Sunday, August 26, 2007

Another Local Summer Post

Sweet mother of Fatzah! I guess technically I've got two local component meals to show you this week--and lots of rambling about food!

First up, the Great Urban Potato Experiment came to a delicious close.

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Wednesday we had some of those Philly-made knockwurst and my experimental harvest in the form of homefries on the side.

I nuked them for 60 seconds, sliced them up thin, fried them up in some olive oil and seasoned them with some grill spice.

I think they taste even better when you grow them yourself. Maybe its the Irish Palmeranian in me, but I could live off of taters.

Moving on to our second quasi-local meal--we had spaghetti last Sunday.

Ok, so I didn't make the noodles. I had leftover noodles in my cupboard from before this challenge happened. Nor did I make the tomato sauce I used in the sauce. It was from a can.

Sadly my tomatoes aren't doing as well as my potatoes did, and I won't be fulfilling my dreams of future spaghetti sauces made 100% from local tomatoes.

However, normally I just toss a can of diced canned tomatoes in my spaghetti sauce--but not this time. I chopped up two fresh tomatoes from the office farm stand. This was probably a bad thing. It tasted so good, I might never use canned diced tomatoes again!

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I believe I've figured out why my food pictures have lately looked horrible with odd casts to them--compact florescent bulbs. Save a dime, sacrafice a good food picture I suppose.

Along with the chopped fresh tomatoes, the sauce features my own oregano and some unlocal garlic.

Even though my local food offerings don't anywhere near the greatness of Wendy's, I do share her sentiment that a local meal isn't really all that local if the core ingredient isn't from somewhere closeby.

To me the core ingredient in spaghetti is the sauce, but more importantly the MEAT in the sauce.

I fried up some pork sausage and added it to my sauce.

I couldn't bring myself to buy the expensive Bob Evans sausage next to the rest of the sliced and diced dead piggies in the meat aisle of Shoprite. Instead I stumbled upon--below the lard--no where near the other meats--rolls of Parks Sausage for waaaay cheaper than the Bob Evans crap.

I did some investigation online and found out that Parks Sausage is made in Baltimore, MD--3 hours and 12 minutes away from us. This falls in the "comfortable day's drive" criteria for this challenge.

Parks, a small East Coast company, started struggling when their main customers Dominos Pizza and Pizza Hut turned to larger companies to supply their sausage.

I read this quote that described the predicament Parks found itself in and laughed:



"Today, fresh products can be transported across the country, eliminating the niche that small companies like Parks once filled. 'In addition, food retailers are using fewer suppliers because it's more efficient for them to have only two or three brands on the shelf instead of six or seven. National brands like Jimmy Dean, Bob Evans [and others] tend to get that shelf space,' [Kurt]Funderburg says." citation here


How funny that Parks found it's product in my shopping cart because it was cheaper than one of those national brands.

They were bought out by a larger company but kept their name. They still manufacture their sausage in Baltimore.

And finally, I can't forget our quasi local dessert that night--apple crisp featuring local apples (and not much else!) from the tree in the front yard. Chunky and I had a grand time whacking the apples we couldn'treach out of the tree with his Star Wars light sabre.

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The force is strong with this dessert!!!!!

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20 Comments:

Blogger Wendy said...

You say you don't take good food pics, but I could just about smell that apple crisp! Yum!

I think you're doing an amazing job with eating local. Congrats on the potatoes, by the way. Your choice of dish looks fantastic and a great tribute to your homegrown efforts ;).

11:25 AM  
Blogger weezalana said...

Mmmm, I do so love me some carbs. Fluorescent bulbs or not, those 'taters and and that pasta look deeelish!

But the apple crisp did me in. Throw some ice cream on there and I may just end up on the floor.

11:52 AM  
Blogger turtlegirl76 said...

That's so neat that we were able to see the evolution of the Great Urban Potato Experiment play it self out from sprout to plate. Very cool. They look like they were tasty! But I want some of that Apple Crisp! Mmmm.

11:59 AM  
Blogger buttercup said...

You're taters look yummy, but the apple crisp is one of my faves! I'll be right over. ;-)

12:10 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

I'm coming to your house for dinner.

I could live on potatoes too, and I don't have a lick of Irish in me. But Scandinavians love that form of starch, I was raised with it, and today nothing says comfort food like potatoes.

That apple crisp looks sooooo good.

Bob Evans--blech. I bought some once. Thought it was bland. Not local + not good = why bother?

12:31 PM  
Blogger Rebel said...

Yummy! New Jersey is a good place to eat local. =)

-zuma

1:48 PM  
Blogger cpurl17 said...

I so wish I lived next door so I could just "happen to stop by" during dinner time.

2:19 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

MMMMMmmmmmmmm.

We use light sabers to knock cicada shells out of the trees. (The Little Emperor collects them.)

2:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh! Those taters turned out real good I can smell them all the way up here!!! Aaaahhhh! spaghetti sauce I went on line and found a recipe for it. Only thing is I never follow it exactly, but it comes out tasting OK. As for your apple crisp well I can only have a taste, the carbs would put me over my meal carb limit!! But darn does it look good!!! Love, Mom

2:51 PM  
Blogger Carol said...

Use the force Chunky! That's a great looking meal. I love what you've done with your taters daling! ~drool~

5:34 PM  
Blogger Zonda said...

Yay for the home fries! I bet they were good!! I want the apple crisp too!

5:55 PM  
Anonymous NikBudnik said...

Your tatos look pretty good- so when can I come up for dinner? I am tired of cooking.

6:07 PM  
Blogger jpknits said...

Yum.

That is all :)

6:38 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

MmmmmmmMmmmmmmmMmmmmmmm.

Love it.

AND! You finished the Tam! It really is gorgeous.

I like your spin on the local.

Hugs.

-Sarah

7:05 PM  
Blogger Donna Lee said...

What would we do without potatoes? I love them too but have never grown them. I have grown garlic and onions both of which are fun and interesting(and taste great with potatoes!)There used to be a commercial for Parks. It was a little kid saying "More Parks sausages Mom" (pause) "Please?". They are as good as anyone's for stuffing and such.

7:10 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

Wow... what a fabulous effort! I feel exactly the same about homegrown spuds. Once you grow 'em, you can't go back!

7:19 PM  
Blogger Alisha said...

Oh my gosh to see you whacking an apple tree with a light saber would have been classic LOL

Everything looks so so good!!!

7:42 PM  
Blogger sgeddes said...

Oh yum! Two of my all time favorites - potatoes and dessert!

I'm with you I could live off of potatoes.

8:00 PM  
Blogger T. Budnik said...

And I made YOU dinner when you stopped by in February? Psshaa!

-T.

8:18 PM  
Blogger Magatha said...

Mmmmm, home fries in olive oil.
Delicious and good for you.

I also like the tam on you, but really BezMom might use it more. Congrats on finishing. It's quite a slog to make something big on 2s. Worth it, but a slog none the less.

10:46 AM  

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