Monday, August 25, 2014

A Local Food Day

It's been a long time since I have written in this blog, but it occurred to me today that I have been eating local for many years now, I still enjoy it, and I still have things to say about it! I am also hoping that maybe there are others out there who might read the blog and add useful insights through the comments, as I also still have a lot to learn and figure out. I took a little break with the blog while I worked full time as a teacher, but that is no longer taking all of my time. Or any of my time, actually.

 Today was a very "eating local" type of day from morning through night. The day began with straining the chicken broth that I had made overnight in the crockpot. We had bought a whole chicken cut up from the Miller Farm at the Farmers@Firehouse market in the Strip District. With the leftover bones and parts, I made chicken stock overnight in the crockpot. Now it is sitting in plastic tupperware containers in our freezer.

After my shower and breakfast, I started work on the salsa. I use a recipe from Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, "Fresh Vegetable Salsa." I got the tomatoes from Brenckles organic farm at Farmers @ the Firehouse. It's now canned (in pint jars) and ready to go (away -- until tomatoes, etc. are no longer available).
Shortly afterward, when I remembered I had blueberries on a cookie tray in the freezer, I transferred those to a plastic freezer bag. Those were $4.00 for a very full pint, again at Farmers@Firehouse. It is apparently a great year for blueberries because it is so cool and wet. I can't remember blueberries being available so late! I am happy to take advantage and keep eating them as long as it takes.

Later that day, we went to another of my favorite famers' markets, the one in East Liberty, sponsored by CitiParks. It is such a great market filled with so many wonderful growers and food providers. 
I stopped at many of the booths and spent A LOT of money. Some things I bought were: peaches, from Paul's Orchard, but apparently they have none of their own this year and are getting theirs from Chambersburg; eggs, shallots, and peppers (jalapeno, sweet banana, Hungarian hot wax), from Bluebird Organic Farms; zucchini, pickles, plum tomatoes, and garlic from Harvest Valley Farms; baby kale from One Woman Farm; ground beef from Logan Family Farms; plus cookies, bread, and chips. 

For dinner we had a bruschetta made from tomatoes from Brenckles, red onions from the same, and garlic from there too. 
That went on top of these burgers from Logan Family Farms.

 We also had a very simple baby kale salad that was something like this recipe. This picture here, is NOT of a baby kale salad, just in case you were wondering.

While I was between tasks making dinner, I grated zucchini in order to freeze it for later. I put it in muffin tins so it would be in manageable sizes. Once it's frozen,  I can transfer it to freezer bags. I just love to make things with grated zucchini like breads, frittatas, turkey burgers, meatloaf, stir fries, sauces, zucchini-crusted pizza, and more that I haven't discovered yet. I haven't done this before, but the plan is to later, like say in January, thaw the zucchini "muffins," squeeze out the extra liquid, and cook with it.

Back when I started this blog, there were very few resources around for people trying to eat local in Pittsburgh, eat seasonally, preserve, can, and the like. Now it is something that many, many people do, care about, and share. I hope to continue to add to the information out there in some useful way and find out more as well. Please leave a comment and let me know your thoughts!

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