Tag: <span>2009</span>

Rhinebeck 2009

Wow, what a weekend.   I’ve definitely got a bad case of the post-fiber-festival-shock in that I have to be back in the real world instead of oogling knitwear, squishing yarn, and snorgling sheep.   The fiber festival world is SO much more fun than this everyday kind of crap.

The haul?   I did well.   Fell off the budget wagon a touch, but I think it was well worth it and I can see all of what I bought being knitted before MDSW.   (Disclaimer: Just because I can see it happening doesn’t mean that another pattern won’t queue jump and ruin that plan)
3 skeins – Socks That Rock Lightweight, Mill Ends
2 skeins – Socks That Rock Lightweight, Rare Gems
1 skein – Holiday Yarns Sock Yarn
1 skein – Silver Moon Farms sock yarn (770 yards)
1 skein – Silver Moon Farms Laceweight (1375 yards)
2 skeins – Bijou Basin 100% Yak Laceweight (400 yards)
1 skein – Briar Rose, Charity (900 yds worsted)
Firebird Sock Kit from the Tsock Tsarina
4 oz – Targee Top from Mountain Colors
4 oz – Clover Leaf Farms Merino Roving
4 oz – Holiday Yarns Merino Roving
4 oz – Little Barn Linsi-Woolsie Roving
4 oz – Little Barn Alpaca Roving
Book – Vintage Baby Knits by Kristen Rengren (signed!)

I realize that means nothing to you non-knitters, but suffice to say, I got what I wanted, and then a little more.     🙂   Abbie and I did very well in terms of getting in early the first day, getting what we desperately wanted, and generally had incredible luck on our side when it came to just being in the right place at the right time.   For example, the Chicken Pot Pie line is known for being epic.   People usually wait a good half hour for this incredible chicken pot pie.   Us?   We got in line right when there were only a few people waiting.   Granted, had there been a half-hour-long line, we probably would’ve found something else to eat, but it was nice to finally get a forkfull of that yummy pot pie.   Then there was the Ravelry party, Saturday night, which was awesome.   The vanilla mead went over well, but I still managed to come home with a good amount left in the keg.   Sunday was rainy, but we managed to go through all the barns/buildings, grab a few things that we missed on Saturday because we had enough of the crowds really early on.   Sunday though, the grounds were rather empty, there were no lines, and much more room to browse around without getting bumped.   Finally got home to Pennsylvania around 8pm to my two little snugglebutt dogs who were thrilled to meet me.   The husband had left for a class in Texas, but had baked this incredible chocolate ganache/praline cake and left me a bouquet of flowers on the table.   Perfect end to a really spectacular weekend.

I will leave you with a photo  from Rhinebeck  and link you to my whole set from Rhinebeck on Flickr.   To all of you tweasels  who I met?   It was really, honestly great, and I hope to see you all again next year!

OLS: Week 13


One Local Summer’s last meal is on the table and consumed already.   I can’t believe we made it to the end of the challenge and participated in every single week!   This week, we threw a whole chicken in the smoker with some barbeque sauce leftover from the pulled pork sandwiches and let her cook up while some zucchini, garlic, basil, onions,  and peppers were simmered together with last year’s tomato sauce from the garden.   I decided to pop open a jar of the zucchini pickles, and WOW are they delicious.   Definitely worth doing again next year.   Non-Local ingredients include some vinegar, mustard seed, turmeric (pickles), olive oil, and  McCormick’s Chicken Rub.   Here’s the rundown of local ingredients.

Zucchini: My Garden
Basil: Back Deck Garden
Peppers: My Garden
Garlic: Willow Creek
Onions: North Star Orchard
Chicken: Mt. View Organics
Barbeque sauce: Leftover from Week 11
Wine: New Hope Winery’s Raspberry Wine

Final thoughts – I’m SO glad I participated in this year’s challenge and I can’t wait to do it again.   This challenge has gotten me into local foods and has actually gotten me cooking (something that shocked and amazed my family and friends).   I hope to continue doing one local meal a week since our Phoenixville Farmer’s Market is open year-round and I can get most items (except for seasonal vegetables) regularly.   Thanks to the folks at FarmToPhilly.com for hosting the challenge!

OLS: Week 11


And another week down, bringing us to week eleven of the One Local Summer challenge. This week we decided to attack the pulled pork sandwich. I wasn’t able to find locally baked rolls that would work for sandwiches, so we found Vermont Bread Company rolls at Kimberton Whole Foods that worked out well, even if they’re not really that local. It’s probably the biggest non-local item I’ve used, but I really, honestly tried to find local rolls that would work and just couldn’t find any. Oh well! We did go the extra mile with the barbeque sauce and  made that from scratch. The dinner was delicious and while the pork butt took all day to cook in the smoker and then crock pot, it was WELL worth it. Non-local ingredients used (other than the rolls) were in the barbeque sauce: pepper, salt, cider vinegar.   The rest of the ingredient run down follows.

Corn: Kimberton Whole Foods (locally grown)
Peaches: North Star Orchards
Feta Cheese: Apple Tree Goat Dairy
Pork Butt: Countrytime Farm
Maple Sugar: Miller’s Maple
Tomatoes: Jack’s Farm
Garlic: Jack’s Farm
Onion: North Star Orchards

OLS: Week 10


Week ten of one local summer is cooked and consumed already. The husband is home again and decided to try something different – tacos! I was in charge of the taco shells and toppings while  he did the filling. I found a good shell recipe here which used both cornmeal and flour.   I went with whole wheat flour instead of regular old all-purpose flour and it didn’t seem to make a difference.   They were surprisingly easy to make and then form inside of a napkin holder lined with some tin foil.   It looked a little funny, but it worked out well!   The husband improvised a taco spice recipe (sadly, none of those are local, but it tasted great!) which he added to some ground bison and onions. I also found these curious little mexican gherkin cucumbers at the farmer’s market on saturday and just had to bring them home after Jack let me taste one.   They’re sweet, with a little sour and just perfectly bite sized.   It’s really amazing me, week by week, the different things we can make using local ingredients that I never even thought of doing (making taco shells from scratch?!).   This is totally spoiling my ideas of store-bought and semi-homemade that I had been used to cooking  (and mostly microwaving), but all in a good way.   I’ve recently been doing some canning and preserving and I should do a post on that too – it’s another new thing this year that I’m trying and is again, surprisingly easy – much easier than I had thought!

There were a few non-local ingredients in this week’s meal which included salt, canola oil, and the taco spices.   Here are the local ingredients:
Ground Bison – Backyard Bison
Onions – North Star Orchard
Tomatoes – Our Backyard Garden
Peppers – Cressley’s Greenhouse
Mexican Gherkins – Jack’s Farm
Fat Cat Cheese – Birchrun Hills Farm
Lettuce – Willow Creek
Corn Meal – Mill at Anselma
Whole Wheat Pastry Flour – Mill at Anselma

OLS: Week 9


One Local Summer is already at Week 9.   Nine whole weeks of making one meal with local ingredients per week.   I can’t believe I’ve made it this far!   So, this week I went for simple, since I was doing a whole week of zucchini recipes.   The simple though paid off with an incredible taste, and something I really hadn’t thought of doing – making pancakes from scratch.   Easier than I ever would’ve thought!   One egg,  one cup of flour, about 1.5 cups of yogurt, and the non local ingredients (2 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp baking soda, a touch of salt).   Whisk together, throw in some blackberries, and VOILA!   Fluffy, delicious pancakes.   Optionally, add some chocolate chips for a just-one-more dessert pancake.   The eggs came from Mt. View Organics at the Phoenixville Farmer’s Market, the flour from the Mill at Anselma, the yogurt from Shellbark Hollow Farm, and the blackberries were hand-picked from a patch of blackberry bushes overflowing with ripe berries at Willow Creek.   The whole thing was topped off with maple syrup from Miller’s Maple.   The best thing about this is that the whole house smelled like fresh pancakes for the rest of the day!

OLS: Week 8


Pizza for Week Eight!   I saw the post on FarmToPhilly.com about making pizza and I just *had* to!   This has become a popular item in the house since the crust is actually done on the grill.   I usually do a big batch of them at once and then stick them in the freezer or fridge and throw toppings on later and stick them in the microwave or toaster oven to melt the cheese really quick.   It saves time, the crust comes out nice and crispy without using a pizza stone.   I’m giving credit to Bobby Flay for this one since we saw it on Food Network a while ago and I thought it was absolute genius.   Cooking in the house during the summer is just TOO hot sometimes, so taking everything outside to the grill is a great option.   The show featured this recipe, and I really just only use the flatbread part and make my own toppings.   On to the ingredients!

Crust: Whole Wheat pastry flour  from the Mill at Anselma.   Non-local Olive Oil, Salt, Yeast
Toppings: Heirloom Tomatoes and onions (hiding underneath) from the North Star Orchard, Colby Cheese from Agape Acres, and a little basil from the back deck.   Couldn’t find a local Mozzarella, and really, all cheese is delicious in my humble opinion, so Colby it was.   I didn’t even bother with sauce since the tomatoes were nice and juicy.

The pizza made for a quick and easy meal.   I actually botched a batch of the pasta dough from last week by using a bad recipe that had me adding way too much water.   I decided to throw in some more flour and gave up after a certain point, added yeast, and let it sit to see if it would work for pizza dough.   Happily, it worked out just fine.   After the flatbread was grilled up, I turned the heat down low and set the flatbread with toppings off the direct heat, closed the lid, and came back in about 15 minutes.   The cheese had melted nicely and it looked perfect.

I have so many ideas for using local ingredients in meals, I feel like there won’t be enough weeks for all of them!

OLS: Week 7


One Local Summer rolls into week seven.   This week it’s back to being all me and I went all out.   Let’s start in the front with the zucchini, from my very own garden.   Next around, clockwise, is a zucchini bread muffin.   Finally we have a DELICIOUS bison with pesto and sharp goat cheese ravioli.

Zucchini – Yep, zucchini.   Non-local salt, pepper, and olive oil.   This one was perfectly ripe and gosh I could’ve eaten the whole zucchini at once.
Zucchini Bread Muffin  – I’ve been getting a LOT of zucchini from the garden and decided to give this recipe a try.   This was tricky since I was trying to keep as local as possible and the result isn’t quite perfect, but considering the amount of zucchini I’ll have this summer, there’s plenty of time to get it right.   I used my own garden zucchini, wheat pastry flour from the Mill at Anselma (stone ground there too from PA wheat), honey from Baues Busy Bees,  eggs from Mountain View Organics, and goat’s milk yogurt from Shellbark Hollow Farm.   Non-local ingredients include salt, baking soda, baking powder, canola oil, and vanilla extract.   If you’re keeping tally, yes I left out the spices, walnuts, and apple sauce.   It still tastes delicious and I love what the honey adds to the recipe, but I think I need to add more flour or less wet ingredients since it didn’t rise as much as I had expected and is a little dense.   Still, incredibly good, and worth a repeat.
Ravioli – WOW.   Wow.   Wow.   This was the most labor intensive part of the meal, but it was 100% worth it.   I dug out the pasta roller for the Kitchen Aid mixer and went to town.   Used the same wheat pastry flour as above for the pasta along with some non-local salt (and tap water, of course).   The filling is ground bison from Backyard Bison, with basil and oregano from my back deck planters, some of the frozen pesto sauce from Week 1, and Sharp II goat cheese from Shellbark Hollow Farm.   Non-local salt, pepper, and olive oil were also used.   The sauce is from the same batch of tomato sauce I made last year with the tomatoes from our garden (there were lots, and lots, and lots of tomatoes, in case I haven’t mentioned that before).   I haven’t ever made ravioli, so it was a learning experience for sure, but now that I know what I’m doing, I expect next time, this will go MUCH faster and be much easier.   I’m not quite sure if it tasted so good because it really was that good or that the amount of effort I put into doing something new mentally enhanced the flavor.  

Really though, I’m quite proud of myself for pulling this whole meal off and not giving up in the middle, leaving the kitchen a complete disaster and my stomach empty.   Through doing this whole challenge, I’ve been finding myself spending less time inside grocery stores and more time outside at farmers’ markets – I might go once every other week to the grocery store for things I can’t get at the market, essentials, etc.   It’s neat, and I hope to continue this as long as possible, maybe even freeze some meals to pull out in the dead of winter when I need a  dose of *real* food.

OLS: Week 6


Week six of One Local Summer and it’s almost the mid-point of the thirteen week challenge. The husband decided to take the lead on this week’s meal with no objection from me.   In the back is a pile of mashed turnips and carrots with maple sugar added for flavor.   Clockwise, next is a Bison Meatloaf using ground bison, tomatoes, garlic scapes, swiss cheese, an egg, and last year’s frozen tomato sauce.   Finally, sugar snap peas finish the plate.   In the wine glass is a Strawberry wine.   It was a great meal, and even better, I didn’t have to cook it!

Rundown of ingredients:
Turnips: Willow Creek Orchards
Carrots: Willow Creek Orchards
Maple Sugar: Miller’s Maple
Bison: Backyard Bison
Garlic Scapes: Willow Creek Orchards
Tomatoes: Lancaster County (via Willow Creek)
Tomato Sauce: My garden, last year
Egg: Pleasant View Farms (via Willow Creek)
Swiss Cheese: Hendricks (via Willow Creek)
Snap Peas: Willow Creek Orchards
Wine: Mount Hope Vineyards