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The Protein and Dairy Bag

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Next up on the #buylocalchallenge front. Meat. Seafood. Dairy. Eggs.

All readily available here, with just a little searching. Or, by subscribing to the weekly bag from Friends and Farms.

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I get the weekly bag during the summer and fall, when I like to get much of my produce from the Community Supported Agriculture source I have used for years. I also have the garden, and I like to buy fruit from the farmer’s markets. I did customize my bag to include produce instead of the half gallon of milk a week.

The eggs are from Miller Farm in Clinton MD. The chicken is Locust Point in Elkton MD. The other meat items we get are from an independent butcher in PA. He buys from surrounding farms.

Besides using a service like this, there are many other ways to find fresh protein items in Maryland. On my Local Resources page you can find many of the ones I like. I have meat, dairy, and cheese categories on the page.

As for seafood, a wee bit more difficult, but not impossible. The seafood market in Jessup (Wild Seafood) always has something from the Bay, just not necessarily the Maryland portion of the Bay.

Whatever way you find to add some local flavor to your meals will reward you with fresh home “grown” tastes. I have not missed those grocery store packages at all. Sometime during the challenge taste the local offerings at your nearest farm to table restaurant. Many of them have local beef, lamb and pork.

When you get hooked on the taste, you can find a source that works for you.

BBQ ribs with grilled squash and potato salad

BBQ ribs with grilled squash and potato salad

Like I did in last year’s challenge.

Breaking Bread

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#buylocalchallenge.

Starts tomorrow. I have been talking about options above and beyond the standard fruit and vegetables. Like cheese. But, what’s cheese without good bread? Did you know many of our local bakeries source ingredients from Maryland farms? So, you can support local farmers, and small businesses, by buying their breads during the challenge. Or by eating at their bakeries.

Like Atwaters. In Catonsville, near us, and in many places across the Baltimore area.

Here is a link to their sources. Here is a link to their current menu in Catonsville. I have blogged many times about the quality of Atwaters. You can also buy their bread at many markets, like Olney.

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Moving on. Closer to us. The Breadery. In Oella. So many things to find there. They also come to local markets. On a recent visit to the store in Oella, we found their stash of olive oils. Perfect for bread dipping.

Great Harvest Rosemary Lavender Focaccia. Discovered at Breezy Willow. Made with the herbs from the farm. Nothing like it toasted with a creamy fresh chevre.

Stone House Bakery. Another local bakery that sources items from the surrounding farms. Check out their ingredients. Doesn’t get much better than that.

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There are even more local bakeries in the state. Far better products from small businesses.

And if you want to bake your own using local grains, Next Step Produce can help you with that project.

A loaf of bread, a jug of wine, and thou. I’ve covered the first two. On the third, you’re on your own.

Next up. Meat, seafood and eggs.

The Big Cheese

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Today let’s talk about local cheese.

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Cheese like Shepherd’s Manor Creamery Ewe Cream Cheese. Which you can find in many farmer’s markets and at Friends and Farms, where we discovered it. The dairy is in New Windsor MD. I love sheep’s milk cheese, and also goat’s milk cheese as they work for us lactose intolerant people.

Olney on Sundays is the closest farmer’s market where you can get this cheese.

Let’s move to Firefly Farms and Cherry Glen. Outstanding goat’s milk creameries. Their cheeses vary. I love Firefly’s chevre more than Cherry Glen, but CG’s Monocacy Ash is awesome.

I think we discovered Firefly at a Turf Valley Home Show, and Cherry Glen, we bought at Roots Market.

Goat’s milk cheese has that tang, that slightly different taste.

As for cow’s milk cheese, lots of options around here. Bowling Green is local and available at many farmer’s markets and farmstands. I really like their “feta” to put in my watermelon salad.

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From yesterday’s post you saw a picture of a fresh mozzarella from South Mountain Creamery. There is nothing like fresh mozzarella. Only thing better than buying a local one is making it yourself from local milk.

Oh, and a PA source for goat cheese. Linden Dale Farm. Their feta made from goat’s milk graced this watermelon salad.

Hey, it’s Buy Local Days. What could be better than cheese? Tomorrow, bread to go with it.

@mdsbest

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The Buy Local Challenge. Coming next week to our area. Are you taking the challenge? Will you be eating a local food at least once a day for the nine days of the challenge?

This year they have included the Farm to Table restaurants in the challenge. If your local restaurant features local foods on the menu, you can help both the farmers and the independent restaurant owners.

Every day until the challenge is over, I will be giving tips on where and how to eat locally, and to buy locally produced items.

I mean, it can be really easy. How about wine, beer or ice cream? A glass of local wine or beer a day. How easy is that? Or, ice cream from the local farms around here. Like Baugher’s. Or the eight dairies on the MD Ice Cream Trail.

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Hmm, a nine day event. Nine places to eat ice cream. Sounds like a plan to me.

Beer!

Head off to Victoria’s GastroPub for Manor Hill draft beers. Brewed here in Howard County. Four of them available.

Head up to Black Ankle. Or Elk Run. Or Sugarloaf Mountain. Or Old Westminster. Or Big Cork. All local wineries making wines with grapes grown in Maryland.

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Every day. A different local beer or wine.

Yep, you don’t have to buy vegetables to excel in the Buy Local Challenge.

Oh, I forgot cheese. There are many local cheese makers in the state. More on them tomorrow.

But, if you are into veggies, Wednesday through Sunday, the county has seven farmer’s markets. If you want to do something different, head out to Larriland to pick berries.

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No excuses. Eating locally is easy.

Is It Extreme #buylocalchallenge when …

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… it’s the normal way you live?

This isn’t a challenge. It’s our life. We can thank Friends and Farms, Lancaster Farm Fresh CSA, Howard County farms and markets, and my garden for making the vast majority of our food come from local sources.

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Like this luscious fresh fruit in our CSA share. Without worries of bacteria. We got plums, peaches and blackberries from LFFC on Thursday. The plums are gone already. My husband must have had a couple with every lunch and dinner. They are so ripe, so flavorful.

LFFC also gave us this.

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In a half share.

Golden Beets
Rainbow carrots
Red potatoes
Royal burgundy beans
Ping Tung long eggplant
Heirloom tomatoes
Corn (I swapped zucchini for these)

I gave up four zucchini for two ears of corn. There is way too much zucchini in my garden.

As for the add ons.

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The cheese share included: Millich Kivvel, a raw milk cheese reminiscent of Camembert. Aged Goat Cheese, and Goat Feta.

The chicken:

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Thighs, drumsticks and boneless, skinless chicken breasts. These chicken deliveries have been one very welcome addition to our food sources. Last week I slow baked legs and breasts. Served the legs for dinner and the breasts became the center of a Caesar salad for lunch.

I love having antibiotic free, hormone free chicken in our diet. Once you tasted free range chicken, it is really hard to settle for those bland tasteless store bought chickens.

As for Friends and Farms, and my individual share. We got ground beef and ahi. I forgot and put them away before documenting my food.

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There was a large quantity of heirloom squash in the bags. A few assorted tomatoes. Two peaches. Blackberries. Green beans. Kale. Frisee. Eggs and bread this week. Honey whole wheat from The Breadery.

Tonight for dinner I grilled the ahi. And some of the squash. Brushed with Italian dressing and seasoned with salt and pepper.

The individual basket is perfect when you have a garden, or for one or two people. I like getting bread biweekly and eggs three times a month. Cheese once a month. Breakfast meat once a month. A good rotation. One that we customized to fit our needs.

All in all, doing the Buy Local Challenge is easy, when you have local food sources delivering the bulk of your protein, dairy, vegetables and fruit.

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CSA chicken, with my onions. And CSA heirloom tomatoes. Dinner Thursday night.

Can’t “Beet” That Berry Salad

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A repeat for lunch today, with a few enhancements.

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Looks just like Saturday, doesn’t it? Except I kicked it up a bit. Made my own dressing.

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Jam jar dressing using locally produced items. Two tsp. of raspberry jelly. Two tbsp. plain yogurt. Splash of white balsamic vinegar. Two tbsp. olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste. A pinch of demerara sugar.

I used the Secolari brand oil and vinegar today. They are a family owned business located in Columbia Mall, and their original store in Bethesda.

This is “local” olive oil, so to speak. Only two states I know grow olives to make olive oil. California and Texas. This oil is from California.

The salad was made with the Baywater Greens Salisbury MD leaf lettuce. The raw milk gouda from PA. Chiogga and red beets from the Amish farms. Blackberries from Agriberry. Blueberries from PA. Walnuts not local. Bought in bulk at Wegmans.

Eating locally for lunch today, and again for dinner. I slow cooked some Wayne Nell pork. Made pulled pork sandwiches before heading out to Iron Bridge for a tasting. Served with a side of roasted vegetables from my garden.

Last night we went to Bistro Blanc for a “bottle Share” night. Had a few local items in that meal, too. They buy their beef locally and we had a very nice Angus tartare. And we took a local wine.

Brunch yesterday was an omelet with Miller Farm eggs. My tomatoes. My onions and shallots and leeks.

Breakfast today included those lovely berries with cereal.

I am doing well on the Buy Local Challenge.

Tomorrow I am making pesto with my basil. Some of it will make it into dinner, that’s for sure.

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Three days down. Six to go.

Extreme #buylocalchallenge

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As is eating something local at every meal. Easy to do if most of your food comes from a CSA, a regional food service, and your garden.

I count my garden as supporting local farmers as most of the plants were purchased from local farms. I don’t buy plants from national chains like Lowe’s or Home Depot, but from local farms like Sharp’s or Greenway. Both Howard County farms.

Today was the first day of the challenge. Breakfast included toast with CSA raspberry jam, for me. And for my husband, cereal with CSA blueberries.

Lunch for him. Tuna salad with my onions. For me, cucumbers, tomatoes and carrots, dipped in a yogurt dressing. Yogurt from PA. Cucumbers and tomatoes, my garden. Carrots, CSA.

Peaches from the CSA for a snack.

Dinner tonight.

Local wine!

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Big Cork, from Rohrersville MD. Ready to go to the table with some of my flowers from my front yard.

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CSA chicken thighs being baked with CSA potatoes, my onions and Wayne Nell smoked bacon (Friends and Farms supplier from York PA). They buy from farms in the area surrounding York.

The salad.

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Baywater Greens from Salisbury supplied the leaf lettuce. CSA spinach, beets, gouda, blueberries.

Oh, I forgot, there was corn on the cob, too. From the CSA.

Very little today that didn’t come locally. Off to a good start. On to Day Two tomorrow.