There are many ways to approach eating locally*, and this week we have a guest post from fellow Cheese Chick, Lenore. You may already be familiar with Lenore through her posts on home cheesemaking and other cheese-related adventures; the latest one was on Pumpkin Fondue. A New Hampshire native, Lenore now lives in the Seacoast with her husband, Mike, 2 small children, and one large dog. In addition to taking care of a 20 gallon fish tank, which Lenore says “…sounds easy, but actually takes more work than you realize!” Lenore also works as a dog trainer.
I love this idea — I think it’s perfect to show people how it’s done on many levels. By no means am I a true locavore, but it’s easy enough to make huge changes if you just take a second to think about it, right? I am game for anything! I learned how to cook just by trying anything and everything. Mike taught me how to best cook fish, I grew up making bread and baking, and everything else was just trial and error. I don’t mind a complex recipe as long as the result is something scrumptious!
As for style, we tend to eat light during the summer, using simple whole foods (grilling is definitely my weakness). I can’t tell you how many meals we have of just slicing up heirloom tomatoes from our garden, pairing it with our basil slivers, roasted garlic, extra virgin olive oil, and homemade mozzarella. We then add some cold, local chicken (or grilled if Mike’s around) and corn on the cob, and that’s our summer standby!
We eat a lot more meat during winter now, even though I was a vegetarian for 10 years. I came to grips with it during my first pregnancy when I just craved meat. Animal welfare is a huge part of it for me, so I stopped buying supermarket meat and I really research where my meat is coming from — if I can’t visit the farm, I don’t buy meat from it. During winter I also bake lots of bread and can get involved in more complex recipes.
We also love French cooking, which doesn’t have to be complex, but the flavors are heavenly! Many of my Provencal cookbooks match perfectly with NH’s summer cuisine. Of course, I also have to cook for 2 young children, so that’s a chore sometimes itself! I don’t cook separately for them, but I do keep in mind that they don’t like spicy foods, or foods that are hard to eat. They are always surprising me with what they WILL eat, like sushi and kale chips!
My menu for this week (it’s a pretty simple one because I’ve got 3 clients this week, in addition to gymnastics and Jump Rope Club meetings with the kids):
MONDAY: Peter Allen’s local chicken, roasted (because we miss having our own Thanksgiving-like leftovers to come home to!) with our own Desiree mashed potato stuffing (given to us by Audrey at Pickpocket Farm, from her Thanksgiving meal); and our own butternut squash with local maple syrup.
TUESDAY: Local cod (frozen from our CSF); our own twice-baked Green Mountain potatoes; leftover squash.
WEDNESDAY: “Polly’s Pumpkin Soup” (from Willow Pond website) made with Pickpocket Farm’s Fairytale pumpkin, Brookford Farm cream, and our own local chicken broth; homemade bread made with KAF bread flour and local wheat flour (from Peter Allen’s farm store this summer).
THURSDAY: Leftover chicken breast (with a Weight Watchers honey-pecan coating); our own sauteed swiss chard; and organic french fries for the kids:-)
FRIDAY: Whole wheat pasta with our own pesto; garlic bread with our own garlic and homemade French bread.
SATURDAY: 2 pizzas made with our own garlic scape pesto and tomato sauce; whatever leftover chicken we have frozen from the week; homemade mozzarella if I can get to it, otherwise we’ll use homemade chevre; our own kale chips.
*Local foods are marked in bold to show what’s seasonal and how much we have available here. Thank-you, Lenore!