Sunday, February 28, 2010

Day 059 LocalrootZ Project (February 28, 2010)

 Sunny Side Up Egg
over Parsnip Cakes
Slice of Country Rye

Parsnip cakes are a quick and easy treat for any meal... Boil 2 large parsnips till soft, mash well add 1 egg beaten with 1/2 cup milk/cream and 1/2 cup of wheat flour.  I also added a heap of sauteed garlic and onions for extra spunk... Spoon a heap onto a hot griddle, cook for 4-7 minutes flip over and do the same.  It really brings out the sweetness and creamy texture that parsnips are so well known for !


Bowl of Chili
side of Cornbread
Glass of Farnum Hill Cider



 Strawberry Ice Cream
with Blueberry Butter
over Blueberry Corncakes

Transportation Today
Errands : 5 miles Biking
1 mile walking

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Day 058 LocalrootZ Project (February 27, 2010)

So Saturday has arrived and that means WINTER FARMER'S MARKETIt was a little less busy this week than last, but it was still bustling with hungry Portlanders who were looking for that connection with their food and the people that grow it... some notable additions to this week market was Dean from Mother Oven Bread as well as a new farm... Buckwheat Blossom Farm !
OK, here is what we got this week...
Goransen Farm
2 Bags Red Russian Kale
Assorted Winter Squash
2 Delicata, 2 Kombocha, 1 Carnival

Swallowtail Farm
Ball of fresh mozzarella

Hahn's End Farm
 Chunk of Eleanor Buttercup Cheese
& Noble Hill Reserve

Olivia's Garden
Few Pounds of Tomato seconds
Handful of Nasturtiums

Fishbowl Farm
Couple Bags of Spinach

Buckwheat Blossom Farm
Dozen Pastured Eggs
Golden Turnips
Celeriac Root

Mother Oven Bakery
Loaf of Country Rye

Caldwell Farm
1# Butter

another thing we picked up at the market, as you will see in the following pictures were some good friends of ours Todd & Cori along with their wonderful little guy Finnegan !

Root Vegetable Homefires
 (Yukon Gold, Purple Sun, Chantenay, Golden Turnip, Celeriac)
w/ Pastured Egg Sunny Up
side of kraut & carrots
Slice of Country Rye

After a wonderful late morning breakfast with friends and an extended conversation regarding cooking and food, it was back to the kitchen after saying farewell to the Ketcham's.  Cassi grabbed the dishes by the horns and I started inspecting my jar of previously soaked ingredients.  The jacobs cattle/yellow eye beans and Laver seaweed mixture I had started on Thursday evening were looking plump and ready for a boil.... as that boiled I stared out the window at the wintry greyness that encapsulated the Casco Bay ... and decided it was time to make chili.  Now I am not a chili expert and in fact can't recall ever making a chili before but I had a good idea about how I could use some of those great dried chili peppers from Fishbowl Farm.  I started with a big soup pot, actually it was gifted to me by Todd & Cori a couple years back for a Stew-Off competition, anyway, I coated the pot with some Maine canola oil and added a bunch of chopped garlic and red onion and a cup of mushroom stock... turning the heat on medium/high and then added probably a dozen diced tomatoes, 1 jalepeno pepper, 1 habanero, 2 poblanos... using all the flakes/seeds from the poblanoes but only a small amount from the real hot ones... Cassi & I don't like too much spice.  From there I added the cooked yellow eye beans as well as some browned tempeh from Lalibela Farm. Simmer it for an hour or two...
During which time I started thinking about cornbread... the only recipe I had, called for all purpose flour and only a small amount of cornmeal... well I decided to reversed the recipe and used 1 cup cornmeal and 1/2 cup buckwheat as an alternative to using our whole wheat flour... thinking the finer consistency of the buckwheat may produce a better result.  other ingredients were 4 tbsp honey, 1/4 cup melted butter, sea salt,  3/4 cup raw goat milk and 1 tbsp baking powder (luckily we had the can in our 2009 leftovers). Anyone know the "Maine" way to get this to rise without baking powder... can you make a starter for cornbread... seems it would create a sour taste that wouldn't go well with te sweetness... Ill look into this for when the powder runs out!
Baked @ 425˚ for 15-20 minutes and for a first try we were pleasantly surprised... next time I think Ill add more honey though !

Bowl of Chili
slice of cornbread




Friday, February 26, 2010

Day 057 LocalrootZ Project (February 26, 2010)

Sunnyside Up Egg
w/ Browned Tempeh
(Garbanzo & Navy Bean from Lalibella Farm)
Slice of Spelt Toast
Steamer Clams
Pan Seared Scallops
over Chiogga beets
Glass of Villager White

Maple Honey Ice Cream
over Oatmeal Cookie

So today started off with a surprise call from work at 6am, just when i was about to hop on my bicycle my daily commute... Power Out ! Whoot woo... looks like those winds were a bit much for alot of the powerlines in the state of Maine and it also looks like I can hit the pillow for a bit longer and wake up to a fresh day of cooking and organizing for a soon to be productive weekend !  We started of with a small easy breakfast that was highlighted by some sample tempeh we got from Lalibela Farm.  They have been making a traditional soy bean based tempeh since the late fall if I recall correctly and Ive used it for many recipes throughout the last couple months of the project.  Anyhow she is experimenting with other bean types and we were lucky enough to have it on our breakfast plate.  I will say they both made a tempeh that had a texture and look similar to the soy based type they sell at the market.  However there were some slight nuances I noticed between the flavors... I personally thought the garbanzo was the best, it seemed creamier than the others, for me creamy is always good, where the Navy bean had a bit of acidity to the flavor, almost a citrus tang to it, that was even stronger than the soy type.  I think all three have there place on the shelf in my fridge.  The "alternative" bean tempehs also fill a niche where alot of people who typically avoid soy based products may find it appealing.  Keep up the good work guys... Check out their farm @ Lalibela Farm and pick up some their tempeh @ various grocers and the winter & summer farmers market.
After breakfast was complete we spent a few minutes straightening up the kitchen/ art studio and decided with the sun making an apperance and temps pushing 50˚, that it was time for a walk.  We headed over to Aurora's to purchase a pint of smiling hill farm cream for ice cream later and then proceeded down through the west end and along the trail that leads through the sculpture park, under the casco bay bridge and straight into Free Range Fish.  We picked up a handful of sea scallops and a nice pile of steamer clams that were harvested the day before.  From there we passed up to Longfellow books to check out a couple new releases that looked notable... we purchased a few new titles "A Little Piece of Earth" by Maria Finn & "Real Food" by Nina Planck... both looked interesting and we have developed quite the addiction to reading whenever the chance arises. After the book store we made a quick detour over to Downeast and grabbed a nice bottle of Villager White... produced by Oyster River Wine Growers to accompany our lunch /dinner.  Speaking of lunch/dinner it was fabulous.  A very simple meal with a few chiogga beets sliced thin and roasted in a dab of sunflower oil for about 20 min @ 475˚.  I then boiled 2 cup of water with a 3 crushed garlic cloves, 1 small stuttgarter onion, and a handful of laver seaweed... after this mixture steam off to about half I added a shot of Villager wine and a bag full of steamers, covered and steam for 10 minutes or so... unitl they opened up.  the scallops were just seared in some garlic butter and served over the roasted beets.

Total cost of meal $18 for two people including bottle of wine

Cheap. Simple. Easy. Delicious

Transportation Today
Errands : 6 miles Walking 

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Slow Food Writers Night !

Just got our tickets today.... looking forward to a night out on the town !

The 2010 Slow Food Portland Writers Night

Wednesday 03.10.2010, Doors at 6:00 PM, Starts at 7:00 PM, $25, $20 for Slow Food Members., All Ages

Buy tickets here

This year Slow Food Portland moves their popular Writers Night to March to coincide with Maine Restaurant Week.  Come join us for an evening of engaging food writing and delicious food from Maine’s land and sea.  This years lineup covers Apples, Mushrooms, Moonshine and the influence of food on a local economy. The menu will be provided by Lee Farrington chef/owner of the much anticipated Figa Restaurant, 249 Congress, who will incorporate both apples amd mushrooms (among the other tasty reources of Maine) in her offerings. Writers Night is an evening full of delicious food, fascinating readings and, this year, an opportunity to sample the food of a soon to open restaurant.

The featured writers this year include local talent and regional authors with newly released books:

• Greg Marley, mycologist from Rockland, and author of Mushrooms for Health, Medicinal Secrets of Northeastern Fungi.

John Bunker, renowned Maine apple expert, head of Fedco Seeds tree division and author of Not Far From the Tree, A Brief History of the Apples of Palermo, Maine.

Max Watman, journalist from upstate New York, and author of the upcoming Chasing the White Dog, An Amateur Outlaw’s Adventures in Moonshine.

•  Ben Hewitt, journalist and farmer from Vermont whose upcoming The Town That Food Saved, How One Community Found Vitality in Local Food chronicles the life of Hardwick, Vermont.

Day 056 LocalrootZ Project (February 25, 2010)

Gala Apple

Plain Smiling Hill Farm Yogurt
w/ raw honey

Leftover Pesto Kale Lasagna
w/ cream sauce
Aroostook Garlic Bread
Glass of Coastal Red


Mmmm... some leftovers, moistened up with a little cream sauce ( 1/4 cup cream, 1 tbls butter, 1/2 cup romano cheese). Anyhow the big story for today was the weather ! I had a tough going on the bike today with torential rains (4 inches as of 5pm) with sustained winds of 50mph and gust reaching 60-70mph !  I am a pretty stubborn bike commuter but I came very close from getting blown backwards while making the trek over the very exposed Casco Bay bridge.  With my head down and socks full of water I had to give my best in order to crawl against the powerful headwind blowing across the Bay.  The only thing that kept me going was that lasagna in the fridge and a wonderful girlfriend to share the stormy meal with !   Back in Portland, I proceeded to towel off, put on the sweatshirt and slippers, kick up my feet and got ready for a night of sketching an blogging !  

 the rainy view from our apartment...

Checking out the storage hall...
 the rain soaked door/window to the rooftop deck...
 the Surly dripping off in the front hallway...
Looks like Im done blogging for now...

Transportation Today
Work Commute : 15 miles Bicycle

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Day 055 LocalrootZ Project (February 24, 2010)

Macintosh & Fuji Apple
Plain Smith Farm Yogurt
w/ raw honey

Leftover Monkfish Pesto
w/ fresh sunflower sprouts

Pesto Kale Lasagna
w/Garlic Aroostook Bread
Glass of Coastal Red

Another long lasagna cooking night that started with all these
great ingredients....
Let's start with the sauce... a little sunflower oil in a sauce pot ; add chopped garlic, onion, shredded chantenay carrot and saute
Through a handful of tomatoes and some basil in the food processor and puree...
add pureed basil and tomatoes to into the garlic onion carrot mixture... put heat on medium, stir and simmer for about an hour.
in another dish add 12oz Ricotta with 1/2 cup Mozzarella, 1/4 cup Romano, Two Eggs and a pinch of dried herbs (oregano, sage, thyme)
Blend together well....
Now it's pasta time...
3 cups Hard Red Wheat Flour combine with 4 eggs... knead into a ball and let rest 15 minutes
run through pasta rollers 3- 6 times... slowly moving the rollers closer together until you reach your desired consistency.
so with the noodles finished and modeled by the beautiful Cassi its time to saute some greens (curly & red russian kale) as well as boil the noodles...
 From there its time for assembly... I went with a layer of noodle, scoops of ricotta mixture, spinkled greens, cover with sauce repeat, repeat and then I topped it off with a layer of pesto and some shredded mozzarella.  
Into the oven for 45 minutes @ 350˚

So that is how we make a 100% local lasagna in Maine !  Unfortunately Scott from Olivia's Garden in New Gloucester informed me that his tomatoes are in the process of transition... meaning a complete restart, causing a 50 day lapse in tomatoes !  Oh well they were great while they lasted...the wonders of hydroponics.  The newly acquired ricotta & mozzarella from Swallowtail Farm were fantastic and Im so glad to have them as an addition to the new Portland Winter Market... speaking of which it is coming around in just a couple days, that means we need to finish up the stuff we got there last week ! Welp... back to the kitchen !

Transportation Today
Work Commute : 15 miles Bicycle
Errands : 3 miles Walking

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Day 054 LocalrootZ Project (February 23, 2010)

Gala & Macintosh Apple
Smith Farm Plain Yogurt
w/ raw honey
Shrimp n Winter Green Salad
Jacobs Cattle Bean Dip
w/ spinach and shrimp
ina pita pocket


Transportation Today
Work Commute : 15 miles Bicycle
Errands : 3 miles Walking

Monday, February 22, 2010

Day 053 LocalrootZ Project (February 22, 2010)

Gala & Macintosh Apple
Smith Farm Plain Yogurt
w/ raw honey

Leftover Parsnip Potato Mash
w/ Green Cabbage

Half Dozen Raw Oysters
(Pemaquid, Blue Point, Winterpoint)
Monkfish Kale & Mushroom
Pita Pockets



These are monkfish... needless to say I didn't show Cassi what type of fish we were eating till dinner was over !

Another Monday that had me heading straight to the fish market from work. As the pedals turned I started to crave something new and exciting as well as some oysters... we have started to really really enjoy them and they are pretty reasonably priced @ $ 1.25, each not bad... Anyhow I arrived @ Harborfish to see they had 6 different varieties of Maine oysters to choose from... I picked three types and grabbed 2 of each.  From there it was over to the fish section where everything was pretty typical considering its winter in the gulf of Maine.  In the summer, you get alot of different species following the gulf stream from south to north and there is much more variety but for now mostly cusk, cod, halibut, pollock flounder etc  One fish that I've always eyed but shied away from was the infamous monkfish.  A truly grotesque fish who's head is gigantic with a huge mouth (see last picture above).  Anyhow they had a fairly reasonable price on monkfish loins, 7.99/#.  I decided to give it a shot and ordered up a little under a pound, 2 cuts.  From there it was off to meet up with Cassi who was also out running errands... she surprised me with a book Ive been looking for since my friend Todd has raved about it.  "Nourishing Traditions".  I was so glad to finally have a copy in my hand and it was truly a sweet surprise !  From there it was over to whole foods for a little kitty food and some shampoo for Cassi... then a nice trek back to the west end where I got to work in the kitchen and finished the evening off with a glass of wine and a movie.

Transportation Today
Work Commute : 15 miles Bicycle
Errands : 5 miles Walking
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