Friday, January 13, 2012

Winter Fare - Keeping in Local

While my family has been eating local and gardening for several years, this is our first attempt at getting through the winter with our stored local and home grown food as our primary food source. So far, I'd say it is a success. I have lettuce, spinach and salad greens growing in a flower box on the windowsill. Peppers and tomatoes started indoors and a healthy crop of wheatgrass.


Most of the peaches, pears and blueberries that I canned in the fall are gone. I do still have plenty of frozen blueberries, cranberries and one precious jar of strawberries left. The apples in the root cellar are holding up well and should get us through into March. Warm apple sauce for breakfast is extra yummy on a chilly cold winter morning.

Our supply of sun dried tomatoes ran out this month. I realized I need to grown a lot more tomatoes next year. I was lucky to find a local source of greenhouse tomatoes and have purchased some of those. I froze a bunch of our summer cherry tomatoes and still have several jars left. These make a great addition to soups and roasted veggie dishes.

Cold winter days scream out for soup! This beautiful yellow tomato soup that we made in September from heirloom tomatoes from Red Fire Farm is the exact right fit for winter lunch fare. It has been a real favorite this season.

One of the biggest complaints I have heard in trying to eat local during the winter is that people just get sick of root vegetables. The cure is to be creative. We like to make smoothies with our root veggies and some frozen fruit.We toss yellow and candy stripe beets, carrots and other roots in the juicer (uncooked) and then into the blender with some frozen fruit. It makes for a yummy breakfast or healthy mid day snack.

Another creative way to eat veggies is also very simple. Just braise them in a frying pan. Here's how we do it:

Warm Veggie Fry
  • cut up in 1 in pieces yellow and orange carrots, 1 small sweet potato, beets, brussel sprouts and leeks
  • add sliced up yummy peppers, sweet pepper and cherry tomatoes (we keep these frozen so we have them year round)
  • Put them all in a pan with a 1/2 tbsp of butter, salt lightly
  • Cook, stirring frequently, until the root veggies are soft
  • Melt some cheese on top and serve (we like home made feta or provolone)

I'd love to hear other creative things people have done with their root veggies. Please share your ideas.

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