Dark Days Eat Local — Week V

This is for last Friday…it was somewhat less local than the last week due to the bread, but I also made two qualifying bean soup dinners earlier in the week.  Plenty bean.   On Friday there was my first ever baked beans, with added sweet potatoes and butternut squash, plus challah and grape juice.  We had a friend over for a wonderful Shabbat-cum-Solstice celebration involving food, more fire than usual, and lots of singing and hitting melodic objects to make pretty noise.  The singing bell that B. got for me at a Tibetan shop is, as it turns out, an utterly marvelous winter solstice instrument.  It has a quite high, clear, wakeful tone, but still serene and not harsh at all.  It would probably be a great focus bell for starting meditation or for use while studying.  All three of our singing bowls and bells have compatible tones :-)  Anyway, back to the food…

I took the general recipe for baked beans on the package of Wood Prairie Farm great northern beans (it’s on all the beans, but I was using great northerns).  I put one pound of beans in the wok, plus enough water to cover them.  I then added what was probably a little more than a cup each of chopped butternut squash and sweet potatoes (both from the CSA), plus nonlocal salt, local maple syrup, nonlocal oil, and four (nonlocal) dried chopped chipotle peppers.  I covered the wok and put it in the oven on 250 degrees before I left for work in the morning, and when I came home eight hours later it was just about done.  The chipotles did an excellent job of providing the smokiness that ham usually gives to baked beans, though four ended up being a bit too spicy.  Next time I’ll add in some dried or canned tomatoes for savoriness and just use one or two chipotles.  Smoked herring could also be really tasty.

The challah was from local eggs, locally milled flour from nonlocal wheat, nonlocal yeast, local honey, and nonlocal salt.  The grape juice was not local.  I have determined that Welch’s does do an organic grape juice, but it is from Washington state…I’ve found a source of localish grape juice, but it isn’t organic, and isn’t all that local, so I’m still sticking with the nonlocal organic for now.

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