December 13, 2011

Dark Days Challenge Week 2

It's pouring down rain. And while it does that part of my heart that still belongs to the northwest good, the Iowa portion is miffed. Christmas is so close, isn't this supposed to be snow?

Anyways. In the name of all things cozy our meal for week two was a beef pot roast. An arm roast to be exact, browned and braised with a large red onion that was so pungent I had to open a window after chopping it. Both from the winter market. Also on the table was applesauce from Wesley Acres (our CSA) via the freezer and cream biscuits - the James Beard recipe in The Breakfast Book. And likely the last salad we will eat this year, just a simple lettuce mix. Nothing fancy, just green. No pictures were taken - everything needed to be charged and we were a hungry bunch.

There were two really exciting parts to this meal (my favorite kind of humble meal this time of year). One was that the biscuits were made with my newly arrived local(ish) flour. And second was the new pet that came out of the salad!

First the flour. I've struggled to find a local source for flour, living as we do in the land of inedible corn and soy. Some perusing on the internet a couple weeks ago helped me find Paul's Grains in Laurel, Iowa. In strict practice it is outside of our territory at probably closer to 175 miles away, but I was still excited. I put in a small order knowing we wouldn't make it out to any of their suppliers, not this time of year anyways. My order arrived super fast and the same day as some ordered Christmas presents- is it bad that I was more excited about the flour? I will for sure be putting in a larger order as our budget allows because the products were very nicely milled. We have a deep freeze that can accommodate a good amount so I can easily store it. It'd be a nice field trip to actually pick it up from the farm, but right now I covet my time, so we'll just have to see. The biscuits were yummy- with cream skimmed off our raw milk and dipped in local butter. They were even better the next day for lunch heated slightly with slices of the hard cheddar from the market last week.

So then our new pet. As I was clearing the table I went to put the leftover salad back in the spinner for smoothies later on and ooh- there was a fuzzy caterpillar making his way out of the salad spinner. I'm sure he'd been in for a wild ride! He's now in a jar on the shelf, but given the not so freezing weather I'm going to put him outside tomorrow. Now I have to be honest, my gut reaction was - oh shit that is so gross- there was a caterpillar in our salad!! Which is weird as I spent a good part of the summer pulling caterpillars off plants this summer and had no problem eating the produce of course! For some reason it just seemed so out of context - maybe because it is December? I calmly reminded myself (and John) that it's a good thing we found a happy caterpillar - that means our salad was organic and picked not long ago! I'm just surprised it lasted 4 days in the fridge. I just hope we didn't eat his buddy earlier in the week when I grabbed a handful of greens for smoothies.

Whatever. To all things extra protein! Till next week . . .


Xan from Mahlzeit said...

How close are you to the Mississippi? Try Great River Milling (just google it for the site); I believe they're Galena-area. They also sell through Sam's Club, Amazon, and although that somewhat defeats the purpose.

darah said...

oooh I will have to look into that Xan! Galena is always a welcome trip for me. My house is about 2 miles from the Mississippi - I didn't think I'd love living by it as much as I do!


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