Friday, June 20, 2008

One Local Summer: Week 3

Can you tell couscous is my go-to grain for busy days? It's really just the most excellent fast food, and I'm coming to rely on it for CSA nights when we have pick-ups between 6 and 8 pm, which can make it tough to pull together a family dinner at the same time. If only I could locally source it, I'd be a happy girl.

This evening we enjoyed pork tenderloin medallions from Tamworth pigs, a heritage breed raised here at Touch the Earth Farm that were tender and delicious. These were accompanied by a just picked salad with fresh, tender young lettuces, spinach, green onions, hakurei turnip and home-made chevre. The couscous is flavored with chevre, garlic, and green onions. Of course, there's the requisite ciabatta bread on the side.

Everything was zero mile but for the flour, couscous, garlic, and vinaigrette ingredients.

And since I'm talking about food, I had to include this photo of our first artichokes. We cooked these up for a lovely local meal for father's day, and they looked absolutely amazing.

Unfortunately, they sucked.


Seriously, while they smelled delicious and produced a very tasty sauce, the chokes themselves were woody. I grew them from seed, which is a rather tricky thing apparently, as only 60% or so of artichokes grown from seed are tasty and edible. Ahhh well, it was a good experiment and the plants themselves are so striking that it may be worth growing them as ornamentals.

After a bit of reading on the subject, planting offsets of a known plant is apparently the way to go. I guess I could just keep trying until I get a good plant, but thank goodness I didn't try to foist these onto my CSA members.


karl said...

i wish we lived in an area that could support a CSA. everyone here buys food from the dollar isle--melamine enhanced hamburger helper from china. i worry for our countries future health.

Ren said...

I had no intention of starting these from seed but now I won't even be tempted a little bit! Dang..I had NO idea.
They are so lovely though. I wish they were as perfect as they look! Ah and learn right? Thanks for testing it out! lol

Tim said...

I have never eaten those. I will have to try that some day.

Christy said...

That meal looks good! I've been finding it hard to summon the energy to plan a totally local meal. All of our animal products are local, some of our veggies are local and none of our grains are local. Makes it a bit of work to plan a local meal since we eat pasta almost every meal. We rarely eat a piece of meat with veggies on the side. Normally we combine everything together either with rice or pasta.

Danielle said...

Thanks for the comments!

Tim, I steamed them in garlic and olive oil, and it smelled lovely. The sauce was delicious. I added the last of my dried tomatoes at the end and then poured it all over angel hair pasta. I reserved some of the broth for dipping the artichoke petals in, but ended up dipping my bread in instead. The sauce was quite tasty, so the meal wasn't a total loss.

Christy, I can't source local grains or flours, and we're not going to forgo them for our meals either. I do need to be better about making my own pasta, though. Just not enough time in the day, and to be honest, the dough is so stiff that it really aggravates my wrists, which are a mess these days. So, I've been avoiding it.

Nicole said...

Sadly, I think the only way you're going to get locally sourced couscous is to make it yourself. It seems a smidgen too labor intensive. Heh!