Tuesday, May 23, 2006

uh oh!

Sorry for the delay in posting. My internet connection has had issues for awhile now. We are switching providers but it won't be hooked up until the 31st. Grrr... See you on the other side.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Local AND patriotic?!

Our internet connection was wonky all weekend, I'm sick with some sort of summer cold and my business is kicking my a## so I don't have much time to post but I did want to show you some of the local treats we've been enjoying. Here's a shot of the potatoes I served on the food cart last Saturday. Aren't they beautiful? (The photo is taken through the plastic container the potatoes were in so sorry for the poor quality.)
And when you are sick, there's nothing better than a little locally grown comfort food.

eggs- New Century Farm
potatoes- Engel Bros.
ramps- Harmony Valley Farm

Since we can buy asparagus in December these days, it's becoming harder and harder to figure out what is available seasonally in your area. My favorite things are the remaining hold outs that are still truly seasonal because they haven't figured out how to grow them in Brazil. Ramps fall into this category. A ramp is a wild leek. It grows in forests and it's leaves look sort of like those of a tulip. You can eat the entire thing and they have a special flavor all their own. They are usually around at the first farmer's market in April and will last throughout May if it doesn't get too hot. During their short season, I eat as many as I can. They are amazing grilled and can be used in place of onions in any recipe. Try 'em, you'll like 'em.
I didn't get a shot before we ate them but if you Google "wild leeks" and click "images", there are many pictures.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Eat Local or else!

I have SOOOOOO many things that I could write about but Sam was away all weekend and wants some attention so I will keep it short.
Today the Eat Local Challenge for 2006 begins. For more info check out Life Begins at 30.This is an issue near and dear to my heart. I eat locally as much as possible but I know that I can do more. My focus has mainly been produce, meat, dairy and eggs but I've gone so far as to buy local vinegar and mustard. I refuse to give up coffee. I have tried and I now accept that I am a much happier person with coffee in my life. So the challenge for me will be to dig deeper and search out things that I have assumed couldn't be found locally. Hopefully I will find new local pleasures and I will try to limit my intake of out of area treats. I once read somewhere that Alice Waters no longer eats mangoes. That's why she is a Saint and I am a mere mortal. For the month of May, though, I will eat the berries I froze last season.
We are very lucky in Madison. Our farmer's market has already begun. I hope to spend much of the month writing blurbs about some of my favorite local producers. (Sadly, that may not be many posts so I may continue this feature throughout the summer.)
I did no advance planning for the Challenge so today was not the best but here's what I ate:Breakfast was leftover bread from my adventure with fellow Madison food blogger The Foppish Baker. We made Vietnamese Banh Mi yesterday, but that's another post... Slathered on the bread is homemade Black Currant Pinot Noir preserves made with local fruit.Lunch was a taco salad. This is something Sam and I made several times this winter when we craved something junk foody but not really horrible for you. We make homemade baked chips from corn tortillas. When I can't get local, I fall back on organic. Of course local and organic is the ideal. This lunch is a good example.

Organic ingredients:
cheddar cheese
red onions
iceberg lettuce (yes it does exist and it really is ideal for certain uses!)

Local ingredients:
cheddar cheese
tomatoes (more on these in a later post)

cotija cheese
chipotle hot sauce

I didn't take a picture of dinner. We had beef tips in tomato jalapeno sauce, which wasn't local except for the corn tortillas we ate it with (yes, we currently have both local and seperate organic tortillas in the fridge. We usually buy the local kind but the organic were new and I thought I'd try them out). On the side we had local watercress which I got for free from the Engel Bros. because no one else was buying it. And to wash it all down? Homemade hard cider and mead made from local cider, honey, cherries and black currants. Below is a picture of the cider.