January 31, 2012

maple caramel corn

2012.01_maple caramel corn

Happy Valentine's Day 2 weeks early!!  If you've got a crunchy locavore lover, I'd recommend making them maple caramel corn.  Note: you could also make maple caramel corn any regular day of the week.

I used a recipe that I got in the mail from my friends Kate and Ben.  You'll have to find one on the internet.  My friends' recipe calls for popcorn, maple syrup, honey, butter, vanilla extract, salt, and black pepper.  In terms of local ingredients, I was able to use local popcorn and local honey.  The maple syrup was not local BUT it was connected.  It was harvested from a friend's parent's property back in New Hampshire.  How cool is that?!

January 29, 2012

pumpkin soup with dollap of refried black beans

pumpkin soup with black bean blomp 
Here's a soup that is really good for those cold winter dark days! It is a basic pumpkin soup dressed up with a dollop of black beans that I re-fried myself.  The main ingredient was a small "pie pumpkin" that has been sitting on our counter since we got it from our Isabelle Farm CSA in October. Good job holding in there, little pumpkin!  I would also like to note my excitement about getting to use our very own coriander seed that we grew in our garden this past year.

frozen green chile
frozen corn
coriander (garden!)
carrot (not local)
turmeric (not local)
cumin (not local)
ginger (not local)
black pepper (not local)
salt (not local)
oil (not local)

I roasted the pumpkin in the oven, scraped it out and cooked it with the other ingredients. I like making refried beans from scratch by frying cooked beans in oil with spices and mashing with a potato masher.

January 16, 2012

vegan curried vegetable pot pie

curried vegetable pot pie
For added inspiration, the hosts of Dark Days Challenge are posing smaller themed challenges (one-pot meal, valentine sweets, vegetarian meal, breakfast) within the larger challenge of eating local, sustainable food in the middle of winter.  This week's themed challenge was to create a one-pot meal and because I love my cast iron skillet and I love that you can pan fry with it or bake with it, I decided to do both with it.  I also decided to use coconut milk which is a very non-local choice, but it makes this dish vegan. Who knows, if I did the math, it could possibly have less of an environmental impact than dairy.  Has anyone done the math?

Filling Ingredients:
2 potatoes, diced
1 red onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 oz. mushroom
1 c. frozen peas
1 c. frozen corn
black garbanzo beans, boiled
canola oil (not local)
salt (not local)
black pepper (not local)
1 T. sweet curry powder (not local)
1 T. hot curry powder (not local)
dash of apple cider vinegar (not local)
1 (14oz.) can coconut milk (not local)

Dough Ingredients:
whole wheat flour
cold water
canola oil (not local)
ground flax seed (not local)

Unfortunately, I ended up having a few extra dishes to clean up: a small pot and mixing bowl.  The small pot was for boiling the garbanzo beans but that was an easy clean.  I had to use a mixing bowl to mix the dough.  I also used the mixing bowl to pour out the cooked filling while I laid out a bottom crust though you could easily go with just a top crust.

curried vegetable pot pie ingredients

January 13, 2012

barn owl saison

2012.01_barn owl saison label

This marks our 6th homebrew! Yes, I know, we are very leisurely homebrewers. Most people who are into homebrewing seem to have a new batch of beer going at all times. C'est la vie, we do what we want.  An avid homebrewing friend of ours gave us the recipe for this saison (complete with all his notes in the margins). For those who are unfamiliar with this style of beer, it tends to be a little tarter and a little spicier than your average pale ale.  The old timey version was a really low alcohol beer  brewed in the winter for summer farm workers to stay hydrated (think 3% abv compared to bud light which is 4% abv). Boring! Modern home, craft, and mirco brewers aim for saisons with a higher alcohol level (5 - 8% abv).  Cheers to that!

2012.01_barn owl saison brewing

January 12, 2012


we are thankful for the food
for the hands that grew it
and for the hands that prepared it
for our friends and for our family

January 10, 2012

local wheatberry bibimbap

This is a mostly local version of the signature Korean dish bibimbap. The major deviance is using wheat berries instead of rice. Although more chewy, they make a nice, hearty substitute for rice. The egg is faux-poached (fried with a lid). Overall, this is a very satisfying meal and most of the main ingredients were attained locally!

wheat berries
red cabbage
shiitake mushrooms
tofu (locally produced, not locally grown)
bean sprouts
egg (unfortunately not local)

Ssamjang (sauce, from the excellent Maangchi):
4 tablespoons of soybean paste (miso or Korean-doenjang)
4 tablespoons chili paste
1 tablespoon sugar (raw cane sugar)
2 green/spring onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon of toasted sesame seeds
1 tablespoon of sesame oil
1 tablespoon rice wine or mirin
1 tablespoon soy sauce
water to make desired consistency (about 2 or 3 tablespoons)

January 2, 2012

local whole wheat crepes with peach butter

Man, I am so impressed with these crepes. Whole wheat, no eggs, no milk, no problem! They still come out soft, flexible, and delicious, especially with homemade local peach butter. Adapted from this recipe.

1 c. whole wheat flour
1 flax egg (1 T. ground flaxseed + 3 T. water) (not local)
2 c. water
1 T. honey (for sweet crepes)
1/8 t. salt (not local)
oil/butter for frying (not local)

Mix up the flax egg and then add water, salt, and honey, mixing well. Then add the flour and mix well. I used an immersion blender and it worked well. Pour the batter on a oiled pan on medium, spread the batter thin with a spatula and cook until golden brown, then flip and cook some more.

Participating in the Dark Days Challenge has been a nice way to challenge myself to try to make things more local. It always brings up interesting questions. In the case of these crepes, I replaced the egg with ground flaxseed, which is not local (but could be since I've seen it growing in gardens around here, although I imagine processing it would be time consuming). If I had chickens, I'd be putting eggs in everything. But I don't. So, weighing other factors, like cost, humaneness, energy intensity of transportation, ground flax is the clear winner.

As a side note, I took the opportunity to experiment with pour-able crepe crackers. In my cracker experimentation, I thought it would be cool to try a pour-able cracker recipe, so I didn't have to trouble with rolling out the cracker dough. So I poured a big, thin crepe and put it in the oven:
2011.12_crepe crackers

They were fine, but not as satisfying as actual crackers. They took a lot longer to bake, and didn't really save much work. Still, pretty nice with cheese and mushroom pate:
2011.12_crepe crackers final 2