Saturday, January 28, 2012

Eating Local,even in Winter

While working in the fields of a local organic farm last summer,  I had a lot of time to think ... One of the many bonuses to working outside with your hands :)  During harvest season life was great , fresh local veggies everyday , just picked 10 minutes before heading home :)   But what about winter ?  When I can't just simple pick something fresh, either from the field or from the grocery store.   I decided this year , I was going to challenge myself to continue to eat local thru the worst two months for fresh, local food here.  January and February ...   So i started stocking up ,  between a few farms and my own garden I managed to pack away a few hundred pounds of veggies...  lots to see me thru the two months I promised myself.    Quick numbers are 150 lbs of potatoes , 75lbs of acorn and butternut squash, 100lbs of tomatoes, jarred and frozen as a garden sauce,  50lbs of red peppers mostly all roasted and frozen , along with onion and garlic ( quick flavour adders ) ,100lbs of onions and 50 head of garlic .   I did have ambitions to put away more, but simply ran out of time and freezer space ...  It didnt help that the 20lbs of carrots went bad on me lol ..   Looks like I wont have a huge variety to choose from , but it should be fun , and best of all LOCAL :))  I'm already thinking ahead to next year ...   more frozen soups or puree's for sure , and more root vegetables carrots, parsnips, turnips etc...  More variety in canning , not just tomatoes :)

Four weeks in ,  Im really craving a nice big Caesar salad lol .... but its been fun,  Here are a few of my creations so far :)

Roasted Red Pepper n Garlic Hummus :) 

Roasted Red Pepper n Garlic Hummus, garden tomato sauce, red onions, garlic ,  ground beef , and roasted red peppers...  all local :)) Making  homemade hamburger helper :)   

All local homemade hamburger helper :) 

Bangers and Mash :)) Loaded with caramelized onions and mushrooms :)) 

Putting some leftover roasted red pepper and garlic mashed to good use...  top with sliced sausage and cheese , and bake until hot and melted :)  

Curried Butternut Squash Soup :)) VERY tasty !  

Sausages and chips :))  With caramelized onions :))  

My Winter Chili , using only what I had stored away :)  First time Ive used squash in a chili, worked well!  

Cottage Pie :)) Mmmm topped with 5 year old cheddar  shavings 

Winter Chili , with fresh green onions from my kitchen window :) 

Well what do you think so far ?   Its actually fun trying to reinvent dishes using just whats on hand,  thankfully I have access to great local mushrooms and a few butchers ...

Four more weeks to go :)
Eat Well & Be Happy
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