Thursday, September 01, 2016

November Hill kitchen, 1

Recipes on camera-obscura?

Not really. But since I'm on an extended hiatus from Facebook I need somewhere to document the food stuff that happens in our modest little kitchen.

We eat good food here, most of the time. The best meals for me are the ones that are as close to 100% local as possible, and even better are the ones that are close to 100% November Hill produce.

I often share the local and home-grown meals on FB, sometimes with a photo, so here we go:

I'm in a "clear the cupboards and freezer" mode right now. The summer garden is mostly done and now we have a few fall plantings underway (sweet potatoes, garlic for next spring). Once the heat breaks for good we'll add a fall planting of greens. 

In these interim weeks we've been trying to base meals around the things that need to be used up. I love cooking from our garden, but I also really enjoy the challenge of taking a few scattered items and creating a meal out of them. This comes directly from my dad, who, during all of my childhood and teen years, got home from work earlier than my mom did, so he made our dinners.

His specialty was coming up with "on the fly" meals - good ones, but he loved bargains and would often stop by the small-town grocery store on his way home and pick up a few things that were on sale, combine that with something we already had, and end up with something unique and delicious. He never used a recipe. I think I must have soaked that in without even knowing it.

Last night I found a package of frozen Brussel sprouts that screamed to be eaten. I also found a quarter package of bulk hot bulk sausage from our favorite local meat producer. (Who is also our hay grower, and his farming practices are organic and humane and sustainable; his meats have been called the cleanest in Chatham County). Then I realized we had fresh mushrooms that needed using. These weren't local. The idea formed - brown the sausage, add the mushrooms, then the Brussel sprouts. 

And then I looked in the cupboard and found a quarter package of instant Miso soup mix and a little bag of millet. I put the millet on, added the Miso mix, and when all was said and done the meal, served in bowls, was the Brussel sprout/sausage/mushroom mixture over the Miso millet. It was yummy. It was easy. It was aesthetically pleasing in hand-thrown blue bowls (found for a dollar at the thrift store years back). And it was about 50% local. I'll make it again, if I have the ingredients on hand.

That's the beauty and sometimes the sadness of this kind of cooking. When you put things together based on little bits and pieces you have on hand it isn't always easy to recreate the meals later! But that makes them special. And I keep on doing it. 


Grey Horse Matters said...

It sounds like a tasty meal. I've been know to throw things together that actually wind up being edible. I've never used Brussell Sprouts though, just can't get behind them no matter how many times I taste them. I guess they're not for everyone. It's nice you can use local ingredients.

billie said...

Admittedly, I love Brussel sprouts! But it would have been good with any veggie, I think, that does well as a sautéed dish. Would love to hear some of your throw-together meals!

Matthew said...

It was quite delicious! :)

billie said...

Thinking about cauliflower crust pizza tonight to use some of that frozen cauliflower!