Thursday, December 10, 2009

A cold wind blows: Long Winter Kitchen Week 2

Here we are at the second week of the Long Winter Kitchen. I should clarify that the Long Winter Kitchen is not going to be a weekly thing--it's a twice-monthly pick up. Because of holidays and other commitments we're doing the first two weeks back-to-back, but in the coming months it'll be every other week. I'm quite grateful for this because this month is a little crazy and I wouldn't want to keep on with this relentless pace too much longer. Still, the first week was *very* rewarding! Everyone seems excited about the food--and I'll say it certainly was smelling and tasting delicious when we finished. I'm personally most excited about our new containers (only kidding) which we'll be using next year in the CFK as well.
The first week of cooking was lots of fun. Michelle and I had help from Veronica, Jordan, and Cynthia. It was quite low-key compared with the end of the summer season. We had relatively little prep to do--though we had to thaw the meat and chop a few vegetables. It was truly a joy to work with the high-quality meat from Old Pine Farm and the frozen vegetables from Locavorious. I was also pleased to see that most of our cold-storage vegetables are holding up pretty well. The flow of the day was unfamiliar as well: once everything was in the pots/oven, all we could do was wait for it to be done! Then we took advantage of the cold weather outside to hurry the cooling and put everything into its fancy new containers.
So, with one week under our belts, it's time to announce this week's menu:
Chicken Marsala with fresh mushrooms from Michigan Mushrooms, my Farmer's Market friends!
Shepherd's Pie a classic British dish for cold winter nights
Quiche Lorraine chock full of delicious bacon and tasty veggies
Stir-Fried Beef and Lamb with Vegetables with a citrus-y sauce
Slow Cooked Pork with Root Vegetables featuring my personal favorite, parsnips.
everyone will also be getting eggs.

See you Saturday!
Photos: 1. Veronica adds cranberries to the cranberry-pork-apple dish. 2. Last week's share lookin' fancy!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Long Winter Kitchen Week 1

Well well well. After months of planning and organizing, many trips to our freezer warehouse, coordinating orders with farmers, one long day processing tomatoes, and much more, we are finally ready to get cooking in the Long Winter Kitchen.

In other news, (see photo, left), I'm back at the Farmer's Market on Wednesdays with the CFK Bakery--selling delicious Pendle Hill Brown Bread, Mary's Crunchy granola (sweetened and unsweetened) and four kinds of muffins (including vegan ones!). Stop by on Wednesday Dec 9, Dec 16, and Dec 23 and Saturday Dec 19!

But, back to the Long Winter Kitchen. Our meat comes from Old Pine Farm and Locavorious is helping out with frozen local veggies. We also are "root cellaring" some root crops in a cooler facility--Tantre farm onions, Our Family Farm potatoes, Frog Holler carrots, and more. We've also got garlic from the Community Farm and oregano from my own garden. Our goal is to make these meals with as many local ingredients as possible, even in the dead of winter!

So, I don't have any colorful stories about your meat when it was on the hoof...just a lot of tales of enthusiastic women (Rena, Kris, Veronica, Michelle, and myself) meeting and talking and dreaming and emailing endless spreadsheets. After Saturday I hope to have good cooking tales. In the mean time whet your appetite with considering this menu of favorites:

Lamb Curry This recipe comes directly from Zingerman's mail order chef Veronica who is helping us get started with the LWK.

Cranberry Apple Pork Roast Taking advantage of the flavors of the season with fresh local apples and frozen cranberries from Locavorious.

Beef Stew Crammed with slow-cooked beef and as many delicious local veggies as we could find. Yum!

Chicken Divan Michelle's specialty--always popular with her family. I'm looking forward to it!

Chili con carne Michelle says "We'll do this the way my mom used to"...with locally grown hot peppers, tomatoes, and Old Pine Farm ground beef, I'm sure it will be delicious.
Well, I'll be seeing all of our lucky LWK families on Saturday!!

P.S. Also, enjoy that cute photo of Anna and the CFK cauliflower from the end of the season. Soon I'll have LWK photos to share!