Archive for November, 2007

smile!

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

Some of the pictures from the first Holiday Farmers’ Market

See you all on December 22!

from the mailbag . . .

Tuesday, November 20th, 2007

Jean writes to tell us the results of her Holiday Farmers’ Market shopping trip:

I just put eucalyptus into a vase, and eggs, brie, peppercorn muenster and mozzarella into the fridge; filled a huge cooler with butternut and blue hubbard, potatoes, a huge sac of onions, 3 stalks of brussels sprouts, vast quantities of garlic and cippolinis, tokyo turnip, cabbage, martian-esque cauliflower and delightful purple carrots with white cores; and my freezer was just supplemented with fresh whole chickens from McClary’s, and pork chops, shoulder steaks and t-bones from Lasting Legacy’s (who I’m also getting a ham from next Wednesday, and maybe a turkey!). And I got a new supply of maple syrup (king size this time!). I sent my mom packing with a lamb shank and sausage, a pork loin roast, a chicken, eggs and flowers! Aaaaaand, I bought that basket of gourds from Ramsbothams, along with some dried flowers, for a friend! I’m pooped! And broke! Ain’t no bettah feelin’ than knowing it all went to good hands! :~)

I had a great time and look forward to December’s event. Have a great Thanksgiving!

Market Report on Yankee Food

Sunday, November 18th, 2007

Kim of Yankee Food drove a ways to come to our Holiday Farmers’ Market yesterday, and then wrote a great write up with great pictures.

How to shop like a pro at the Farmers’ Market

Tuesday, November 13th, 2007

This Saturday’s Holiday Farmers’ Market is going to be very very awesome. There will be about 25 vendors there, selling everything from cheese to pies to honey to milk, a lot of meats and a lot more vegetables. With all that in mind, here are 10 tips for Saturday’s market:

  1. Come with an open mind.  I often arrive at a farmers’ market hoping to find a particular ingredient, and when I do, I feel blessed. This is not something you can count on when it comes to vegetables in particular. Recent cold snaps have killed a lot of tender greens, deer eat crops, and nature happens. That said, what is at the market is more than pleasantly surprising. Amazingly buttery tokyo turnips alongside heirloom varieties of pumpkins and squash, winter greens, and more.
  2. Be prepared to stock up. Our next Holiday Farmers’ Market is a month away – December 22nd. Between now and then, lots of food will last handsomely. Carrots store very well for weeks in the fridge; potatoes, squash, and onions need only a cool-ish space (potatoes in the dark, other things are ok out of direct sun). You can fill your freezer with locally raised meat, which means providing your family with a healthier, more humane product that you can feel safe serving.
  3. Bring plenty of cash. This goes hand in hand with stocking up, but even if you aren’t stocking up you might surprise yourself. In addition to food for yourself, you may wish to buy a pie for a neighbor, or a jar of maple syrup or honey as a gift for your kid’s teacher. Some foods naturally add up, like big, delicious turkeys.
  4. Bring your checkbook. While farmers and food producers usually cannot accept credit or debit cards, almost every one does accept checks. This is not to say the food at the farmers’ market is very expensive, often it is less expensive than supermarket food. But the credit card back up isn’t there, so give yourself the checkbook as a back up.
  5. Bring bags. Sturdy bags, and plenty of them. Those very inexpensive woven bags you see everywhere these days are awesome because they have flat bottoms, meaning you can get a lot of stuff in there without it crushing everything else. All the vendors will have plastic shopping bags, but a. it is hard to carry a lot of those and b. less plastic = better. I do a 1, 2 combo and bring a bunch of grocery store plastic bags into which I pile anything loose that needs to be weighed. That way, onto the scale goes my already pre-used plastic bag instead of a new one, and then it can quickly and simply go into my bigger totes.
  6. Bring a cooler. Or two. Since meat is so easy to stock up on (it is all pre-frozen because of the nature of small farms and small processing facilities in New England), I will be making certain I get my share. But there will also be plenty of delicious cheese from Silvery Moon Creamery – cheddar, cheddar curd, maybe some mozzarella, Brie and Camembert, and much more as well as fresh Jersey milk from Brookford Farm. Frozen meat turns into the ice cubes for the milk and cheese, et voila!
  7. Take trips to the car. The foods of fall can be heavy. Potatoes, onions, and squashes, frozen cuts of meat, jars of honey. Parking is very nearby and there is no giant hill! You can make as many trips to the car to drop off heavy things as you want.
  8. Give yourself time to scope everything out. This is a big market! There is a lot to see and a lot to buy. Very special and particularly coveted things should be snapped up on sight, but allow yourself time to make sure you didn’t miss anything on the first pass.
  9. Give yourself time to relax. We have live music, you might run into friends to chat with, and most especially exciting to me, student chef demonstrators from the McIntosh Atlantic Culinary Academy showing us how to prepare a variety of local foods such as Tokyo turnips from Wake Robin Farm and a French heirloom pumpkin from Meadow’s Mirth Farm. So grab a hot drink, and stick around for awhile.
  10. Give yourself a pat on the back. Yes, -you- know the food at farmers’ markets is more delicious, more flavorful, and much much fresher, so if those are the only reasons you shop at farmers’ markets that’s more than ok. But buying local food is also a political act, an environmental statement, and a social contract – it’s saying that you care about your neighbors, your community, the health of your family and the environment alike. You are doing great things when you shop at farmers’ markets, take credit for it!

For directions, a list of vendors, and a list of products, visit Seacoast Eat Local’s Holiday Farmers’ Market webpage.

80%

Sunday, November 11th, 2007

In 2006, the legislature of Maine updated its Food Policy, and in doing so set a goal that by the year 2020, 80% of the food calories consumed in the state would be grown in the state. This would be an increase from the 20% currently grown and consumed in the state of Maine. (Information via the Maine Foods Network)

80% of food calories. This means Mainers will still be enjoying things that have no business growing in New England: bananas, coffee, pineapples. But it will shift the focus to making most meals mostly local, and it will certainly cut down on the silly situation of buying apples from New Zealand at the height of apple season. I like the idea of 80%, it’s a good goal, a strong statement for local foods and the social and environmental benefits brought about by increased support for local agriculture, but it’s also something that allows us all to be human and enjoy a diverse diet.

I’m eating an 80% meal myself tonight, a lentil dish I learned to cook in Turkey. While the lentils themselves are from Indiana, the lamb, onion, tomatoes, butter, and yogurt for serving are all very local, and very delicious.

Turkish Lentils
(enough to feed a crowd, or plenty for a family with awesome leftovers)

  • 1 lb lentils
  • 1 lb ground lamb (Riverslea in Epping is a great source)
  • 1 b onions
  • 1 qt canned tomatoes
  • 1 cup plain, thick yogurt (like Silvery Moon Creamery’s)
  • White bread and butter to eat alongside.

Chop onions and saute in a large pot until soft and a little brown. Add ground lamb and continue cooking until browned. Add lentils and tomato. Stir, then add additional water until the lentils are covered. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, until tender, about 45 minutes. Stir occasionally and add more water if needed. Season with salt and serve with giant dollops of yogurt and slices of bread and butter.

another pumpkin recipe . .

Tuesday, November 6th, 2007

this one a soup, courtesy of Freddie and the Great Big Vegetable Challenge. This one merits inclusion for its use of potatoes, which, although I haven’t tried it yet, I think will give it a great texture, and for its ingredient list which includes all potentially and possible local foods:

Roasted Pumpkin Soup with maple syrup
Serves 4-6
1 medium sized pumpkin
2 medium sized potatoes, peeled and finely diced
800ml of vegetable or chicken stock
2 onions, chopped finely
2-3 tbsp of olive oil
1-2 tbsp of maple syrup
2 tbsp of crème-fraiche
1 clove of garlic
Salt and Pepper
Sprig of rosemary

Preheat oven to 400F. Cut the pumpkin in half, scrape away the seeds and white pith and rub olive oil over the flesh inside. Season with salt and pepper and then place the two halves of the pumpkin with the cut side facing down, on to a baking tray. Put a sprig of rosemary under each half as it bakes in a preheated oven for 45 minutes, depending on its size, or until the flesh is completely soft. Scoop out the flesh into a bowl. In a large pan, sauté the chopped onions, crushed garlic and finely diced potatoes in a tablespoon of olive oil for about 5 minutes. Add the pumpkin flesh and stock. Bring to the boil and then turn down the heat to low and simmer gently for 15-20 minutes. Turn off heat and when it has cooled a little, pour into all into a food processor and blend until smooth, adding the maple syrup and crème-fraiche.

Pumpkins will be among the many vegetables, meats, breads, cheeses and more at the Holiday Farmers’ Markets – November 17 and December 22, McIntosh Atlantic Culinary Academy in Dover, NH from 9am – 2pm. More information, including maps, products and vendors . . . 

a 100-mile Thanksgiving ready-made and to go

Monday, November 5th, 2007

This year, Chef Ted McCormack and Flag Hill Winery are offering a local foods based Thanksgiving meal you can pick up on Thanksgiving morning:

Thanksgiving should be a time for friends and family, so why not leave the cooking to us! Order your full Thanksgiving meal or individual portions from Flag Hill. Our executive chef, Chef Ted McCormack will prepare and cook your Thanksgiving feast from locally procured foods and have it ready for you to pickup Thanksgiving between 10am and 12pm. Let the family think you slaved over it in the kitchen – we won’t tell if you won’t. Turkeys are procured locally and 85% of the menu is from local farms and producers. Eat great and support local agriculture !!

Complete meal includes:

  • Butternut Squash Soup and Rolls
  • Roast New England Turkey
  • Homemade Gravy and Cranberry Sauce
  • Herb Bread Stuffing
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Fresh Green Beans
  • Awesome Apple or Real Pumpkin Pie

Cost:

  • Individual Serving – $16
  • Serving 12-14 – $200

Call 603-659-2949 or email dinners@flaghill.com to place an order or make any inquiries. Your Thanksgiving meal may be picked up on Thanksgiving Thursday between 10am and 12pm. Orders must be placed by November 17th. Payment accepted at time of order.

Eating locally for Thanksgiving

Friday, November 2nd, 2007

Our collaborators Slow Food Seacoast are offering a fun, celebratory, and informative opportunity to have an easy “practice round” for a 100-mile Thanksgiving. What better time to eat locally than Thanksgiving in New England?

Slow Food Seacoast Hosts “100-Mile Thanksgiving”

 

On Nov.4, 2007, Slow Food Seacoast brings back a popular event for its second year —   The 100-Mile Thanksgiving Potluck! All are invited to accept the challenge of sharing a  potluck fest of Turkey Day traditions in which all dishes feature ingredients grown within 100 miles of Portsmouth, NH

 

PORTSMOUTH, NH, Oct. 25, 2007 –Updating a classic feast with local flavors, Slow Food Seacoast brings Thanksgiving home this November.

 

On November 4th, 2007, Slow Food invites the public to a 100-Mile Thanksgiving Potluck Dinner at the Portsmouth Pearl , 45 Pearl Street, Portsmouth, NH, from 5:30 – 8:00 PM. Slow Food Seacoast will serve up two locally raised roasted turkeys, and attendees are invited to bring potluck contributions featuring food grown or raised within a few hours of the Seacoast. Come witness the abundance and enjoy the taste of home. Conversation and celebration are on the program. Taste locally raised domestic and heritage-breed turkeys side-by-side and savor the autumn flavors of home-cooked dishes from soups to desserts. Seacoast Eat Local will present information about its upcoming Holiday Farmers’ Markets. The evening will include a live musical performance by Cynthia Chatis, who will share songs celebrating the harvest season.

 

All ages are welcome to join in the feast. Guests are asked to contribute a potluck dish to serve at least 10 portions, and to bring their own place settings and beverages (no alcoholic beverages at this event, please). Admission is free, but Slow Food Seacoast will be accepting voluntary suggested donations of $5 per person, $4 of which will be donated to the Seacoast Family Food Pantry and $1 to Slow Food Seacoast. Seacoast Family Food Pantry is one of the oldest charitable organizations in the state, initially chartered in 1816, and serves over 300 families and individuals from Portsmouth and surrounding communities.

 

The Portsmouth Pearl, a restored 1868 Church with a distinguished history as the earliest African-American church structure in New Hampshire. The Pearl’s century and more of positive social change provide the ideal venue for friends to meet, eat, and discuss ways to find and grow good, clean, and fair food right here in our home region.

 

Partners in Change: Along with Seacoast Eat Local

( http://www.seacoasteatlocal.org/) and the 100-Mile Diet (http://www.100milediet.org/), Slow Food Seacoast joins others nationwide who have accepted the challenge of the 100-Mile Thanksgiving (http://100milediet.org/thanksgiving ). This event reminds us to enjoy the bounty of the local harvest. The Slow Food movement was born as a counterbalance to the fast food industry, and the 100-Mile Thanksgiving challenge encourages all Americans to be thankful for the delicious, homegrown, seasonal foods coming from our own “foodshed.”   It’s a reminder that when we buy food locally, our dollars support the good works of neighbors, the cultivation of traditional heirloom and native crops, and the production of organic and artisanal foods that bring sustainability and good health to the table.

 

Flavors From History: Seasonally available foods associated with our holiday tradition include: Turkey, pumpkin, parsnips, turnips, skirrets, carrots, Jerusalem artichokes, corn, beans and squash, potatoes, leeks, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, apples and onions, cranberries, chestnuts, black walnuts, oysters, local cheese and dairy butter…and of course maple syrup.   Whether we eat a local turkey or goose, make a sage and chestnut dressing with cornbread or cubed wheat bread, or bake apple pies with New England cheddar or pumpkin pie, we are partaking in remnants of a past in which all of our foodstuffs were successfully and deliciously tied to the season and the agriculture of the region.

 

Event Details: The Slow Food 100-Mile Thanksgiving takes place at 5:30 PM, November 4, 2007 at The Portsmouth Pearl, 45 Pearl Street, Portsmouth, NH. The public is invited to attend and encouraged to contribute a side dish featuring at least one locally raised or grown main ingredient. Bring your own place settings and beverages. A $5 suggested donation will be collected at the door with $4 going to Seacoast Family Food Pantry. Parking is available in the business lot across the street from the Pearl.

 

Drawing on the past to inform and inspire the future, Slow Food Seacoast connects our region’s longstanding traditions to today’s table and supports the Slow Food Movement. We believe in   good, clean, and fair food for all people worldwide, in supporting our  of local farms and food producers, and taking time to enjoy the pleasures of the community table. Live the slow life!  

 

Additional Resources:

 

Slow Food USA

http://www.slowfoodusa.org/

 

Slow Food Seacoast

http://www.slowfoodseacoast.com

 

100-Mile Diet

http://www.100milediet.org/

 

Seacoast Eat Local

http://www.seacoasteatlocal.org/

 

Seacoast Family Food Pantry

http://www.sffpnh.org/

 

Local Harvest

http://www.localharvest.org/

 

Plimoth Plantation (Thanksgiving History and recipes)

http://www.plimoth.org/learn/history/thanksgiving/thanksgiving.asp

Portsmouth Pearl
http://portsmouthpearl.com/

Slow Food Seacoast, Portsmouth, NH
slowfoodseacoast@gmail.com
Our Website: http://www.slowfoodseacoast.org
Slow Food USA: http://www.slowfoodusa.org