Yesterday I was driving to the bike path and saw a new roadside stand that advertised corn for $1.50 a dozen. I decided to stop on my way home. By that time it was down to $0.75 a dozen. The corn had been picked a few days earlier and the guy was sick of dealing with it. He actually had me buy one dozen and gave me two dozen for free. I could have had more but I don’t have the freezer space for it.
I’ve never frozen corn before and it seemed sort of complicated to cut it all off the cob. But it was really easy. I did it all in about an hour from start to finish. I have 4 quarts of corn in the freezer now for $0.75.
I picked up some local apples from an orchard nearby. I planned to make this recipe for Grilled Apple Brown Betty. We have an old gas grill from my parents that we have never used. We got a new tank of propane and tried to light it. It wouldn’t work. The gas was on. We had a lighter. But when we put them together nothing happened. After much trial and error and a phone call to my parents we got it started but we’re really not sure how we did it. So after much fussing we finally got Grilled Apple Brown Betty from The Vegetarian Grill by Andrea Chesman.
4 apples peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 cup crushed graham crackers
1/4 cup brown sugar
4 T butter melted
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Mix all the ingredients well. Divide the mixure between 2 large pieces of heavy-duty foil and seal the packets so no liquid will escape. Grill over a low flame for 20 minutes, turning once. Serve warm with ice cream.
I actually doubled the amount of sauce I used for 4 apples. I liked it better that way. I planned on having local vanilla ice cream but I couldn’t find it in the freezer. Turns out it had rolled out of the bag in the trunk and I hadn’t noticed. It had been in there for a day and melted all over the trunk. That was a mess.
Then today I made the Apple Pound Cake posted at Autumn’s Meadow. It is very good also. The rest of the apples will probably go to the horses and rabbit.
This morning I made nachos with local cheeses. It didn’t work very well because those cheeses weren’t actually made to melt but it was pretty good anyway.
Now I am cooking a variation of Spicy Green Beans from the Sundays at Moosewood Cookbook:
I warmed garlic-infused olive oil mixed with a bit of chili powder. Add 1/2 cup water, 1 cup fresh (local) green beans, and 1 diced (local) tomato. Simmer until green beans are the desired texture. Salt to taste.
I’m eating with a veggie burger topped with salsa and black olives. My personal food credo is that everything is improved by a liberal addition of salsa and black olives.
My next Eat Local goal is to stop at a neighbor’s house that has a sign out front advertising fresh produce. There doesn’t seem to be a food stand per say. Do I just knock on the door? I’m pretty shy in person so the thought of that is fairly horrifying to me. But they are advertising fresh peppers and that may just be enough to make me stop.
I went out shopping today for the Eat Local Challenge. I’m combining that challenge with a weight loss challenge between the husband and I. We had the morning weigh-in this morning. I made up a chart showing the weigh-in days and pounds gained or lost. This is because I flat out refuse to tell the husband how much I weigh so we are only looking at changes from the initial weigh-in. The husband declared that the scale was broken because it was weighing him too heavy. He decided that if that scale was right the only thing he could do was to head to the doctor for a gastric bypass.
My goals for the Eat Local Challenge:
1. What is your definition of local?
My definition of local is Ohio. The closer to me in Ohio the better.
2. What exemptions will you claim?
Anything already in my house will not be replaced until it is used.
3. What are your personal goals for this challenge?
I’m not attempting to eat only local products. My goal is to learn about local sources and to learn to use different produce in my diet. I’d also like to learn to preserve produce in season to be used during the winter.
This morning I bought my first sweet corn of the year. Sweet corn is my personal eat local gold standard. I grew up surrounded by sweet corn fields and never had it except when it was fresh from the field. When I was on my own in vet school I bought sweet corn at the grocery store and couldn’t eat it because it didn’t taste right. I haven’t tried it from the store since. I look forward to corn season all year. I got some local butter to go with the corn too.
I also bought some fresh tomatoes. Believe it or not, this falls under the new foods category. I like tomato sauces and used canned diced tomatoes alot in my cooking but never whole fresh tomatoes. I’m not a fan of tomato slices on sandwiches, etc. The lure of a fresh tomato from the garden has always escaped me. But I bought a few tomatoes. For lunch I had a sliced local tomato sprinkled with mozzarella, red wine vinegar, and garlic infused olive oil. It was pretty good but I’m not a fresh tomato convert yet.
It is August 1, the first day of the Eat Local Challenge. For a bit my diet will consist most of food left over from the weekend’s activity until I get up the energy to go shopping.
But thanks to Sara at Buona Sara I found out about Local Harvest’s website. You can search for local food sources for your area. Unfortunately for me I found mostly producers of naturally raised meat. But I did find a listing for one farm that I didn’t know about. I’ll try to check it out tomorrow.
In the meantime I’ve been checking out the blogs participating in the challenge. There is a interesting mix of places and philosophy. It should be an interesting month.