Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Local Food

We missed the farmer's market last week and this week I get my first CSA box. I'm really excited to see what's going to be in there but the disconnect is in the delivery schedule: market on Wednesday, box on Thursday! There is some level of fear in this project....What if my box is full of cauliflower and rhubarb but no farmer's market for another 6 days?...but I'm pretty sure it will be OK. Our last visit to the market found me driving away with savoy cabbage in my basket and we all liked it. New things can be very, very good.

This week is also my turn to make the milk run and I'll be making sausage tomorrow with my new KitchenAid as well as turning the last of our current batch of milk into yogurt. I'm experimenting with the yogurt, trying to get a texture and flavor which mimics the Greek Gods Honey yogurt that we all love so much. When I strain it out to get that texture I get so little yogurt that it becomes really cost prohibitive in the quantities we eat. Greek Gods uses pectin in theirs so I'll try that. The gelatin thickening method was less than successful. We go  through 5 32oz containers a week which requires 2.5 gallons of milk to make on top of the 4 gallons we drink. 5 containers @ 4.39 each is more than twice what it costs me to make and mine is not homogenized. I keep meaning to try cheesemaking & chickening out.

Speaking of chickens...must get the number to the chicken lady. I only have one left in the freezer. My beef won't be in until October and our half hog didn't last nearly as long as I hoped. We do love our pork! It seems that I run through about 5 lbs of lard a month which will be good to know next time I get leaf fat from Mt McKinley Meat & Sausage.

The next big issue- since my garden is just so, so, so sad looking that I don't expect anything from it- is going to be veggies. Pyrah's sprays but I don't know of anywhere I can go pick my own produce locally that doesn't use chemicals & I need a lot of carrots, cucumbers for pickling, and zucchini. I also need berries. Raspberries in crazy quantities, lots of strawberries, blackberries would be nice. Blueberries and lingonberries I can pick for free later in the summer. We use a lot of jam and, while I absolutely LOVE Christine's stuff at Apple Branch Pantry, I like making my own and I want to do some with honey, low methyl pectin and organic or wild grown ingredients.

I just read Laura's post on "50 ways to eat your veggies" and clearly need to post my no-nasties ranch recipe:

1/2 cup mayo
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup plain whole milk yogurt
1 T dried Italian seasoning mix (rosemary, thyme, oregano)
1 T dried dill
salt & lemon juice to taste

stir it all together and watch it disappear. If you need to thin it down to use on an actual salad just stir in a bit of milk until you get the consistency you want.


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