Dark days dinners… soup/ one dish meal challenge
I confess, I continue to be behind on posting about our dark days meals, despite the fact that we are eating and (mostly!) enjoying them! It has been a crazy busy month, with more kid activities than usual, a sick Sam, and some pretty intense sleep deprivation on my part. The little deleting incident with the camera ate some pictures of recent meals, too. And when I tried to photograph the leftovers of the eggplant dish…. Well. While delicious, it wasn’t anything you’d want to peek at on the internet. And I had been dreaming of that eggplant dish for months, literally. It did totally rock and so we’ll be eating it again and I will take pictures when it is fresh and tasty and you will want it, too.
This week is a soup/one pot meal challenge, and I am going classic rather than creative: New England Corn Chowder, courtesy of my pantry. I fried up some local bacon, then sauteed onions and potatoes in the grease. I added corn cob stock that I made when I froze corn (this is so sweet and good– it was very easy to make on the same day I froze the corn, too. I froze the stock in jars.) and simmered until the potatoes were tender. Then we added corn and MOO milk. I often use the immersion blender to puree the chowder, but decided to leave it thin this time. I seasoned it with a little thyme, dill, bay seasoning, and Maine Sea Salt. The bacon (crumbled and added at the end) gave it a nice crunch, and this was a hot and satisfying meal on a cold and snowy day. It was served with applesauce, because we eat a hell of a lot of applesauce. This particular jar was made with Ida Red apples and a vanilla bean and was pronounced “the very best batch” by Rachel. The spices were the only nonlocal item: bacon purchased at the European Farmer’s Market (although it sounds like Sunset won’t be bringing meat there anymore, they had everything on sale when I stopped by this Saturday), potatoes and onions from our CSA (local folks, Nettie Fox Farm is now accepting CSA registrations. Curious about what’s in a share? Click on “CSA” in the category cloud on the right hand side of the screen– I snapped a picture every week (except one, I think) and listed what we received in our share), corn from the Brewer Farmer’s Market, and Maine’s Own Organic milk from the grocery store.
Other Dark Dinners
I made a root veggie soup earlier in the week that was going to be our dark dinner, but I ended up adding some nonlocal cheese and a very nonlocal jalapeno (note to self: I need to chop and freeze many more hot peppers next summer), so it didn’t fit the rules, although it was mostly local. Our favorite cheese and potato soup did pretty well with a more varied veggie base– including carrots, celeriac, and parsnips. It was sweeter than usual, but still good.
I made an all-Maine Pizza using my Aurora mills flour, Maine canola oil, and the whey from the cheese we made this week. I doubled the crust recipe and half is in the freezer, so we’ll be making this again soon. I topped it with tomato sauce we canned, mozzarella cheese made from local raw milk, caramelized onions (from the CSA) and sundried tomatoes (from our garden). Very tasty. The Maine canola oil is very different from conventional canola oil in terms of both smell and appearance, although I haven’t noticed either when cooking with it.
I’m hoping our winter will slow down a bit soon. This will be a busy week, though, full of birthday and odd jobs and hopefully a batch of yogurt and ricotta. I hope to get a post on that finished soon (and we will be doing facials for Rachel’s birthday, per her request, so you can expect to see some pretty fun pictures and recipes coming up in the near(ish) future.)