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Dark Days Challenge Week One – Dinner and Lunch

Sunday night I kicked off the Dark Days Challenge by cooking an almost completely locally sourced dinner, and then Monday had a lovely lunch of leftovers to make it a “twofer”.

My rules are in my previous post. This meal came from within a 100 mile radius, since my CSA sources are about 80-90 miles away in Amish country. We pick up our CSA about 8 miles from our property so that is the distance I traveled to get most of my dinner. A few things came from my trip Christmas shopping to Frederick and Thurmont, and from a visit with friends to the Dupont Circle Farmer’s market. I stocked up on local items while on these two trips so have lots in the larder and freezer for future meals.

Sunday Menu
Green Salad
Turkey Breast w/chutney
Sweet Potato Galette
Pumpkin Ice Cream

The wine was local as well. Black Ankle vineyards is my favorite Maryland winery, and this Gruner Veltliner is a perfect match for turkey.

The salad:
2 heads Baby Flashy Troutsback Lettuce – organic – Friends Road Organics – CSA
1 shaved carrot – organic – Elm Tree Organics – CSA
Six cherry tomatoes from my garden
(bag ripened from the final culling of the vines prior to frost)
1 Black Radish, peeled, sliced – organic – The Farm at Sunnyside (Dupont Circle Market)
Cremini and Button Mushrooms – organic – The Mushroom Stand (Dupont Circle Market)
Peach Vinaigrette – Catoctin Mountain Orchards Thurmont MD
Pistachios – the only non-local item on the salad

The galette:

Recipe Sweet Potato Galette

2 Beauregard Sweet Potatoes – organic – Eagle View Acres – CSA
1 large bunch spinach – organic – Farmdale Organics – CSA
1 head tatsoi – organic – Hillside Organics – CSA
1 package Firefly Farms Black and Blue Goat Cheese, crumbled
Salt and pepper to taste
Turkey Stock, homemade from Maple Lawn Farms fresh turkey, using neck, gizzards, heart and liver
1 TBSP butter – South Mountain Creamery

I cooked down a large quantity of greens (spinach and tatsoi) in skillet using a splash of organic extra virgin olive oil (not local, I wish we could grow olives here) and a quarter cup of my homemade turkey stock. Set them aside and prepared skillet for creating the galette. Dropped a tablespoon of butter in the skillet, let it melt, and added first layer of thinly sliced sweet potatoes, topped with greens and cheese, then repeated three times, and seasoned with salt and pepper. I made sure to press down the final layer just before putting it in the oven, and added a tiny bit more of my stock to keep it moist.

Baked in a 350 degree oven in the skillet for about 45 minutes. I use convection bake for this to speed up the baking and keep the bottom from browning before the potatoes are done. A bit messy to plate but definitely good. Next time I would use the other cheese from Firefly which is a creamier blue. This one got a wee bit chewy.

Reheated the turkey breast in the oven with a drizzle of turkey stock. Turkey breast was leftovers from our Thanksgiving all natural fresh turkey from Maple Lawn Farms in Maryland, made Friday. Veggies and stock for the turkey all local, veggies from CSA (carrots, onions, celery) and stock made in advance from the innards.

Served it with a side of the last of the wild blueberry chutney a friend brought home after her summer in Maine. I give them all tomatoes in the summer and they exchange things, like milk from their cows, and others have eggs from their chickens.

Dessert was pumpkin ice cream from South Mountain Creamery.

Monday was beautiful here, so we decided to eat out on the patio. I made a salad with leftovers of the turkey and pretty much the same other items, like carrots, mushrooms, and served it with cheese from Bowling Green Farm and an apple from Quaker Valley Farms (Dupont Circle Mkt). I did add dried cranberries from our organic supermarket. They are not local obviously. The vinaigrette was Catoctin Mountain Orchards Blackberry Splash. Cider from Black Rock Orchards in Lineboro MD.

It wasn’t hard to do most of this in November. February is going to be difficult I imagine.

About AnnieRie

Retired, I am following my dream of living in quiet west Howard County, a rural oasis, not far from the urban chaos, but just far enough. I love to cook, bake, garden, and travel. I volunteer at Howard County Conservancy. I lead nature hikes, manage programs and show children all the wonders of nature, and the agricultural connection to their food.

6 responses »

  1. Oh what a great local meal ! Congrats !! Sincerely, Emily

  2. Pingback: Dark Days Challenge: Week 2 – East Recap « Not Dabbling In Normal

  3. Looks like we frequent some of the same local sources. I love your sweet potato galette!

    • I noticed there are a few of us who go to the DC markets, and two of us from MD. I am finding more and more local sources by digging through posts here on Dark Days.

      I am putting together a resource page, too.

      By the way, I also like you blog!


  4. I just started going to the Dupont Circle market too. The vendors there seem great, and it gives me hope that I can make it through this entire challenge. Your meal looks excellent, and I agree with you that Febraury will be hard! Was wondering if you have local sources for nuts? You mentioned pistachios as an exception in this post, but I was wondering if there are any local VA or MD sources for nuts, other than peanuts. I haven’t had luck searching the ‘net. Good luck with the challenge, and I’m happy to meet another DC-area person! Cheers, Angela

    • I can’t find anyone locally selling nuts. I have been able to occasionally see them at markets, but can’t get a source for them.

      I got pecans from SC, and I got black walnuts from MI sometimes when my husband used to go there for work. Now, I just buy them bulk at the natural foods store mostly.



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