RSS Feed

County Fair Prep

Posted on

Come on heirlooms!! The last tomatoes to ripen every summer. Making me anxious about the fair. I need two ripe tomatoes of the same variety. The Howard County Fair starts Saturday, and I need to get my vegetables and herbs ready for entry.

garden stuff 038

I currently am drowning in tomatoes, and getting ready to process some tomorrow. Unfortunately those heirloom tomatoes on the tray are from the CSA, and not my garden. I have at least five German Johnson that are close to ripe. I hope to pick them Tuesday or Wednesday. I have enough cherry tomatoes to enter, and enough plum tomatoes. Need a couple more medium early girls to get the minimum for submission.

Besides tomatoes, this year I have enough onions to enter.

garden stuff 010

There were 24 onions left in the ground last week. I had to find the five best out of them. Fun job. Besides the onions, I harvested the rest of the leeks and the shallots.

garden stuff 031

My onion/garlic/shallot bowl is overflowing. Time to do some roasting and get them ready for winter.

I have herbs for entry. Just can’t figure out which ones I want to pick.

And, finally, enough variety to make the vegetable display, which needs five different varieties of vegetables.

See you at the Fair!

Is It Extreme #buylocalchallenge when …

Posted on

… it’s the normal way you live?

This isn’t a challenge. It’s our life. We can thank Friends and Farms, Lancaster Farm Fresh CSA, Howard County farms and markets, and my garden for making the vast majority of our food come from local sources.

secolari and csa 045

Like this luscious fresh fruit in our CSA share. Without worries of bacteria. We got plums, peaches and blackberries from LFFC on Thursday. The plums are gone already. My husband must have had a couple with every lunch and dinner. They are so ripe, so flavorful.

LFFC also gave us this.

secolari and csa 046

In a half share.

Golden Beets
Rainbow carrots
Red potatoes
Royal burgundy beans
Ping Tung long eggplant
Heirloom tomatoes
Corn (I swapped zucchini for these)

I gave up four zucchini for two ears of corn. There is way too much zucchini in my garden.

As for the add ons.

secolari and csa 031

The cheese share included: Millich Kivvel, a raw milk cheese reminiscent of Camembert. Aged Goat Cheese, and Goat Feta.

The chicken:

secolari and csa 042

Thighs, drumsticks and boneless, skinless chicken breasts. These chicken deliveries have been one very welcome addition to our food sources. Last week I slow baked legs and breasts. Served the legs for dinner and the breasts became the center of a Caesar salad for lunch.

I love having antibiotic free, hormone free chicken in our diet. Once you tasted free range chicken, it is really hard to settle for those bland tasteless store bought chickens.

As for Friends and Farms, and my individual share. We got ground beef and ahi. I forgot and put them away before documenting my food.

secolari and csa 059

There was a large quantity of heirloom squash in the bags. A few assorted tomatoes. Two peaches. Blackberries. Green beans. Kale. Frisee. Eggs and bread this week. Honey whole wheat from The Breadery.

Tonight for dinner I grilled the ahi. And some of the squash. Brushed with Italian dressing and seasoned with salt and pepper.

The individual basket is perfect when you have a garden, or for one or two people. I like getting bread biweekly and eggs three times a month. Cheese once a month. Breakfast meat once a month. A good rotation. One that we customized to fit our needs.

All in all, doing the Buy Local Challenge is easy, when you have local food sources delivering the bulk of your protein, dairy, vegetables and fruit.

secolari and csa 071

CSA chicken, with my onions. And CSA heirloom tomatoes. Dinner Thursday night.

Olive Oil and Pasta …

Posted on

… and so much more.

I have written about Secolari before. And, used their products in many of my favorite meals. Products like their oil and balsamic, their flavored salts. Plus, that lovely pasta from Pappardelle that they carry.

Now, I can add chocolate mint honey to my latest finds. I am thinking about the suggested use in iced lattes.

secolari and csa 003

Last night we had a bloggers’ get together at the Columbia Mall location with the owners highlighting some of their products. A “perk” so to speak of being a blogger around here.

secolari and csa 002

Goodies like popcorn with Black Truffle salt and Lime Olive Oil.

There was a good crowd there. Tasting the oils, the vinegars, the honey, and enjoying small bites from Zoe’s Kitchen, located across the promenade from Secolari.

secolari and csa 006

You don’t have to be a blogger to taste their products. Whenever you visit, you can sample before choosing your favorites. Barth and Mary deRosa have a wonderful shop here.

If you aren’t into oil and vinegar, but love pasta, they have a product for you. Pappardelle.

Another favorite of mine.

secolari and csa 029

This orzo, with the lemon infused oil, will be paired with these little gems.

secolari and csa 011

A baking sheet covered with my tomatoes and shallots. Slow cooked in a 200 degree oven. Tomorrow they will be mixed with the orzo and drizzled with oil. A very tasty salad.

Check out Secolari. Buy some pasta and olive oil. Indulge. Much better and so much cheaper than dinner in a restaurant.

Thanks Barth and Mary for hosting us last night.

The Harvest Begins …

Posted on

… in earnest. Before today, it was just ramping up. Now, we are moving into the period of time where I will be harvesting, roasting, freezing, canning and processing to fill the freezer for winter.

harvest starting 001

Today’s community garden harvest. Minus the chard and the chives that I harvested to donate to the Food Bank. That was part of the 131 pounds we collected this morning.

The above food is just from my plot. The tomatoes! The first Big Boys.

harvest starting 004

All in all, fifty ounces of tomatoes. Ten ounces of sungold and eighteen of supersweet 100s alone.

I also got my first three cubanelle peppers. With the weather changing to sunny and hot, I hope to see the peppers kicking in.

I did make the pesto with all the basil.

harvest starting 013

Two cups of a mix of lemon and African blue basil. One cup of a mix of toasted pecans and almonds. 2/3 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano. Salt. Pepper. Olive oil. I got one whole ice cube tray plus about six ounces in an eight ounce container. All in the freezer now. In the dead of winter, nothing screams summer like pesto.

As for those Big Boys!

harvest starting 012

They went into today’s lunch. A small side Caprese salad. With greens and blackberries there, too.

The next few weeks will see a mess in my kitchen. Canning jars. Food Saver bags. Vegetables. Fruit. Herbs. My favorite time in the summer. When it all gets enjoyed or saved for the winter.

Can’t “Beet” That Berry Salad

Posted on

A repeat for lunch today, with a few enhancements.

beets and basil 017

Looks just like Saturday, doesn’t it? Except I kicked it up a bit. Made my own dressing.

beets and basil 002

Jam jar dressing using locally produced items. Two tsp. of raspberry jelly. Two tbsp. plain yogurt. Splash of white balsamic vinegar. Two tbsp. olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste. A pinch of demerara sugar.

I used the Secolari brand oil and vinegar today. They are a family owned business located in Columbia Mall, and their original store in Bethesda.

This is “local” olive oil, so to speak. Only two states I know grow olives to make olive oil. California and Texas. This oil is from California.

The salad was made with the Baywater Greens Salisbury MD leaf lettuce. The raw milk gouda from PA. Chiogga and red beets from the Amish farms. Blackberries from Agriberry. Blueberries from PA. Walnuts not local. Bought in bulk at Wegmans.

Eating locally for lunch today, and again for dinner. I slow cooked some Wayne Nell pork. Made pulled pork sandwiches before heading out to Iron Bridge for a tasting. Served with a side of roasted vegetables from my garden.

Last night we went to Bistro Blanc for a “bottle Share” night. Had a few local items in that meal, too. They buy their beef locally and we had a very nice Angus tartare. And we took a local wine.

Brunch yesterday was an omelet with Miller Farm eggs. My tomatoes. My onions and shallots and leeks.

Breakfast today included those lovely berries with cereal.

I am doing well on the Buy Local Challenge.

Tomorrow I am making pesto with my basil. Some of it will make it into dinner, that’s for sure.

beets and basil 024

Three days down. Six to go.

Extreme #buylocalchallenge

Posted on

As is eating something local at every meal. Easy to do if most of your food comes from a CSA, a regional food service, and your garden.

I count my garden as supporting local farmers as most of the plants were purchased from local farms. I don’t buy plants from national chains like Lowe’s or Home Depot, but from local farms like Sharp’s or Greenway. Both Howard County farms.

Today was the first day of the challenge. Breakfast included toast with CSA raspberry jam, for me. And for my husband, cereal with CSA blueberries.

Lunch for him. Tuna salad with my onions. For me, cucumbers, tomatoes and carrots, dipped in a yogurt dressing. Yogurt from PA. Cucumbers and tomatoes, my garden. Carrots, CSA.

Peaches from the CSA for a snack.

Dinner tonight.

Local wine!

buylocal day one 002

Big Cork, from Rohrersville MD. Ready to go to the table with some of my flowers from my front yard.

buylocal day one 007

CSA chicken thighs being baked with CSA potatoes, my onions and Wayne Nell smoked bacon (Friends and Farms supplier from York PA). They buy from farms in the area surrounding York.

The salad.

buylocal day one 012

Baywater Greens from Salisbury supplied the leaf lettuce. CSA spinach, beets, gouda, blueberries.

Oh, I forgot, there was corn on the cob, too. From the CSA.

Very little today that didn’t come locally. Off to a good start. On to Day Two tomorrow.

Friends and Farms “Buy Local”

Posted on

We got our Friends and Farms basket Thursday, just in time for the Buy Local Challenge.

I am happy to see at the Buy Local Website that they don’t require the farms and markets to be in Maryland. Just “local”.

Depending on where you live, food from across a state line may be more local than in state. Like for us. Cheese from Lancaster is closer than cheese from Firefly Farms in western MD. Not that we don’t love Firefly. It’s just that MD is a wide east west but narrow north south state.

For us, foods from MD, VA, WV, DE and PA are all considered local. Mostly within a 100 mile radius to our home.

Our Friends and Farms basket this week was full of local foods by that definition. We can take the Buy Local “Extreme” challenge and include local foods in every meal, using the goodness of our basket.

july 17 csa and FF 013

The pork butt and bacon came from York PA. The chicken from Freebird, in the Lancaster area of PA. The eggs, from MD.

july 17 csa and FF 019

Clinton MD. We also get some vegetables from Miller Farms too.

This week the lettuce was from Salisbury MD. That’s where Baywater Greens is located.

The berries, from VA. Agriberry blackberries.

We also got jalapenos. Cilantro. Sweet corn. Green peppers. An eggplant. Elephant garlic.

I added a quart of plain yogurt. Need to make tzatziki while the cucumbers are still producing.

It will be easy to eat locally with all this food. Along with my garden and my CSA. Who needs grocery stores? Oh yeah, toilet paper.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 423 other followers