Dark Days Eat Local Challenge — Week 2

Friday will be my family’s Thanksgiving, which would be a perfect DDEL opportunity, but I’m not hosting. My contribution will be roasted squash from our CSA…does it still count as local if I’m dragging the squash to Maryland? Anyway…today was my DDEL dinner instead, and it was a smashing success:

Cornbread (recipe modified from someone on the R4A):
Melt 2T butter, mix with 2 cups cornmeal, 4t baking powder, 1t salt, 1/4 cup honey (or to taste), 2 eggs, 1 cup fresh or frozen sweet corn kernels, 2 chopped jalepenos (or other peppers, to taste), and enough water to make it batter-like (about 2 cups). Pour into greased baking pan, bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes or until suitably crispy.

Scrambled Eggs & Spinach:
Brown 1 clove garlic in a small amount of butter, add dried rosemary and chopped hot pepper. Pour in 3 scrambled eggs mixed with 1 bunch washed chopped fresh spinach and salt to taste, and cook over medium heat, stirring until done.

All the vegetables listed were from our CSA farm three miles away, including frozen sweet corn and hot peppers. The cornmeal came from Wood Prairie Farm in Maine. The butter is also from Maine, and the garlic, honey, butter, and eggs are from Massachusetts, all from small and/or organic farms. The only nonlocal things were the salt, baking powder, and rosemary. Tasty food :-)

Wood Prairie Farm’s cornmeal is quite finely ground, so I ended up with very soft, fluffy cornbread, and didn’t seem to need the 4T wheat flour that the recipe called for and I forgot. I prefer the somewhat crunchy, gritty texture of coarser cornmeal, but this was very tasty. Next time I order from them, I may ask if they ever grind coarser cornmeal. In the long term, I want a grain mill, and will then be able to just order whole dried corn from the same people and grind it to any grade I want!

The one problem with this project is that the only quick local protein I have is eggs. The cranberry beans might be local, but I need to check on that, and the Wood Prairie Farm beans won’t arrive until early December. And beans take forever to cook. I can get two kinds of local tofu, but I’m pretty sure they’re both just from anonymous industrial soybeans. The CSA has started offering meat shares through a partnering farm, but they start at 10lbs/month, which is way too much for two not-very-carnivorous people. Oh, well. At least I like beans. :-)

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