This week’s guest post is from Jean Eno, who chronicles her passion for local food in her blog Gimme the Knife! Jean can be frequently found at Seacoast farmers’ markets and, with her many years of cooking experience, takes delight in discovering new ingredients for her local kitchen. Jean’s family includes her husband, Paul, and their 3 pets — Amy the dog (pictured below), Cecil-Cockatiel and Tilde-Turtle. Friends and family join them often to feast on her latest creations. Jean’s recipe for Mushroom, Roasted Pepper & Goat Cheese Frittata will be included in an upcoming cookbook featuring birch syrup from The Crooked Chimney, due out sometime next year. Thank-you, Jean, for sharing your week of eating locally!
Like many, I have spanned the culinary gamut over the decades. I vividly recall the savory and salty roast beef pan drippings (a taste sense we now call ‘umami’) that my sister and I, as kids, would kneel and beg for like panting dogs at my mother’s side at the dinner table—a scene one might otherwise find in ‘A Christmas Story’. Years later, I was a macrobiotic vegan for more than a decade. Today, we fully embrace our local and organic omnivore diet; the culinary experiences are incredibly rewarding.
In the kitchen, I like to serve and teach; home is where I am happiest. I enjoy making the most mundane occasion a reason to entertain and cook for our friends, all of whom, like I, belong to the clean plate club. Having designed a kitchen to accommodate large dinner parties, doing so is often just a phone call away, which is just the way I like it: easy and spontaneous, and nothing wasted!
Food waste: the very reason I got out of the restaurant business, and the very basis for my creativity. Leftover [fill in the blank] makes for killer frittatas, extraordinary pizzas and nurturing soups; aging fruits are reborn as sauces or quick breads; bones and carcasses always have a final simmer for stock; and, in a nod to our pets’ health, leftovers help fill out their diet.
I have cooked for my 16-year old cockatiel for the last eight years (he eats not a single “bird” seed). Our “rescued” three-toed box turtle is semi-hibernating right now and eats only 1x/week, but nonetheless eats only homemade food. Our dog, a food-driven 60lb tank with fur, is very happy to eat homemade food (she’ll roll over for a blueberry). With the abundance of great local meat, poultry, fish, eggs, breads, greens, vegetables, roots, yogurts and cheeses we have at our fingertips, she should be happy!
I might add that we are not strictly localvores. Foods such as wild salmon and rice are a must for us and our dog; edamame, assorted nuts and pasta are year-round musts for my bird (we do occasionally make our own pasta); and, the turtle prefers sweet potato over winter squash mashed into her collard greens, egg and blueberries (she also eats an abundance of backyard worms and grubs… Aack!).
There are great veterinarian sites online to assist you (use keywords like ‘holistic’ and ‘homemade’), but be sure to consult your own DVM as there are a couple of supplements you’ll need to have on hand. Together, you can create a healthy, convenient and affordable alternative to commercial pet food. More importantly, you’ll have really happy pets! And, no, we do not allow panting begging at the table!
This week’s dinner menu:
• Chorizo, Leek & Butternut Risotto (recipe)
• Squash/apple for all three pets (added to leftover turkey, broccoli stems and yogurt in dog’s case)
• 100% grass fed & finished burgers with black trumpet mushrooms, shallots and baby swiss cheese
• Spinach salad with shaved red onion, clementines, dried cranberries, toasted almonds and homemade vinaigrette
• Roasted potatoes
• Beef, raw potato, clementine, and yogurt for pooch
• Sunchoke and cauliflower soup with croutons (recipe)
• Leftovers from night before for pooch
• Roasted chicken
• Roasted beets and carrots
• Leftover stuffing (stuffing freezes really well; this year’s was made with a typical mirepoix)
• Chicken pieces, beets and carrots added to yogurt and bread crusts for pooch
• Stuffed Delicata squash (onion, garlic, spinach, mushroom, herbs, tomatoes)
• Leftovers from night before for pooch
• Veggie Quesadillas (peppers, corn and zucchini from freezer, garlic, onions, jack and cheddar cheeses)
• Brown rice and Lowe’s Champion beans
• Rice & beans for both pooch and birdie, along with hard-boiled eggs!
• Minestrone soup (stewed tomatoes, celery, carrots, beans, cabbage, chard from our garden and homemade chicken stock)
• Tuscan boule
• Leftover turkey from freezer, rice, cabbage and yogurt for pooch; more beans and rice for birdie
— Photographs courtesy of Jean Eno. Food marked in bold were sourced locally, and show the seasonal array available here in the Seacoast!