Monday, September 28, 2009

Eating Local - Sunday Dinner

A Sunday Dinner made with local ingredients

Pastured Pork Chops with Apples, Sweet Potatoes & Steamed Green Beans with Garlic

4 Local, pastured bone-in pork chops (Pine Knot Farms, Hurdle Mills, NC)

Local, pesticide-free Liberty apples, cored and sliced (Cloverfields Farm, Timberlake, NC)

Local honey (The Pleasant Bee, Raleigh, NC)

1/4 cup water

mineral salt & pepper

-Season pastured pork-chops with mineral salt and pepper. Brown both sides of pork chops over medium-high heat.

-While pork chops are browning, core and slice apples. Arrange a single layer of apples in a 9x13 baking dish.

-Arrange browned pork chops over the apples and top with additional apple slices. Drizzle with local honey. Add 1/4 cup water to the baking dish.

-Cover and bake at 350 for 45 minutes (be careful not to overcook - that's always a problem for me with pork!)

For sides

Sliced, local sweet potatoes (Pine Knot Farms, Hurdle Mills, NC)

Steamed, local green beans (Cedar Rock Farm, Castalia, NC) with garlic (Edible Landscapes, Moncure, NC)

All local items purchased at the Midtown (North Hills) Farmers Market, Raleigh, NC.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Market Day - September 26th

From the market - 3lbs grass-fed & finished ground beef, okra, 2 pints Muscadine grapes, 2 green bell peppers, green beans, butter beans, arugula, Liberty apples (FREE!), 1 lb pastured pork sausage, pastured pork chops & 1 bar handmade oatmeal, goat's milk & honey soap

Had a great trip to the market this cool, Autumn morning! My shopping list included apples, but at first it appeared the farmer we normally buy from didn't have any today. Turns out he did have some apples but had not put them out because he wasn't very pleased with their appearance. To our surprise, he bagged up several apples and told us they were on the house!

Also got a great deal on the beef from a new farmer to the market. Their beef is not only grass-fed but also grass-finished! I was able to pick up 3lbs with the B2G1F special they were offering this weekend!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Special Delivery - A Nourishing Meal

With the change in season and *slightly* lower temperatures, I thought this hearty dish of Crockpot Chili with Grass-fed beef, would be a good choice for a co-worker recovering from an illness.

Crockpot Chili with Grass-Fed Beef
Recipe from my crockpot's manual (Corningware 4 quart)

1lb local, grass-fed beef

1 can red kidney beans, rinsed & drained

1 cup diced red (or white, yellow) organic onion

1/4 cup diced local, organically-grown green pepper

2 cans organic, diced tomatoes

1 can organic tomato paste 6oz.

1 - 1 1/2 cup organic vegetable or tomato juice

3 tsp chili powder

1/4 tsp ground cumin

- Brown ground beef. Drain fat. Mix in chili powder and cumin. Cook an additional 2-3 minutes.

- Combine beans, onions, green pepper, undrained tomatoes, vegetable or tomato juice, tomato paste in the crockpot. Stir in browned meat mixture.

- Cook on low for 10-12 (or from the morning before you leave for work until the evening when you return) or high for 4-5 hours. Serve with cultured sour cream and shredded raw milk cheese.

To add more heat to the chili, add 2 cloves of minced organic garlic and 1 chopped jalapeno pepper to the browned meat. Also substitute a can of diced tomatoes with chili peppers for a can of regular diced.

Tasty Tuesday at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam for more great recipes.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A (Mostly) Local Breakfast

Pastured Pork Sausage & Kale Frittata with Sliced Apples & Honey

For the Frittata - the original recipe can be found here. It calls for spinach and bacon, but I easily substituted local sausage and kale.

1/2 lb ground, local, pastured pork sausage (Pine Knot Farms, Hurdle Mills, NC)

8 local, pastured eggs (S & L Farm, Louisburg, NC)

Local kale, chopped (Pine Knot Farms, Hurdle Mills, NC)

1/2 organic, onion slice in circles

1/4 cup organic milk

1/2 - 1 cup raw milk cheddar cheese

pepper to taste

Sliced apples & honey

Organically-grown, local apples - a mix of Liberty, Husk Sweet and Kinnaird's Choice (Cloverfields Farm, Timberlake, NC)

Local honey (The Pleasant Bee, Raleigh, NC)

All local items purchased at the Midtown (formerly North Hills) Farmer's Market, Raleigh, NC.

The TOOL (Towards Organic Or Local) Challenge - Down to Earth

Fall Begins

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sunday Reading

The Bible teaches us all kinds of wonderful truths about who we are in Christ.
We must know and believe these truths above everything else -
above who we think we are, above what other people say about us,
and above what the world tells us we should be.
God's Word is truth; what others think and say is merely opinion.
We must not allow someone's opinion to determine our value.

- Joyce Meyer
The Secret to True Happiness

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Market Day - September 19th

Saturday market buys - 1lb pastured pork sausage, kale, purple hull peas, 2 dozen pastured eggs, mesclun mix greens, potatoes, green beans, and a mix of apples (Liberty, Husk Sweet, Kinnaird's Choice)

Found out some wonderful news from one of the farmers today. Next year, the market will not only be open on Saturday mornings but also Tuesday afternoons! I'm so excited to see support for local and organically-grown food growing in our area.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Let us, then, be up and doing
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Market Day - September 12th

From Saturday's farmer's market - sweet potatoes, corn, green bell peppers, 1lb pastured pork sausage, mesculin mix & Liberty apples (for homemade applesauce!)

Friday, September 11, 2009

A Quiet House

A lot can be done with a few hours of quiet...

Reading through a stack of library books


A creative excursion to a craft store, antique shop or thift store

Paring down one's closet

Watching what you want on TV (NASCAR qualifying in Richmond!)

Dancing and singing to your favorite songs

But I'll start with accomplishing a task that's not so easily done with a full house - giving the kitchen floors a good scrub!

September 11th

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.

O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.

~ Saint Francis of Assisi

Thursday, September 10, 2009

A New Season Approaches

Autumn to winter, winter to spring,
Spring into summer, summer into fall-
So rolls the changing year, and so we change;
Motion so swift, we know not that we move.

~ Dinah Mulock Craik

I'm going into Fall kicking and screaming! I must admit that I don't want to let Summer go. I loved the long, sunny days and especially doing things at our own pace. But as I see the leaves beginning to fall in our backyard and reflect on the treasures of Autumn, I feel myself getting a little excited about the change in season!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A New Farmer's Market

2 dozen pastured eggs, 4lb pastured, whole chicken and potatoes

Looks like I won't have to do without my farm fresh, pastured eggs after all! This evening after work, I scoped out a new farmer's market in the area. It had fewer farmers than our usual Saturday market. But the prices were a bit cheaper and in addition to Saturday hours, the market is also open Wednesdays from 4 - 7 pm.

I'm still so amazed at the wonderful resources we have available in our area for real foods! Just a few months ago, I didn't even know all this food richness existed.

To find farmer's markets, CSAs, etc. in your area

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Market Day - September 5th

Local goodness - 2 dozen pastured eggs, okra, potatoes, green bell peppers, green beans, Liberty apples, 1lb pastured pork sausage, 1lb grass-fed beef & 1 bar handmade lavender, goat's milk & honey bar soap

The change in season is bringing changes to our wonderful farmer's market. Our local source for real, pastured eggs will only be coming out to the market every other week. At this time of year, the hens start to produce less eggs. Unfortunately, eggs aren't included in their fall/winter CSA either. These eggs are just so delicious - deep yellow yolks and full of flavor. Guess I'll have to start buying 4 dozen at a time to get us through the off weeks.

This weekend was also the last time our grass-fed beef farmer will be at the market. She's having surgery on her shoulder in the coming weeks. But she and her husband have extended an invitation for us to visit their farm in early October! Not only will we be able to spend a day at the farm but we'll also pick up a bulk order of beef at a discount.

Our farmer's market has blessed us greatly during this spring and summer with local, grass-fed and pastured meats & eggs and organically-grown fruits and vegetables. As the market changes with the season, so must we move with it's natural ebb and flow. Shopping grocery stores leads one to think eggs and strawberries are available year round. Shopping locally at the farmer's market has made us more aware of nature's timing and the distinctive gifts each new season brings.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Homemade Chicken Broth in a Crockpot

Nourishing Bone Broth

With our first week of cool mornings, it's starting to feel like fall again. Friday night football, fall festivals and big, warm bowls of homemade chicken noodle soup. I'm getting ready for soup season (as well as flu season) by stocking the freezer with nourishing bone broth.

Following this recipe for slow cooker chicken broth, I added the bones and necks of two whole, pastured chickens, onion pieces and skins (gives the broth a nice yellow color), carrots and celery stalks and leaves to my 6 quart crockpot. Left to cook in the crockpot all day, the house was filled with a wonderful aroma. Even after the broth cooled, it still smelled heavenly! As if you were about to dive into a big bowl of chicken noodle soup. My crockpot yielded 3 quarts of stock - 2 cups of which I set aside in the refrigerator for lentil chili later in the week. The rest is now in the freezer.

Tip: I picked this tip up from Stephanie at Keeper of the Home. When cutting onions, place cuttings and skins in a bag in the freezer. Then when you're making broth, toss some of the frozen pieces in. A wonderful way to let nothing go to waste!