Sunday, August 26, 2007
We had the last of the deer D got the last time he went hunting--a little amazing, since there seemed to be so much of it at first. We had to reorganize the freezer so it would all fit, and even then, we gave away parcels to D's father and anyone else who expressed an interest in venison.
We thought we'd eaten the last of it in July, but there was one more package hidden in the bottom drawer which I found when I was checking to see if there was anymore ice cream (there wasn't, darn it).
End of August Menu
Deer burgers with crispy bacon (courtesy of the Sausage Shoppe)
A salad of zucchini and cherry tomatoes (farmers market and garden, respectively), with a nonlocal vinaigrette
Corn from the market that's next to the multiplex theater (a nice double feature: a movie and a dozen ears of corn)
No photo of the burgers because they came out looking fuzzy and sinister.
Sunday, August 19, 2007
The pizza crust was half of a batch I made a few weeks ago and froze--it's from a recipe I got from Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, Barbara Kingsolver's book on local eating, and it's very good--crispy, chewily toothsome. Plus, it's online!
The sauce was a local affair, mainly, as were the mushrooms and cheese (farmers' market, both); the pepperoni was not. The salad--totally local, and in fact, totally garden (mine), except for the olive oil and vinegar dressing.
One of the best things about this sauce was how it made the house smell--tomato-y and rich and spicy--as if someone Italian lived here, someone Italian who was a brilliant cook.
Heavenly Roasted Tomato Pizza Sauce
several tomatoes; as many as you want to get rid of, if you're trying to use them up. I used 6 medium to large tomatoes, Brandywine and Beefsteak
2 cloves garlic
a double handful of fresh basil
a small handful of fresh oregano
several sprigs of fresh thyme
Because I was using very juicy tomatoes, I chopped them, put them in a colander over a bowl, salted them a bit, and let them sit there for a while so they'd lose some liquid. Then I spread them out on a cookie sheet which I lined with foil (to make clean up easier). I chopped the herbs and the garlic and distributed them more or less evenly, then drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar (I'd guess 2-3 tablespoons each).
I roasted them in a 325 oven for about an hour--but the time would definitely depend on how juicy your tomatoes are, so you have to keep an eye on it. I was waiting for the point where the juices were on the verging of burning (another reason to use the foil). When that happened, I took them out and put the tomatoes and remaining juices in the food processor to mix them up a little. What I got was a nice, thickened, heavenly smelling (and tasting) sauce somewhere between tomato sauce and paste in thickness--perfect for spreading on pizza. I used about half on a 9x13 pizza and froze the rest for a future dinner.
A very pleasing dinner for a summer day that feels a little bit like fall.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Sunday, August 05, 2007
Salad Gathered from the Garden
a handful of cherry tomatoes (I used Sweet 100s and the volunteer yellow pear tomatoes from last year)
a handful of grean beans
the kernels off 1 ear of corn (leftover from last night's dinner)
a handful of basil (I used purple)
2-3 stalks of lemon thyme
a few fronds of dill, and another few of chives
I steamed the green beans a little, until they were cooked a bit but still crisp. Then sliced the corn off the cob, cut the cherry tomatoes in half, and tore the herbs by hand--mixed altogether in the yellow bowl I inherited from my mother. A sprinkle of sea salt, a glug-glug of oil and a glug of vinegar, a few tosses, and it was ready. I didn't measure the oil or vinegar, but it was probably about 3 tbs of oil and 2 of vinegar. Everything local except for the last 3 ingredients, and from the garden except for the corn, which was from the local bins at Giant Eagle. Yes, Giant Eagle Supermarkets have gone local, in a small way, which I like to think I've contributed to by constantly annoying them with questions about local products. I buy some of it every time I go, so as to encourage their efforts.
The omelet was excellent, too (Amish eggs and potatoes and onions from the farmers market) but it failed to keep its integrity when folded over and so couldn't make it as a cover girl (cover omelet?).
The best thing about this meal was the 10 minutes I spent in the garden with my basket (oh yes, I have a basket!), gathering up what looked ripe and imagining the salad into being--a bit of this, a pinch of that. The essence of local.
Friday, August 03, 2007
I shared a memorable dinner with the AP in NYC, which was decidedly not local. I think I was there for the MLA conference (big English and mod. language professors thingie), and D was along for the fun of being in New York. The AP took us to a French restaurant--nothing fancy, but with amazing food of an old-fashioned sort. I only remember the salad, which was mixed greens with a simple vinaigrette, and goat cheese--a salad the like of which I'd never had before (this was in the '80s). One of those taste memories that reminds you what goodness there is in simple, well prepared ingredients.
The AP's capable hands, working on a probaby nonlocal wine last summer.