Saturday, April 28, 2007

Penny-Wise Eat Local Challenge: Day 6

What a difference a good night's sleep can make!

I'm well aware that yesterday's menus weren't exactly the healthiest ever, being rather short on vegetables and all. But they got me through the day, and after a good night's sleep, I awoke hungry and ready to cook. So hold on to your hats... it's been a food frenzy around here today!

I love starting the day with something cooked on my favorite cast iron skillet, and I had just the dish in mind this morning. I heated the last two cornmeal-maple biscuits in the skillet first, then scrambled a local egg and laid it on the biscuits with homemade salsa and local organic cheddar cheese on top. Add to that another cup of grape juice and a mug of Moroccan mint tea with local honey, and, well, you've got the makings of a beautiful morning.

Fortified for the morning's errands, I headed out for a long walk and a visit to the shops, getting back home in time to start making lunch. (Do you ever feel like you do nothing but cook all day? Not that I'm saying that's a bad thing...)

Inspired by a discussion with the Archivist yesterday, I decided to whip up a small batch of "veggie burgers" loaded with several kinds of vegetables tucked away after last year's farmers' market: edamame, corn, and carrots thawed from the freezer; dried shiitake mushrooms, cabbage, garlic, and red pepper, soaked in hot water; fresh herbs and dried; local oats and corn flour; and a local egg to bind them all together. Easy and tasty!

Let's just say I "dedicated" that lunch to the Archivist, since the dilled green beans and the sweet pepper relish came from her home gardens. I also finished off the farmhouse Gouda, my other local cheese for the week, with the meal as a nice counterbalance to the heat of the beans.

By dinner time, I was ready to tackle my big project for the weekend: making pasta from scratch. Some of you may remember that this was one of my "goals" for the year, and I decided that with this week's Challenge, it was high time I tried it. Granted, I needed to use some non-local unbleached flour and olive oil for the pasta dough, but I did mix it with some local spelt flour and eggs. Thanks to the spelt, the dough was somewhat tender to handle, but it rolled out just fine:

If you're wondering about the wavy lines, I used a pastry wheel to cut the dough, and then I pinched individual pieces in the middle to make farfalle or bowties:

As you might expect, the dough made more than enough little bowties for my dinner, so I decided to lay out the rest to dry and store for later. (Talk about economy!)

For those farfalle I did cook for dinner, I pulled a cube of homemade pesto from the freezer and tossed it (thawed, of course) with the pasta and a small number of oven-dried tomatoes.

Are you hungry yet? I'm pretty impressed myself with what all I managed to cook today. And better yet, all that food even ended up being relatively inexpensive: a whopping $7 for the entire day's meals. (Yes, I am counting the items I stashed away last year, but since I've only been using small amounts of each of them at a time, they end up not being very expensive at all.)

That leaves one day left in this Challenge... and plenty of good local foods still in the fridge to use! Stay tuned!


At 2/14/2008 9:49 PM, Blogger Sophie said...

Beautiful farfalle! I'm a pasta/macaroni maker myself and am always excited when others are too.

Great work--keep it up!

At 2/15/2008 7:01 AM, Blogger The Baklava Queen said...

Thank you, Sophie! I enjoyed them very much, both in the making and the eating, and I really must make more soon... I have plenty of pesto to work through before summer comes again...


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