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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

All from home when possible, and the rest local pretty much

[risa] A foodie post -- I don't do a lot of these because so many people are better than I am at kitchens -- and because when I go into detail I often seem to step on toes -- some vegan toes, some carnivore, and some are like -- "is that plastic I see you using" -- ad infinitum. But this is in response to a request, so, pretty please, don't shoot the messenger.

We try for Something From Home in every meal, All From Home When Possible, and the rest Local Pretty Much.

First, here is what we had tonight -- Beloved was first in so she built a fire, put the chickens, away, washed eggs, practice her guitar program, and showed me, when I came in, half a frying pan of peas (we grew and froze them) and tofu (local-ten miles).

What I didn't eat went into my lunch for tomorrow, with some pickled beets (we grew, I steamed lightly and pickled.) They are Detroit Dark Reds, picked about two days ago out front. I'll zap my lunch (not being a purist) for 99 seconds in the staff lounge atom-smasher.

Now for tomorrow's dinner.

These are the homegrown ingredients: delicata, Yukon Gold, torpedo onion all from storage, winter elephant garlic from the garden, about a week in refrigerator (I'd go get a fresh one and a leek but it's dark out there and muddy, so there). Fresh rosemary and parsley and sun dried basil. You can throw in one large or two small apples from the cold room, but I forgot this time. Maybe 'cuz I ate six today.

I found a good sprout on the potato and cut about a fifth of the spud off, with the sprout on it, and added it to a supply of these slips that I keep in a brown bag in the cold room, for early planting.

Local ingredient: butter (from Tillamook; it's been about a hundred miles, so, just barely).

I'd show vegetable stock but there is none on hand, so we'll use water.

Cut up the roots and squash (and apple); scoop squash seeds and dispose of them (meaning, for us, feed to the chickens. Your other options are, depending on how closely they were planted to other squash varieties: wash, oil, and roast them, or wash and dry them and save seed).

Save the seed? Yes, we avoid PVP varieties whenever possible.

Set your Little Miss Sunbeam (the rice steamer) going for 20 to 30 minutes depending on quantities (measurements? What are measurements?), and put in the potatoes right way. In five minutes, add the delicatas (I have quartered them here). With about eight minutes to go (YMMV) thrown in the cut-up onion or leek, and the garlic, then in a few more minutes the cut-up greens from those if you have them (ours have sprouted, as you can see). I'm also throwing in the rosemary and basil at this point. Reserve the parsley. In fact, don't harvest any until just before serving; I just wanted it in the pictures.

Ding! Take the steamer basket and rinse cold. Catch the water from doing this and use some of it in the blender, unless you have vegetable stock or vegetable juice from a juicer. I've shifted from the plastic basket to a steel colander here, partly to minimize leaching bad stuff into the water and partly 'cuz I don't have a catchment bowl the right size and shape for the steamer basket.

Peel the delicatas as soon as cool if you don't want the skin, and give it to the chickens or the compost.

Whiz it all in the blender with a stout pat of the butter and enough stock, juice, rinse water, or water to blend well.

Optional non-local ingredients go in while blending: shown here are cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt (to taste).

You can dish up right now (snip up the parsley and put some in the middle of each serving, for cute).

Or stash away in the frig for tomorrow. You can crock pot it, sauce pan it, zap it, or serve cold. I refrigerate in a serving bowl with a plate turned over it, to save on plastic wrap.

That's it. Zuppa!

Oh, and! I like to take what's left of the veg-rinse water and pour it in the blender and whiz up a refreshing drink with whatever didn't make it from blender to bowl -- makes washing up that much easier. 'K?


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