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One Local Summer 2016 – Week 13


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

One Local Summer 2016 – Week 8


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!

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


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!

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 2016 – Week 4


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.


One Local Summer 2016 – Week 1


The first of another year of One Local Summer!  I’m going back to the weekly format this time since the husband’s work schedule is all over the place for the summer and, let’s face it, if I’m only cooking for me, I may only actually cook one meal a week large enough so I have leftovers for the rest of the week.  Hi, I’m the laziest lazy cook there is.  So, a recap of One Local Summer, the challenge originated with Farm to Philly back in 2008 with Farm to Philly.  I picked up on it in 2009 (AWWW my first ever One Local Summer post!), so that makes this year my (counting on fingers) EIGHTH year of One Local Summer.  The idea is that you make one meal a week your “local” meal, using only ingredients found, farmed, or grown locally with exceptions for spices and oils.  I usually run from beginning of May through as long as I can, typically October or so.  It doesn’t have to be fancy either – sometimes it’s a huge bowl of lettuce with toppings (coughcough this week coughcough), and sometimes it’s homemade tacos from the shells to all the fixings or bacon and cheese waffles.  What constitutes local?  That’s up to you.  The idea is to reduce your food miles (the length food has to travel to get to you) which in turn reduces your carbon footprint since you’re not eating food from across the country.  It also supports your local economy by giving your money to small producers instead of large conglomerates.  There’s something really special about getting to know the people who grow your food since you get to put a face to the hard work that goes into growing vegetables or tending animals and ask them questions about their processes (pesticide use, butchering etc), AND you get to know that it’s all produced with love and care.  I have sworn over and over that knowing the people behind the food makes it all taste better (even if that’s probably baloney, don’t pop my bubble!)

So, that all out of the way, that photo above is my first week!  We’re still in early spring around here despite it being almost mid may, so most of what the farmers market has to offer as far as vegetables is a lot of leafy greens.  Kale and I have never really gotten along well (it tastes like angry dirt to me), but I LOVE the abundance and variety of lettuces and other greens available this time of year.  I routinely buy a big old bag of greens and make a GINORMOUS salad for dinner in a bowl that could double as a helmet.  On top of the lettuce mix are slivers of cheese, some tomato and basil pork sausage, Portobello mushrooms sautéed in butter with some spring onions, and some bok choi that I wilted over the pan with the mushrooms and onions.  The only non-local thing here is the salad dressing which was just olive oil and vinegar.  I think I did pretty well this week, getting back into the One Local Summer routine, and I’m already dreaming up ideas for next week!