During the height of the growing season, abundant fruits and vegetables take center stage. But local farmers and food producers have much more to offer than fruits and vegetables, much of it available year-round or close to it. I do not always mention that besides produce, I am able to get milk, half and half, goat cheese, eggs, bread, and meats from local farmers as well.
When I go to the Farmers’ Market on Saturday, I often have a list of what I hope to find there, and then try to keep an open mind to what I really do find. Just look at this assortment of locally grown/produced food. What’s that in the center, you may wonder? Well, I’m pretty excited about them-they’re turkey wings! Cool, right? The farmer who I buy my pork from is also raising Thanksgiving turkeys, and took a couple in early because they were getting really big. He had them butchered into parts. So this is a package of just wings. Where else are you going to get more than two turkey wings at a time? Not the grocery store. My family loves the wings on chickens and turkeys, so this was a very fun find.
Saturday was a quintessential New England fall morning; cool and crisp, with a bright blue sky and flaming leaves in the trees as contrast. So I made myself a breakfast with a decidedly fall feel. These are apple slices, sauteed in butter and maple sugar until a glaze formed and the apples softened. Below is a tray of sunflower seeds and pepitas (pumpkin seeds) I toasted in the oven, and then stirred together with dried cranberries. I topped my bowl of steel-cut oatmeal with that mixture, poured on the milk, and dug into autumn.
We celebrated The Husband’s birthday this weekend, too, with more fabulous local products, and a decadent, homemade, intense chocolate cake (Cook’s Country). Local, not so much; delicious, totally. Birthday dinner plate is below; all local, including the ridiculously large rib steaks. None of us came close to finishing them, but they will be great as leftovers tonight.
One of the real advantages of cooking with local foods is their freshness. There is so much flavor and color and beauty on this plate, yet preparation couldn’t have been simpler. Broccoli and corn, steamed. Baby potatoes, tossed with oil and kosher salt and roasted. Steaks pan-seared, finished in oven, and red wine pan sauce quickly whisked together just before serving. The food speaks for itself. All in all, a lovely celebratory meal, in no more than 45 minutes.
That’s it for now; go out and see what treasures you can find locally (stay open-minded!), and I’ll see you on down the Road.