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Daily Archives: December 27, 2011

Dark Days Challenge Week Five Christmas Dinner

I suppose I subscribe to the philosophy when I accept a challenge to go big or go home. Being somewhat crazy, I decided to make Christmas dinner be our dark days meal for the fifth week of the challenge. I am leaving the easier dinners for when I am really running out of vegetables. Besides, I can’t believe the lovely romanesco cauliflower that was in our first Zahradka Farm CSA delivery last week. All ready to roast, it looks just like a Christmas tree, doesn’t it?

Dinner ended up being:
Roasted Cauliflower
Hydroponic tomatoes with goat cheese and basil and balsamic
Stuffed butternut squash
Virginia country ham on sweet potato biscuits
Linden Hardscrabble Chardonnay

The biscuits and ham came home with us from my brother’s house, so I do know that the biscuits were made using regular flour, one of the few non-local items in the meal. I just warmed them up in the oven.

The squash were stuffed with a honeycrisp apple, squash I roasted earlier in the week, local black walnuts, local honey, and local butter. The squash were from the Lancaster Farm Fresh CSA that just finished before Christmas.

The tomatoes came from the nearest grocery store, but Hummingbird Farms on the Eastern shore of Maryland grows lovely flavorful tomatoes year round in their greenhouses, hydroponically. The cheese was the end of the Firefly Farms chevre log. The basil from Mock’s Greenhouses in Berkeley Springs, WV.

The balsamic is not local, but bought from St. Helena Olive Oil Co., when we went there in 2006, I brought back three bottles of their aged balsamic. This is the last bottle. I need to order their oil and vinegar again, while it is cool enough for them to be shipped without damage. I buy their Napa Valley olive oils by the half gallon.

The wine is one of my absolute favorites from Virginia, Linden Hardscrabble Chardonnay. This was the 2008 vintage, the second year of our hot dry summers, and this wine is big and beautiful. It is made in the Burgundian style. Jim Law is a master of terroir, and his wines show his love of the land. If you meet him, he will tell you he is first and foremost a farmer, who happens to grow some of the most amazing grapes on his land that borders the Appalachian Trail near Shenandoah National Park.

Dinner doesn’t need to be fancy. Just flavorful. The wine, the salad, the roasted veggies, and the salty tang of country ham, all came together to make a lovely Christmas dinner for me and my husband. We do cherish the quiet times, far from the rat race we lived through in our journey to retirement. Our first Christmas since he retired, and it was a special one.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!