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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!

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. This looks beautiful and delicious! Not sure whart or when my local meal will be — company is occupying my cooking time:)!

  2. You out did yourself! This looks wonderful, especially the cauliflower (which I love). And you can’t beat the Linden wines…so good. So, what are you doing for New Year’s? 😉

  3. That dish does look like a Christmas tree. It’s very festive! I’m so impressed that you made your Christmas meal with all-local ingredients. My in-laws served ham with sweet potato biscuits too, but I’m not sure where they got them. They live out by Ocean City. Thank you very much for the nuts recommendation! I’ll be looking for that soon. Looks like you had a wonderful Christmas. Best wishes for the New Year!

    • LOL, I have no idea what I will make next week. 😉

      I may be out Saturday and Sunday so New Year’s definitely won’t be my dark days meal. I do have to use up quite a bit of veggies before the next CSA delivery though.

      This was just one of those things. The cauliflower looked so cool. I had to roast it.

      And I can’t believe I stumbled across the black walnuts at Baugher’s. They are hidden back in the corner of the market by the baked goods. Plus, they sell buckwheat flour and corn meal from the Burnt Cabin Mill in PA, and the maple syrup from Garrett County. Their farm stand was a treasure trove for local goodies.

      Worth a drive up Georgia Avenue to Westminster, since their restaurant is also full of homemade goodies.


  4. A beautiful meal. Love the romanesco cauliflower.It does look like a Christmas tree – perfect. I bought seeds to plant that this fall and completely forgot. Your meal looks great.

  5. Pingback: Dark Days Challenge Recap for South Region: Week 6 | Sincerely, Emily

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