this week’s meal was kind of the opposite of last week, in that it was sadly shared with no one. i tried to make it every bit as delicious though, even though i was just cooking for myself, as too often when it’s just me, i will supper on the random ingredients of what would be a meal without bothering to properly assemble anything onto a plate.
this ended up taking longer than i planned, but i didn’t have much else to do so i didn’t mind a time-intensive meal. i also made a whole pile of dirty dishes!! thank goodness for the dishwasher.
the map: green pin on the right – Brockville (onions), dark blue pin – Markham (raspberries), turquoise pin – Richmond Hill (me! bell pepper), yellow pin – Guelph (eggs, zucchini), green pin on left – Innerkip (corn), purple pin – London (wheatberries), red pin – Jordan Station (heirloom tomatoes, peaches)
the raw materials:
red bell pepper, heirloom tomatoes, zucchini, onion (with dirt from the field!), wheatberries, corn on the cob, another tomato
an “extra gros” (extra large, en français) brown free run egg, peach, raspberries that we picked last weekend
process: sautéed veggies (all except bell pepper) until soft and cooked, grilled corn and simmered wheatberries until satisfactorily chewy. shaved corn into pan of veggies, stirred in wheatberries.
dropped the hollowed out bell pepper into some boiling water for a few minutes until it was soft. preheated the oven (well. it was already on from another project), filled the pepper with the stuffing (and topped with some canadian “parmesan” cheese shavings) and put it into the oven to warm through and have the cheese melt.
meanwhile: i peeled and sliced up 6 peaches (no easy task!) and cooked them on the stove for about 10 minutes with some (non-local) sugar, water + some ginger for zing. puréed in the blender, chilled in an ice bath, and then threw into the ice cream maker to create some sorbet.
when you’re as much of an ice cream maker as i am, you often find yourself inundated with egg whites. there are only so many omelettes you can handle (though i may have to have one for an eat local meal!) and angel food cake is a fantastic way to use up a whole bunch (12) at once. only the eggs were local, but i figured since they comprised the biggest volume of the entire recipe, the cake could kind of count as a local dessert. i used this recipe. after the cake had cooled, i cut myself a piece, scooped some sorbet on the side, and sprinkled a few of my remaining unjammed, unfrozen freshly picked raspberries. what an end to my meal! (low fat to boot plus LOADED with protein. this makes up for the lack of protein in my main)
last weekend, in the midst of all our labour day relaxing (a much much needed weekend of rest from a summer’s worth of running around madly), we decided to have another mini farm adventure. we got up bright and early, stopped at our local chez cora’s for some breakfast waffles and hit the u pick farm as soon as it opened for picking (9am). on weekends, the picking rows tend to get really crowded and if you get there too late, you could be out of luck for finding good berries. plus you have to deal with lots of people in and out of your rows and this can sometimes make me cranky!
i tried to get a picture of my awesome picking getup, but apparently clearly failed (see top right). i had a rainbow belt on my (belt-loop-less pants) holding up a white 4L basket with two quart plastic ziploc containers inside the basket leaving both my hands free for picking. i was advised to do this by my expert picker (top left) who managed to get at least twice as many berries as me (hey, he has had more practice!). this is a fantastic trick and i highly recommend you try this out for any kind of berry picking that involves standing up (i’m not sure it would work so well for strawberries). i remembered my ipod, and rocked out to some feist and imogen heap while i piled my baskets full of fruit.
we got about 12 pounds of berries. i froze 5, made a raspberry pie, 7+ jars of jam (4 all raspberry, 3 raspberry/ginger/peach, inspired by bella eats) and kept a couple quarts out for eating (in smoothies, on yogurt, with granola, on top of angel food cake). yum! at $3.50 per pound, this was a whole lot cheaper than buying raspberries from the farmer’s market, where a pint (approximately half a pound) can go for $4-6 depending on the month. frozen raspberries and the jam will keep me happy through the winter until we can go pick again. it was the perfect way to spend a sunny morning.