Saturday, November 10, 2007

Dark Days ELC Meal #4

The star of this week's local menu was Curried Butternut Squash Soup! I got the idea from Laura of Urban Hennery, the lovely hostess of the Dark Days Eat Local Challenge.

I started with a winter squash soup recipe out of How to Cook Everything and then "currified" it, adding 1 tsp of curry powder, 1 tsp of freshly ground coriander and a splash of lime juice. Other than that and 1/4 tsp of marjoram, the soup was allllll local, with apples, squash, onion, milk and butter all from well within 100 miles. The soup turned out sweet and tart and mysterious. YUM!

Other local fare that we enjoyed this week included Maple Baked Beans, with the star of the show being local navy beans from Hampshire Farms in Kingston, MI. The recipe came out of Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker by Robin Robertson, and although I've been generally happy with the book as a whole, I was NOT a fan of this recipe. They were sooooo sweet that it made my stomach turn as soon as the beans hit my tongue - blech. I tried to tame the cloying beans by adding different vinegars and even some liquid smoke, but nothing really saved them. I'm not sure what I'll do differently next time - probably abandon this recipe altogether and try a different one. Any good veggie baked bean recipes out there than you could recommend darling readers?

Although it was probably only 50% local, we also enjoyed some Chickpea Noodle Soup this week, where I substituted leftover cooked navy beans for the chickpeas. This is a great vegetarian faux-chicken noodle soup recipe, I highly recommend it! In addition to the local navy beans, this soup also starred local carrots, onions, mushrooms and garlic.

We also made a fairly mediocre Gingerbread Apple Pie featuring all local apples and butter, from the cookbook Vegan with a Vengeance. It was just really bland! And the gingerbread crust kind of burned, even though we followed the directions. Oh well. The local cinnamon ice cream helped to ameliorate my disappointment.

And, of course, we've been having lots of local breakfasts featuring local eggs and bread. And speaking of bread, I'm feeling bitten by the bread bug, so some fresh homemade bread may make an appearance on the menu this weekend. Whether or not I use the bread machine will all depend on the terror known as Silas, the toddler.

I'm hoping that this next week's meals are a little less disappointing....wish me luck!


Woolfairy said...

I have not been generally happy with my Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker. Although it may be more the fault of generally disliking slow cooker meals!

And my kids have decided to torment me by refusing pumpkin/squash soups this year. We had them at least once a week last year. And now total refusal. So I've been making a lot of pumpkin bread.

As for bread, have you tried the no-knead bread that stormed the blogosphere last year? I haven't yet, but with all the raves I've read, it is on my list...

keeta said...

Oooh, I haven't tried that bread, but I remember reading about it - gonna have to check that out again.

Yeah, if I'm really honest with myself, I have to say that I haven't been wowed by anything from that cookbook either - but I so *want* it to be good!

Bummer about your kids vetoing the yellow veggies! But pumpkin bread is mighty good...I'm also a huge fan of the pumpkin muffin recipe in Vegan with a Vengeance. It is To. Die. For. Seriously, best pumpkin muffin recipe, ever.