Monday, December 29, 2008

homeade beef broth and a healthier new year

I made homemade beef broth the other day with about 12 lbs of bones, it made about 18 cups of delicious goodness. The only thing is after the pot sat in the refrigerator I pulled off a disc of over 1/2 inch thick solid fat. Not soft like chicken fat but hard to even dent with a spoon. I now know why the Prime rib we had the other night should be a once a year splurge. The bones were from the prime rib roasts at the store. The visual of that fat and thinking of your arteries was a good teaching tool. I wish I had taken a picture. Tonight we are having barley mushroom soup with the broth and homemade bread. We have started walking every morning. Trying to get back into a healthy pattern. All the goodies at Christmas have shown up on the scale. We have been having oatmeal every morning and our new favorite is with orange zest and strawberries from the freezer. Not a combination you would normally think of but I have so much fruit I froze over the summer, I gave it a try.

Friday, December 26, 2008

money saving idea

Today I went to the grocery store first thing in the morning. Every year the stores have rib roasts on sale for christmas and new years. It is a good time to buy beef rib bones to make stock. I bought about 8 packages of beef rib bones with a lot of meat for 99 cents a pound. I will roast and then simmer the bones with celery,carrots,onions,garlic,bay leaves and a few whole cloves and peppercorns. This is a cost effective way for delicious broth. Another tip is to save your celery ends and onion ends in the freezer for when you make soup. This is also a good time to buy roasts for the freezer since the are usually marked down. Also check your stores produce section for clearance on dried fruits from the fancy christmas platters.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

a local Christmas tree

This year instead of going to the local tree farm to have our tree cut we decided to use what we have. many years ago we planted some christmas trees on our land. That section of the property is now all overgrorwn and we never paid attention to the trees. They were better looking than I thought they would be I have enough for the next seven years. The tree is not dense but it enables you to put lights and ornaments in the middle also. I love it! Also my husband loves funky hats so i made him a christmas tree hat. The wool was from sheep at Soule Homestead farm in Middleboro. So the hat is also local. I have not been posting my meals between craft shows and christmas baking my time is all taken up. Our meals are still about 75% local and it is becocming second nature.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

fresh chicken , what I have learned

This week I picked up 4 chickens at the farm where I always get my chickens. I took three apart and packaged and froze the meat then used the carcass's to make the best chicken broth ever. I went to roast the last bird a little over 6 lbs, It's legs were sticking straight up to the sky and I had a hard time tying them together. After it was done cooking the leg did not wiggle as it should. I know the first year I was told to let them relax a few days before cooking so they would relax. I roasted the bird on Wednesday and it was killed on Sunday and I guess it was still in rigor. I read more on this and it says to have the chicken set for a few days, but I guess this one needed more time. We could not even cut the dark meat and the white wasn't very tender. I hope the ones i froze will be better. I have never had this happen before although sometimes the legs are tough but I attribute that to them being able to run around. We had the white meat reheated in gravy tonight and it was O.K. I ground more up for chicken croquettes for tomorrow. Still some meat left not sure what that will turn into. It may be tough but I will not waste food so I will make it edible with a little creativity. Would love to hear any thoughts on this.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Challenge over

Saturday the first of November the Eat Local Challenge is over. I really feel I did as much as possible to keep local, it sure is a lot of work. Well now that the challenge is over I would say our meals will probably be at least 75% local. We went to a harvest fair on Saturday then Mexican food, I waited all moth for this, Avocados!We ate so much that was it for the day. Sunday am we had eggs and toast late and the leftover chili and cornbread from Friday. We also went and picked up our chickens.. I bought 4 And will separate and freeze packages of parts and Roast one. These chickens make the best gravy. I will chronicle how many meals you can get from one chicken always a great challenge. Now we are in the crunch for craft show production so meals will be simple and posting irregular.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Eat local challenge day 31

I started off the last day of then eat local challenge with a chocolate roll from the farmers market, I know not local ingredients but it was so good. Lunch was leftovers. Dinner was chili, the meat from Plato's harvest Middleboro, tomato's from my garden, onions and garlic local and beans from Maine. I also made cornbread with Whole Wheat flour from Maine and corn meal from the gristmill in Plymouth and local eggs and honey from our yard. Not local was oil and spices.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Eat Local Challenge day 30

Today breakfast was homemade whole wheat bread with strawberry rhubarb jam, all local. Lunch was a greek salad, local lettuce and cucumbers from the farmers market with my tomato's and cows milk feta from Narragansett Creamery in Rhode Island. The dressing was homemade with local red wine vinegar only non local item was olive oil. Dinner meatloaf from yesterday, roasted sweet potatoes and green beans from Freitas farm in Middleboro. The meatloaf was made with all local ingredients. Today was the last day of the Plymouth farmers market for this year. They still had a great selection of produce,jams&jellies,Baked goods,goat milk cheese and ice cream and meat. I was able to buy some grass fed beef and bacon and ground pork and sausage from Plato's Harvest in Middleboro. I also stocked up on carrots,cabbage,green beans. Joe bought us chocolate buns from Jenny's breads, they are so good.When I returned home there was a message that the farm I get my chickens from will be butchering on Sunday so I will get my chickens for the year.From now on my goal will be to cook as much as possible from what we have and only visit the market for perishables, butter,milk,ect.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Eat local challenge day 29

Were in the homestretch and I think I did better than I thought i would. I was talking to a friend today while I was making bread. She said If she had homemade bread she would eat it till it was all gone. Normally I would say the same except during the challenge I cannot go out and buy a loaf that is as local as mine since I was able to buy whole wheat flour in Maine. So I am more prudent with it knowing I have to make the next loaf. Breakfast was my homemade granola with all local ingredients,Oats from Maine,dried cranberries from Plymouth and honey from our yard. Lunchwas ww bread with a tomato from our garden, they are ripening on the windowsill, Bacon from dinner the other night and local cheddar cheese,(smiths). Dinner was mashed potatoes and green beans from Frietas farm Middleboro, my own cranberry sauce made with berries from our neighbor and Meatloaf, beef from Codman farm In Lincoln, Oats from Maine, tomato sauce from out tomatoes, local onions,green pepper,garlic and egg.

Eat local challenge day 28

For breakfast today I had rug hooking so we always have a nice assortment of goodies and really good coffee. Lunch we had apple and grilled cheese sandwiches, local cheese was smiths smoked gouda, apples from Plymouth and my ww bread. Dinner was a turkey pie from bongis in Duxbury, Green beans from Freitas farm in Middlebrow and mashed potato's also from frietas.
I love these Turkey pies they are definitely going to become a staple.Doing this eat local challenge really has you hunting out new sources for your food and it is surprising how many great things you will find close to home that you have never tried before. I organized the pantry of all my home canned goods today and I will be posting a list soon of all I canned this year. I had some left from last year I need to get better about using what is there. I am posting a list in the kitchen so I can check off what I use and to remind me what is there since it is in the cellar.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Eat local challenge day 27

I spent the day today trying to install a wireless printer. I just love how at the store the sales people always say( it is easy just pop the disc in and your there) NOT! All day on the phone with different tech support people and I still do not have an installed printer. Well on top of that I did manage 3 local meals. Breakfast, homemade granola: oats from Maine, honey from backyard and dried cranberry's from a bog in Plymouth. Lunch we had my own canned corn relish with grilled cheese(Smiths Massachusetts) and apple(also local from Plymouth) sandwiches on my Whole Wheat bread. Dinner was bacon bought in Maine on vacation, eggs farmers market and my ww bread and local apple cider. I saw another challenge on the web for (pioneer week) where you live as close to a pioneers life as possible. After the computer today it is looking pretty good to me.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

eat local challenge day 26

Cant believe it is day 26 of the 2008 eat local challenge.Today's lunch was roasted veggie sandwiches with homemade coleslaw. All local ingredients except oil & mayo. Most of the veg tables were from Freitas farm in Middleboro, bought at the farmers market. the cheeses on the sandwiches were smoked gouda from Smith farm Massachusetts and mozzarella from maplebrook farm, Bennington Vt. Dinner was Italian sausages with onions &peppers, coleslaw and corn on the cob. Veggies from Freitas farm and sausages from Blood Farm in Groton Ma. Oil and mayo non local ingredients. I also made more whole wheat bread today with whole wheat flour bought in Maine on vacation.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

eat local challenge day 24

We had a late breakfast on Friday, we had johnny cakes with butter and maple syrup, all local ingredients. Dinner was homemade ww bread with roasted eggplant and roaster red peppers and mozzarella cheese. All local except olive oil. Salad with local lettuce and spinach, cukes,onions, homemade dressing. We have been having local cider instead of OJ for breakfast and I really enjoy it.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

eat local challenge day 22 (the King and I)

Well today I slipped and had lunch somewhere not in any way considered local. It was raining,I skipped breakfast it was 1 pm and I needed food fast. Not that I am sure it was actually food. I wont tell you where the title tells it all. So i tried to redeem my self at dinner. Homemade whole wheat pasta with sauce. The pasta made from ww flour bought in Maine on vacation along with salt & water. The sauce was made with tomato's from the back yard local onion and garlic and basil from the yard and two tablespoons of heavy cream. I was really surprised by how good the pasta was I really thought it would be terrible. I always buy ww pasta and I like it but I didn't think it work with homemade. A pleasant surprise.

eat local challenge day 21

Day 21, wow I am tired this eat local challenge involves so much planning.Breakfast was goodies at rug hooking. Lunch Joe had the leftover pot roast and I had local made hummus on whole wheat bread with homemade pickles. Dinner was buffalo chicken sausages (Alfresco foods) made in Massachusetts , although I have no idea where there ingredients come from. I know lazy cop out. We also had local potatoes roasted in olive oil and smoked sea salt from Maine. It is like having bbq. The Indian pudding finally finished cooking, I didn't think it would ever be done. Well time to start planning Wednesdays meals.

Monday, October 20, 2008

eat local challenge day 20

Today was simple skipped breakfast, lunch was chili from the next door neighbor, I consider that local!, and homemade bread all local ingriedients. Dinner was the leftovers from last nights pot roast and we will be having that again tomorrow. I did add homemade with local veggie coleslaw and homemade cranberry sauce. The cranberries come from the bog next door. I also made indian pudding, local cornmeal, milk, eggs and molasses bought on vacation in Virginia.So not local items today would be mayonaise, spices,sugar.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

eat local challenge day 18

Lunch /breakfast fried eggs and homemade bread, with local made strawberry rhubarb jam. The bread used ww flour from Maine with cornmeal from the Plymouth gristmill. Dinner was pot roast with potato's and parsnips and carrots. All local. I had a lot of winter squash to put away for winter and I was told to wash it with a mild solution of water& bleach(1tsp per gallon) this kills any bacteria so your squash will last longer. They say a dry 50 degree spot is perfect so I will store them in the cellar. Last year I had one squash we had in June and was still perfect.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Eat local challenge day 18

Today I made Homemade granola oats from Maine, our honey and dried cranberries from a farm less then 20 miles away. I also made homemade bread, I used ww flour we bought in Maine that was grown there on vacation, cornmeal from Jenny's Gristmill in Plymouth and our honey. Lunch was leftover roasted veggie sandwiches from yesterday and leftover vegetable soup. Dinner was Local Italian sausage( blood farm Groton) with peppers and onions over baked potato. all the veggies local. Also a salad of tomato's and lettuce and basil from the back yard with homemade dressing, used red wine vinegar from a friend that he made with his own homemade wine. They forcasted frost last night so I am covering the tomato's with sheets at night so they will continue to ripen on the vine, it took all summer and they are finally ripening. We also had local cocktails, Hurricane rum from Nantucket with local warmed apple cider. The amount of planning trying to do all local is very time consuming but a great challenge for using what you have. Soup is a good item because you can make a lot of soups with the local food available to us.

Friday, October 17, 2008

eat local challenge day 17

Breakfast was a roll from jennys bread bought at Thursdays Plymouth farmers market. Lunch homeade vegtable soup with extra garlic and hot pepper, all veggies local only items not local was olive oil and spices. Joe has a cold so I made extra spicy to help clear his sinus congestion. Dinner was homemade cauliflower soup ( In my head it sounded good, not so much) but Joe liked it and with it we had roasted eggplant,roasted red pepper on bread from the farmers market with mozzerella and broiled. Very good, the mozzella from maplebrook farms Bennington Vt. all veggies from the farmers market.

eat local challenge day 16

I do not remember what breakfast was but lunch was a greek salad with all ingriedients local except oil. The feta cheese is from naragansett creamery in Rhode Island,cows milk feta in a sea salt brine. We had this with homeade ww bread. Dinner was A mini clambake, steamers dug by Joe with potatoes corn and chorico all local.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

eat local challenge day 15

Today Breakfast was homemade whole wheat toast(wheat grown in Maine) with homemade beach plum jelly. Lunch we had soup left over from previous meals this week. Dinner was a turkey pot pie form Bongi's turkey farm, I would guess that only the turkey was local. We had local brussell sprouts with dried cranberries (from Plymouth), homemade cranberry jell (cranberries from the bog next door, and mashed potatoes also local, Freitas farm Middleboro. The perfect comfort meal.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Eat local challenge day 14

Today I held off on breakfast because I had rug hooking and I new our hostess would make something yummy. She did not disappoint, blueberry crumb cake,homemade and delicious. Lunch was more kale soup, the pot that keeps on giving. Dinner was grilled cheese sandwich on homemade whole wheat bread,Smiths cheese Winchendon Mass and ww grown in Maine. We also had homemade cream of tomato soup, cherry tomato's from the back yard,homemade chix broth from the freezer (made from locally grown chicken from Fiddlehead farms, Berkley) Basil from the back yard and local heavy cream(just 2 TBLs) you don't need much. I really enjoyed this meal I am so glad we are in soup and stew season.

eat local challenge day 13

Skipped breakfast again, bad habit. for lunch we had leftover kale soup. I did some unplanned fall cleaning today, you know how you clean one thing and then the next thing you know your tearing a whole room apart. So dinner was burgers at charlie horse. Probably not a local ingredients, but they do have solar power, compostable takeout containers.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

day 12 eat local challenge

I woke up late today so we had brunch, scrambled eggs with green peppers and onions and homemade home fries. All ingredients were local except oil & spices.For dinner we had homemade
whole wheat bread and kale soup. The Linguica was Gaspars from Dartmouth Ma, kale and potato's from the farmers market and broth from my freezer,(from a locally grown chicken). The whole wheat flour was grown in Maine.The green tomato pie i made yesterday was good,i thought it would taste like apple pie but it had a very unique flavor almost floral.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Day 11 eat local challenge

Today I pulled up the bean plants but I still have tomato's coming although I don't think many will ripen, except the cherry tomato's. Two plant's and they just keep on coming. I like to roast them. I toss them with olive oil, garlic and herbs and roast tham at 400 for about 20 minutes stirring occasionally, then I freeze them in two cup portions for pasta or pizza topping. You can also use the immersion blender if you think the tomato skins are to tough. I made a green tomato pie for dessert I will tell you later how it came out. Breakfast was oatmeal with Grandy oats grown in Maine, bought on vacation with apples from friends and our honey. Lunch was a truly lazy local meal, corn on the cob. Dinner was Fried Clams dug by Joe. The cornmeal was from the gristmill in Plymouth I believe the grains were from New york, homemade coleslaw with local cabbage and onions and carrots mayo not local,and homemade tarter sauce . I guess I need to add mayo as an exception. I know I could make it but the oil would not be local so why bother.Joe went to a friends today and they sent home a bag of what I think is Australian spinach. We had bought spinach at the farmers market this summer and when I got it home it was thick leaves with a slight fuzz so I was not sure if it was really spinach but it was good. So I investigated online today and came to the conclusion that it is Australian spinach. I love free food!!

Friday, October 10, 2008

eat local challenge day 10

We still had many clams left from Joe's trip clamming on Wednesday so steamers for dinner again tonight. Lunch was pizza on cibatta bread same as yesterday. I went to the grocery store for a few things,coffee filters,sponges,crackers I came home with just what was on my list(this is unheard of) only eating locally this month leaves very little that can be bought at the store. I will miss the farmers markets once the end of the month comes.The farmers market I go to every week is in Plymouth mass, it will end the last Thursday of October they also have one on Saturday mornings. I assume all other local markets will stop about the same time. I have quite a great stash of local food in the freezer and canned but I will miss the market. Last year they had a Winter farmers market in Providence, Hopefully this will happen again and will have more vendors.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

day 9 eat local challenge

Skipped breakfast today. Lunch was pizza on ciabatta bread from the freezer with tomato's basil and cheese, all local . Dinner steamers dug by Joe with butter we didn't bother with sides. We bought chocolate rolls (So Good) from Jenny's bread at the Plymouth farmers market. The market is on the water and it was a beautiful day.Also bought corn,kale and potato's.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

day 8 eat local challenge.

breakfast oats from Maine with apples and maple syrup all local. Lunch was out at a small locally owned cafe with my mom, great pumpkin soup. This was after pedicures and a little shopping. Dinner was homemade meatballs with gravy, brussell sprouts and roasted potato's everything grown local.Joe went clamming today so guess what's on tomorrows menu.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

day 7 eating local

Yesterday I made enough of everything that we had the same meals today, Sure makes things easy. I have a great stockpile of local food,but I am used to cooking what I am in the mood for or what I have energy to cook. This really takes a lot of planning and you may have a craving but have no substitute to fill it. I will have to get some cider, I forgot about juice for breakfast, I don't know of any local citrus orchards!We usually get a crate of cranberries from our neighbor then I will be able to make cranberry juice. I have been trying to use honey and maple syrup for almost anything I would normally use sugar for, except coffee, it has to be sugar. I canned some spiced apples the other day from apples given to me they came out pretty good, an interesting side dish.I will do a list later of all my canning I did this summer.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Day 6 eating local

Today I managed three local meals. Breakfast was Oatmeal with apples and honey. Oats grown in Maine bought on vacation, apples from a friend and honey from the back yard. Lunch was Portuguese linguica rolls bought in Westport Saturday and salad. Salad lettuce, cucumber and cherry tomato's from the back yard. Dressing was local garlic, homemade red wine vinegar from a Friends homemade wine, oil not local. Dinner was Beef stew, grass fed beef from Middleboro (plato's farm) all veggies local.only non local item was spices. Homemade bread with whole wheat grown in Maine, bought on vacation. Made an apple cake, non local flour and spices & oil.snack's
carrots, apples and plums.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

weekend road trip

We spent the day yesterday exploring Westport and little compton. We had a great breakfast/lunch. of Portuguese breakfast sandwiches with linguica and potatoes and egg. We went to Grays general store in adamsville for jonny cake meal. The owner gave us some great tips on places to check out. We also drove along the shore road in Newport. I saw gates to a great farm doing work with heritage breeds, I will have to find out more about this for a later trip.We were going to try the Salvation cafe in Newport for dinner who uses a lot of locally sourced food but they did not open till 5pm and I was to hungry to wait so we headed home and stopped at a small family restaurant for dinner.I had a burger I would guess not local and Joe had seafood probably at least 1/2 local. All in all a great day stopped at a few farms, bought pumpkins, gourds,brussell sprouts, plums,onions,and Narragansett creamery cows milk feta(it is great).A beautiful fall day in New England.Today we had heuvos rancharos for brunch local eggs on homeade corn tortillas with homead salsa. The masa was not local. Dinner is homeade stuffed quahogs (clams dug by Joe) with local corn and coleslaw.

Friday, October 3, 2008

messes & Successes

Day 3 of eat local,We eat so much local food i thought this would be a breeze but sadly not the case. Breakfast, I have great plans for pancakes with Maine grown whole wheat or homemade tortillas with eggs but what do I have this morning? A peach. How Boring, Lunch was the same as the first two days except I added cole slaw,the snafu with this was mayo,forgot it is not local!This afternoons project was mozzarella, I have made this 4 times it has only come out edible once and today was not that day. Dinner: I had a bad headache so leftover meatloaf which I left under the broiler to long (a little crispy) Green beans from the back yard and left over fried rice from pre challenge night,but at least it was homemade. I may not be doing this perfectly but I am trying, and did not send hubby out for takeout so a definite improvement.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

day 2 eat local challenge

For this challenge I will be trying to eat at least 2 locally sourced meals a day. I will use local ingredients from as close as possible. No mileage I will use ingredients from new England, and items bought on vacation. Exemptions are coffee,spices,oil,yeast.

today breakfast was whole wheat toast with beach plum jelly, both homemade and wheat was grown in Maine.

Lunch: turkey sandwich on ww bread with homemade pickles and homemade cranberry jell. Turkey from neighboring town.

Dinner: meatloaf, potatoes, green beans and cherry tomatoes. The beef from Codman farm in Lincoln, Used homemade tomato sauce,oat's grown in Maine,local onions,peppers,eggs,potato's from farmers market and beans and tomatoes from back yard.

eat local challenge 2008 day one

Yesterday was day one of elc. Not off to a great start, no breakfast, we had a local lunch of locally grown turkey(bongis) on homeade ww bread, ww from maine, with homeade cranberry jell and homeade pickles. We already had previous dinner plans so not local food, but local restaraunt not a chain.