Locavore Dinner in February
There was this potluck dinner back in mid-February with the theme of cooking a dish made with only locally grown ingredients. I brought a fresh diakon kim chi made from the Barefoot Farmer's daikon and garlic, and a bunch of hand torn locally grown cayenne peppers from Columbia, TN. There is a non-local part was 3 year aged Korean sea salt and vinegar. The 3 year aged Korean sea salt is must when making kim chi. I personally would not use any other salt but Korean sea salt to make kim chi because it is the way to make kim chi. I would never use Morton's salt or other American processed salt to make kim chi, it needs to be Korean sea salt. I used white vinegar with the daikon, but I am in the process of making red wine vinegar (well, bacteria are making the vinegar because vinegar is bacteria pee), so next year I will use red wine vinegar.
There were a couple of other dishes that I really enjoyed, and really got into the spirit of eating locally in the dead of winter. There was a muffin made with acorn flour. Someone collected acorns and then ground the acorns to a flour and then made them acorn flour into muffins. Amazing! There were these home canned pears. Oh my, it was such a delight to have locally grown fruit in the dead of winter. These pears I believe are the hard pear variety that grows in middle TN. The maker peeled and quartered the pears and then put them in a sugar syrup for canning. Oh I ate more than my share of these precious gems. The pear still had its wonderful flavor, and had a very nice crunch to it because of the variety of pear that was canned. There were also a bunch of dishes with winter greens like salads and kale. Kale is so hearty, and is just delicious.
There was a tidbit on farming in winter in TN. We don't have too harsh of winter here normally, but we do have about 2 -3 months of freeze. December, January and February were particularly cold in the 0F - 30F range with snow. Not a lot can survive that unless you take some steps to not have your plants freeze. One way is to cover the plants with a plastic sheet to keep the warm air in at night, and have the sun warm the plants during the day. This could be tricky if you have one particularly warm day and you can actually burn or over heat the plants. The other tidbit that heard and works for one young fellow is to fill gallon milk jugs with water, and put one by each plant in your food garden. The water heats up during the day from the sun, and gives off heat while it freezes over night. Now that is the lazy person's farming technique. No fuss! I need to look into growing winter greens next year, and use this milk jug method and see how it works.
Labels: Eat Locally