Sunday, July 10, 2011

Taking Local to the Next Level

The family all got together at my daughter and son-in-law's Friday night... a typical event. And usually the dinner consists of as much local fare as possible. But Joanna has taken eating local to a whole new level.... she's planted an awesome garden... from seed and it's starting to reap a harvest. The herbs are in, as are the lettuces, spring onions and flowers on the squash and tomatoes mean the rest are sure to follow.

The grilled vegetables are from local markets. No photo because the one I took definitely did not showcase just how fantastic they looked and tasted. I'm not sure what marinade she used so I'm giving my standard for you to try. I was too busy playing with Batman & Spiderman to notice.

But the main reason for writing about taking eating local to the next level is the nine mackerel Joanna and her friend Jason caught the night before... from a dock about a 10 minute drive from her home at Terence Bay on the Atlantic Ocean. The photo might actually be from any of the fishing coves jutting in and out of the Atlantic near Peggy's Cove. When we first moved to Nova Scotia back in 2007, we did lots of exploring the coastline and falling in love with each fishing village we saw. Naturally I took a bazillion photos and just as naturally... I've spent the last 40 minutes hunting for them without success. Bottom line... imagine being able to fish so close to home. But I digress.

Jo stuffed the fish - after gutting and scaling, with spring onions & herbs from her garden (handfuls of oregano & mint) and after brushing with a bit of olive oil, Ezra grilled them on the barbecue. What an excellent team! Local new potatoes were simply boiled and tossed with butter and chives from the garden.

And the other reason for the post... I shared my last weekend's food adventures... Naturally, my eyes are always bigger than my stomach when I go to a local market and it was no different. So by Friday I still had mixed greens, these stunning sweet pea pods and sugar snap peas from the Hutten Family Farm (yes, they have a stand at the Wolfville market too) that I brought over. They were still so fresh, so crisp, so sweet, that we couldn't stop ourselves from munching.... forget about adding them to the salad.

The moral of the story... and the reason for the post... I know that some people say shopping at farmers markets and supporting local farmers is too expensive. So let me end with this question to you.... If you shop at a grocery store and buy salad greens, herbs, other produce like pea pods... how long do they last before you throw them out... or at least are so wilted, you have to pick through them to find barely a handful worth adding to your dish? How long before they lose that totally awesome just picked flavor? Three days? Two days? And then you have to go buy more. My score was a week old and still tasted like they had just come from the fields they grew in!And this week's score to really tempt you to support your farmers... flank steak & strip loin from Getaway Farms; bread & pain chocolat from Julien's; fennel, Japanese turnips, more peas from Hutten farms; lamb & eggs from Wood 'n Hart farm; a basil plant for my balcony garden from River View Herbs; strawberries... strawberry season is in full bloom around here; beets & young onions from Elmridge Farms.


Anonymous said...

I so agree with you 100% on this!

Joanne said...

I can never control myself around fresh from-the-market sugar snaps. I buy POUNDS every week...and eat them all within a day or two. It's insane!

I love that Johanna has her own garden! That's so awesome!