Wednesday Lunch at work:
I enjoyed the Bon Bon bake so much I had it again with the meatloaf , with a side of raw green and purple beans from the Ag Center garden. Just pick and eat! That folks is called- ultra hyper local.
Tuesday Breakfast- Spelt toast with honey and out the door I go, with my Openroad Coffee and a big container of ice water with mint from the backyard patch.
Tuesday Dinner- I went to the Foothills Chamber After Hours event and grazed on the spread sourced and prepared by Linda Benson of Mobile Global Bistro- greens with a spicy Asian dressing, cherry tomatoes with mozzarella balls on skewers with balsamic, Bruschetta and a fruit variety plate with cantaloupe and watermelon. I also got to witness ‘Mill on Wheels’ in action, Chris Caroll operated his portable sawmill on a cedar log to make beautiful planks, and then creates artfully crafted furniture- the cedar bench was gorgeous!
Monday Lunch- I dropped by Openroad Coffee and got a ‘Quinoa the Great’ salad- a twist on greek with feta, tomatoes, greens and a light dressing.
Monday Supper- Leftover stir-fry consisting of local sausage, carrots, onions and cabbage and diced sweet potato seasoned with an Italian blend made in house at Meanwhile Back in Saluda.
For snacking this week-Roasted Bon Bon winter squash seeds. The perfect salty snack, or on a salad.
I had picked up a ‘BonBon’ winter squash at the Columbus Farmers Market . I asked the farmers wife how she had prepared it. ‘Just brush with butter or olive oil, salt and pepper and roast, cut side down for about 30 minutes.’ I did. It tastes like candy, thus the name. I am just sayin….sweeter than a sweet potato.
When first committing to Polk Eats Local I had feelings of excitement at the challenge and a bit nervous. While I do pay attention to what I source local because I feel VERY strongly about supporting our local producers and food entrepreneurs( yes it is my job too, which I do because I am passionate about our community and agriculture), I admit I still ‘default’ to convenient foods, the bottom line price sticker and giving in to my ‘wants’ rather than my ‘needs.’ My mom ( remember we are a 3 generation household) reminded me the other day, as we were talking about eating local, that it takes 2 weeks of doing something consistently to make it a habit ( I remembered hearing this years ago and applied it to my need to floss daily). This reminder got me to pondering if my habit of eating local habit has developed. I have found myself thinking about what is on my plate or where I stop to pick something MORE now than before starting our eat local campaign. I plan meals more around what I can source local. I think about what I can find local to substitute for a non local food item I normally use- such as pasta, bread and orange juice. I used to be an OJ fanatic. I can now go weeks without having to have it. Because I have a sensitivity to wheat I have cut out pasta and cut back on breads- this is much better for the waistline too :).
I was on vacation with my family last week(actually, 2 of our 4 adult children agreed to go with the old parents to Florida). We had a blast! I had determined to at least be aware of local sourcing while gone. Some of the things I discovered:
A retail food store called Earth Origins had locally sourced oranges and grapes.
We went to a locally owned seafood restaurant one night which had a fresh seafood market connected to it. I almost made myself sick on shrimp.
I picked up a jar of guava jelly. Guavas grow in almost every backyard in Florida. My mother is from Florida. I was almost a teenager before I realized there were other kinds of jelly besides guava. I am serious, we did not have anything in our house except guava. We have not had a good guava jelly in a long time. The jar is almost empty just since Saturday. Same Florida company, same jar design, same taste as when I was young . Ahh the memories.
A bag of Vidalia onions on the way home. I panic if there are no onions in the house( ask my family, they have seen the panic).
I TOOK to Florida several bottles of local wine and 2 pints of honey as thank you hostess gifts. They were immensely appreciated, along with our pastured pork sausage and ground beef.
Food prep knowledge I learned on vacation – How to correctly and effectively cook bacon to absolute crisp perfection- You will have to find me and ask me. So simple, I can’t believe I was doing it wrong all these years…..
I missed the farmers markets in Polk County this week so I am having to be a bit more creative in my sourcing but this will be a good thing as it will expand my options.
Sunday breakfast- Spelt toast with…..guava jelly.
Sunday Lunch- Work with what you’ve got: Grass fed beef meatloaf that incorporated onions, eggs, a shredded patty pan squash, 2 slices of stale spelt bread, some tomato sauce and Old Mule BBQ for a flavor boost. Placed meatloaf in a cast iron casserole dish and sliced potatoes on top. Baked for 45 minutes. Side of seared kale from the garden with garlic and sliced tomatoes. Wow it was good. The best part was sharing it with one of our new Americorp members- Ansley Roberts who was in town to secure housing for the new year starting September 1.
Supper- Pork Chops on the grill and some stir-fried cabbage with a diced sweet potato.
Monday breakfast- A poached egg on toast- I hadn’t had one in over a week! Hit the spot.
Friday: I knew it would be a busy and hot day. I had a small bowl of ‘Grate Nuts’ from Cool Mamas bakery with unprocessed milk. The ‘Grate Nuts’ are locally ground wheat to which are added a few things to make it a slightly sweet hearty cereal. when it comes to milk here are my thoughts. Milk has been a simple staple in the American diet for centuries. I switched to raw milk about 3 years ago thanks to an awesome local homesteading family getting started nearby. We had an arrangement for supply. I now cannot go back to regular processed milk. It is illegal in the state of NC to by or sell raw milk for human consumption. Raw milk can be sold ‘for pet consumption.’ South Carolina allows for the sale of raw milk products. I am not advocating one way or another, just stating facts. To further this- in our household we are completely divided- one half will NOT consume raw milk in any form, the other half will not consume processed. Many thanks to our dairy farmers who provide both, it is a labor of love no matter what.
Breakfast: Fruit and veggie smoothie- blueberries, peaches, homemade yogurt with a touch of honey.
I brought some of the leftover Rustic Farmers Bake from last night to work and told Sydney we could share lunch. She had a bag of Amaranth greens and said she would stir-fry it with a diced sweet potato from the Farm Store. A few minutes later a local farmer/mentor ag supporter friend called offering to take us to lunch. I said ‘It’s my eat local week’ we have a few items planned for lunch, want to join us? –Sure, what can I bring? — Do you peaches or cantaloupe? ‘I’ll bring a cantaloupe I picked this morning.’ Voila! A very tasty local lunch was on the table and very much enjoyed.
Thursday supper- Long hot day but good. When it is so hot I don’t feel much like eating. I did pick up some corn at the Tryon Market so I quickly put it in the microwave in the husk. It peels off super easy after just 3-4 minutes in the microwave. S and P is all that was needed. An open face tomato sandwich on spelt toast was all I needed. Just a suggestion- Stop by the Tryon market from 4-6pm on Thursday afternoons. It is a low key market but lots of fun because you can really engage with the vendors. They show up every week not to make money, but to make friends and answer questions. They LOVE what they do on their individual farms and they want to share it with you. Worth your time.
Lunch at work- a simple fresh tomato sandwich with basil leaves, salt and pepper just can’t be beat in the summer.
Supper: It was my youngest brother’s 45th birthday so a local family meal was in order. I had formulated in my mind a creative dish. I had some potatoes from the farmers market I wanted to use with our local sausage, farmers cheese, spinach, garlic and onions, covered with some of the tomato sauce we had made over the weekend. I am calling it ‘Rustic Farmers Bake’ Layered in a cast iron casserole dish I had received as a Christmas gift last year added to the ‘rustic’ tone. A side dish of sautéed squash and baby carrots and some raw greens in the form of Amaranth completed the main meal. Fresh peach slices and frozen blueberries with a dollop of homemade yogurt with local honey was a perfect ending. My brother did not mind NOT having cake for his birthday. All veggies and fruits and farmers cheese were sourced from local farmers markets.
Wednesday Breakfast: did I have breakfast? 7am meeting……. I DID have coffee, local ground from Openroad Coffee – Noir blend.