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One Local Summer 2017 – Meal 5

Week 8, meal 5, technically.  I’m not stressing over keeping up with the weeks specifically this year since my schedule seems to be a bit of a mess, and with it just being me at home since the market opened, I find that one meal makes enough leftovers for one person for a whole week (sometimes a little more).  We went through a bit of a chilly and rainy spell in May, so I went in search of recipes that utilized the crock pot as a nice way to cozy up the house while it was dreary and cold.  I stumbled across this recipe for Slow Cooker Pork Chop Stroganoff, and I knew I had the ingredients on hand already, so we had a winner.  I did make a few substitutions, as usual.  We had two huge pork butt steaks in the freezer, so I used those instead of pork chops,  In place of the butter and gravy mix, I used olive oil to quick brown the pork butt steaks, and then just plain water in the crock pot with the mushrooms and a wee splash of vinegar.  After cooking all day, I took a bit of the liquid in the bottom of the crock pot and mixed it with some flour to thicken it up, then added goat’s milk yogurt to make the sauce.  I tend to use goat’s milk yogurt in place of cow’s milk since I don’t enjoy the taste of cow’s milk, and goat’s milk yogurt has this nice tangy flavor to it.  The meal is super simple, and while it doesn’t look like much on the plate, wow was it ever good.  On the side, I had a strawberry and rhubarb tart from my favorite Flour Fairies at the farmers market.  The rhubarb is local, so this one fits in better with the One Local Summer theme.  The tartness of the rhubarb with the sweetness of the strawberries made for a wonderful treat!

Ingredients:
Pork – Countrytime Farm
Mushrooms – Oley Valley Mushrooms
Goat’s Milk Yogurt – Shellbark Hollow Farm
Whole Wheat Pastry Flour – Mill at Anselma
Non Local – Salt, Olive Oil, Pepper, Homemade vinegar

One Local Summer 2017 – Meal 4

See, I knew I was going to get behind on these, so while this is meal 4, it’s technically week 7.  Things have been a bit crazy, so while I haven’t had time to put together exclusively local meals, most of what I eat while the farmers market is in full swing ends up being local since that’s where I do the majority of my grocery shopping.  Anyway!  This is a bit of an ambitious dinner for me, but it’s a pretty awesome one, if I do say so myself.  The centerpiece is the banh bao, a Vietnamese pork bun.  Husband came across these on his travels for work at one point or another and we figured the recipe had to be fairly easy – meat and a hard-boiled egg in a dough wrapper.  We found a recipe online and made a huge batch a few years ago.  They freeze and reheat surprisingly well, but it definitely is quicker work with two people.  For this version, I made my own self-rising flour using the ratio here, making a 3 cup batch of flour.  The original recipe calls for milk and sugar, so I substituted in 1/2 cup honey and 1 cup of goat’s milk yogurt to keep it local.  My flour is also a whole wheat flour, so they didn’t come out perfectly white like the traditional banh bao, but that’s just cosmetic anyway.  The filling consists of a hard-boiled quail egg, scallions, and ground pork.  I even took half the batch and added a few cheese curds just for fun.  The quail eggs are a new offering from our farmers market poultry vendor this year, and it’s neat to be able to use quail eggs instead of quartering a chicken egg.  The poultry vendor’s two girls are raising the quail and running the whole quail egg operation on their own, so supporting the next generation of farmers as well as two young girl entrepreneurs sweetens the deal!  Going around the plate, next we have sliced, roasted cheesy asparagus.  I picked the bigger asparagus lot at the market, sliced them on a mandoline slicer, then tossed them with olive oil, salt, and pepper and topped with cheese.  Into the oven at 425 for about 8-10 minutes, and voila!  The cookies may not be made with local ingredients, but they are from a farmers market baker.  Supporting local business is part of the One Local Summer equation, so while it’s a bit of a cheat, it’s chocolate chip cookies, how could I not?  In the glass is some more homebrewed mead to finish out the meal.

Ingredients:
Whole Wheat Pastry Flour – Mill at Anselma
Quail Eggs – Deep Roots Valley Farm
Ground Pork – Countrytime Farm
Scallions – Jack’s Farm
Cheese – Cheese curds and Fat Cat from Birchrun Hills
Asparagus – Hill Creek Farm
Cookies – The Flour Fairies
Honey – Our Beehives
Goat’s Milk Yogurt – Shellbark Hollow Farm
Non Local – Salt, pepper, olive oil, baking powder

One Local Summer 2017 – Meal 3

This is late to go up on the blog by about three weeks, but here’s meal number 3 for this year of One Local Summer.  Husband was back briefly for the weekend, so I set him straight to work in the kitchen, as you do.  He’s far better at improvising a dinner on short notice and working with the ingredients at hand while I always feel the need to plan things out and have a recipe in order to cook.  It’s a pretty basic sort of meal with a meat, vegetable, and salad, but I can assure you it was anything but basic!  The pork butt steak was seasoned with just salt and pepper and cooked on the grill.  The collard raab was done up in a cast iron skillet with scallions, spring garlic, and a little bit of vinegar.  On the side is a simple salad with radishes, the radish greens, and the remainder of the Mâche topped with olive oil and homemade vinegar.  We ate outside on our new deck since it was a stunningly perfect spring evening and a nice way to enjoy a One Local Summer meal!

Ingredients:
Mâche – Jack’s Farm
Radishes – Charlestown Farm
Collard Raab – Charlestown Farm
Pork Butt Steak – Countrytime Farm
Scallions – Jack’s Farm
Spring Garlic – Jack’s Farm
Non Local – Olive oil, salt, pepper, homemade vinegar

One Local Summer 2016 – Week 13

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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!

Ingredients:
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 12

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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).

Ingredients:
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