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Daily Archives: December 9, 2012

My First Week in our Winter Challenge

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I will be finishing this first week in our Winter Challenge, by making venison chili dogs tonight. I did the venison chili earlier this week.

leftover chili

leftover chili

While out yesterday, I picked up some hot dogs and a couple of fresh chickens at England Acres. I am glad I decided to go get the chickens as fifteen minutes after I got there, a couple came in and bought the last eight in the cooler. No more fresh chickens until next spring. The hot dogs will get the chili coating tonight.

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These hot dogs are not precooked, so Judy at the farm recommended I put the chili with the hot dogs in the oven on a low setting and let the dogs cook in the chili. Then, pull them out and serve them in rolls or on bread. Besides the chili dogs, we will have the last of the spinach in a salad, and nibble on some fresh veggies with Bowling Greens jalapeno cheese spread. Great football food. Open a local beer and we have a simple dinner. Mostly local.

Dinner last night, which was supposed to be leftovers turned into a local feast. I couldn’t resist roasting one of my two chickens.

free range chicken ready for the oven

free range chicken ready for the oven

The bed is leeks, onions, carrots, and celery, all from the CSA. The chicken has my pesto and some butter, rubbed under the skin. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil. Put about four cups of water in the pan, because there will be chicken stock coming from it as well. I added the innards of the chicken to that pan, so it all cooked down into amazingly rich stock.

The finished product. After carving an serving, I did put all the rest of the carcass back in the pan, and returned it to the oven to make enough stock for four pints.

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This chicken was so moist and tender. You can not beat fresh chicken like this. Just as you can’t beat those fresh turkeys we get from Maple Lawn. I served it with brussels sprouts from TLV, picked up while we got our roping to decorate the front door. My kind of brussels sprouts.

TLV brussels sprouts

TLV brussels sprouts

The steamed sprouts joined some fingerlings from the CSA on the plate. They were parboiled. Butter from Trickling Springs, and a Linden Seyval Blanc. A local meal. Not what I originally planned for dinner, but sometimes you find things at the market which just scream to be made that day.

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The salad was only partially local, but the baby spinach was organic, and the feta was from Bowling Green Farm. The orange was bought at England Acres. She sells fresh citrus from small farms in Florida. After all, we don’t seem to have that many citrus farms in Maryland. The dressing, a honey mustard I made. Not my best effort. I need to work on this dressing.

The wine, from the hybrid grape, seyval blanc, was perfect with chicken.

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You can’t go wrong with this wine. Lemony, crisp, light and refreshing. It is so nice to see wine that hasn’t been drowning in oak barrels. It is a wine, though, that needs to be drunk when it is young. Also perfect with the spinach salad.

All in all, a good first week in our Eat Local Challenge. I am so glad to have the local farms keep their farm stands open all winter. I hit Breezy Willow for cheeses and meat. England Acres for the chicken and hot dogs, and a few veggies and bread. And, at TLV picked up those lovely brussels sprouts.