Friday, December 31, 2010

Dark Days Challenge: Week 3 and 4

Well, Week 3 was a wash-out. We were the lucky recipients of a number of festive invitations and were eating totally non-local goodies like shrimp, smoked oysters, scallops wrapped in bacon, French Brie and other such decadent holiday treats. The night we were home we were too tired to cook and ordered Chinese.

Now, we do eat local for breakfast quite regularly. With our own fresh eggs and home grown bacon, it's easy. We're also fortunate to be in grain country and have local, organic oats and spelt for porridge, local flour for our pancakes and homemade bread (but where does baking powder and vital gluten come from?). It's such a regular part of our life that we frequently forget to take pictures!

In Week 4, we've been home a bit more. Farmer Man stocked up from the root cellar and we had a few meals made from similar ingredients. You know, once you cut into a winter squash you've got to use it up! So, 'Sugar Pie' pumpkin appears two nights in a row. And our meals revolve around pork, of course, 'cause our freezer is full of home grown Berkshire pork!

First up: roasted pork chops with steamed homegrown 'German Butterball' potatoes and carrots, and slices of roasted 'Sugar Pie' pumpkin topped with cheese when they came out of the oven. The 'German Butterball' potatoes are quickly becoming one of our favorite potatoes due to it's fabulous flavor and nice texture. We always steam way to many potatoes so that the next morning we've got some leftovers for hash browns with our bacon and eggs! The next night, a slow cooker stew of pork butt steaks, potatoes, carrots, pumpkins and home grown onions. A nice, easy meal for a quiet day before New Year's Eve! The butt steaks are marvelous in the slow cooker - they just fall apart into tender chunks on serving! The 'Sugar Pie' pumpkin got a bit mushy in the slow cooker but was tasty nonetheless. The onions left in the root cellar are all small sizes, so they're perfect for using whole in something like a stew. It's good to be getting back into a routine of home cooking!


  1. When would you like us to drop by with a home grown chicken for you?

    In the next couple of weeks our venison-pork sausage will be ready to go as well.

    I can't wait to see your first dark days challenge meal prepared on the new woodstove.

  2. Thanks, Mike;
    Just as long as the chicken isn't Buddy the Rooster - I just don't want to go there.......
    We're totally into some trading - would love to try venison-pork sausage - did you shoot the deer in this neighborhood? That sure keeps the local thing going.
    As for cooking on the woodstove, we're just having trouble finding some good cast iron locally. Who would have thought? May have to import that from Winnipeg or something!

  3. Not Buddy. You do not even have a passing acquaintance with these chickens.

    All of the deer I harvest come from within a 2 mile radius of our home. When the sausage is ready we will bring some by.

    Hmmm. I would check people's market place, Canadian Tire (Camping section) and maybe even check with Warren and Stream N Wood. Otherwise head to Cabela's when you are in Winnipeg.