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.
I love soup, and borscht is one of my favorites. I made a batch a couple of weeks ago and threw a container in the freezer, knowing that I still had a few busy weeks to go and could use a very fast dinner option. At the time I wasn’t planning to pull it out for a Dark Days meal (much less the kick-off week), but sometimes life has different plans than the ones I make for myself. In looking back through my archives, I see I used borscht as a Dark Days meal last year; this year’s borscht was similar, though meatless.
Since participating in Dark Days last year, local food is more a part of our regular diet than ever, but there’s always room for improvement. I’m following largely the same guidelines as I set for myself last year, though I’ve found more local suppliers in the past year, and we’re eating less dairy and wheat than we used to (though thankfully I’ve seemed to do okay with limited quantities of both). The flour I’m using generally comes from Fairhaven Organic Flour Mill in Bellingham, WA. Though they don’t source all of their grains from the immediate local area, I’m willing to live with that. Once again I bought and canned tomatoes from Tonnemaker, and this year I also got tomatillos and peppers, so expect salsa verde to make a few appearances. My in-laws’ garlic crop wasn’t great this year, so we ended up buying 10 lbs of garlic from Filaree. And we still get a box of fruits and vegetables from Full Circle Farm every week. We managed to get down to just one chest freezer since my husband didn’t get an elk this year, but we still have lots of meat left from last year’s successful hunt, and there are a few salmon in there, as well.
I’m looking forward to having a weekly reason to force myself to sit down and write here again, and am hoping I’ll be able to stick with it. Let’s do this!
Sources for this week’s dinner:
Carrots, celery, and cabbage from Full Circle Farm, Carnation, WA
Onions from Andersen Organics, Othello, WA, by way of Full Circle box
Beets from my in-laws’ garden up the street – a combination of pickled and roasted (via the freezer) – plus grated beets from Full Circle
Dill from HerbCo, Duvall, WA by way of Full Circle box
Exceptions: salt, pepper, Bragg apple cider vinegar (so far my ACV experiments have not succeeded)
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