Thursday, August 14, 2008

Eating Locally - High Summer

It's the time of year when it would be hard NOT to eat locally.

We realized everything on our plates at this meal was local! An heirloom melon, broccoli and "Slaw Chez Nous" (from the cookbook Laurel's Kitchen)all from Cooley Family Farm. Plus my favorite Indiana summer time sweet corn; this bunch was the best I've had all year (and I consider myself a tough critic on that topic!)

In addition to the fresh local abundance that fills our table, we are having fun working on our early spring goal to preserve as much local goodness as possible to take us through the winter. In addition to the early strawberries (jam & frozen), we now have blueberries (also jam & frozen), early transparent apples (sauce that really is more like apple butter because we cooked it down a little too much), and our first attempt at tomato sauce. This was easier than I thought it would be. We're planning a 2nd sauce production run this weekend.

I used what didn't go in the jars to make a never-the-same meal from what I like to call my "Cooking for Poor People" cookbook. It is really a booklet I got when I took a class sponsored by Purdue Extension as a part of a WIC program years ago. The most useful recipe in it is really more of a formula for using what is on hand. When what is on hand is fresh and wonderful, it is even better!

In addition to tomatoes, we got a sack full of green beans, some crisp winter apples and a bag full of peaches at Brent's Mom & Dad's. The green beans will get canned and if the peaches ripen successfully in a paper bag, some slices will go in the freezer. We picked the peaches a little early to save them from the Japanese beetles. I thought we would store the apples, but they seem to just be getting eaten right now, which is all the better.

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