Purple hashbrowns, sunnyside up eggs, and not local Dave’s Killer Bread was as local as dinner got this week. We’re still working on cleaning out the freezer, and this bread had been languishing in the back of the freezer for…well, a while. The potatoes came from Full Circle, and the eggs from Mountain View Farm. Not the world’s most exciting dinner, but it will have to do.
While going through our dinner photos from last week, I remembered another Dark Days dinner we had: Hood Canal shrimp and toast. Another very quick and simple dinner, but worth mentioning here because the shrimp is so good. I may have mentioned we are trying (more than usual) to clean out the freezer, and these shrimp were a happy discovery, buried under partial loaves of bread, vegetable trimmings for stock, and more.
I try to buy a couple pounds of shrimp every spring during the very short season they’re available, and though they’re not cheap, they’re absolutely worth it. We don’t eat much shrimp anymore, so these are a treat. After peeling the shrimp, I made a broth with the shells, some white wine, and some garlic. I simmered that for about 25 minutes, then strained it and quickly poached the shrimp in it. It was a light dinner, but a delicious one!
Shrimp from Hood Canal, purchased at Patti’s Seafood, Skokomish, WA, then lost in the freezer for months
Idilico Albarino from Full Pull Wines
Garlic from Filaree Garlic Farm, Okanogan, WA
Flour from Fairhaven Mill, Bellingham, WA
Exceptions: olive oil, salt and yeast
Apparently Sunday has become unofficial “pan-fried elk steak night” around these parts. I could think of worse Sunday dinners. I know that the typical meat and three plates in the South actually have three sides on the plate, but wine can count as a side, right? This was a fast and fairly basic dinner. Garden peas from the freezer, elk tenderloin, and a couple of delicata squash that have been hanging out in the basement for at least a month and were threatening to go soft, with a favorite summer wine on the side. Nothing particularly exciting, but real, good food, and fast at that. Not really worth rambling on about, and it really shouldn’t have taken me the better part of a week to post this, but sometimes that’s how it goes.
I’ll be late posting next week as I leave for Nicaragua for work (my job does not suck) first thing Saturday morning and doubt I’ll have easy access to the internet while there. You can picture me eating tropical fruit as my week 8 contribution, and I’ll try to post about the trip when I’m back. Week 9 will almost certainly be a soup-from-the-freezer meal, since I get home and head straight back to the office for the week.
Elk tenderloin from the freezer
Peas grown by my in-laws up the street from the freezer
Delicata squash from Inaba Farm, Wapato, WA (via Full Circle box)
Flour from Fairhaven Mill, Bellingham, WA
Syncline Rose, Columbia Valley, WA (via Full Pull Wines)
Exceptions: olive oil, salt, pepper
We’re on a two-year run of spending Christmas Eve at home, just the two of us and the pup, and I think we’re starting a new tradition. Saturday morning we loaded up the car, picked up my in-laws and their two dogs, and headed out for a mini road-trip, stopping at some of my favorite places on the Peninsula: Beaver Valley and Chimacum – where I always say I want to move – lunch at the Geoduck in Brinnon (if you ever find yourself in the area, it’s totally worth stopping for some incredible people/bird watching – this trip’s sightings included an Elvis impersonator, regulars who travel with their own can cozies, and a flock (?) of eagles just outside – and the oyster sandwich), retrieving and exploring the shoreline with the dogs, and finally to Hama Hama Oyster Company for crab and oysters, except the people in front of me got the last of the crab. More oysters is not a bad consolation prize, especially when it’s Hama Hama oysters. Continue reading
I’m off to a soupy start to this year’s Dark Days Challenge, this time with an elk and vegetable stew with a tomato broth. We eat a lot of soup in the winter, some of them more successful than others. Count this one in the very successful category: meltingly tender elk, a thick, tomatoey broth, and plenty of vegetables. The vegetable stock didn’t hurt, either. In the past year I’ve taken to throwing many of my vegetable scraps in a bag in the freezer and then turning those scraps into stock when the bag is full. I’ve made chicken stock for quite a while, but we don’t eat enough chickens to keep us in chicken stock, so it’s nice to have vegetable stock to fall back on.
The start of Dark Days snuck up on me this year, and it was looking like I was going to be starting the challenge with a snack (the quince “paste” that never quite set right and Yarmuth Farm “Dylan” cheese below – quince from an orchard on Guemes Island, I think, but now I can’t find the name of the place for the life of me) instead of a full dinner, but once again my freezer came to the rescue. Continue reading
Bok choy is one of my very favorite greens. Anytime I’ve had too much rich food, or just not enough vegetables, I start craving bok choy like crazy. I’ve tried to grow it, without a lot of luck, but luckily I can get it pretty easily – at Uwajimaya, in my Full Circle box, even at the QFC near my house, and for a few weeks in the summer, from the single farmer at my “farmer market”. Continue reading
Well. I never intended to let more than two months pass between posts. It has been a busy couple of months (kind of a lame excuse – are there ever months that aren’t busy?!?), and I definitely let myself go down the self-pity road a little further than could possibly be healthy while on my [not really all that restricted] restricted diet – both factors that added up to days, then weeks, then months going by without writing anything here. But now I’m back, at least for today (though I have a few things I want to tell you about, so maybe I won’t stay away as long this time). Continue reading
So, it turns out that food limitations are really hard. I’m sure that will come as a surprise. Ha. I knew going in to this that it wasn’t going to be easy, but I don’t think I fully grasped just how much more complicated eating becomes when you have to avoid some of the basic building blocks of the food we commonly eat in this country. Coupled with my insanely busy schedule this time of year and a maybe not so great attitude about these limitations and I’ve not had a lot to share here. That’s not to say we haven’t been eating, but popcorn has turned into dinner on more nights than I care to admit and there have been tears on more than one occasion. Continue reading
When I signed up to participate in Dark Days last fall, I wasn’t sure how it would go. Now that we’ve reached the end, I’m really happy I decided to participate. I haven’t always posted on time, but I’ve managed to make at least one local meal each week and eventually write about it. Twenty weeks of paying closer attention to where our food comes from have resulted in some permanent changes. Continue reading