This week the “WEST” is doing a detailed recap for their Dark Days Challenge participants. Be sure to head over to the companion post today and travel around the “WEST” and see what they are all cooking this week
Here you will be able to get a glimpse into the meals that the “EAST” recappers have prepared.
I know I (Emily from Sincerely, Emily) am being repetitive with a few of the ingredients I am using for my Dark Days Challenge meals. Chard seems to be a front runner in the line of repetition and so do turnips lately. Those are two of the things still growing strong in the garden. Lettuce is maturing now and we have started eating that. I will be adding lettuce to that list of repetitive ingredients as it moves into every meal. I am not complaining one bit, I LOVE to be able to walk out back and bring in fresh food, and I feel very fortunate to be able to do that so I am not bothered by the repetition in our meals one bit.
Most of our meals are made up with many SOLE ingredients. Many times there is a catch, not all the ingredients are local. The other night I made dinner with SOLE basil pesto, chard, ground burger and venison served over organic (but not local) bow tie pasta. So, the darn pasta made the meal null and void for the DDC. Even if I could have made the pasta it wouldn’t have fit the bill to fit into the SOLE category (flour – not local). Every other ingredient to that particular meal was sustainable, organic, local and ethical. Still, I feel very good about knowing that the majority of that particular meal fit the SOLE list.
For my meal I used some of the pork from last weeks meal and I made up a crustless quiche. It is such as easy thing to whip up and the ingredient combinations are endless. Kind of like pizza in that regard. When I have little bits of “this” and “that” that I need to use up, they usually wind up in either the crustless quiche, on a pizza or in an omelet.
P.S. you can see what the South Region has been cooking this past week over at Sincerely, Emily where I have put together a post about their meals.
This week at Tanglewood my family was in town, wrapping up the holidays at our house. The final night of their stay, I decided to cook a simple dark days meal for everybody as a sort of farewell. We used up the very last of the organic hot house tomatoes from the farmer’s market (we’re very lucky to have some intense winter farmers in our area) and a beautiful head of buttercrunch lettuce. When combined with two pounds of locally farmed bacon, homemade organic mayonnaise and a loaf of sourdough bread, what do you get?
The season’s last SOLE BLTs!
Like I said: simple. I baked the bacon in the oven and saved the drippings for bird suet. If you haven’t tried oven baking your bacon, I strongly suggest it. It makes perfectly crispy, evenly cooked bacon every time! (Use a 375º oven, put the bacon on a baking sheet with walls and bake until desired hue of golden brown is achieved. If you want your bacon to have a little more crinkle to it instead of being plain and flat, roll some aluminum foil into little wormy rolls and lay the bacon across it to give it dimension.)
I paired the sandwiches with some beets roasted with red wine vinegar and olive oil (not local, but organic!) and finished with a side of locally made cottage cheese. It was simple and actually a little summery, which was appropriate with the bizarre weather we’ve had lately. It was interesting to have to whip up a quick and simple SOLE meal for so many more people than I’m used to. I can’t say I’m as much a fan of it this time of year as I would be during the warm season when I’d have more to choose from as far as ingredients…
The last couple weeks have been as busy at Chiot’s Run as they have for all of you I’m sure. That hasn’t stopped us from stopping to keep up some of the traditions that have been going in my family for quite a while. On New Year’s Day, we traditionally eat sauerkraut & pork to ensure a prosperous year. Usually, my dad is the chef for this meal, but this year we weren’t able to get together so I made the meal for us at home. The pork came from a friend who raises hog, I made the sauerkraut back in October with cabbage from a local farm, and the rest of the ingredients came from our gardens. If you’d like the recipe & a little more info on this meal, click on the photos and they’ll take to the post on my blog.
Our family Christmas meal, which happened late, was also a Dark Days Meal. The ham came from the same hog that the pork for our New Year’s meal came from, the au gratin potatoes were made with local potatoes, milk, butter, cheese, and onions. The brussels sprouts were local as well and my sister brought homegrown corn and green beans. The only part of the meal that wasn’t local was the flour that went into the rolls, and it was from King Arthur, so at least it was purchased from a small company.
What challenges have you had this week?