Tag Archives: local

Local. Sustainable. Organic. A Garden-Inspired Menu

I have been very fortunate to come from and marry into a family interested in having their own vegetable gardens.  Every summer, I am pretty much guaranteed that my family CSA will supply me with organic vegetables once a week.  My in-laws, with acreage, have devoted a quarter of their land to harvesting their own vegetables.

The variety includes squash, potatoes, eggplant, cucumbers, okra, lettuce, spinach, chard, garlic, onion, cilantro, mint, tomatoes, green beans, pears, cantaloupe, chili peppers, and much more.  Needless to say that my grocery bill is substantially lower during this time of year.

Eating from the garden, in short, tastes better.  Much much better.  Fruits taste sweeter.  Vegetables taste fresher and just generally have more flavor.

As a gesture of gratitude, I cooked a meal to thank those that have given me more than just produce – but really a new way about thinking about cooking and quality of food.  This Foodbuzz 24×24 menu is comprised of local organic, sustainable or organic ingredients.

Menu:
Blueberry Mint Soda
Rosemary Bread
Deviled Eggs
Fried Green Tomatoes
Warm Goat Cheese Salad with Balsamic Reduction
Pan-seared Halibut over Wilted Spinach, Texas Portobello Mushrooms and Tomatoes with a Citrus Shallot Dressing
Squash Gratin
Peaches with Homemade Vanilla Bean Buttermilk Ice Cream

Served on a (fortunately) cooler Texas evening, we enjoyed this meal outside near the vegetable garden.  Served family style, this experience was more than a meal but a celebration of the people who dedicated themselves to feeding themselves and their families better.

When I first started grocery shopping and cooking for myself, thinking about where my food comes from was not even in my thought process.  In my mind, shopping at the big chain stores for cheaper blueberries and shopping at an organic store for duper expensive blueberries would yield the same result, the former just requiring an additional rinse under some cold water.

Well, times have changed and I’ve grown a bit wiser.  In this global world where any food is accessible year-round, I now focus on buying for the season rather than for the sale.  In the end, the product is not the same.

Instead of investing in produce that has traveled thousands of miles, I encourage you to check out your local farmer’s markets, join a CSA, buy seasonally, or grow a garden, no matter how small.  Growing and knowing the food you eat will change how you look at your plate.

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Filed under Appetizers, Bread, Dinner, Uncategorized

The Milk Ladies.

I hated milk as a kid.  It could be that my mom forced me to drink it every morning before school.  I plead with her to stop because it made my breath stink.  She thought I was an idiot, and ignored my desperate cries.  She did the same thing with cod liver oil.  I should have called CPS.

Now, that my mom doesn’t force me to drink milk, my MIL has entered the picture.  She is determined to find me the best milk substance(s).  I think she is trying to butter me up (haha, pun) for keeping milk around for future progeny.

No, I’m not pregnant.

And butter me up she did.

Meet my refrigerator’s new contents:

Lucky Layla Farms is a locally operated dairy store, which offers rBGH free milk products and more.  Please note that I have never been to the farm, and that Lucky Layla Farms has no idea who I amMy review is my own.

MILK:  DIVINE!  One sip brought me back to my childhood in India when we drank milk produced from our very own family cow.  Yep, we had a cow.  She was adorable.  I really doubt it’s the best for anyone watching their calories as it tastes like drinking beautiful cream!  If you’re not into that, excuse me while I have my moment.

I know that there is a debate about consuming raw v. pasteurized milk.  I have read several studies, theories and opinions prior to drinking this, and have based my consumption on my research, my opinion and what’s best for me. I encourage you to make your own decision.

YOGURT:  DELICIOUS!  Everything about the yogurt tastes natural!  It’s not overly sweet and you can really taste the fruit in the drink.  I was tempted to throw this into a smoothie for breakfast but I would enjoy this more alone.  No need for adulteration.

BUTTER:  You know I saved this for last on purpose, right?  There are no words.  It’s everything that the sticks of butter should be, but isn’t!  It’s the butter that you find yourself dreaming of when you have a slice of bread.  I can promise you that I will never use this in cooking as I want to savor each bite.

Looks like I need to bake some bread.

Have you tried raw milk?  Do you like milk?  Do you drink milk on a regular basis?  Did your mom force you to drink milk every morning?  Cod liver oil?  🙂

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Filed under Uncategorized, Vegetarian