Wednesday, August 10, 2011

I'm Laura Ingalls Wilder, Yo. I mean, Y'all.

Recently we've been making some changes.  Some big, some small.  But changes none the less.

One of them, is getting back to purchasing local fruits and veggies.  We were members of a CSA for about 1.5 years, but due to the structure of the program near us - it wasn't working out.  So we stopped and went back to buying our produce at the grocery store.  It didn't really take long before I was once again immensely frustrated by the cost, the quality, and the stickers that all said something like "from Chile", "from Argentina".  No wonder the quality sucks.  No wonder the tomatoes resemble more of a sponge than a beautiful tomato.  No wonder the apples are bruised and mushy.  No wonder the broccoli is already flowering.  Gah.
Lucky for us, one of the best farmers markets in the state is just a mile and a half away.

Our first trip looked like this:

60lbs of produce for $55.
All local, all deeelish!
Also, all of that produce (except the onions)
was gone by Saturday.
no, we didn't over buy. 
I made a huge batch of salsa for our neighborhood block party with a quarter of the tomatoes.  The others I turned into a batch of my own pasta sauce!
I couldn't find a single recipe for home made pasta sauce that didn't say "now dump in two cans of tomatoes".  Seriously.  NOTHING.  Not one recipe could take me from tomato to spaghetti.  So, I wung it.  {It's make up your own grammar day.}

First step:
dump the tomatoes in boiling water for about 4 minutes.
Then drain, and take off skin. 

Step 2:
Put tomatoes back in the pot.
Add (home made) veggie broth, onions, garlic,
peppers, seasonings. 

Step 3:
Let simmer and stew for 2[ish] hours. until reduced and saucy.
See the line of where it used to be? 
Step 4:
Use a portion to make eggplant parm.

This past week, we bought 40lbs of peaches and last night I spent the evening washing, peeling and slicing them.  Then, we put them into freezer bags {time to get a vacuum sealer set up.} and will be able to enjoy them through "The Long Winter".  [In case you're wondering - 40 lbs makes enough to eat fresh peaches for a week and then about 20 quarts of sliced peaches.]

Other things I've done with our farmer's market hauls:

Zucchini Canoes.
Yum.  Like, times a million.

Zucchini sticks.
Mix panko, parmesan and italian seasoning.
Coat sticks, bake.  
Jalapeno Hush puppies.
Follow recipe.
Watch your arteries cry.
But enjoy every single second of it.

We had "appetizer" night.  The zucchini sticks, the hush puppies, and various fruits.  Eaten on a blanket while discussing some family plans.  Which mostly consisted of us telling the boys we're cancelling their birthday party...

Now, I just need to learn to can and I'm set.  A true pioneer... or something.

4 reviews:

Croppermom said...

I have high blood pressure and have had a huge heart scare. There for our house is going back to basics. I love to cook and do so a lot. But I need to use more fresh veggies and fruits. Loved to spaghetti sauce.

Ashley, the Accidental Olympian said...

Um, we're on the same wave length or something! Too bad if you want to get fresh tomatoes at the AK farmers market you have to be there while the people are unpacking their truck. People will shank a bitch for a fresh tomato up here!

Anonymous said...

Good for you! Mom and I recently starting to buy our produce at a co-op (and you'd never believe where it's the cheapest Shell gas station in W. Washington). The produce is fantastic, the prices are way cheaper, and a bargain on gas too! (ok so it's right next to a casino, but we don't go in)

So are you cancelling the party to be in San Diego on Nov 12?

Mommy McD said...

We are cancelling their party to be in SD for a week. That is the weekend we had been planning their party and moving it would complicate many things. So we've decided to do something special for them at Sea World or Lego Land. Like a behind the scenes tour or something.