It’s the end of the gardening season here in Michigan. So I greet you with a parting shot of sunniness in the rain – the last sunflower of the season. Ah such a bittersweet ending to the summer. However cool crisp autumnal smells are in the air and if it were not for the loss of gardening, fall would be the best time of the year. Oh who am I kidding, it is the best time of the year!!
This week’s menu swap is hosted by Cheryl over at Gluten Free Goodness and the ingredient is pears. I love sliced fresh pears on a platter with mixed cheeses and crackers. I love a nice pear and almond tart. My brother always whips one up when he visits in the fall. We have a great pear tree on the farm, Bosc. I really like the rusty textured skin of a Bosc pear. Smooth green skinned pears have nothing on a dark green rust spattered fruit. Russeted, what a great word for it.
Unfortunately, the pears are waiting for me up at the farm and not here in lovely Lansing where Iive. I have a hard time running out and purchasing fruit, unless desperate, as I am from a fruit farm and most of the fruit that I eat comes from the farm. With the exception of tropical fruit splurges (including limes, which I can’t live without, for many reasons), I am completely a fruit localvore and specifically a family farm localvore. We are going up next weekend though and I will bring some back, along with honey crisp apples.
This week on our menu we will be eating:
Pork porchetta style, with rosemary, garlic, sage and fennel, slow roasted over fennel fronds and leeks with chive, roasted garlic smashed potatoes. Everything in this dish is local (even the butter in the potatoes) except the salt and pepper and pork – but we will soon have a new piggie in the freezer.
Poblano en arroz con carne y queso – one of my favorite comfort foods – inside out Mexican stuffed poblano peppers. We will be using some local grass feed beef in this dish as well as the poblanos that I harvested from the garden before the freeze last weekend. You can probably tell from the name of this one (that I made up) that I could use another Spanish lesson!
Chicken alla Diavola with grilled potatoes in Chianti vinegar from Mario Batali’s book (libraries are great!).
Hoisin scallion fried rice with tofu based on a recipe from Lynn Rosetto Casper’s book How to Eat.
Scandinavian spiced meatballs with buttered leeks with tarragon. Once again, the beef, leeks, butter and tarragon are all local. This became Swedish meatballs(with nutmeg and allspice) with creme fraiche and green onion dill Reibekuchen with green beans. Thanks to the spice trade 400 years ago, what was only available in Indonesia, is now available to spice my dinner. I draw the line at only using local herbs and spices. We do have a local Penzeys (does that count) an hour away.
It is a shorter menu this week as on Friday we are heading up to Leelanau for the weekend and will be bringing our year’s supply of free range, organic chicken back with us. Well, it is probably a 6 month supply. My brother put our order in the last batch of chickens raised this summer and we have been waiting a long time for some local chicken.
Oh yeah and we are buying our own steer along with my brother and sister in law, so for the next year, we are learning (from a distance) how to raise Scottish Highlander cattle. And then we will eat them. But not until they are all grown up on grass, which takes longer than feeding them on corn, which their systems can’t handle. Four years ago if you would have asked me if I would ever raise animals outside of pets, I would have said no way. We have plans to put in a chicken coop for 6 egg layers or so this fall/winter and fill it with chickens in the spring. Urban farming in the backyard.
Ok, time to go cook dinner!