It’s the first of our Challenge in a Challenge weeks! This week and next we (mostly) learned about one-pot meals. Soups, stews, cassoulet, and casseroles! One pot meals may or may not be created in only one pot, but they seem to all be warm and comforting, perfect for this time of year.
MNLocavore has a very important post to read, all thoughts of actual recipes aside. She brings up the theme that comes up again and again–local food is still an urban, and largely middle class, phenomenon. Even highly motivated, educated rural, small town, and suburban eaters will struggle with this. Even farm families will struggle with this. The larger food system simply does not support locally sourced food, and the barriers to small merchants providing this sort of food are enormous. Read it. Then think about what you can do to help make a change. Her one-pot post (pea soup) is here as well, and again, well worth the read.
Sanborn Sanctuary, which actually does appear to be a farm that has managed to meet our criteria made a scrumptious looking “overcooked ham” and some split pea soup. I’d love to hear more about local food issues among farms in their area! The internet-wide conspiracy to get me to make noodles is afoot, with Rubus Raspberry (note the new URL and the stylish new look!) making chicken alfredo with, yes, homemade pasta. Our Happy Acres made a one pot meal (chili) and some sweet potato gnocchi, which look amazing. (Also– is it my imagination, or did you grind your own flour?).
Lotta folks missing in action! As soon as you dig out, send us some recipes!
This week’s ‘one pot meal’ challenge didn’t stop Methylgrace from using just about every pot in her house, it seems! I love how she turns a simple soup into a day long affair with an arsenal of pots, pans, cookie sheets, cooking methods and culinary magic. I’m also jealous that she had chicken feet in her stock. Some might cringe at the idea of boiling up chicken feet for consumption, but they have some of the most concentrated gelatin and tons of other healthful properties. Farming mom made one of my favorite one pot meals: fritatta. She used her yard eggs and a bunch of other delicious homegrown and/or locally sourced ingredients. Her hubs may have coined the meal ‘egg pizza’ but she and i know fritatta is much better for you than most any pizza could be. She baked her fritatta in a cast iron pan and made a ‘crust’ of sorts of potatoes: a technique i usually use too! I just got some cast iron for Christmas, so i’ll try my next ‘egg pizza’ in cast iron! Bee Creative had a nice wander in some enchanting snow and supped on some tasty garden-soup for lunch. Snow definitely makes soup taste that much better!
Not From a Box’s Teresa is detoxing for the next couple weeks so her entry in the challenge is a very austere beet and roasted garlic soup from Whole Living. It sounds so good and I have all the ingredients on hand, I’m making this as I type!
Julie from D.I. Wine and Dine made something I could also relish–a vegan curried vegetable pot pie–yum! She loves the ability to pan fry or bake in her cast iron skillet and decided for the challenge to do both. Most of her ingredients were local, except of course the coconut milk that makes the dish vegan. She wonders–does anyone know if coconut milk or dairy has more of an environmental impact?
Over at Stoney Acres, Rick has been exploring potato recipes, with a Baked Potato Soup and Baked Potatoes Stromboli, for which he graciously shares the family dough recipe. He says in general they are having trouble sourcing local pasta and meat. But for this meal was able to use 100% local ingredients. These sound like satisfying meals for winter days!
Toni from Itsjusttoni’s decided to make a family favorite—Potatoes and Cheese—using many homegrown SOLE ingredients instead of a box mix they have used in the past. She’s amazed at the selection of local cheeses she can find in Mexico, which sound mouth-watering. You know the resulting dish was a triumph when someone asks “is there leftovers?”
Lynda over at Cortina Creek Farms made a wonderful Chicken and Failed Dumplings A’ La Lynda Lou out of an “ornery old bastard that wouldn’t quit bothering the hens.” Although I’m a vegetarian, I (Sage) may be sending Lynda a couple of my roosters to re-educate! And in my opinion having too many dumplings is not a failure Lynda!
Jennifer here, bringing lots of news from the “Midwest” group. I’ve got a few one-potters to share that sound super nourishing, and some meals that just look darn good. This week I’m starting with Dog Hill Kitchen who ladled a gorgeous bowl of Sausage and Greens Soup. She even included her homemade apple and anise sausage! If you have the chance, you should check out her walk-through of making sausages. Small Wonder Farm keeps on impressing me that she can pull off so many local meals considering the number of allergies she has to work around. Her one-dish meal was a beef pot roast with carrots, potatoes, and garlic (mmm, garlic!), and served with peaches straight of the canning jar. Not to be outdone, the previous day she served up another local meal with one of my favorite dishes: German Potato Salad. If any of you are familiar with Shapiro’s Deli in Indianapolis and the recipe they use, head over to Small Wonder Farm and give her some advice. 20-Something Allergies also has a lot to contend with but she still manages to pull it off with a well-rounded meal. Roasted chicken was prepared to optimal crispy skin deliciousness. But it gets better: brussel sprouts, green beans, and potatoes each prepared with duck fat were served as sides.
The Local Cook has been working on a Back to Basics series on her blog, but she still has time to cook up a really great looking dish. Lamb steaks were plated with collards cooked in garlic and served with a baked potato and herbed butter. She makes a good point about cooking locally, “start where you are” and use what local ingredients you have access to. Lastly is Mother’s Kitchen – serving up her week 7 meal. Not only did Cynthia get my attention with her lemon-y whitefish, but she served it with pickled brussel sprouts (say what?!) and Potatoes Anna. Now I know my goal for this week: to find local fish!
Next week the “East” Contributors will be sharing the results of their One-Dish Meal. To stay current with other challenges be sure to visit the Dark Days tab at the top of the blog.