local


I’m more than a little excited about the opening of our local farmer’s market. Our veggie CSA is also starting up and getting our weekly bag always feels to me like opening a present. What will it be? What will we make? I plan to post some of my favorite seasonal recipes here and will also be on the look out to try new ones that make the most of our shares.

one for the basket one for me

one for the basket one for me

four quarts with one toddler - not a bad haul

four quarts with one toddler - not a bad haul

In the meantime, strawberry season is upon us! It looks like a good one and not a moment too late. We just finished our last frozen berries earlier this week. Time to restock the freezer while we are eating our fill of fresh berries (and rhubarb!) Sounds like a pie is in order.

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The noise outside is picking up. We sit here waiting as tropical storm Hanna makes a beeline for our neck of the woods. The phone rang this morning. It was a friend informing us that the farm across the street was looking for people to help them pick the apples and peaches from their trees before the storm arrived. The predicted winds would do major damage to the heavily laden branches that already sagged under the weight of the late summer bounty.

Another reason to become more connected to your local foodshed and the farmers that produce it. With the coming storm, we made sure to secure anything that might be a projectile in the coming winds, but it didn’t cross our minds to think about how this might effect the local crops that we’ve been depending on. Now we know.

It felt good to spend a morning laboring – even in the choking humidity (“just rain already!” I kept calling out). Besides the satisfaction of being useful, it was a wonderful opportunity to further connect with people in our community who feel strongly about supporting local food and farmers.

After a few hours of picking, we walked home hot, wet, and generously rewarded with as many apples and peaches as we could carry. The apples are already tucked away in a cool closet. Soon we will put the peaches in jars and add them too our growing collection of winter staples.

Meanwhile, we will hope that the trees make it safely through another tropical storm. Even with all of the bushels of beautiful fruit safely placed in cool storage, there will inevitably be more work to make use of the windfall that is sure to follow.

My husband said to me the other night, “when are you going to actually start this food blog of yours?” What??? It isn’t normal to have an imaginary blog that you take photographs for while writing posts in your head? I think he was just getting tired of waiting to eat as our dinner posed for its close up. Whatever the reason, it finally gave me the kick I needed to get this blog out of my head and onto the Internets.

I’ll let go of my worry of not posting frequently enough or of caving to the pressure and my own perfectionist tendencies. Instead, I’ll just close my eyes and jump in.

So, what was my husband itching to dig into the other night? Stuffed zucchini, sweet corn from a farm just up the road, and seared local yellowfin tuna.

the star of the show

OK, it really was mostly the tuna – simply marinated and perfectly seared on the grill, but the zucchini turned out to be much tastier than I expected, so I will give you my rendition here.

Stuffed Eight-Ball Squash

Others have posted stuffed squash recipes, but I couldn’t resist making this one my own. Using olive oil, this recipe is a vegetarian version, but if you would like to add ground meat or sausage, I’m sure it would work beautifully.

2 eight-ball zucchini
1 tsp. bacon drippings (or olive oil)
2 sm. onions – medium dice
2 fresh garlic cloves – minced
1 anaheim pepper, most seeds removed – diced
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. coriander
~1 c. brown rice
1 medium tomato – medium dice
1 T. cilantro
1/2 T. basil, sliced into ribbons (I used a mixture of thai and purple)
salt and pepper
olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Slice the tops from zucchini and save to use as a lid. Use a spoon to scoop out the flesh – dice and reserve. Season the inside of the zucchini with salt and pepper.

Heat bacon drippings or olive oil in a pan and sauté onions, garlic, and peppers. Add cumin and coriander and heat until fragrant. Add diced zucchini, season with salt, and cook ~2 min. Add tomato and cook ~2 more minutes. Add in brown rice and toss until combined. Remove from heat and add basil and cilantro. Stuff zucchini with the rice mixture, top with zucchini caps, and drizzle with a little olive oil. Add some water or broth to bottom of pan, set zucchini in middle and bake for ~ 1 hour.