Sunday, July 8, 2007

One Local Summer, Week Two

Pictures to come! There it is!

Last night I went over to my friend Maria's house, knowing full well I needed to scritch a meal in for OLS. Maria, you see, has a HUGE garden. She eats locally most of the time. I'd say, just guesstimating, of course....lessee...75% of her food is probably local.

She agreed to "help" me make a local meal for the three of us (third=her partner, David). On the way, I stopped off and picked up a six pack of IPA from the Carolina Brewing Company (41 miles). I looked for wine, too, but came up empty at this particular store.


We had a lot to work with. Maria had veggies galore from the garden, and since we went into this endeavor without shopping, our first thought was just to make a big pile of veggies. In the end, that's kind of what we did do.

The breakdown:

Dauphinoise Potatoes
• Yukon Gold potatoes: garden (0 miles)
• Cream/Milk: Mapleview farm (3.8 miles)
• Eggs: Next door neighbor (less than one mile)
• Hickory Gold Cheese: Next door neighbor (less than one mile)
• One leftover hamburger: Hogan's Magnolia View Farm (~4 miles)
• Garlic: Soehner Eco Farm (4.4 miles)
Salt. Pepper.

Beet and Bean salad
• Red Ace Beets: garden (0 miles)
• Blue Lake, Rock D'or and Romanette beans: garden (0 miles)
• Dill: garden (0 miles)
• Bunching onions: garden (0 miles)
Tarragon Vinegar, Olive Oil, Salt, Pepper.

Tomato and Cucumber salad
• Sungold tomatoes: garden (0 miles)
• Early Girl tomatoes: Mebane, NC (~20 miles)
• Ellerby tomatoes: garden (0 miles)
• Diva cucumbers: garden (0 miles)
• Tasty Jade cucumbers: garden (0 miles)
• Suyo long cucumbers: garden (0 miles)
• Red onion: Harris Teeter (~6 miles) (is anyone going to catch this?)
• Balsamic vinegar, Salt, Pepper,

We also had bread that David made. Mind you, this was not with local ingredients, but once you get a taste of this bread, you kind of throw all aspirations to eating local out the window. It's that good. I had two big slices (have to mop up the beet juice), and took home a big ole hunk, too.

Not last, we ate up some leftover blackberry-blueberry pie, with vanilla ice-cream from Mapleview Farm. The pie didn't count, as only (ONLY?) the blackberries were local. And even several days old this pie was fantabulous.

Here's the thing. Between Maria and David, they've got 35 years working in kitchens, in ALL roles: Head Chef, Sous Chef, Pantry Chef, Pastry Chef. They've worked at basically every fine dining establishment in the area. Their neighbors include a couple who run/own/create all the food for what is frequently cited as the best restaurant in the SE United States. Their other neighbors are the dairy, which produces the best local cow's milk cheese in the area. Their last neighbors are family, who were involved with specialty grocery. Maria's other brother runs an award-winning market farm.

When I got to be friends with Maria, I didn't know any of this. She was just my best bud at work, is all. THEN as we've gotten to know one another, the more we end up having in common. Birding. Gardening. Food. Health Education. Spanish.

I sometimes feel guilty at how cool Maria is. did *I* happen into this treasure of goodness? Maybe it's because I let her win at Scrabble??

Anyhoo, David took the pictures of the meal (still can't find my camera, even after CLEANING THE WHOLE HOUSE yesterday), and I am waiting for him to email me them isn't it beautiful??