Saturday, November 24, 2007

thanksgiving, local eating, and my favorite cat

I have to confess that I totally suck at taking photos of food. I'm reading a few articles to improve my technique, but until I get some portable lights I will spare you my attempts. Instead I will post the occasional cat photos, because my cats are awfully cute. They all wish they could dine locally on the birds, squirrels, and occasional mouse that visit our home. (The cat pictured here is named Little Guy.)

I had an unexpected Thanksgiving day at home last Sunday - a party I was going to was canceled, and I had a 10 lb. turkey to cook. So with no advance prep, and having spend the day before making soup and vegetable stock, I dove into a Thanksgiving dinner for two. Curiously, I had all of the ingredients at hand to create a local turkey dinner with all the fixings (except cranberries) so this is what we ate:
-turkey (a little overcooked, sadly.)
-dressing (made from bread on hand plus local onion, non-local celery and herbs from my garden
-gravy made from pan-drippings
-broccoli (local and fresh)
-praline sweet potatoes (local sweet potatoes and walnuts, non-local brown sugar and an orange)
-mashed potatoes with local milk and butter

The only non-local ingredients not mentioned above were salt, pepper, a little oil for the turkey, flour for the gravy, and a bit of cinnamon.

After cooking I had a 10 minute break, then stripped the turkey (freezing 1/2 the breast and a lot of dark meat) and made stock. When the stock was done I pulled more meat off the bones for a turkey soup. I made the soup with non-local celery and local onions and carrots.

Thanksgiving day we went to my mom's house. She got a local turkey from the butcher and I brought butternut squash and the ingredients for a pear galette, along with a few veggies we forgot to cook. We had to use apples instead of the too-hard pears, but it was a wonderful flaky dessert. (My mom asked about my recipe, which made me laugh. I just make things up as I go along. Fortunately my favorite farmers had made the pie crust dough, saving me a lot of work and the need to actually dig out a recipe.)

Today was the first Saturday that we slept in since May! There may have been a few vendors at the market but my fridge was still full. I defrosted raspberries and bacon for a local brunch (served with pancakes) and for dinner went a little crazy with frozen corn and edamame, fresh braising greens with red onion and apple cider vinegar, grass-fed burgers with Gouda on ciabatta bread, and "almost" potato chips (inspired by another Dark Days blogger; I sliced potatoes thin on my mandoline then cooked them in a 1/2 inch of canola oil.) Non-local ingredients were cooking oil, salt and pepper.

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