Sunday, June 22, 2008

One Local Shabbat

On Friday we all had busy days and found ourselves close to dinnertime with very little planned. Friday evenings are usually a special dinner for us as we welcome Shabbat. Although we threw this dinner together, we especially enjoyed it as we ate in our garden and toasted to the mosquitoes, finally hitting their stride in the DC area.

We served farm-fresh hotdogs with spicy sauerkraut from the same farm, bread from a local bakery, and a big arugula salad courtesy of our CSA. For dessert (which we gobbled down before we thought about the camera), we enjoyed strawberry ice cream--made by the farmers from dairy and strawberries from the farm and maple syrup from one of the farmer's neighbors.

For breakfast the next morning we made French Toast using bakery challah, farm eggs and milk, home-rolled oats, and nonlocal almonds--and topped the bread with farmers market strawberries and local maple syrup. Delish!

For lunch, we heated up leftovers in the solar oven. On Thursday evening, we had cooked cornbread with yogurt from the farm and cornmeal we ground ourselves, and we served it next to South Carolina cowpeas and Carolina Gold rice. Saturday's lunch was a repeat, this time minus the greens we enjoyed that evening.

Although I grew up in the Carolinas with a historian father who studied slave culture on Carolina rice plantations, I'd never had "Carolina Gold" rice. (For many many years, the state standard has been long-grain white rice.) Much to my surprise, Carolina Gold (the variety that made South Carolina into a major grower of rice at the beginning of this country) is short-grained and almost sticky. Fascinating. And tasty!

I cooked the cowpeas with some local onion from the farmers market. The cooking broth was one made from assorted vegetable peelings (onion skins, asparagus bottoms, green bean ends, very holy rapini leaves, etc.) and a few leftover chicken bones. To make the beans taste authentic, remember to cook them with a little black pepper.

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