Thursday, October 30, 2008

Market to Table - October 30, 2008

It's one thing to buy local veggies and quite another to figure out what to do with them. Some go the gourmet route, but as most of you know, I'm into simple (and the easier the better).

What I can't find local, I try to make from scratch (desserts, breads, etc) with a rare exception. For the most part though, I've been eating about 80% local. Here's a look into what went from the farmers market to my table this week...
  • Vegetable soup - As I mentioned on Monday, I had a fridge just bursting with veggies last weekend and the perfect solution to any veggie overload is a great big pot of soup. Now granted, I normally use my soup pot but this time some serious reinforcements were called in. Yes indeed, that is my hot water bath canning pot I'm using in the photo. It turns out it was the only thing big enough to hold all the soup. Yikes is right, but wait until you hear what all is in this! Let's see... yellow onions, spinach, red peppers (they were kinda hot but they were mellowed by the sheer volume of the soup), italian squash, zucchini, eggplant, purple hull peas, mushrooms, rosemary, basil, oregano, salt, pepper, olive oil, and 2 jars of my homemade canned tomatoes. Then get this - everything except the salt, pepper, and olive oil were local ingredients. And talk about tasty! I ended up canning 6 quarts for the future and put 13 pints in the refrigerator to be eaten as soup or to use as a base for my veggies and rice. Speaking of which...
  • Veggies and rice - This is my favorite lunch time treat these days. I've been eating it every day for the last two weeks and haven't grown tired of it yet (most likely because I keep making different soups to use as the base). The soup I used for this picture was one of last week's jars of soups (see ingredients here). Just like this week's soup, everything except the salt, pepper, and olive oil were local. As for the rice? Yep, it's local too (the grocery has several brands that are local - be sure to look at the back of the package for the Go Texan symbol). 
  • Veggie sandwich, green beans, and fruit salad - That bread isn't local (well, the ingredients aren't local), but I did make it in my very own kitchen. This is the best recipe for 100% whole wheat bread that I've found and it works every time! Making the sandwich is some mayo (not local or homemade, sorry), mustard greens (local), yellow onion (local), and a nice thick slice of tomato (not local). Towards the back is a wonderful fruit salad I made this week with local peaches that I canned last summer and some local blueberries I picked up from the grocery. Of course, no meal is complete without some of those yummy local green beans! They've been steamed and seasoned with just a touch of salt. Yum!
Not pictured are the local almonds I snack on just about every day. I'm starting to run a little low on local fruits (and have been eating some not-so-local bananas, apples, and grapes), but citrus season should be just around the bend.

So hey, you don't have to be a gourmet cook (which I SO am not) to enjoy local farmers market fare. Invest a little creativity, keep it simple, and enjoy every bite of that Texas goodness (making your world just a little bit "greener" in the process)! 

Happy (and mindful) eating!


ttammylynn said...

Your soup does look tasty...and there is just so much of it. We tried the local persimmons from the Farm Patch finally and they were good, not wonderful(something about ripening for over a week paper-wrapped on a counter, I believe). I've eaten a couple of Texas grapefruits from the store so far this year, but the bulk of citrus is coming in November...organics even.
The organic Washington apples are on their way. They left Salina, Kansas a couple of hours ago. Tomorrow is Halloween and the apples will be here. I'll try to bring some to the milk drop, if they have arrived by then.
Also, I pre-ordered the fourth season of Lost on dvd from comes out in December. We watched the other seasons, my hubby is particularly hooked. I love the show, but I would take a synopsis of events anytime I needed to do other things while he was watching. He took the Lost seasons plus a cabinet full of dvds over to his father because his mother complained that his father watches the same movies over and over, Alzheimer's. He also gave them about three pounds of that raw milk cheddar cheese, a beef summer sausage(I ordered it with the cheese), and a jar of local salsa(I was a bit upset because that salsa doesn't get to Farmer's Market every week, but hey, his parents are great, they do so much for us). So, I guess I need to hit the Market this week and pray for salsa.

Heather @ SGF said...

ttammylynn - it was funny. I just started dumping veggies in my regular soup pot before I realized it was going to be too small. Oops. It was the most soup I've ever made all at once, but it's SOOOOO good. I had some today boiled down with rice for lunch. Mmmmm! And what's great is that I have some for now, but 6 more jars canned and sealed for later. I sure am glad I bought that pressure canner!

I have to admit, I'm a total Lost fanatic too. I'm still watching all the episodes on-line and there is a website that posts some of the extras from the DVD from time to time and I follow that too. I'm looking forward to the new episodes in 2009 and am happy I won't need cable to do it. Isn't the internet great!

I won't be at the Friday pickup, but if I don't see you at the house Friday night, I'll try to be early to the farmers market. I have to buy quite a few things too since I'll be stocking up for 2 week (I have that charity walk next weekend). Hope to see you there if I don't see you sooner!!!

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

All your soup is what inspired me to try my hand at making homemade soup. And I LOVE IT! I have so many ideas swimming around in my head as to how to use and take advantage of the remaining abundance of the growing season.

Over the winter, I have to expand my "food zone" to include the continental US, or I would like starve. I truly am looking forward to clementine season!

Heather @ SGF said...

jennifer - isn't soup wonderful! What I love is you can't use just about anything so it's a little different each time. SOOOO easy!

It would be nice to be 100% local all the time, but who wants to be that perfect, right? Bottom line is we do what we can and sometimes we have to expand our horizons a little bit. Buying food within the US is less local, but better than those New Zealand apples, right? I've been buying some non-local fruit (although I did find local TX grapefruit the other day - Yeah!). I also have been eating cereal and soy milk for breakfast (not local) but most of the rest of my diet is. I tend to fall into extremes, so for now, I'm trying to work on finding balance.

ttammylynn said...

UPS came late, the regular driver was sick, he said. He brought the apples, I teased that I thought he was munching my apples all day, he admitted that the big box of fresh fruit did offer some temptation, so I offered him a couple of apples. He seemed reluctant, but I insisted that I would not poison him. He said that he knows because he has seen me at HEB delivering before. A couple apples in hand, he was back on his way. So, the apples are finally here. I will see you at Farmer's Market, but if not, I will leave your package with Lois...ok?

Heather @ SGF said...

ttammylynn - the apples look SO good (so do the soup packets). Thank you so much! You're so sweet! I'm definitely going to be munching on those apples today!