Is this week 9? It seems like it's been much longer than the number 9, but maybe that's because it's been 63 days!! Although I haven't produced any difficult, amazing culinary dishes I've realized that is not what it's about. I was worried coming into this challenge that my cooking skills weren't very advanced and I would be embarrassed posting my meals, but I have realized that this is not at all about what you create in the kitchen but what you use to create it. Reading the recaps and visiting the fellow challengers blogs has brought to me the realization that alot of the meals created by SOLE ingredients are simple, yet some of the most delicious meals we've ever had! This is because the ingredients are the best available to us and they taste best when you let their own flavors shine! I hadn't been to the Farmers Market in a few weeks and I was very excited to get down there again this past weekend, even if I was only going to find greens, winter squash, beets, apples and oranges...boy was I wrong. I came home with green garlic, green onions,garlic and onions, celery, sprouts, radishes,tomatoes, zucchini, wheatgrass, the BEST tangerines, limes, avocados, apples, oranges, grapefruits, lemons, purple broccoli, chard, kale, orange cauliflower, cabbage, carrots of all colors, of course squash and beets and POTATOES pulled form the ground the day before! The bounty I have access to living in San Diego is amazing! I do plan on growing a few things in containers again this year, but I have accepted that at this point I can only do so much myself. It doesn't bother me anymore that I can't have a full fledged garden and farm, I am happy to support my friends (the farmers) at the markets. They work hard at what they do and what I can do to support them makes me feel good and when I've taken some time away and return to smiling faces to see that they are just as happy to see me and the kids and be providing us with great food, as I am to see them and get some great food it makes it even that much better. My kids were just as excited as I was we were going to be taking a trip to the market, they were jumping up and down the night before talking about what we could get: eggs, honey, apples, almonds. My kids don't have a perfect diet of no processed foods or no junk, but at the same time they are learning for themselves what they like and alot of the time making great decisions. They ask more for fruits and vegetables than for chips and snacks, more for pasta, beans and rice than chicken nuggets or corn dogs. And they love knowing where their food comes from, they love to ask if that's the fruit from Matt (Lone Oak Ranch) and if I say yes they are even more excited to eat it! When we came home from the market, they sat down and simply ate a bowl of veggies: broccoli, tomatoes, celery, carrots and cauliflower with a little sour cream and peanut butter on the side. Knowing that feeding them good and making the right decisions is so easy, is very empowering and I am proud to be a growing member of this local food community! I am excited for the next steps I will take in becoming more involved with local programs and trying my hand at new practices of food preservation and I am excited for the strides that the local food community in San Diego is making. People are recognizing the need and the benefit of SOLE eating, cooking, and purchasing and the boundaries are expanding and I am happy to be a part of it. Just as I am happy to be a part of this challenge! The fellow challengers give me so much motivation and encouragement even if they are not directly talking to me and they are all a wealth of information (the google group is invaluable)! Thank you!!
Okay, now on to my Dark Days meal! When we got home from the market we ate tons of fruit and veggies, then my aunt came over and delivered enchiladas and tamales she had made. That made lunch and dinner. The next morning I decided breakfast would be my Dark Days Meal for the week, I had bought some potatoes from Sage Mt. Farm the day before that looked amazing and Justin had told me that they were just pulled out the day before and had never seen storage so I wanted to cook them up as soon as possible. I decide to shred the potatoes and try my hand at hash browns, I also rolled out some sausage patties from local ground pork I had purchsed at the market. To round out the breakfast I scrambled some eggs with green onion and green garlic and topped them with cilantro. Breakfast was delicious, the only thing I would change is how I cooked the hash browns. I cooked them in avocado oil which my kids love and actually drink on occasion, but they did not like the taste it gave the hash browns so next time I will simply use olive oil (eventhough I thought the flavored hash browns were good).
Ground Pork from Da Le Ranch
ginger and garlic salt....not local
Onion from Sage Mt. Farm
Potatoes from Sage Mt. Farm
Avocado Oil from Bella Vado
Eggs from Hilliker's
Milk from Organic Valley
Green onions from Sage Mt. Farm
Green garlic and cilantro from Schaner Farms
salt and pepper....not local
Tomatoes from Suzie's Farm