Posts Tagged ‘local’

Support local cheese-making

I’ve written before about my CSA shares in Monforte Cheese, a local cheese-making company that used a CSA program to raise funds to build their own space. Well, they’ve just announced they’re selling another round of shares between now and December 31:

This second round of offerings is a means to continue development in the production of cheese, but also our goal of strengthening our local food infrastructure through a number of different means (production, education and innovation).

Three levels of investment are available, starting at $200. Find out more on Monforte’s website.


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Sweet potato juice!

I had never even considered juicing sweet potatoes, until Doug McNish suggested it to me. Lo and behold there’s a recipe in my Breville juicer booklet for a sweet potato/orange/celery/ginger blend. Lacking oranges, I went with sweet potato/celery/pineapple, which was not bad at all.

The sweet potato juice is very pretty and a little bit tangy, with a slightly starchy taste. On its own I didn’t love the texture (reminded me of bubble tea) but it blended really well with the pineapple. (Photos are all of straight sweet potato.) My taters were purchased at the Green Barn Market from… well, the sweet potato stall (can’t recall the farm’s name).

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San Francisco

Just back from a whirlwind weekend in San Francisco for Nike Women’s Marathon (I did the half). Running aside, my real goal was to eat well.

The biggest mind shift? Realizing that the California produce is local. And oh, what they can count as local.

The Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market was fantastic, not just for its produce but for eating. I could spend days there without having to leave.

The fresh produce was excellent, and vendors kept plying us with snack-size bites of fruit.

And the dried fruit and nuts… I ate a scary amount of dried fruit this weekend. Plums, peaches, cherries… all super soft and so, so flavourful.

I had a few too many pastries, and coffee. (Check out the awesome personal-drip system they’ve got going on.)

Basically, the market was endless. We were full before we realized we should have made some more calculated eating decisions.

We also had some great restaurant meals. Brunch at Spork was a hit – those are the veggie Mission Eggs, which almost satisfied me post-race.

And on one of our walks, we spotted a lime tree. Oh, California.


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Homegrown okra!

This year I picked up okra plants at Fiesta Farms on a whim, with no idea what would happen.

Here’s what happened:

We picked three okras – okra fingers? – pieces of okra – what is the singular of okra?

Steamed them up:

And plated, ready to serve with butter and salt:


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A simple dinner

A typical grocery shop includes Fiesta Farms and sometimes Karma, both of which carry a ton of local produce. This weekend, we found these fresh local shelled peas:

And these yummy bean sprouts:

For last night’s (poorly focused) dinner, the peas joined new potatoes tossed in butter and salt and mixed greens in a maple balsamic vinaigrette, both from Plan B, plus some pasta tossed with olive oil and parmesan:

Simple summer meals – just the way I like it.

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A trip to the market

Finally got up to the Green Barns market this weekend to pick up a few groceries. In my bag: a dozen chicken eggs, half a dozen duck eggs, some local pasta, a hot cross bun and – most important – the first cheese bought with my Monforte vouchers! I picked up some soft goat cheese and a cheddar. If you haven’t signed up for a cheese CSA share yet, there’s still time – click the link to find out more, or ask at the market.

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I was in the mood to make some dessert, but low on flour and didn’t want to get groceries. Then I found this recipe for spicy caramel popcorn with peanuts on Smitten Kitchen, my old standby.

This was my first time making caramel corn, and I’m not sure what I was waiting for. I have a hot-air popper, which made it even easier. I had the caramel cooking first, then made the popcorn, then mixed it all together. Local popcorn and local peanuts, by the way. I do wish I had put more cayenne in – but maybe mine isn’t very spicy.

Yum. I have a snack to go eat now.

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Curried Carrot Salad

Just made a batch of this carrot salad from Epicurious (originally from the May Bon Appétit) for my lunches this week. Tastes decent, although I think the flavours need to meld before I can really tell. Here are the changes I made (mainly due to missing ingredients):

• Used a shallot instead of green onion
• Almost doubled the yogurt and lemon juice
• Full-fat yogurt from Pinehenge Farms, of course – who can eat that fat-free stuff?
• Added a splash of agave syrup (would have used maple or just sugar but I’m out of both) to counteract a slight bitter flavour
• Left out the mint

All ready for lunch tomorrow (and I really need to stop taking photos in my kitchen after dark):


(Yes, that’s a local squirrel.)

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Plan B delivered this week: our delivery included three kinds of squash, potatoes, kale, spinach, lettuce and tons of apples. They’re fantastic fresh but we’re having friends over for brunch tomorrow so I made a batch of whole wheat apple muffins from Smitten Kitchen. They’re really good, and I love that they have chunks of apple instead of grated apple (easier to prep and more apple flavour in the muffins). She claims they keep well for several days so I hope that’s true – even with guests, 16 muffins is a lot!

We’re also going to try this puffed German apple pancake, and serve both with a cherry sauce from cherries I froze in the summer.

And speaking of local breakfasts, I had a great brunch at Calico Cafe this morning – butternut squash and pecan waffles with an apple compote and maple syrup. If you haven’t made your way there yet, I highly recommend it – this is the second great meal I’ve had there.

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I was very hungry at brunch time today so didn’t take pictures, but I very much enjoyed the French toast I made (standard – leftover bread, eggs, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, maple syrup) and served with plain yogurt (Pinehedge) and stewed plums. I had one of those baskets of local plums – despite eating 5 or 6 a day, I couldn’t seem to make a dent in them – so just sliced them all in half and simmered with a bit of water. Easy.

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