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Daily Archives: October 21, 2012

Eating Locally: Zuppa!

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Accidental soup. That is what happened. It started out as sausage and cabbage. A little too much liquid in the crock pot. It ended up a lovely local soup served with a Maryland wine. The summer local challenge is in its next to last week. The ten of us are still using market and CSA veggies, plus what we grew, to make local meals.

Here is mine. TLV Farm sage sausage. Cabbage, turnips, purple potatoes from the CSA. Apples from Lewis Orchards. Cider from Lewis Orchards. Chicken stock from the freezer, made from TLV chicken. Canela bread with South Mountain Creamery butter. Most of the ingredients can be sourced by following my local resources page.

sausage and cabbage soup

The spices and seasonings were the only non local items in the soup. The wine. A Viognier Gruner Veltliner from Black Ankle, a MD winery.

The crispness of the wine cut the sweetness of the soup. I did add caraway, nutmeg, seasoned salt and pepper to the soup, but the cider really kicked it into more of a sweet zone. VGV, from Black Ankle is an interesting blend. The Gruner tones down that tartness of the Viognier.

This dinner is my weekly contribution to the Southern SOLE (sustainable, organic, local, ethical) Food Challenge with my cyber “sisters” that I talked about in a recent post.

One week to go in this current challenge. I believe we decided to continue working together to show how we source and cook from local ingredients all winter long. For me, come January, I have no winter CSA. It is freezer, farmstands and the two local year round markets.

I will be able to pick up things at our winter market fest at the Conservancy in January, and at the couple of farms that will be open on Saturdays. One or two trips to Silver Spring should round it all out. Eating locally is so much easier in this area than it was a few years back. Add to that, I will be doing the Early Bird spring CSA with Breezy Willow. Local cold storage veggies and green house lettuces, citrus from FL and all I need to do is survive January and February without a CSA delivery.

I have become so used to weekly boxes of fresh organic veggies, those two months will be an experience. But, I can still eat the rainbow. Use those frozen goodies like my pesto and my tomato sauce, and plow through my massive amount of potatoes sitting out in the cooler part of the mud room. Who says we have to suffer with processed foods in the winter? I remember getting root veggies like these last December.

Here’s to local eating!

Woo Hoo! Black Walnuts

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Without the hassle of shelling them myself. I know I could forage them, as they are everywhere in this area. But, Baugher’s does the hard work and I get the walnuts.

Baugher’s black walnuts

They have a very different taste. They make wonderful cookies. I will be putting these away in the freezer for a few weeks until I do the Christmas cookies. If you have seen black walnuts on roadsides or in fields, you know how hard they are to crack. Plus, the stain on the outer parts of the nut will take weeks to fade from your skin. They are all over the conservancy. I am amazed at how the squirrels manage to get into them.

Here are some of the walnuts from the conservancy, that the squirrels have been working open. There is a large tree on the entrance walkway where the staff does occasionally pick them up and take them. The ones all over the fields are left for the animals. The ones on that pathway become a hazard if you step on them. They are like big marbles and you slide over them. Not fun when covered with leaves.

We saw a huge pile of them on the side of Rte. 340 in Virginia last week. If we weren’t heading for the wine tasting at L’Auberge, we would have stopped and gathered them. Any of them on the right of ways along the highways are perfect for foraging. Like we do in the area when we find wild asparagus in the spring.

Besides the walnuts, today I got the box full of feed corn at Baugher’s. This box is a bargain, and I will be using some of it at an event next month at the conservancy. Right now though, it needs to stay out in the garage. Protected from the squirrels but allowing all the tiny moths to leave and find their way elsewhere.

feed corn to use for a craft project

It was a lovely fall day in Westminster. We headed out early to catch an amateur radio hamfest at the Agricultural Center. It was mostly local radio amateurs tailgating. Sort of a “vintage electronics” flea market. Just so you know, if you ever need tubes for old electronics, these hamfests are the place to find them. Oh, and lots of military surplus stuff. We met numerous friends from local clubs, had breakfast and coffee there and picked up the last of the cable needed to bring all the feeds back from the permanent and the crank up towers that are being assembled on our back meadow.

“hard line”

It was pretty popular there today. Lots of people browsing the tables on a sunny cool morning. With beautiful views of the countryside, and the adjoining farm museum.

All in all, a good day. I found walnuts. They also have chestnuts for those who love to cook with them. I picked up some mutsu apples, a variety that isn’t all that common around here. Got a few small spaghetti squash, as we are having them with dinner often, and I did pick up this winter’s supply of roasted corn meal. The walnuts and corn meal are available in the produce market by the restaurant and not out at the farm. The corn meal showed up last year in one of my “Eat Local” challenges. It makes a killer polenta. Plus, I used it in making scrapple.

roasted corn meal polenta with bison

If you want a day trip about 30 miles north of Columbia, Baugher’s is worth the drive. If only for their homemade ice creams. I was looking for their holiday ice creams, but they still have peach and berry ones in the case. Have to get closer to Thanksgiving before you see peppermint.