Archive for September, 2007

Heritage poultry

Friday, September 28th, 2007

yet another great opportunity to learn more about food! If I am not mistaken, this farmer also sells products at the Barrington Farmers’ Market, Saturday mornings across from Calef’s Country Store:

Come learn all about chickens from Joe Marquette, Italian teacher/ poultry farmer, and Barnyard historian and entrepreneur! You will learn about the variety of breeds of poultry (endangered and common), their ancient history and characteristics, the “slow food” movement, the American Livestock Breeds Conservation group (ALBC) and the Society of Preservation of Poultry Antiquities (SPPA). He will also discuss old fashioned farming methods vs. modern technology. You’ll learn everything you need to know for the upcoming country fairs and what to consider when buying your next chicken at the market!

 

Joe Marquette, when he is not teaching Italian, co-runs “Yellow House

Farm”. On his farm he made a conscious effort to preserve some of the more endangered breeds of poultry. Presently he has 9 varieties of “Heritage” chickens, along with turkey, guinea fowl and goats.

 

Kittery Resident Fee: $10, $12 Nonresident

Oct. 1, Mon., 6:30-8:30 p.m.

 

For more information, call 207-439-5896 or www.kitteryschools.org

McClary Hill Farm

Friday, September 21st, 2007

A recent email from a (new to me) farm tells us about another source for milk, eggs, honey, turkey, chicken, pork, and lamb. This farm will also be vending at our Holiday Farmers’ Markets – the Saturday before Thanksgiving and the Saturday before Christmas at the Atlantic Culinary Academy in Dover!

“I’m in Epsom, in Merrimack County, but I’m a half-mile from the Rockingham County line!  Our farm is McClary Hill Farm.  We raise Jersey cows for milk (and occasionally beef), and we also have chickens (for meat and eggs), turkeys, pigs, sheep (Icelandic), and bees.  All our animals are pasture-raised, and any grain we give is certified organic.  Our farm is not, however, U.S.D.A. certified.  We probably won’t jump through those hoops.  During the winter, we feed the animals hay from local fields.  We’re working on creating our own hay fields right now so that we’ll have complete control over the food supply by the following winter.  If you’d like to see more information, you can look at www.mcclaryhillfarm.com.”

High on the Hog

Thursday, September 20th, 2007

We have been eating really really well. Sort of blowing ourselves away by the amazing meals on our plates. I wish we could take more credit, but the truth is it is simply the quality of the ingredients that makes it all so awesome.

B and I are on our 3rd year participating in the challenge, but the first time we’ve done September (previous two were Augusts), and we’re finding that September opens up a whole additional world of foods while still keeping almost everything we got in August. This year in particular we are having fun discovering we can make some good ‘ole standards out of totally local ingredients.

burgersThis is Lasting Legacy ground beef, bought at the farm, buns made with Vermont flour, roasted fingerling potatoes from Meadow’s Mirth Farm and Bibb lettuce from Wildroot Farm purchased at the Portsmouth Farmers’ Market, and blue cheese dressing made from Great Hill Blue Cheese, purchased at basically any store and plain yogurt.

corn chowder

The cooler weather has inspired a couple chowders, this one is corn and fingerling potato, with a little bacon on top. Corn from Barkers’ Farm, on rte 33 in Stratham, potatoes from Meadow’s Mirth, purchased at the Portsmouth Farmers’ Market, milk from Brookford Farm in Rollinsford, bacon from Kellie Brook Farm, also from the Portsmouth Farmers’ Market.

Bubble & SqueakBubble & Squeak is theoretically made from the leftovers of your boiled dinner. We plan it for the same week as some mashed potatoes, then prepare a double batch of potatoes. Add in some chopped, blanched cabbage chunks, a bit of onion, and plentyo’bacon fat. Yup, bacon fat. Cook over fairly high heat in a heavy pan, turning sections as they brown. The dish gets its name from the fun bubbles and squeaking it produces as it cooks. Potatoes, cabbage, and bacon are all easily found at the farmers markets.

crabs These guys were the beginning of some crab cakes made by adding eggs, onions, and garlic from the Portsmouth Farmers’ Markets, herbs from the back deck, and a slice or two of Borealis Aroostook Wheat bread toasted then whirred in the food processor. Fried in Butterworks Farm sunflower oil. I purchased the crabs at the Old Mill Fish Market in Portsmouth, where the staff is very helpful and doesn’t mind endless questions about how-to and where-from.

poblanosRoasted stuffed poblanos with refried beans. Beans (beans!) from Meadow’s Mirth farm (Portsmouth Farmers’ Market). Onion, garlic, and chile peppers for the beans from New Roots farm (Portsmouth Farmers’ Market). The poblanos (Barker’s Farm, Portsmouth FM) were roasted till black, then peeled and stuffed with ground lamb (Chestnut Lamb co-op, Portsmouth FM) seasoned with garlic and onion and coriander from the back-deck cilantro that got out of hand. The stuffed poblanos went into a small baking pan along with some cooked yellow tomatoes (New Roots farm, PFM) and Silvery Moon cheddar (York Farmers’ Market) and the whole thing was baked just until the cheese was melted. yum.

Dover Community Garden starting up – all are welcome!

Wednesday, September 19th, 2007

It’s great to see a new community garden starting up! If you live in (or near?) Dover and need a bit of space for a garden (because you live in an apartment or condo, for example), or if you just want some community in your gardening, check this event out!

 

“The City of Dover has granted the authority to build and maintain a community garden off of Sixth St. next to Beckwith Park. The garden site has been mowed, and the soil can now be prepared for next year’s growing season. Several people have expressed interest in becoming stewards of the garden. Now it is time to gather these volunteers to create a design and plan of action.

The first organizational meeting will be held Wednesday, September 26th, at 6:00pm. Anyone and everyone are invited and welcome. Even the most experienced gardener learns something new each year, so by no means should anyone feel embarrassed about their lack of a green thumb.

 

We will first meet in the parking lot of Beckwith Park to observe the future garden grounds, and we recommend dressing accordingly. After the tour of the site, we will go to the McConnell Center cafeteria for the rest of the meeting. We will have the expertise and assistance of Garen Heller (Back River Farm, Dover) and Lauren Chase-Rowell (Northeast Organic Farmers Association, NH Chapter). Beckwith Park is off of Hillside Dr., just .5 miles down Sixth St from Central Ave., on the left. If you’re still not sure how to get there or if you need a ride, please e-mail us.

 

Again, everyone is welcome and we encourage you to share this notice with anyone you feel may be interested. We want the Dover Community Garden to be inviting for all! :-)

Please e-mail Eric Kelsey or Matt Polzin if you plan to come so we know who to expect. Additionally, please fee free to contact us if you have any questions, comments, or ideas you would like to share with the group.

 

Thanks, and we hope to see you on September 26th!”

 

Eric Kelsey
cell: 438-4992

Email: ekelsey@gust.sr.unh.edu

 

Matt Polzin

Phone: 969-0640

Email: itssmatt@yahoo.com

Gratitude:12 Days into the Challenge

Wednesday, September 12th, 2007

One of the really nice things I’ve encountered is the generosity of others…I’ve received free eggs from a student, lots of tomatoes from friends, fish from my boyfriend’s father, a big ole pile of swiss chard, and cheese and beans from Sara Zoe! These gifts in my non-challenge time still would have been appreciated, but now, I’m eating so specifically, that these local food gifts don’t linger in my fridge. They are made into meals and eaten with gratitude.

I decided to eat the lunch I’m given gratis at work as another exception to the 150-mile radius. For those of you who know where I work, you know the food is delicious, and from an independent business, though not sourced locally. But that’s a few meals a week I don’t have to prepare, so I’ll take it!

I think I’ve found my rhythm as far as preparing meals go, so it’s getting a bit easier. I did eat out once last week during a visit out of town, and I ate some chocolate last night (shade grown, fair trade, 10% of profits to the rainforest, blah blah blah. It still had been to more exotic places than most Americans who eat the stuff).

Other than that, it’s been all local, each meal. Lots of eggs, lots of dairy. Veggies, some de-thawed berries. Found a melon the other day, and it felt like a treat. I’m feeling that we take out abundant food for granted. When we tighten our parameters and cook each meal, we realize how spoiled we are in our society. I’m appreciating all the efforts involved, from seed to food.

Thanks to everyone who is nourishing me!

seen at the Portsmouth Health Food Store . . .

Tuesday, September 11th, 2007

in addition to quite a bit of clearly labeled very local produce (hurrah!), I saw a truck from the Crown of Maine Organic Cooperative and rushed right home to explore the website -

I think a lot of us are learning through the September Eat Local Challenge that in  order for this to be sustainable in a time/life sense sort of way, it would help for food distribution systems to change a bit. The Crown of Maine Organic Cooperative looks like it fits right into a new model of food distribution, connecting local foods with local consumers. Their vision page is chock full of information about how they work and want they want to do – improve accessibility to local foods by working with small retailers, buying clubs, and restaurants while not in any way competing with farm to consumer direct sales. A most excellent model – who’s up for a Seacoast area version?

And I wonder if the Portsmouth Health Food Store is carrying the Maine grown and milled flour mentioned on the Crown of Maine website  . . . .

Eating out events, Challenge friendly

Sunday, September 9th, 2007

In addition to next Saturday’s Slow Food Seacoast Harvest Supper & Contra Dance and UNH’s Local Harvest Feast on the 20th, here are two more opportunities to eat out and eat locally – a particular boon if you are participating in the September Eat Local Challenge:

Thursday, September 13th: “Community Vine’s Local Harvest Dinner”, 6:30 pm

To Benefit Seacoast Family Food Pantry of Portsmouth and Footprints Food Pantry of Kittery

Presented by Community Vine and Seacoast Growers Association:
In Partnership with Victory96 Restaurant, Taste Magazine, and Philbrick’s Fresh Market.

Five courses, five local celebrity chefs, locally grown and raised produce, seafood, and meat, and regional, organic, and biodynamic wines!

Celebrate the richness and diversity of our local farms! Sit down for a glorious five course meal each featuring a local celebrity chef’s dish created solely from local product!

Chef’s include:
Mark Segal – Executive Chef, 100 Club
Ben Hasty – Executive Chef, Dunaway Restaurant
Cliff Arrand, James Walter – Owner, Executive Chef, Pesce Blue
Duncan Boyd – Owner and Executive Chef, Victory96 Restaurant

$75.00 advance purchase, (plus tax and gratuity)
Call Victory96 for tickets 603.766.0960
For questions call Todd Cary at Community Vine 603.531.9760

——–

Autumn Harvest Dinner Party under the tent

Saturday, September 22, 2007

6 – 9pm

 

Join us for a casual evening featuring: Live music, Vineyard harvest wine toast, Drawing for tickets to 2007 HarvestFest

Harvest Menu

Freshly Baked Zucchini Bread
Cheddar and Chive Gougères

General Stark Vodka Cured Salmon Canapés
Grilled or Chilled Clams and Oysters

Corn Chowder

Harvest Salad
Fresh Mixed Greens, Dried Cranberries, Candied Pecans,
Poached Pears, Blue Cheese, Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette

Charcoal-Roasted Steamship of Pork
Open Pit Grilled Chicken
Pit Roasted Potatoes
Corn on the Cob with Jalapeno Butter
Grilled Farmers Market Vegetable Platter

Fire Roasted Apple Smorgasbord
Caramel Sauce, Walnuts, Dried Cranberries, Oatmeal Crumb Topping, Whipped Cream

       $65/person includes tax and tip

For reservations   603.659.2949   dinners@flaghill.com

Flag Hill Winery and Distillery
297 North River Road, Lee, NH 03861
www.flaghill.com

 

onion tart recipe

Thursday, September 6th, 2007

From the comments, an onion tart recipe via our friend Jeff:

Onion Tart
- Tasteful Treasures, Friends of Fremont Library Cookbook
9” pie crust, unbaked
3 large onions, thinly sliced
3 large eggs, beaten
1/8 tsp pepper
1 1/2 cup light cream
3 Tbsp butter
3/4 tsp salt
Fry the thinly sliced onions gently in butter. Do not brown.
Arrange the onions in the pastry case. Mix the eggs, salt
and pepper with 1/4 cup of the cream. Heat the remaining
1 1/4 cups cream, add to the egg mixture and pour
over the onions. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes,
or until a knife comes out clean.

thanks! And thanks Lenore for the prompt!

4 Days into the Challenge

Tuesday, September 4th, 2007

I’ve completed four days of local-only food. I’ve been getting berries and veggies from Tuttle’s (they have quite a bit of their home-grown veggies on the shelves now), Barker’s Farm (on Route 33), picked up some milk and cream from Philbrick’s (they carry the Harris glass bottle dairy) and snipped some mint from my front yard. I ordered a 5lb bag of the Wood Prairie whole wheat flour (and made a leaden loaf of 100% whole wheat bread…I actually do know better than to do that, it was just an experiment). I have some local butter, cheese, honey, and maple syrup. I’m picking up fish tomorrow. Oh, and I harvested my own sea salt.

I only have myself to feed, but it’s amazing how much forethought it’s been taking. Right now, at 7:30 at night, I need to consider tomorrow’s breakfast. Defrost some berries? Boil potatoes? Start another round of bread? If I’m not at home for lunch, I’ll need to bring something along. Unfortunately, it feels like a bit of a chore, but I know it will get easier as I grow accustomed to my new rhythm.

On the delicious side of local food, I made a great ratatouille last night with gorgeous tomatoes, eggplant, onion, zucchini, and summer squash (substituting local butter for the olive oil) , a pretty salad with shell beans, and berries with maple-sweetened whipped cream. I’m making vichyssoise later this week.

I’m going to try to go as long as possible with 100% local food. I think next week I’ll consider what exceptions I may make (tea, cinnamon, white flour, and chocolate come to mind). I also need to gauge how reasonable it is to do drive all about to gather this awesome food, as it’s the environmental aspect of this challenge that I love. I’ve already learned a lot, I only wish my schedule would allow me to get to any of the farmer’s markets.

Hope everyone else in the Challenge is feeling nourished and proud.

Happy eating!

Confession

Monday, September 3rd, 2007

 

On September 1st, the first day of the Eat Local Challenge, I did all my shopping at Shaw’s grocery store. After, visiting the farmer’s markets all summer and working very hard on our new lifestyle, my tired body, from all the responsibilities of a family, broke down and did an all in one shopping trip. My guilty conscious was eased when I discovered that their are many options at the grocery store though, ones I missed, since I have been shopping so much elsewhere.

This past month, raising three children developmentally all under the age of three and trying to continue eating locally has posed many difficulties. After juggling schedules around routine appontments for Lexi ranging from Boston to Dartmouth, therapy appointments, birthday parties, and a summer vacation to visit the grandparents in PA (which was great because we stocked up on pretzals and Yeungling beer), I think of ourselves as a fairly typical busy family. On top of that, we experienced numerous car repairs, which left me without a car every Thursday, the day of the Exeter farmers market – very annoying. It causes me to wonder, how did mothers in the past grow their food, and preserve it all, and watch after the little ones? Some hypothesis’s are: lots of family members around, get togethers for canning, maybe more community support. I’d love to hear what others think.

In the meantime, check out some of my favorite things:

  • Farmer Kate’s Willow Pond article, in case you missed it.
  • Borealis Bread that Sara Zoe mentioned can actually be picked up at Shaw’s grocery store. Very cool!
  • Community of people I have met since I started this venture, and I am excited to get to know the people I have met better and meet more farmers!
  • Josh’s Zebra tomatoes from Meadow Mirth’s farm. The word devoured, is an understatement when we discovered how good they were when tasted for the first time.
  • Feeling good about the products I am buying. Not only because they are healthy, but because, my money is supporting a cause I strongly believe in on a daily basis.
  • Lasting Legacy farm for showing us around after getting COMPLETELY lost on the way there. And allowing us to make an order and then picking it up at Willow Pond, since it’s close by.
  • Riverlea Farm was also an awesome place to visit, especially with young kids. I just wish my Kousa plant produced more this summer, so I could keep making my favorite recipe with ground lamb.