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Everything is Better With Bacon

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At least that is what you hear on TV constantly. It is why I keep a small package of thick cut bacon from Boarman in the freezer. I buy only 5-6 slices, freeze them, then take it out and cut off a few squares to add to dishes as they are being made. Like last night’s frittata.

My first Southern SOLE Food Challenge meal. A mostly local meal, with a few exceptions when putting it together. We got a boatload of chard in this week’s CSA delivery. It needed to be used in something that would highlight its earthiness, but also I wanted to balance it with a little creaminess. South Mountain Creamery to the rescue.

Mozzarella, peach ice cream and provolone from SMC

We made a trip to Hagerstown to the outlets today so stopped at the creamery on the way back. The outlets and the creamery are both off Alt. US 40, about 10 miles apart. My hubby had to get an ice cream cone, and we watched them milking cows. I also picked up two chicken leg quarters to use for Sunday night supper with some of the collard greens from the CSA. So, I get two nights meals mostly local. I miss South Mountain being at the Glenwood market.

Back to the bacon, though.

The frittata was made with eggs from TLV Farm, bought Friday at the hospital farmers market. First, I put Love Dove Farms scallions in a pan with a bit of oil, and added the equivalent of two slices of bacon, just cut off in one inch sections from the frozen package. The one inch squares will defrost and cook quickly in the skillet, giving the scallions that bacony taste. I used about 12 ounces of the chard, wilting it on top of the bacon and scallions. A little salt and pepper.

I then mixed 6 extra large eggs with a couple of ounces of milk, and two tablespoons of my recently made garlic scape pesto. Poured all of it into the pan. Let it start to set.

Then added: leftover cheeses. Firefly Farms chevre, and Bowling Green Farms feta. Totaled about 8 ounces of cheese. While we were driving home, I decided to investigate England Acres Farm as a source for meat in the future. They run a farm stand on weekends attached to their historic farm, just west of Mt. Airy.

If you are in the market for fresh chicken this week, their Cornish Rock X chickens, first batch, will be ready on the 6th. While talking to the women who run the farm stand, I found out that they would start processing and selling chickens this week. They already sold out of this week’s eggs before I stopped there at 3 pm Saturday. They do a brisk business and also carry Trickling Springs dairy items, and some amazing goat cheeses from Obergood in Sharpsburg.

I picked up a couple of greenhouse tomatoes there, one of which ended up on top of the frittata, with thin slices of the South Mountain mozzarella. Under the broiler to melt the cheese, and finish the top of the frittata.

Finished off and served with a 2010 Linden Seyval, a hybrid grape that has a citrusy taste. This wine, well balanced and relatively low in alchol, at 12.7%, went well with the frittata, and cut through that richness of the mozzarella. The greenhouse tomato had that hint of acid, and actually tasted like tomato. A promise of what we will be getting in just a few weeks from my garden.

hocofood@@@

Connections Through Food

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On June 1st, a small group of ten women who met over the internet are setting off on a self imposed challenge to reap the bounty of summer harvests, cook what looks great, and blog about it once a week.

We call it our Southern SOLE Food Challenge. I have a page dedicated to it. The ten of us participated for four months last winter in a challenge to cook locally once a week, when farmer’s markets were scarce, and when our gardens were mostly dormant. We made it through with much support and encouragement by our section leader and chief cheerleader, Sincerely Emily, from Texas. Emily recapped us weekly, and commented on our meals through the entire challenge. SOLE food. Sustainable, Organic, Local, Ethical. We try to find foods that meet all the criteria, but sometimes sacrifice one or two in order to complete a meal. We certainly have enough choices here in Howard County to find local and organic, and meat that is pastured or free range is abundant. My local resource page will show how many I already have found here. Add to that my garden, which is pesticide free, and has many heirloom varieties of tomatoes and five varieties of cukes.

In essence, we all became acquainted over the internet, and didn’t want to lose the camaraderie once the challenge ended. We chose to continue cooking our local specialties across the summer, and share again what we find, and make using what nature gives us.

Some of us have met, as well. Victoria and I live less than 10 miles from each other, and met at the Glenwood Market a few weeks ago. We frequent the same stores and grow some of the same veggies. We get cooking ideas from each other, and share emails when we see something interesting.

Every week I will post about something local and seasonal that I am doing, maybe cooking, maybe canning or freezing. So will the rest of the group. We will talk about it and comment on our own blogs, and have some low key theme weeks. All for fun, and sharing what we find. Like what to do with kohlrabi, garlic scapes, baby turnips and tons of greens.

I get my CSA box tomorrow, so will be doing something from it this weekend. Summer cooking, easy, light, local and shared. Stay around to see what I will be making. In the meantime, a link here to one of the participants getting ready to start. We all have been emailing and suggesting things to get ready.

Like Rebecca over at Eating Floyd posts about making your own homemade lemon curd. Doesn’t this pic from her blog look simply mouth watering? I am adding this recipe to my to do list because it will be used often. I like her idea of freezing it. I also loved all of Rebecca’s feasts from the winter challenge.

Off to check out how my tomatoes and cucumbers fared after last night’s inch of rain. And, planning what to make for this weekend’s challenge.

hocofood@@@