farmbasket

Accidental Locavore Fall Vegetables

Time to bite the bullet, and admit there are no more farmbaskets for, gasp, the next six months. So what’s an Accidental Locavore to do? First of all it was time to clean out various refrigerators, and put to use the last of the vegetables from farmer Paul. Corn got shucked and frozen for future use, beans were pickled with horseradish and peppercorns, and potatoes and leeks combined with homemade bacon for a lovely soup. Orange and white cauliflower along with pimentos, and green peppers joined carrots and pearl onions to make more pickles. The last of the broccoli and some of the amazing corolla potatoes made a steak something special for dinner last night. Boy, were those great mashed potatoes!

For the soup, I made my own variation of a potage parmentier, which is basically a leek and potato soup, enriched with cream at the end.

  • First I slowly sauteed some bacon in a little olive oil to render it. Before the bacon was fully cooked, I added about 5 leeks, the white and pale green parts, cleaned, and sliced into thin rings.
  •  I cooked the leeks until they started to soften, and then added them to a saucepan with 3 russet potatoes and 2 red skinned potatoes, peeled and diced. To that I added a quart of chicken broth, and a quart of water. That simmered, partially covered, for about 50 minutes until the potatoes were tender.
  • Then I attacked it with a stick blender, but you could use a potato masher, or run it through a food processor or blender in batches. I always like soup a little chunky, so I processed it until it was pretty well blended, but not totally smooth.
  • After that I added about 1/2 cup of heavy cream to enrich it. Serve with a sprinkle of chopped chives for garnish, and enjoy.

Don’t forget to check out this week’s Blogging Boomers Carnival, there are some great topics, like who actually owns your mortgage? Lots to think about, and let me know what you think of the soup.

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Accidental Locavore Farmbasket Eggplant and Watermelon

People who know me know that I hate September. It’s the end of the summer, and all the good things that happen in the summer. Imagine how I felt when I went to pick up my basket this week, and saw beautiful arrangement of pumpkins in front of the barn…
Luckily there were enough great reminders of summer in my box that I was able to put the pumpkins out of my mind (kind of, sort of). This week there was a cute baby watermelon, just the right size for us, a few huge bright red tomatoes, corn, a cabbage, mini zucchini, summer squash, the tinest potatoes, along with some lovely red potatoes, leeks, broccoli, radishes and two shiny eggplants.
Now that I have leeks and potatoes, I’m going to make some sort of vichyssoise, but it might be hot, and I’m thinking of adding some bacon to it, maybe some corn, and thyme.
I could be very trendy with the watermelon, grill it, and pair it with feta, but why when it’s so good on it’s own? I’ve already gotten some ground lamb from the farm down the road, and made some yogurt, so the cabbage is getting stuffed once again. To continue on the lamb front, I have some lamb and curry sausage from our local butcher, which I’m going to pair with a recipe from Fine Cooking for zucchini and chick peas. Now I just need a night or two at home to start cooking. Must be September, right?

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Accidental Locavore Pimentos and Cranberry Beans

 If you’re like the Accidental Locavore, you probably haven’t given pimentos much thought. They’re the little red things inside green olives, n’est pas? Correct, but how did they get there, and what do they look like? In this week’s farmbasket, there was a quartet of pimentos, along with a little note: “we’re pimentos, roast us“. It’s hard to spot in this photo, but behind the cranberry beans. there’s a little green stem, that’s one of the pimentos. They look a little like a persimmon, but bright red, heavy and firm.
Since sometimes, I do what I’m told, I roasted them on the grill until the skins were blackened and they were tender. Then put them in a bowl with a piece of saran wrap tightly over it, to steam off the skins (this works for roasting all peppers, so remember it) and let them sit for about 1/2 hour. Then I took the skin off, cut out the center and seeds, and cut them into strips. They’re currently in a jar with some olive oil, awaiting a salad, sandwich, or even a cocktail olive…

As you can see from the photo, I got a mess of cranberry beans. Anyone have a good recipe for them?
Also in this week’s basket, the first cantaloupe of the season which I am going to finish as soon as I post this. It’s perfect, and so good! Corn, tomatoes, including the first of the heirlooms, salad greens, romaine lettuce, little round squashes, yellow and green, tiny potatoes, possibly corrolas, a beautiful purple cabbage, zucchini and summer squash, and a bunch of basil with the biggest leaves I’ve ever seen!
Don’t forget to send me your ideas for the cranberry beans!
On Friday, my first attempt at pickling, check it out.

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