Ah Locally Grown and Made
In May 2007, we tried an experiment to see how it would be to eat locally raised food for one whole week, with the luxury items of salt, rice and coffee. For meals at home, we were able to eat within the confines of the experiment, and then at the end mostly local organic with a few other ingredients thrown in. The result was that nearly every meal we make has a local organic ingredient in it, or more. Now that it is summer again, and we are part of the Hungry Gnome CSA, most of our meals are nearly 100% local organic now. The benefit of local veggies in our household is that they are picked the day I get them, and they last in the fridge for a LONG Time! I have time to cook them and eat them. I had a bag of bag lettuce greens last nearly 3 weeks and could have gone longer had we not eaten it all! Try keeping a store bought bag for over 3 weeks, and you will have a science experiement growing. We also have been getting our meats from Mamushi Farms from Franklin, a small livestock farm that sells at the Franklin Farmers Market.
Tennessee Spring Onion Soup
Braising Greens with Garlic Scapes
Salad with Radishes and Onion
Beef and Hot Sausage Burgers over Hickory Wood
a little salt and pepper
I have actually rarely started stock from beef soup bones, so this was and experiment for sure. I did not look on the internet for help, nor Alton Brown's book of techniques. First I heard Jason Brumm's voice saying that he never starts stock with beef bone because you can't extract enough flavor out of them, and if you do, it takes too many and too much time, as he once told me 2 years ago. Pa-shaw, then I heard Anthony Bourdain's voice, literally because I have City Confidential on my iPod. As I jogged that morning listening to Tony, I heard Tony say, C'mon people, making stock is not that hard. All you need to do is toss some bones and mirepoix in a pan, roast them, get those roasted brown bits to flavor your stock, start boiling and reduce, reduce, reduce. I decided to listen to Tony. Yeah, it is work, but the rewards of home made stock will win every time.
This stock I made for the base of the Tennessee Onion Soup I made, I am really proud of. I made it from a 30 second description that Anthony Bourdain said in a book on iPod. I made it nearly blind to any technique. It worked out for me, and I can brush off Jason's nay saying for now, and hope next time it wasn't just beginners luck.
The burgers I made were inspired by one of Oprah's food finds. She had been going to eat a burger every week near her home because it was the best burger she has had. The secret the chef said was that it was made with ground beef and sausage. I do not care much for plain hamburgers, so when I heard sausage, the lightbulb went on above my head. Mamushi's ground beef is quite lean, probably 95-97% lean, so a little fat from some sausage wouldn't hurt to make a burger taste good. I made up the mix of 1 lb beef and 1/2 lb sausage, and made really nice big burgers for us to eat during the week. Delicious.
This week, what is on the menu? All locally grown veggies: roasted root veggies over hickory wood, salad with radishes and spring onion, and sauteed spinach. I will make fresh Lazzaroli tagliatelle with garlic scape pesto topped with Scotts Hams' hickory smoked bacon . I need to go to the Farmer's Market and see what meats I want to get for the week. Eating locally just tastes and feels so good!
Labels: Eat Locally