exotic chickens

Accidental Locavore: Dutchess County Fair, Cows Are Huge!

by Anne Maxfield on August 30, 2010

Accidental Locavore Two Cows

This week, theAccidental Locavore had no basket because farmer Paul and his family were camped out at the Dutchess County Fair. Their cows came in third and sixth, and their son Will got ribbons for his jalapenos and the other veggies he raised. Will was the one who taught me last summer what to look for in a jalapeno. You want the ones that have little lines on them, not the smooth unmarked ones. It doesn’t matter whether they’re red or green, they start out green and go to red. It never ceases to amaze me how big the cows at the fair are. Some of them are so large, it’s pretty amazing. Along with the cows, we cruised the pig barn, and the exotic chickens. My favorite part was the diving dogs. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen it, but they have a competition where the owner throws a toy into the end of a pool, the dog takes a running leap into the pool, and the dog who jumps the farthest wins. Some of these dogs jump 20 feet or more before they land in the pool.
But most people go to the fair for the food…we were told that not to be missed were the milkshakes from the 4H club, and since this is a locavore blog, I’m happy to say they use Hudson Valley milk. Since I was a little kid, there was only one flavor for me, chocolate, so that’s what I had, and it was good. Not sure if it was really good, or if it was just the first milkshake I’ve had in years, but it was delicious. My friends also made a beeline for the Greek stand and had great gyros. That was about it, amazingly enough, no fried food, tempting as the deep fried pickles might be (not!).
When we weren’t at the fair, what was I cooking? Coleslaw and potato salad. I had a big purple cabbage from the last farmbasket, so I made party-colored coleslaw. Traditional potato salad is one of the few potato preparations I don’t like, so I always make a version of a French potato salad. Recipes on Friday.

Share

{ 0 comments }

Accidental Locavore Pimentos and Broccoli

Finally back on track with the farmbasket, but only for a week. If you’re like the Accidental Locavore you’re in huge denial that August (and the summer) is almost over. One of the big signs is that the Dutchess County Fair starts Tuesday. Paul Wigsten, my farmer and his son Will always have lots of their vegetables and a cow or two entered in the show. My neighbor Arthur is in charge of the horticulture area, and enters his gladiolas and other flowers. They usually score best in show ribbons in a lot of categories.
The downside? No basket next week, the lawn doesn’t get mowed for a week, and it’s the last weekend in August.
The upside? A trip to a real county fair, complete with exotic chickens, prize worthy vegetables, and more (junk) food than you can possibly imagine.
In this week’s basket, a big purple cabbage, lovely cantaloupe, bag of mesclun, red, orange and yellow peppers, along with pimentos, zucchini and squash, corn, tomatoes (one of my favorite heirloom varieties, German stripe), and cranberry beans (dried this time).
So what have I been doing with the veggies? True confession; the corn I’ve just been tossing on the grill, and the tomatoes have been mixed with basil and mozzarella. It’s my favorite thing to do with both of them and until we’re really into (gasp) September, I can’t get enough of them.
Tonight I’m grilling baby loin lamb chops that I’ve marinated in some (homemade) yogurt with cumin and other warm spices and roasting the broccoli, then tossing it in a little butter and some of the pureed garlic confit I made a few weeks ago. Sounds good right? Later in the week, I’m revisiting a great recipe from the NY Times last year, for a ratatouille pot pie, with Italian sausage, ratatouille, and a cornmeal topping. It’s more of a cobbler than a pie, and really delicious. Maybe I’ll see what happens if I toss a couple of the pimentos in…
I’m also going to try the cranberry beans in a gratin that I found online. I’m a sucker for the word gratin, aren’t you?

Share

{ 0 comments }