Tag Archives: local food

Food For The Freezer

Last year we did a great job freezing local vegetables for the winter. Unfortunately, this year, what with all the coming and going from one house to the other, we haven’t! So today I braved torrential rain to go to the Friday market with the express purpose of buying food to freeze.  I bought, a large box of tomatoes, two broccoli, three zucchini, a bag of spinach, a bag of peas,  two red peppers, two green peppers and four ears of corn. Oh, and a box of peaches. I’m going to spend the rest of the rainy day preparing all this for the freezer. Hopefully I will be able to repeat this for a few weeks to make up for our poor show this summer!

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First Fiddleheads

Spring Eats – Fiddleheads from Pictou! This afternoon I made some more pasta so I thought a fiddlehead and pasta dish was in order. I sautéed some onions and plenty of garlic in olive oil, added some navy beans, half a can or tomatoes and some steamed fiddleheads. Salt, pepper, pinch of sugar and, for some more Spring flavour, chives from the garden. Quite a colourful dish. The fresh local spring greens to cook with (after a lot of frozen swiss chard) are so very welcome!

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Seeds for the New Year

I’m embarking on a new project. I’m going to try to grow lettuce and other leaf crops inside to give us some salad greens. We haven’t set up our plant light yet, but today I planted lettuce and Swiss Chard and hopefully everything will be ready by the time they germinate. If it works, I hope to plant successive crops to keep the supply going. It’s all very new to me so we’ll see how it goes. This is not a very exciting photo, but I hope to be able to share pictures of a little indoor garden in a few weeks!

While we were in Halifax Seed we were turned on to sprouting, which is something I’ve heard about but never tried. We now have two bottles, one of broccoli and one of wheat berries, hidden away under the counter, quietly sprouting away (I hope).

We have a lot of frozen vegetables in the freezer from the summer, and we haven’t really touched them yet as we’ve still been able to get local produce. And also, I admit, in all the business of the season we’ve more than once ended up at the grocery store buying imported produce. But this, along with some pretty unhealthy eating, must now change! We will now rely on what we can get from the market and, when we find things lacking, dip into the freezer. It will be interesting to see how long it takes us to work our way through our store, and what we wish we had more of. Having a bit of fresh lettuce and sprouts of various kinds will be a welcome addition.

And besides that, it seems like the perfect thing to be setting up on New Years Eve; planting the seeds of new beginnings and imagining what will come of them! Happy New Year!

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Raging success!

Well, it’s September first and our Month of Local Eating was a raging success! Once again we are pretty happily rolling along the local food track and aren’t desperate to jump of the wagon (if I can employ that metaphor)! September is a a wonderful time for local harvest, so we plan to continue to feast on local produce, and even get some in the freezer. All in all it was a wonderful month, and I highly recommend having a go at your own Local Eating challenge! Here are a few miscellaneous local food related pictures I haven’t already shared.

Last night’s supper: a blended borscht with yogurt, grilled cheese sandwiches and cucumber from our garden. Oh, and some apple cider.

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Tasty blueberry scones for tea. And then again for breakfast.

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Having my parents over for a local meal.

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I was inspired by the incredible rainbow of our market spoils to create a fruit and veggie colour wheel. Guess where I got that idea?100_2816

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Peaches and Basil: Summer Love

Never mind this peaches and cream nonsense! What you really want to be eating is peaches and basil. The combination may sound surprising but once you try it you’ll understand why it is one of my favourite summer treats. Fragrant and delicious. And local! (Peaches from the market, honey from Local Source and basil from the back deck.)

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Take a peach and some basil (or better yet, several peaches, and lots of basil) and chop them up. Though not necessary, a drizzle of honey is a nice addition and it helps the peach juices form a bit of a syrup. This is particularly lovely when packed for a pick-nick as the bouncing around en-rout extracts more peach juice. Enjoy!

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Local Food: bread and other things.

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Food has been taking up a fair bit of time these days! One of the things about doing the Eat Local Month is that it takes a bit more effort and ingenuity to put together meals. I don’t mind this, of course, and I take great satisfaction in cooking. I definitely find the challenge of making a meal from what is available locally quiet exciting and inspiring.

I was going to say that consequently I haven’t been doing many creative things but I don’t think that’s strictly true. For one thing, I don’t think I can blame the lack of art related activities on cooking and for another, the cooking itself is a creative effort. And since the later is a more positive spin, I’ll focus on that!

Last night we had:

Green Lentil Dal with onions and tomatoes. This was improvised from a recipe in The Vegetarian Epicure. I also made some wholewheat herb bread from The Cranks Recipe Book. To cool down we had some lovely local  green beans, cucumber and yogurt from Fox Hill.

It was a bit fool hardy to have the oven on yesterday, as it was so warm, but we desperately needed bread. I made two loaves and was going to freeze one but I think we will go through it in no time. During ELM there are fewer snacks (other than fruit and veg….but sometimes that doesn’t cut it!) so we need more bread. I’ve also got a sour dough starter on the go, so I’ll be making more loaves soon!

I have rekindled my relationship with the Cranks Recipe Book (this is a newer version than mine but I think the recipes are largely the same). The book itself feels very homey, with hand drawn illustrations, and I love to browse through it. The funny thing is, I rarely make a recipe straight from the book. I tend to use is more as a starting point, get some ideas and then adapt things to work for me.  My favourite Lentil Loaf for example (I know it sounds boring but it is very popular in our house and quite more-ish) was inspired by a recipe for Lentil Cheese Wedges.

Catherine’s Favourite Lentil Loaf

Cook 4 oz of lentils and 4 oz of grains (barley, millet, or even quinoa) in separate pots of water until soft. Drain and put into a large bowl. Preheat oven to 375 F. Melt some butter in a saucepan and add 1 large chopped onion. Fry until transparent. Add the onion, 1 egg, 1/4 cup wholewheat flour, and 4 oz grated cheese to the lentil/grain mixture and stir. I also add oregano, sage, rosemary and parsley. Season to taste. Line a bread pan with parchment paper and press mixture into the pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Some like it hot, some like it cold, some like to freeze it and reheat it later (5 days old?).

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