Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Dark Days Challenge: Week 2

So, it was a roast-o-rama at Aagaard Farms for our second meal in the annual eating local challenge, The Dark Days Challenge. Our homegrown pork chops glazed in a homemade strawberry-fresh rosemary-balsamic vinegar jam, Linzer Delicatese fingerling potatoes and Hubbard squash from our garden, both topped with rosemary and sage cut fresh in our sunroom. All roasted in the oven.

Now, I know balsamic vinegar is from far, far away, as was the sugar in the jam recipe, but the strawberries and rosemary were local, and I made the jam - so I decided it was could be used for our Dark Days meal. It was very good as a glaze on pork; we've already used it with Camembert cheese and crackers and it was very good for that, too! It's recipe is from the blog Notes From a Country Girl Living in the City. I came across it through the Can Jam. Now, if you are even slightly interested in canning, whether a newbie looking for tips or an experienced canner looking for new things, you've got to get to know the Tigress! Tigress in a Jam and Tigress in a Pickle are her two blogs: everything canning! The Can Jam is kind of like her Dark Days Challenge; canners/bloggers sign up and then are told the feature ingredient each month and can away! Some awesome recipes and techniques are posted, and the Tigress has links on her blogs to all the postings. This jam was the first time I've made a cooked jam - no pectin, just slow cooking until it's thick enough. I did cook it a little long and it's a bit thick and heavy, Country Girl warned that it could become like taffy if cooked too long!

Anyway, back to our meal. We just coated the Berkshire pork in the jam, and placed in a casserole. We peeled and cubed the fingerling potatoes and the Hubbard squash. Had to stop Farmer Man's hand when he reached for the virgin olive oil and hand him the canola oil, instead! Topped both the veggies with fresh cut, chopped rosemary and sage. No salt, no pepper. Half way through cooking, we pulled out the chops and turned them over, basting them in the juices and jam. Fingerling potatoes roast so well and we both love them with those little bits of brown, crispy edges! Very tasty - and something new for us!


  1. oh whoa ... you are making me seriously hungry here!!

    completely delightful ... love your dark day challenge ...

    i grew handsome weeds this year, so i was very grateful
    to pick up garden goods from your market ...
    i am so hooked on squash now! : )

    hope you and farmer man are keeping well ...
    definitely a winter wonderland on the prairies today!


  2. Hey, prairiegirl! Glad you stopped by! You have some gorgeous pictures on your blog of more than just weeds, so something must have grown for you! Love the techniques you're using with your photos now - just yummy!

  3. Alright, Prarie Girl -- another squash convert! Maybe I sold you some squash when I was there in August. Norah, the meal looks wonderful!!


  4. I'm going to make more of that jam with some non-local strawberries - I'll send you a jar! It was great dabbed on a soft white cheese! Next, we're going to glaze one of our yummy chickens from Maple Valley Farms with it!

  5. I love the sound of the strawberry balsamic jam - YUM! Is there a recipe kicking around? I'm also planning to sign up for Tigress' Can Jam. A great idea for being creative.

    I'm bookmarking your recipe as I know I'll be needing some ideas as we're doing the local thing for 100 days. Have you checked out the 100 Mile Challenge Food Network Canada website? They've got great recipes from the show, including Coq Au Vin, which would be easy enough to make.