Monday, December 1, 2008

Local diet update - December 1, 2008

Hopefully, everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend. We were feeling kinda icky - second round of colds struck last week - so we stayed home and started our own holiday tradition... homemade pizza! I made the crust from scratch, and the sauce was a hearty blend of all local ingredients - lots of those farmers market tomatoes, onion, and a few mushrooms. Delicious! I'll have a photo of the pizza in Thursday's "Market to Table" post, so be prepared to drool!

With the holiday weekend in full swing, I really wasn't expecting anyone to be at Saturday's farmers market. Several of the vendors had already told me they would not be there, so I took it as a sign to enjoy my Saturday morning elsewhere (aka the local library). So Saturday morning I hopped on my bike with my library returns and headed downtown. Well. Ok, fine. I confess. I had to pass the farmers market to get to the library and well, there were a few vendors there... it was cold... they looked lonely... I stopped... There were only a few vendors, but as you can see, I got some local pecans (the harvest is REALLY bad for pecans this year), and some tiny carrots. There were a few other things left by the time I got there (greens, eggs, green onions, homemade cornbread, home-canned goods, and crafts), but nowhere near the normal bounty. 

Having planned on no new farmers market goodies this week, I was fully expecting to rely on of the foods I had canned over the summer months. That's a picture of my homemade, all-local canned soups there in the pantry (top and bottom shelf) as well as four jars of canned tomatoes (top right). With most of last week's farmers market tomatoes and onions, I made 3 pints of pasta sauce that are now being stored in the freezer just waiting for that next homemade pizza crust. I also have plenty of local rice, a few sweet potatoes, and onions in the fridge. In the fruit department I'm well stocked with oranges, grapefruit, and two persimmons that have yet to ripen. 

So that's the latest. This is definitely one of those weeks I'm thankful that I bought the pressure canner. All those soups in the pantry mean that a missed or sparse farmers market does mean a lapse in my diet goals. I'm still right on track and feeling good (except for that blasted cold that just won't go away). Though the official local diet experiment is over, and although I had an initial lapse towards buying packaged crackers, peanut butter, and bananas (not so local), I'm finding myself naturally drawn back to what's available right here in Texas. I haven't bought a banana in weeks, and what I really crave most of the time is a nice big sweet potato. Bring it on, Texas. Local eating has never been better.

Have a great week, everyone, and as always... Happy (and mindful) eating!


Beany said...

I think that homemade pizza tastes the best! The control of what kind and how much cheese makes all the difference. Don't you think?

I need to work on my pasta sauce. While I like it, husband doesn't care for it and prefers the store bought kind. So I need to tinker in the kitchen a little bit more.

ttammylynn said...

I am so glad you went to market Saturday. It was a chilly morning, they set up right by the road to try to draw more attention. The things they had were a truncated version of the ordinary market fare but I thought that there were some pretty exciting things for sale. Eggs--most farmers are out of eggs right now, but the market had plenty, broccoli, carrots, bunch onions, radishes, spinach, lettuce, lemons, Homemade stuffed animals, pickles, jellies, pear butter, on and on. I only spent about $20 even though I tried to buy something from everyone who showed up to sell--I took lots of veggies and then I honestly shared my bounty with a couple of families that needed it. Those veggies made some people really happy with the holidays coming up and not much to be thankful for...

ttammylynn said...

Pasta sauce is take everything you have(related to pasta sauce) and sautee the hard veggies(such as onions, peppers, garlic(add last), even summer squashes, other veggies(anything from mushroom, olives,)preferable crushed tomatoes(home canned or canned is good) and herbs(add fresh herbs last as they may bitter if cooked too long--rosemary, oregano, basil, bay leaf, et cetera). I love making different pasta/pizza/bbq sauces.

scifichick said...

I started making home-made pizza a little while back. The crust I make is 50% whole wheat / 50% white flour. My son just loves that combination. He didn't care for all whole wheat or all white, so I used both equally now. I should start making pizza sauce, right now I just use tomato sauce... It's still good :)

Heather @ SGF said...

Beany - I'm like Tammy. I keep the sauce really simple. Basically all I did was throw a chopped onion, 5 chopped tomatoes, and 4 chopped mushrooms into a sauce pan with some olive oil. I let the veggies soften just a bit, then I added my basil. As it heats through, it will become saucy because the tomatoes are cooking down. Once the sauce is thin (other than the chunks of veggies, I add a little whole wheat flour to thicken, and a tsp of sugar. The entire process takes maybe 20 minutes and its ready to go!

Dave normally likes the stuff from the store too, but the last two times I made pizza, I used my sauce and he really liked it. You might give it a shot.

Tammy - It was chilly. I can't believe I went wearing shorts! I just assumed when I got riding the bike that I would warm up. Yeah, didn't happen. Oh well. I got some carrots and I haven't had any in a long time so that was a real treat!

scifichick - your crust sounds good too. I'm going to play around a bit with the crust and see if we can find a real winner. The 50/50 whole wheat/white flour sounds great. I'll give it a shot. Thanks! I put my recipe for pizza/pasta sauce up in my comments to Beany. It's super easy if you want to try it out.

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

That stinks that you were under the weather for the holiday - but wahoo for starting your own tradition!

Local pecans! Nuts didn't do too well around here either, I was only able to get local pecans once, but I WAS able to find some local walnuts a week or so ago.

Good thing you got that canner. You'll be eating locally, and quite well, into the winter now!

Heather @ SGF said...

jennifer - yeah, the pressure canner worked great. I opened my first jar of soup today for dinner. I was a little worried that the taste or texture would have changed due to the processing, but it was perfect. Canning is awesome! :)

Do you know what it was about the weather this year that made the nuts unproductive. Dave said that it's all nuts and that the poor squirrels can't find enough to save for winter :(