Saturday, March 8, 2008

dark days challenge - being snowed in has its advantages

We've had 20.4 inches of snow in the last two days, plus drifts. I'll try to get some pictures tomorrow, if I can stop coughing long enough to shovel. Where are the money-hungry flocks of children with shovels when you need them?

I was very sad that the snow storm coincided with our winter market (which was apparently canceled.) Now I must wait 2 weeks for more spinach and lettuce and onions (which I am out of again! Eek!)

Anyway, today was a cooking kind of a day, and the advantage of being trapped at home is that you must use what is in the freezer and pantry. So we've had nothing but local meals today.

Breakfast was a big pot of oatmeal from Stutzman Farms with a granny smith apple from H-W farm, sweetened with maple sugar from Pleiades. Salt, cinnamon and nutmeg were non-local additions (and I grated the latter from whole spices.)

Lunch was another rendition of pasta and meatballs. The angel hair pasta came from Pastaria at the North Market; the marinara sauce was made from scratch from frozen tomatoes from the freezer (it came out quite well, but there was a lot of liquid that I drained off), and the meatballs were again with grass-fed beef from Long Meadows (plus local bread soaked in local milk, local herbs, local egg, local onions and garlic.) Non-local ingredients were salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese (terroir, from the local Italian market.) It was quite tasty, and just the thing for a snowy afternoon.

While the oven was on from the meatballs, I cut up my one rouge vif d'etampes pumpkin and roasted it for soup. I sweated garlic and the last of the onions, then added the roasted pumpkin and some veggie stock from the freezer. As it cooked I grated a GIANT carrot from the root cellar project (it was buried in sand in a cooler in the garage, and aside from some sprouting was still quite fresh-looking and tasty) and cooked it with some ginger and curry powder. Eventually it joined the rest of the soup and the whole lot got punished with the immersion blender (aka The Punisher, after a very amusing blog post by A Hunger Artist, aka Bob del Grosso.) I added a little more ginger and a healthy dose of thyme, and it was quite good. If I'd had cream on hand I would have mixed a little in at the end, but instead I just grated some Parmesan on top and served it with crostini from Whole Foods (I made crostini last week but they didn't toast quite enough and went stale.) Non-local foods: seasonings and cheese and crostini.)

While the soup was simmering I made a batch of scones using 1/2 local (soft) wheat flour, and local butter, milk, egg, and raspberries from the freezer. The combination of raspberries and whole wheat made them a very strange color (purplish grey) but they were quite tasty and rather light. I look forward to having one for breakfast.

Brunch tomorrow will be more local peppered bacon and eggs (cooked in bacon fat, my favorite.) You see what a hardship this eating locally thing is?

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