Thursday, November 6, 2008

Market to Table - November 6, 2008

Market to table. Hmm. Right. We'll see, here's the thing. I woke up Monday morning with a wicked sore throat. Before the morning was through, I had no voice and it actually hurt to whisper. Needless to say, food has been tame this week.

As for the veggies I picked up at the market last weekend, I managed to steam all those green beans on Sunday so we've nibbling on them a little each day. The zucchini, onions and the stems from the mustard greens came together in a pot of soup, along with some leftover green peppers and purple hull peas from last week, then some local black beans and my homemade stewed tomatoes for good measure. As you can see, it made enough soup for five completely local lunches. Mmm. I can handle that!

Breakfasts have been pretty light with a sore throat - usually a very ripe banana (not local). But lunches have been completely local with my usual veggie soup and rice -basically just toss in a pint of homemade veggie soup, 1/2 cup of rice, and another 1/2 pint of water and let it simmer on the stove for an hour. It was both warm and soft on my throat - a perfect lunch for the sicko. Dinners over the last few days have been either just toast (my homemade whole wheat bread with local dewberry jam) or toast and veggie soup. 

Sick or not, it's just too easy to eat local around here! And with fresh veggie soup always on hand (if I run out in the fridge, I have 11 quart size jars canned and in the pantry), a hearty local meal is never more than a few minutes away. 

Now I do want to talk a minute about that dewberry jam. That's the "experiment" jam I made a few weeks ago with the berries I picked off my dad's farm last May and froze. When I defrosted them, they had a funny taste, like they picked up something from the freezer. I couldn't eat them by themselves, they just didn't taste right, so I decided to make jam with them and try out a different kind of pectin (Pomona's Universal Pectin) at the same time. Because of how the pectin works, you can get by with WAY less sugar. Well, since this was an experiment, I wanted to try the jam before giving it away to anyone as a gift and with all that toast on the menu this week, I figured it was as good a time as any to try it out. 

The pectin seems to have worked perfectly and the jam has gelled just the way I would expect it to. You definitely get more of the fruit flavor with this kind of pectin since you only use 2 cups of sugar per recipe (vs. 7 cups with the Sur-gel method). It's not as sweet so I don't know if anyone else would like it but I sure do and I also just LOVE the fact that there's less sugar (aka less guilt). If you've ever made jam you know all too well, the shock and awe that comes with dumping all that sugar into once batch. Yikes!

Anyway, bottom line is the dewberry jam is really good and a perfect compliment to my homemade whole wheat bread. That's some seriously good local toast, if I may say so myself. It's not that I'm enjoying my misery or anything, but if you've got to be sick, why not nibble the best!

Well, I wish I had more to report, but my diet this week is what it is. I did manage to pick up some local grapefruit at the grocery. They were on sale so I stocked up. I'm not exactly ready to introduce something that acidic to my raw throat at this point, but once I'm healed, the grapefruit will be waiting for me. Not to mention I've been eyeing those local sweet potatoes that are still in the fridge. Mmmm. I'm feeling better already!  Hope everyone else out there is having a tasty week, and as always...

Happy (and mindful) eating!


ttammylynn said...

Looks like the good food keeps coming, even in soft mode for you. I admit that I have more veggies than I need, but I keep just telling myself that they are so good for me that I should try to get more of them into my diet. I made a loaf of bread last night and a pot of soup, so perhaps a salad or steamed veggies might accompany them for the next few days...afterall, today's bounty is tomorrow's unrequited craving(because a season ends). Yesterday I had an upset stomach coupled with an unrelenting sinus headache that seems to have eased overnight. I have hope that everything will be alright, somehow, no matter what. I think faith keeps me going even when the days seem to run together and things look bleak. Try to get well.

organicneedle said...

I'm so jealous. We are in full fall veggie mode. A whole lot of tubers!
I miss color. I'm learning to love squash but I already miss berries and peaches. I was not a good little squirrel. I stored none of them for winter and gobbled them up as they came. Maybe next year I will have learned my lesson...probably not.

Thanks again for your review...I have had a few visitors stop buy Etsy!

sillydoggies said...

It's my understanding that one isn't supposed to store sweet potatoes in the fridge as the cooler temps cause the starch to convert to sugar.

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

Oh man, I hope you start feeling better. You know, all your gorgeous soup posts inspired me to make my own soup. Now we've been having a soup, salad, and bread night (all local) each Saturday. We love it! I made a vegan leek and potato soup last weekend, I just haven't gotten around to blogging about it.

You still managed to feed yourself quite well for being sick. Wow!

Heather @ SGF said...

ttammylynn - sorry to hear you had a bit of a bug yourself, but glad you're feeling better. So what kind of soup did you make? Did you try one of the mixes?

You are SO right about eating in season. You eat something until you can't possibly have another bite, but once it's out of season, you're craving it again. I feel that way about watermelons :)

organicneedle - You know, I thought I canned a bunch of stuff, but I'm running out already. I've already gone through all my canned tomatoes and pasta sauce, and I only have 1 jar of peaches and some frozen blueberries left. I guess we learn as we go, huh? Thankfully here we have a decent variety of veggies year round, but the fruits get scarce this time of year. We have lots of citrus, but that's really all that I know of until Feb/Mar when we can start picking berries. Live and learn, yeah?

sillydoggies - unfortunately, I don't have much of a choice. I can't eat them all within a few week and this being Central Texas, it's too hot to leave them out. We don't have cellars or even basements where I live. What do you do with yours?

jennifer - soup night sounds great! You know I've never had leeks, but my friend Tammy just gave me a soup mix with dried leeks and potatoes and I'm really looking forward to trying it. Can never get enough soup - it's such a comfort food!

ilex said...

Thanks for the low-sugar pectin tip. I've never made fruit preserves, but I plan on it in the coming season. Just what I need, more canning jars ;).

You're a real woman- able to carry on and cook and think about fresh veg even when sick. Right on, sister.

Glenda said...

Ouch, your poor throat :( -- my hubby has had the same thing this week. My voice threatened to abandon me yesterday morning, but fortunately it changed its mind!

Heather @ SGF said...

ilex - and as it turns out the Pomona's Universal Pectin is cheaper than the other stuff 'cause you can make 4-5 batches of jam with one box! Talk about frugal! :) Let me know how it goes when you try your jam!

glenda - thanks. I was feeling quite a bit better yesterday (finally had my voice back although it's very deep), but could not fall asleep. My sweet hubby went out at 10:30 last night to get me some nyquil. That put me out! Hopefully just a few more days. I am glad to have my voice back today, though. It's my sister's birthday and at least now I can call her :)

Melia said...

MMMMmmmmmm...Dewberry Jam. I miss that stuff. My grandmother used to make tons of it every year. My grandfather just informed me that he thinks a couple of the plants have survived the string of droughts we had and he has offered to let us dig them up this spring and plant them at our place. (waiting till spring so we can find the live ones among all the dead brambles).

BTW, I was so happy to find your blog and have been enjoying reading it the last couple of weeks.

Heather @ SGF said...

Melia - Welcome! Hopefully some of those dewberry vines made it. Do you get to help pick them? I used to love picking berries, grapes, and pears at my dad's farm when I was a kid. My step-mom did all the jam and jelly making, but we got to do all the picking. That's how we found out that I'm the only one of the kids not allergic to poison ivy. It was everywhere, but it never got me.