I will admit that I am a new convert to the sustainable food and healthy, local eating movement. Though I’ve always had an appreciation for good food, when I went away to college, my family was still regularly ordering pizza dinners after a long workweek. When I came back, the only option for breakfast was oats groats, and the new town CSA was determining our supper options. It took a little bit of adjusting, but after four years of college cafeteria food (you don’t even want to know) and no personal kitchen space, I was ready for a change.
Allow me to be dramatic for just a minute— it’s like discovering food again. I always hated kale, until the fresh leafy green, grown right down the road from my house, found its way into my white bean and kale soup. I realized I didn’t hate kale, I hate supermarket kale.
My family had an early Food Day celebration yesterday with some farmer’s market finds from Hamilton New York. We were visiting my sister for her birthday, and the rainy, central New York weather limited us to food appreciation activities, mostly in the form of eating.
In general we have been trying to cut back on meat, especially after recently listening to NPR’s Tom Ashbrook’s On Point interview with Mark Bitman. Apparently, if every American were to cut the equivalent of 3 cheeseburgers out of his or her weekly food intake, it would be the same, in terms of energy conservation, as taking all the SUVs in America off the road. How is that for a guilt trip? But we really had no qualms with purchasing grass fed beef from Quarry Brooks Farms of Sherburne, NY for a Sunday slow cooked beef brisket.
I also asked some friends heading to a nearby apple orchard to pick me some Cortland apples. I’m not the baker of the family, but I do love making apple pie. However, the half-bushel of Cortlands they came back with was on the verge of being out of season. (My fault, I didn’t know Cortlands were best at the beginning of October!) So in the spirit of Food Day, I had no choice but to bake as many apples as I could before they wasted away on my kitchen counter. I nixed my traditional apple pie recipe, which works best with apples at the very height of their season, and went for a sour cream apple pie instead.
We tried the test pie after an amazing meal of slow cooked beef brisket with rice pilaf. I’m looking forward to sharing more sour cream apple pie in the official Food Day celebration with the Boston Food Swappers tonight!
I’m sitting here, heating my curried squash and kale dumplings in the last minutes before I head over to the CSP, and I remembered that I hadn’t shared the dish’s story yet. So this will be quick and too the point.
My apartment has a CSA share, and I still can’t help myself from stopping by the Farmer’s market most weeks. Right now this means we have a LOT of squash. Our fruit bowl, already re-purposed once from being the largest mixing bowl, is now the squash bowl, and they’re starting to take over the table as well. So naturally that’s where I turned. My first thought was the butternut squash ravioli I made for the first food swap I went to, but I thought I’d rather try something new. So I thought of currying the squash instead…and maybe wrapping it in kale (picked up from the Farmer’s Market this morning). By this point, it sounded more like something to be in dumplings than ravioli. And honestly, I’m waiting to make that much ravioli again til I get my pasta machine. So the curried squash and kale dumplings (with apple-ginger sauce) were born. And now I’m on my way to share them.
Thanks for your submission, Martha! Share your own Food Day Story by submitting photos, a link to your blog, or video.
My husband and I found ourselves driving home to Boston from frequent visits to Vermont with a cooler filled with the best of the farmer’s markets. Still, we figured, this food traveled many fewer miles than the less-fresh versions we shopped for at our local supermarkets.
A friend introduced me to a new service, grazedelivered.com, started by moms in Vermont, which delivers farm fresh milk, pastured meats, artisanal cheeses, etc., to our doorstep every Sunday. They also have chef-prepared meals, vegetarian and gluten-free choices, and a growing following in both Fairfield County, Connecticut and Boston’s Metrowest. The food is unbelievably fresh, a step from the earth, and in the interest of full disclosure, after becoming a customer, I asked to work with them. I love that my family eats this fresh farm food, that I have fewer trips to the market, less going off to the dump each week, and I can justify having food delivered!
Graze works in tandem with our local farms, such as Land’s Sake in Weston, to strengthen the local movement. The more of us who can eat this way, the better we all are — not only our kids, but the family farmers who are providing this are thrilled to be reaching these wonderful new markets.
Eat well, eat local, thank you for supporting family farms!