Dark Days Week Nine

I can’t believe that the Dark Days Challenge is already half over!  I feel like aside from meat and greens, which I can buy at the Farmer’s Market, I am still pretty well-stocked for the rest of the challenge.  However, if I were eating all local meals every day, I would be running out of most things. 

For example, I have a limited number of jars of tomatoes this year.  Most of them are sauce or salsa.  This summer, when I was canning them, my kids said, “Holy cow, do you think you have enough tomatoes???”  Every time they asked, I told them the same thing, “No.”  Then I proceeded to do the math aloud until they quit asking.  My goal in the coming year is to put up enough tomatoes that I don’t have to buy any next winter.  That’s a big order.  I eat a lot of salsa.  Plus, I’ve been on a canned tomato kick.  Every day for lunch, I’ve been eating canned tomatoes.  At the moment, I don’t even have enough jars to can all the tomatoes I’d need to put up to get me through the year; I’m going to have to preserve a lot more this year if I want to eat locally more consistently next winter!

So, what did we have this week?  Chicken noodle soup and of course, homemade bread.  I started with some broth and picked chicken from the roast chicken we ate earlier in the week.  I added some sprigs of thyme that I dug out of the snow, a chopped shallot and some minced garlic cloves from my CSA share and several quarts of homemade chicken stock from the freezer.  After that I scrubbed a few redskin potatoes from my fifty pound bag and diced them into the boiling stock.  Once the potatoes were tender, I added a pint of frozen corn kernels from the freezer, sliced two local carrots from Oryana and diced up the celeriac leaves from Providence Farm that I had in the fridge. 

Chicken vegetable soup

Hearty soup with homemade bread.

I’d like to say I made homemade noodles.  I had every intention of making homemade noodles.  I actually put this dinner off for two nights thinking that I would make homemade noodles.  But, I didn’t. 

I used to have a pasta roller.  I’m afraid I may have taken it to Goodwill years ago because I can’t find it.   I wasn’t ready to hand roll and cut my noodles, so I ended up buying locally made egg noodles. In a pan separate from the soup, I boiled salted water and cooked the noodles.  I added some noodles to each bowl and ladled hot soup over them.

5 Comments

Filed under food

5 responses to “Dark Days Week Nine

  1. Idea about the tomatoes. Perhaps you’re already doing it, but would be interested in finding a commercial kitchen (or close to it) and getting 3-4 other households to all work together canning. More hands, efficent digs = more tomatoes & tomato wars

  2. aastricker

    Mmmm. . . Tomato wars sound tasty. Great idea, Gary. I wonder what renting a kitchen would cost. I have friends with big kitchens, but most of them aren’t canners. I’ll have to think on this some more.

  3. Hi, I just found your interesting blog. We grow all of our veggies and fruit but we don’t can. We freeze most of our veggies including salsa, marinara sauce, whole tomatoes so we rarely buy any veggies during the year. But I also dry lots of tomatoes. We grow specific tomatoes just for drying. I am interested in trying canning again just to give our freezer a little more room!

    • aastricker

      I didn’t have enough tomatoes to dry any this year, but I hope to dry tons next year. Do you have a particular variety that you find dries well? I’m “shopping” for seeds right now. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. My favorite for drying is Juliet, but also like Principe Borghese and Golden Rave. Last year due to the cool summer I ended up drying some I normally don’t. Check out my blog entry regarding drying – http://bloombakecreate.com/2009/12/time-to-put-it-away/

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