So much has happened food-wise since I last wrote--I guess I was too busy eating and cooking to write. Let's see if I can get caught up.
As you can imagine, much of the emphasis has been on local this summer. I've been trying to take my local focus a step further than I did last year and have been successful.
A few weeks ago at Lake Michigan with my sister Courtney, brother-in-law Tico, my mom, and extended family and friends we had some great meals. I cooked brats/sausages from one of the local butchers in Three Oaks, Michigan--Driers. I grilled the sausages and tossed them with grilled red pepper and onion (from the local farmer's market). And with that we had grilled vegetable pasta--eggplant, zucchini, peppers, tossed with Olive oil, garlic and goat cheese. A light green salad with a pesto vinaigrette with beets and tomatoes served plain on the side. The meal was the final part of an evening celebrating the 100th birthday of the cottage.
It was a hot humid night and skinny dipping abounded--some were seasoned regulars, but a newcomer to the skinny dipping scene was added that night--a nice father son swim in the pitch black (how long until he is skinny dipping with girls not dad?).
Selma (short description--neighborhood foodies doing their part to promote slow food by running a volunteer-run Friday breakfast in their home serving good food to their friends)
I cooked at Selma. Well, I was the sous chef. It is really satisfying to dish out 90 breakfasts in one morning. The Thursday night prep is the part of the evening when you can bond with your fellow volunteers and talk food, learn from others, and support each other in making good local food more important and available. When we broke for dinner we had salad, cheese, bread, and Silvio brought a fontina, blue cheese and blueberry pizza--winning combo!!!
I also introduced the kids and a few neighbor kids to Selma as well this past week. They don't get it's mission, but enjoyed seeing the chickens in the backyard and Patrick declared the waffles the best he had ever had. They had no idea that the owner of the house cures his own bacon, or that all the ingredients were local...but hopefully some of the goodness will rub off on them.
I spent 3 hours on Sunday helping to can peaches for Selma so we can have some delicious local fruit in the winter months as well. I brought home a jar of peach juice...another thing for me to refer to as liquid gold. Thick, smooth, sweet...and it was still warm when I brought it home.
We had two backyard BBQs this week with differing layers of excitement. Once local dinner of pesto pasta, tomatoes, salad, fruit, cheese and bread ended with a kid in the ER with five stitches---in a hurry to play he slipped on the stairs and his plate got the better of his finger. We thought it was worse than it was....he was lucky.
Another local dinner featured 6 kids running around---but no injuries this time. The main event for this dinner was grass fed beef topped with local cheddar. Smokey, creamy, goodness. But everything else rocked too--homemade mac and cheese (the parents praying the kids wouldn't eat it all), tomato mozzarella basil salad, spinach bake with feta, grilled vegetables, homemade blueberry muffins, even the beer was local!
A few other notable things from this month and I'll call it a night.
I saw Food Inc.. Don't think I can ever eat Tyson again. Monsanto is pure evil. A neighbor is trying to organize us all to buy a cow. I'm not sure I can let my kids eat school lunch. Everyone should see it. I'm glad Obama is in office.
I joined the Food Co-op. I'll try to shop there when I can. I bought local flour, Michigan beet sugar, and local cheeses.
I put up a lot of food for winter (but have a lot more to do)....spinach, arugula, peaches, blueberries this week, to come, dilly beans, tomato sauce, apple sauce, jams...
Last night I made egg bakes with leftover veggies (from Carrie's garden) and Michigan Bacon. Check out the picture--this was my 7 year old's serving!
Tonight was pizza. I cheated and bought the dough from Silvio. I'll always cheat. It was too good. Kids had olive oil, garlic and pepper, topped with three cheeses and hamburger on Connor's half. Our was pesto with 2 cheeses on half, and shredded zucchini and tomato and 3 cheeses on my half. His crust makes the best air bubbles and the crust is just divine.
On vacation next week--looking forward to some more local shopping and cooking.