One Local Summer 2014 – Meal 1

One Local Summer 2014 – Meal 1

Like I mentioned in my last post, we just haven’t had the time to dedicate to a full One Local Summer this year.  Recapping, the One Local Summer challenge was started by the Farm to Philly blog years ago.  Ever since that first year in 2009 when I joined the challenge with Farm to Philly, we spent every  summer making one meal a week using only local ingredients  (spices and oil being acceptable exceptions).  This is now our 6th year of doing local meals, and while we won’t rack up 20+ weeks like we have in prior years, I’ve found that we’re doing local meals almost by default because it’s easier to make one trip to the farmer’s market and get delicious, fresh produce at its peak freshness rather than get questionable produce that may have been on a truck for days.  It’s just easier, and the local farmer’s market happens to be closer than any grocery store.  Plus, the point is to save “food miles” by buying from local farms instead of getting food that’s been trucked in from across the country, and support local businesses and farms at the same time.  I’m aiming for at least 14 meals this summer, and I’m counting meals this time around instead of weeks because we have a really crazy schedule this summer and it’s not likely we  can fit in a local meal every week on schedule.  Anyway, without further babble, here’s meal number one!


The ever classic vegetables in a foil pouch!  Here we have sugar snap peas, red onions, and fennel, covered in olive oil, salt and pepper.  I also did another foil pouch with mushrooms (UNNGGHH MUSHROOMS *drool*) and onions.  Surprisingly, the fennel worked well with the peas and onions and blended together nicely without overpowering the peas.  Its worth noting that we happen to live near the Mushroom Capital of the World, and we get the absolute best mushrooms ever at our farmer’s market.  The ones I had were the Crimini variety and have so much flavor, it puts store-bought mushrooms to shame.


Here, I’ve got some pork loin tips pounded out thin with a dollop of locally produced cream cheese (honey and sea salt flavored) with some thinly sliced onions on top.  Pork loin tips, you ask?  It sounded like these might have been mis-cuts at the butcher, but they were plenty big enough to stuff and roll up.  The cream cheese is SO neat, and I’m glad our resident cheese lady makes this.  There was apparently quite a history of farmers making cream cheese (or farmer’s cheese), and its great to see our local farmer keeping up the tradition.



Here are the pork loins all rolled up and wrapped with slices of bison bacon.  Yeah, pork loin with bison bacon instead of bison filets with pork bacon.  Sometimes you have to mix it up.  The ties are these neat silicone ties made by Mastrad that I picked up somewhere online.  So much better than toothpicks (if you ever ‘lost’ a toothpick while cooking, and later found it with your mouth, you know what I mean), and easy enough to throw in the dishwasher and use over and over again.  Popped these on the grill until the internal temp hit 160F along with my foil pouches of vegetables and fungus.

DSC_9556The final plate!  I added some salad (so fresh and crispy omnomnom) with some non-local dressing, then there’s the onions/fennel/peas, onions/mushrooms, and the meat in the back.  Pork can be so tricky to grill and can dry out, but the bison bacon and cheese inside kept it SO nice and tender.  I’m so glad I have leftovers of this one because it was really incredible.

Pork Loin Tips – Countrytime Farm
Bison Bacon – Backyard Bison
Fennel – Charlestown Farm
Salad – Charlestown Farm
Snap Peas – Jack’s Farm
Onions – Jack’s Farm
Mushrooms – Oley Valley Mushrooms
Cream Cheese – Birchrun Hills
Non Local – Olive oil, salt, pepper, salad dressing


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