RSS Feed

Category Archives: Food

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.

Agretti Anyone?

Posted on

A new one in this week’s CSA share.

july 17 csa and FF 011

Agretti. Described here with a wonderful sounding recipe (to be dinner tomorrow night). This recipe is competing with the Mario Batali Babbo recipe for agretti with fennel and anchovy vinaigrette. But I don’t think I have anchovies at the moment.

The thing I love most about this CSA from Lancaster Farm Fresh is that totally unexpected off the wall “CHOPPED” worthy vegetable that I never heard of before.

It is precisely why I keep coming back to them every year.

Today this is what we got.

july 17 csa and FF 001

VEGETABLE HALF SHARE
agretti – Eastbrook Produce
Chinese purple garlic – Eagle View Acres
green kale – Cherry Lane Organics (I swapped for lemon cucumbers)
8-ball zucchini – Red Fox Organics
red cherry tomatoes – Organic Willow Acres
red beets – Back Woods Organics
bicolor sweet corn – Healthy Harvest

FRUIT SHARE
5 peaches – IPM – Fifer Orchards
1 pint blueberries – Little Buck Organics
1 jar raspberry jam – Oak View Acres

CHICKEN SHARE
breasts (1 pound)
whole leg (1 1/2 pounds)

I roasted the beets already, and had two ears of corn with dinner tonight. Beets will be sliced into salads. Cukes will go into a tzatziki. I am also making a ratatouille tomorrow night that will show up a few times. Once as that pie I mentioned yesterday.

The chicken breast will be poached and become salad.

Can’t wait to taste that agretti tomorrow night. Another new adventure. Thanks to LFFC.

Tomorrow I will talk about the Friends and Farms basket and how I will be taking the Buy Local Challenge to the EXTREME!

july 17 csa and FF 002

By the way, the corn is awesome.

Growing Onions

Posted on

This is the first year I have attempted onions in the garden. I have white onions, yellow onions, plus I have shallots and leeks, both related to the onions.

solstice weekend 053

The onions look great as they are growing. I am still in that learning curve though. I didn’t stop watering them when the tops started falling over. Then, we got 1 1/2 inches of rain. So, some of them look to be soggy and beginning to rot at the top.

I took eight of them out today. Trimmed them back. I hope to dry half of these, and I have a couple in the pot with the chicken carcass, making stock.

My Tractor Supply starter set had eighty onions in it. They were bulbs, which are easier to grow.

I have to admit. These have been a really good producer. I know in the future there will be onions in the garden.

Tomorrow I get eggplant, eggs and bacon from Friends and Farms. I have squash. I have mega amounts of zucchini. I have onions and shallots. I have garlic. I have tomatoes. Sounds like ratatouille pie to me.

basil and cooking 080

Tidbit Tuesday

Posted on

Where I run off in all directions and have no single thing to say in a post.

There were 75 pounds of vegetables collected today for the food bank. A lighter day for squash, and the tomatoes aren’t ready yet.

I was up at the Conservancy gardens this morning, “basking” in the 70something degree temperatures with about the same amount of humidity. I hadn’t been there since Saturday, which was fairy house building day.

fairy houses and food pics 009

This is what 118 people look like before they headed off into the woods.

fairy houses and food pics 019

Creativity, a great time, and lots of pictures for this year’s album.

Now, on to the next events, and the continuous harvest of my garden.

tidbit tuesday 011

The bulk of the five dozen little tomatoes I harvested. Fifty supersweet 100s and 10 sungold. Mixed with olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme, basil, chopped onion and banana pepper, and a touch of sugar. Roasted at 250 degrees for a couple of hours. Destined to be frozen and used as one of my recipes in my presentation next month on preserving food.

Then, there were the onions.

tidbit tuesday 020

I had to harvest a number of them today, as they were getting mushy at the top. We had 1.5 inches of rain in the rain gauge at the garden (in a 36 hour period). It is driving us nuts, splitting tomatoes and washing away my mounded soil over the onions, leeks and shallots.

tidbit tuesday 002

Some of those onions, along with new red potatoes and bacon from England Acres, roasted along with the tomatoes. There will be a very nice salad made from this.

As for zucchini, I did make that lemon blueberry zucchini bread. Thanks to the Lean Green Bean.

fairy houses and food pics 051

I did substitute, as usual. Used all AP flour. Upped the sugar to about 4/10ths of a cup. It tastes wonderful.

There is more shredded zucchini sitting in the fridge so that tomorrow I can make zucchini fritters and freeze them. Another project for that preserving food program scheduled in late August.

I have been a busy bee today. Time to head off and watch the All Star Game.

Taking the Buy Local Challenge

Posted on

For the third year in a row. The MD Buy Local Challenge. Dates are July 19-27.

This year I almost forgot about it until I received the reminder email. Since most of our food is local or regional, we already eat at least one item every day that comes from our Lancaster Farm Fresh CSA, our Friends and Farms basket, a local market or farm, or my garden.

If you wanted to join in, it is easy to do. You don’t even have to cook. Buy some fruit.

july 10 csa 024

Peaches and blueberries are definitely in season. Or how about watermelon, or cantaloupe? Blackberries?

picking berries and peaches 006

Seriously. Take a trip to Larriland and pick fruit, maybe take home some tomatoes.

Hit the farmers market in Ellicott City Sunday. Some Breezy Willow eggs. Cheese from Shepherd’s Manor. Meat from Orchard Breeze.

The list goes on. If you want sungold tomatoes, check out Love Dove at the Miller Library or HoCo General Hospital market.

Or, any of the Howard County markets. And, don’t forget wine counts too. Black Ankle maybe> Or Elk Run? Or Big Cork?

grilling and EC market 038

Are you in?

#hocofood

The Friends and Farms “Basket”

Posted on

july 10 csa 030

An individual basket with a few add ons. Just the right size for two people with a garden. Or a single person. Or a couple who eats out a couple of nights a week.

This week our proteins were chuck roast and sockeye salmon. Since the salmon was an 8 ounce individual filet, I could email or call or register on line to order another portion or two.

This week’s cheese was mozzarella.

july 10 csa 033

Perfect for the two tomatoes in the basket, and my basil from the garden. Or with all those supersweet 100s I am getting from the garden.

We got a large onion. A couple of yellow squash (like I need squash). Actually, putting them away to make ratatouille next week when we are supposed to get eggplant.

Blueberries. Yes, there will be frozen berries. And lemon blueberry zucchini bread. There were two ears of very sweet corn. It is gone already. I did ask for additional and will be billed for three more.

Dinner Thursday night was sockeye salmon and corn on the cob. Nothing else. Well, there was wine.

The last things in the basket were the large bag of mostly baby spinach. Which makes perfect salads. With that smoked bacon from last week.

I wasn’t in the mood for the fresh bread choices this week so I got one of these.

july 10 csa 042

A parbaked ciabatta. Sitting in the freezer waiting for me to need it.

Upcoming meals will include a caprese salad, obviously. A spinach, blueberry and walnut salad one night. That ratatouille next week. Chuck roast is in the freezer waiting for cooler weather.

#hocofood

Lancaster Farm Fresh

Posted on

Today I picked up my CSA. Like I do every Thursday. I decided to concentrate today on the CSA. And talk tomorrow about the other major source of food into our home.

Since 2011, I have been a member of this cooperative. They provide me with fresh organic vegetables, and now, chicken, fruit and cheese. The cooperative has 3000 members across a six state area. Around 80 Amish farmers belong to the coop. With the assistance of a transportation and management effort that connects them to the “plugged in” world.

As for what we got today. In my “half” share, costing me $19 a week. Seven to ten items, usually.

july 10 csa 011

We got:

Red Leaf Lettuce
White Onions
New Red Potatoes
Red Beets
Eight Ball Zucchini
Royal Burgundy Beans
Dill
Fennel (we actually got cabbage, I swapped for this)

I really like the variety. And the just enough amount.

I added a chicken share.

july 10 csa 021

Today I got a pound of boneless skinless chicken breasts. Destined to become chicken salad tomorrow. And two pounds of wings. There will be Buffalo wings Sunday.

I have a fruit share. Today:

july 10 csa 024

Two pints of organic blueberries. And, the first of the fresh peaches.

The berries. A mix. Some will become the basis for a lemon blueberry zucchini bread (hey, gotta use those zucchini). The rest. Flash frozen on a cookie sheet. And saved for the dark of winter.

We also have a monthly cheese share. Which gave us great stuff a few weeks ago. Still loving that raw milk cheddar.

Between this, my garden, and Friends and Farms, we don’t need grocery stores except for staples.

Loving that local regional sourced food.

#hocofood

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 423 other followers