Thursday, November 13, 2008

Market to Table - November 13, 2008

Some exciting news in today's Market to Table post. Tuesday, I visited The Village Cafe, a brand new and absolutely fabulous eatery in downtown Bryan. After enjoying one of the best restaurant meals I've EVER had, I had a chance to speak to the owner about her plans for the cafe. They're sourcing as many local supplies as they can get their hands on, working with the farmers market, local farmers, the farm patch, and potentially some of the pick-your-own berry farms (I noticed the coffee they use comes from the roaster at Saturday's farmers market), supplemented with mostly organic and some conventional ingredients. That's only a small part of my meal there in the photo. Be sure to look for a full review in tomorrow's post!

Partially because I didn't make it to the farmers market this past weekend, and partially because I'm still struggling to get over this cold (cough, cough, hack - oops, there goes a lung...), my meals this week look identical to last weeks (sorry to be boring): lots of homemade local jelly on homemade toast; homemade, all-local vegetable soup; and lots of those yummy sweet potatoes (sauteed in just a little olive oil) that my dad bought from a nearby road-side stand. Fruit was slim picking for a little while there, but I did manage to stock up on some wonderful Texas grapefruit. I've been enjoying one just about every day (now that my throat isn't raw). 

Although I don't have a picture, I sauteed some of the mustard greens I picked up at the farmers market a couple weeks ago along with the last of my green onions from the back porch container garden. It made a nice side dish to one night's meal and a tasty addition to my regularly scheduled veggie rice dish (I love my veggies and rice). This week, the homemade veggie soup I used to make the rice dish contained zucchini, onions, mustard greens, green pepper, purple hull peas, black beans, and some of my canned tomatoes (every last one of those ingredients is local). I'm still amazed at what wonderful dishes can come from a little creativity, some planning (having canned all those tomatoes last summer), and a few goodies from our local farmers market. Mmm. Mmmm!

One slight problem in the local food department... I'M OUT OF CANNED TOMATOES. Eek! I knew I didn't can nearly enough, but I didn't realize I'd run out this early in the year. Note to self:  get serious about the canned tomatoes next year. No slacking! And with any luck, those tomatoes will be coming from my garden. Though I suppose I shouldn't get ahead of myself. Let's see how that winter garden comes along first.

Anyway, that'll all that's fit to print in this week's Market to Table post. Thankfully, I had enough local goodies to get me through the extra week. Enough? I have 12 quarts of home-canned, all-local veggie soup in the pantry. Who am I kidding? Even so, I'm eagerly anticipating the next farmers market and the bounty that the fall season has to offer. Hope to see some of you locals there! In the meantime...

Happy (and mindful) eating!


ttammylynn said...

BNF had persimmons from the holistic garden yesterday. I consumed the candy-like pulp of a persimmon when I got home from working yesterday afternoon...right before eating some steamed zucchini, spinach, green beans and broccoli--all local(but yikes, they were all green--I do like a mix of colors--I filled my steamer before I realized)... oh well, yesterday I was going green.

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

Wahoo for the new restaurant in town that focuses on local ingredients. That is too cool, and I look forward to your review.

Oh no about the tomatoes! I didn't can much at all this year as I didn't get a water bath canner until quite late in the season, but I am going to be more "on it" next year, and can as much as I, well, can. ;-)

I'm talking jellies, salsas, canned tomatoes, pickles, pickled peppers, pickled other things, canned fruit. Anything I can do in my water bath canner!

ilex said...

I was out of canned red tomatoes before I even began- it was truly a terrible year for ripe tomatoes. Next year will surely be better (I hope). I had 8 plants and got about 120 pounds of ripe tomatoes. I expected about 240 lbs. I easily had that in green ones, though...

I've never sauteed sweet potatoes in olive oil- do you bake them a bit first or just slice them up hard? I've been on a sweet potato kick lately.

Heather @ SGF said...

Wow! You did have a very local day yesterday. You know I've never had a persimmon. Are they really sweet? Are those the ones will all the tiny cream colored seeds inside?

jennifer - I can't blame you. I never dreamed I'd be canning, but when you get the bug, you get it good! I have a feeling we're both going to have a blast next year!

ilex - Nope. I don't do a thing to prep them. I just give them a good washing, cut them into bite sized pieces, toss them in a frying pan and drizzle just a little olive oil over top. I turn the burner on medium and cover them with the frying pan lid. I let them cook through, stirring every few minutes so that they don't burn, and towards the end, I sprinkle just a smidgeon of salt. For me, this is the tastiest way to eat sweet potatoes and with a piece of fruit on the side, I find it's a complete meal. Hope you enjoy them!