Inspiration From the Past: September 2010 Locavore Posts!

10 Aug

As this year’s challenge quickly approaches, we thought a look back at our experiences from last year might provide some inspiration! Below are a few of the blog posts from the Locavore Challenge of last September. It looks like some of these delicious recipes might need repeating…

Stocking Up Your Pantry

Like many of you, I am still stocking my pantry to prepare for my personal month long challenge. I recently stocked up on some great finds that I wanted to share with you all. I was visiting NYC this past weekend and spent much of my weekend tabling at the Greenmarkets talking about the NY Locavore Challenge. And since I had to take a break, I stopped by Cayuga Pure Organics booth for some locally produced farmer ground polenta and all-purpose flour, as well as dried black beans and wheat berries, for about $18. You can also procure cornmeal, buckwheat flour, rye flour, whole wheat bread, and whole wheat bread and whole wheat pastry flours, pinto beans, red beans, soy beans and navy beans, farro/emmer, buckwheat, barley and oats. Stop by one of their booths or wholesale locations, and you are pretty much set for the month!

Next on my shopping list is a bottle of Stolor Organic’s Sunflower Oil The sunflowers are all grown in Upstate NY and the oil is is pressed there as well. The product is Certified Organic by NOFA-NY, Certified Organic LLC and the company recently signed on to help sponsor the challenge. So definitely check them out! You can order a bottle online, or you can find them at coops and specialty food stores around the state.

We are about a week away from the challenge, and the frequency of our blog posts is going to increase rapidly. As you are getting ready for the challenge, please send questions, comments, recipe and product suggestions to info@nofany.org

We hope to post a new Locavore recipe each day during the month of September. Here’s one to get you started that we just posted today from the Culinary Institute of America: Cheddar Corn Fritters

Day 3/Lea K

It’s Day #3 of the challenge, and I am already sensing a theme…late night cooking. The last two evenings, I have looked at the clock and realized its midnight and my kitchen looks like a scene from “Little House on the Prairie.” Its been 90 degrees here in Rochester, and somehow I think this means its a great idea to crank up the oven. On the first night of the challenge, I baked my first loaves of local bread. I had procured some farmer ground flour from Cayuga Pure Organics a few weeks ago, and used that with a little honey to make two delicious loaves of slightly sweet and nutty bread. I’ve been enjoying that with cheese from Meadow Creek Farm, and also with the marinara sauce that I also decided to make at 11 PM Wednesday evening! I convinced my parents to plant extra stuff for me this year, and now between that my CSA share at GVOCSA, I’m swimming a sea of zucchini, eggplants and tomatoes (hence the multiple zucchini recipes on the NOFA-NY website).

Last night’s scene for Rochester’s modern day Little House on the Prairie, involved starting a roasted chicken (from Honey Hill Organic Farm) with potatoes, carrots and onions at 8:30 PM. While that was baking, it seemed only appropriate to follow suit with zuchinni bread (10 PM), and while I was sitting down to enjoy this amazing chicken at 10:30 PM, I put the carcass on the stove and simmered up some amazing chicken stock until about 1 AM. That’s just round one.

Once I headed to bed, my sister (and house-mate) starting on 3 quarts of baba ganoush. Thankfully an obsession with local eating and late-night cooking runs in the family, because there is only so much room in one refridgerator for eggplants.

I’m hoping for an earlier evening tonight, but I am scheduled to bring a meal over tomorrow to our co-worker Kristina , who just had her baby earlier this week, and that’s as good an excuse as any to stay up late this Friday night and share the locavore love.

Check out the roasted chicken recipe and others at NOFA-NY’s recipe page.

Day 5/Lea K.
Today is all about inspiring new locavores. This morning I woke up early and took my friend Jenn with me to the Brighton Market. She lagged behind me as I quickly made my way weaving through the crowds of strollers and leashes, to my usual stands. This morning I stopped first at the Small World Bakery and picked up another batch of locally grown organic flour. I headed next to East Hill Farm for onions and peppers, before grabbing a few pints of raspberries on my way to Meadow Creek Farm where I get a quart of yogurt religiously. This yogurt has all but changed my life. Today I also picked up a half-gallon of Ithaca Milk–because those raspberries are going be perfect in some home-made ice-cream!

My last stop of the day is secretly my favorite. I don’t eat a lot of meat (I was a vegetarian for about 15 years) but when I am craving some really good pork or beef, I always visit my friend Dave at Whitney Farms. Dave was my bus driver growing up, so when I found out he had transitioned to organic farming and was a proud NOFA-NY member, I couldn’t have been more excited! I love stopping by his booth and saying hi to him and his wife. Today I grabbed a pound of smoked kielbasa for dinner.

My trip to the market is always a highlight of my week, but it was also nice to share a little piece of my world with my friend as well. She picked up some apples to bring back with her to Maryland, and I think felt a little inspired to lay off the grocery store and head out to the markets more.

My step-mother is out of town this week, which means my Dad has probably been living on bologna sandwiches, and in serious need of a real meal. This afternoon my Dad came up to the city and accompanied me to pick up my CSA share at Abundance Coop. We were a few minutes early so we took a stroll through the coop. It was like I took my father to Asia. He was completely out of his element, but in a fun, inquisitive way. He was admiring bison meat, intrigued by the bulk tofu, and I had to literaly pull him a way from a shelf of macaroons. He still seemed a little perplexed about why he couldn’t find Hershey’s syrup but seemed pleased with his alternative purchase of bulk golden raisins and local honey. I think we might see more of Dad at Abundance.

We made it through the CSA pick-up unscathed–but like any good Dad, he was concerned that the partial share-holders got carrots and we didn’t. It’s going to take some time to educate Dad fully on the nuiances of the CSA system, but I’ll always be glad that he’s got my back when it comes to beta-carotene.

After our field trip, Dad helped me prep some peaches and plums for the dehydrator (Dad also loves a new gadget) while I got to work on our feast.

Dad’s Locavore Feast

Smoked Whitney Farms Kielbasa with Potatoes, Carrots and Onions (GVOSA Veggies)
Sauteed Swiss Chard with Garlic (GVOCSA Veggie)
Creamy Polenta with Meadow Creek Cheddar Cheese

Dinner seemed to be a hit. Dad left with fully belly, a bottle of local honey, and a new love of local sausage. Mission accomplished. One day-two new locavores.

Locavore Day 6 /KateM.

Breakfast: Toast with local butter and strawberry freezer jam (organic strawberries from Fellenz Family Farm).

Lunch: Yummy sandwich with leftover grilled chicken, white bean “hummus”, kale, and tomato.

Dinner: Leftover chicken and roasted tomatoes.

White Bean “Hummus” (adapted from Joy of Cooking, 2006. pg. 73)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup local sunflower oil
3 cups white beans, cooked

Saute the garlic in a little of the olive oil.

Add the beans and garlic to a food processor or blender and puree. Add white bean cooking water (or plain water) as needed to thin to right consistency. Add more sunflower oil, salt and pepper to taste (I like mine salty!).

Days 9 & 10: Getting into a Groove/Lea K.

These last few days have flown by, and we apologize for not writing more each day. We’ve all been busy cooking and eating too. In the NOFA-NY office we’ve sort of fallen into a groove with our monthly challenges and each have a few fall back meals that are getting us through the busy days that we thought we would share.

The Egg “not so Mc” Muffin

-What’s better in the morning than the local organic version of the classic American breakfast on the go? I’m not much of a meat eater, but I picked up a pound of Irish style bacon from the farmers’ market last weekend, and am now addicted. This slightly “meatier” slab bacon is awesome with a fried egg and a slice of local cheddar cheese on a toasted organic english muffin. The muffin is a semi-cheat item. The muffins are made locally and use all organic ingredients, but the flour is not local. We are very lucky in Rochester to have a few bakers using all local flour though so it can easily be made 100% by switching out the muffin for bread from one of these other bakers.

Honey and Berry Ice-Cream

I needed a go-to dessert item for the month. I’m not big into baked desserts, but am nuts for ice-cream. This 100% local and organic ice-cream was easier to make than you think. Start by tossing a pint of some local berries (I used fall raspberries) into the food processor until pureed. Strain to remove an seeds. Combine pureed raspberries with 1/2 c. of honey, 2 c. of heavy cream and 1 c. of whole milk. Mix well. Turn on your ice-cream machine and pour the mixture in. Mix until thickened-about 25 minutes.

Colconnan

I’ve been trying my best not to go to the grocery store at all in between my CSA pick-up and market day (both of which are Sunday), and by Thursday this week, the stock was feeling a little low and I was nervous about what the heck I was going to make from bunch of potatoes, a cabbage and what was left in my fridge-an then it hit me I had EXACTLY (and only!) the ingredients for Colcannan or Irish Potato and Cabbage Soup. You really can’t get any easier than this. In a large sauce-pan add 2 lbs of chopped potatoes, 2 bunches of chopped scallion whites, and 1 small head of green cabbage chopped. Cover with water , bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer covered for about 20 minutes. When the potatoes are fork tender, drain and return to the pot. Add 1/2 c. of milk, 6 tbs of melted butter and mash until coarse but soft. Season with salt and pepper.

For the rest of the posts check out http://nylocavorechallenge.blogspot.com/ !

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