I’m open to suggestions!  Keep in mind that I don’t/can’t eat anything that once lived in water, but will eat every vegetable available!  In past years, I’ve made saffron pasta and saffron polenta, so something new would be fun.  Maybe blue potato saffron gnocchi?

Ingredients:
Onions – Jack’s Farm
Leeks – North Star Orchard
Garlic – Jack’s Farm
Butternut Squash – Jack’s Farm
Asian Pear – North Star Orchard
Tomato – Our Garden
Mushrooms – Oley Valley Mushrooms
Sweet Potatoes – Jack’s Farm
Flour – Mill at Anselma
Non Local – Beer, salt, pepper, oil, thyme

One Local Summer 2014 – Meal 17

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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