Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Local Food in February

So, I'm trying to at least make/eat some local food. Even though it's February. In Maine.

A couple weeks ago, I found apples in the grocery store from a local (by which I mean the next county. It's a lot closer than New Zealand) farm on sale. So I bought a bag of those. Even Jupiter ate some apple slices from that bag.

The next trip to the grocery store, I found a bag of organic local potatoes ( from a different next county). I have a recipe planned for those babies. Can't wait to cook them. I have to do it soon, because they're starting to sprout already. If I had a spot big enough, I'd probably try planting them.

The yogurt machine is still going. I've finally learned to make a good thick greek yogurt with milk from our local farm (this county!). And I eat it every day during stretch break at work with some fruit and museli (made at home including Maine grown rolled oats I found at WFM). Of course today, I looked up the calorie count for whole milk greek yogurt and about fainted dead away. Not good. Well, the yogurt is delicious.

This weekend I finally used up the local butternut squash that's been sitting on my counter since last November, making a recipe for butternut squash soup. I wasn't sure I was going to enjoy it, but ate it for three days until I finally stuck the rest in the freezer tonight so save for a later date.

That container of soup replaced a container of fresh cabbage shchi soup that I froze last fall. Now I don't remember if I actually bought the cabbage at the farmers market, or if I got it at the regular grocery store. I'm pretty sure the apple in the soup was local. But at least, I cooked it in my own kitchen. Jupiter won't touch the cabbage schi soup. Or the butternut squash soup. Or the hideous soup, as she calls it. She only eats the chicken noodle soup that comes in the red can. Well, maybe someday. Cabbage soup doesn't sound like it would be good, but it really is. Expecially very hot, with a dollop of fresh plain greek yogurt on top, and some toasted quinoa bread.

Jupiter doesn't know what she's missing.

Fresh Cabbage Shchi
from The Practial Encyclopedia of East European Cooking
1 small turnip
2 carrots
3 tbsp butter
1 large onion, sliced
2 celery sticks, sliced
1 white cabbage, about 1 1/2 pounds
5 cups beef stock (I substitute veg stock for this recipe)
1 eating apple, cored, peeled and chopped
2 bay leaves
1 tsp chopped fresh dill
2 tsp pickle juice or lemon juice
salt and pepper
Cut turnip and carrot into matchsticks (or just dice them. I'm not fancy about it). Melt the butter in a large pan and fry the turnip, carrot, onion and celery for 10 minutes.
Shred the cabbalge and add to the pan with the stock, apple, bay leaves and dill and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 40 minutes until the veggies are really tender.
Remove the bay leaves, then stir in the pickle juice or lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Serve hot with sour cream or yogurt.

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