One Local Summer 2016 – Week 1

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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!

Ingredients:

One Local Summer 2014 – Meal 7

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Okay, so this one was OUT OF THE BALLPARK good.  I know I say that often when I talk about One Local Summer meals, but seriously.  I’m not sure there is too much that will top this.  We finally found a local source for butter and husband immediately remembered that the only thing holding us back from making these pretzel rolls was the butter.  BINGO!  Thus, dinner was Pretzel roll burgers with watermelon, grilled peaches with blue cheese, and a wonderfully delicious salad.  Even though there are some non-local ingredients in the rolls (baking soda, yeast, oil), they’re still really minimal in comparison to the whole of the meal, and we were even able to substitute the required sugar with honey.  Our rolls came out a little flatter than the recipe’s photos, and I had a feeling we should’ve used more flour (the dough seemed a little too squishy), but for a first time, they’re still 100% edible and delicious.  I was really glad we had leftovers of this meal so I could enjoy it a few more days, and we even have four more rolls tucked away in the freezer.  Definitely expect to see more pretzel rolls in our One Local Future!

Ingredients:
Flour – Mill at Anselma
Watermelon – Hoagland Farm
Peaches – Hoagland Farm
Blue Cheese – Birchrun Hills
Egg – Deep Roots Valley Farm
Veal & Pork Patty – Countrytime Farm
Lettuce – North Star Orchard
Mushrooms – Oley Valley Mushrooms
Tomatoes – Brogue Hydroponics
Cheese – Lambsquarters from Valley Milkhouse
Butter – Spring Creek Farms
Honey – Baues Busy Bees
Non Local – Baking soda, yeast, oil, salt, pepper, dressing.

One Local Summer 2014 – Meal 3

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Another One Local Summer meal, shared with the same friend from the prior post!  Yep, two in one week, and it was really easy to put together.  I had a ton of salad greens in the fridge, so I put the other vegetables in a foil packet on the grill with the zucchini and we had a REALLY filling salad.  Dear friend was enjoying the zucchini so much that she was sneaking the ‘small’ pieces off the grill before they were even cooked.  She may or may not have been swatted at with the grill tongs.  All that, paired with a glass of homebrewed ginger mead, and it was quite the nice dinner outside on the patio!

Ingredients:
Zucchini – Jack’s Farm
Broccoli – North Star Orchard
Fennel – Charlestown Farm
Mushrooms – Oley Valley Mushrooms
Garlic Scapes – Jack’s Farm
Lettuce – Charlestown Farm
Non Local – Salad Dressing

One Local Summer 2013 – Week 22

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CHILI! My favorite, and the first time we’ve been able to pull this off as a one local summer meal.  Our local orchard, North Star, had been experimenting with growing beans and drying them, so we finally got a harvest and my FIRST thought upon seeing them at the market was CHILI!  Husband again took the lead on this since he’s the chili master and had this amazing stuff simmering in the crock pot all day.  I can honestly tell you that the only thing holding us back from the chili was the beans, and we had been pretty much doing this locally anyway, using bison instead of cow beef since it makes the resulting chili way less greasy.  The whole meal together on the table was incredible – the asian pears were heated up a bit and drizzled with maple syrup.  We managed to get enough tomatoes from the volunteer tomato plants to put in salads, so that worked out great.  Really can’t wait to do this again!

Chili with Cornbread and Salad:
Bison – Backyard Bison
Hot Bison Sausage – Backyard Bison
Beans – North Star Orchard
Celery – North Star Orchard
Peppers – Jack’s Farm
Jalapenos – Charlestown Farm
Onions – Jack’s Farm
Tomato sauce – Homemade, frozen from prior harvest
Tomatoes – Our Garden
Asian Pears – North Star Orchard
Cornmeal – Mill at Anselma
Flour – Mill at Anselma
Maple Sugar – Miller’s Maple
Cheese – Birchrun Hills
Salad Greens – Jack’s Farm
Non Local – cocoa powder, salt, pepper, olive oil, balsamic vinegar