Editor’s Note: This is the 13th week of a 4 1/2 month challenge, Dark Days, a pledge taken by 88 blogs spanning the country, to eat one meal a week as sustainable, organic, local and ethical possible. Honestly, these challenges are becoming harder & harder to pull off as we all get closer to finishing off the last of our summer 2010 canned goods, frozen fruits and veggies. Amanda shares her angst along with her VERY successful 99% SOLE family meal! Way to go Amanda! – Christina
Dark Days Challenge…..I know why they call this the “Dark Days Challenge” now. It’s winter, it’s STILL cold, it’s STILL snowing and really hard to eat sustainable, organic, local and ethical here in upstate New York. It may be because this winter has seemed to go on forever. Have I mentioned how cold and snowy it is each and every day?! There is still little sign of spring and I know that our family just can’t wait for some sunshine and warmer weather to come in! We are really trying to “Think Spring” in our house!
Honestly when I signed up for this challenge I didn’t think it would be this hard. I am finding the hardest part of the challenge the local part. It may be because we came off of a long wonderful fruitful summer. It was a terrific growing season and being part of the Denison Farm CSA made eating sustainable, organic, local and ethical somewhat easier!
I was getting excited this week to cook our beef tenderloin that Eric picked up at Sap Hollow Bush Farm. This was going to be the main dish of my Dark Days Meal. We were having a big birthday celebration at our house and thought this would be perfect until my mother-in-law told me she no longer eats red meat. Ugh!!! So…onto plan B….I would have to postpone my Dark Days Meal for a weeknight. I also didn’t make it to the Farmers Market over the weekend so I was beginning to feel like I was in a bind to produce something that would meet the Dark Days Challenge. Luckily for us there are a couple of great local co-ops in the area.
I really wanted to go beyond the meat and potatoes dish, which would be the easiest thing this time of year. My first idea was to make pasta. However, mid week and not having any “pasta making tools” decided this adventure and challenge would have to take place at another time.
Went to the pantry and freezer to see what canned and frozen items we had left from the summer, and it is getting to be slim pickings. (Next year we will defiantly stock up more on the fruits and veggies in the freezer!) This is what I had:
5. beet puree
Not much of a selection and we certainly did not prepare well this summer with our fruits and veggies to try and make it through the winter. So my next thought turned to what local ingredients are easy to come by this time of year: EGGS was the first thing that came to my mind. My kids love to pick up a dozen eggs from Brookside Farm at the Farmers Market. It was an additional CSA option this summer we enjoyed as well. Inside each carton of eggs is a list of the chickens your eggs have been laid from. The girls enjoy when we get eggs from the chickens, Ellie and Jackie, but still not a “Jordan” chicken out there on Brookside Farm that we know of yet!
So Egg Frittata it would be, sort of….maybe more like an omelet depending on my cooking skills. Everyone in the house loves eggs and “Breakfast for Dinner” is always a huge it.
So this morning I pulled out the squash and sausage for our Dark Days Egg Frittata Dinner!
My only exception to this challenge is the EVOO.
I do have to omit that I would have loved to add some spinach, red peppers, some spices and cheese (but we stay away from dairy)….
In a pan I cooked crumbled sausage until it was no longer pink. Drained the excess fat and placed it on a paper towel until I was ready to use it.
In a pan with a little EVOO I sautéed a cup of grated winter squash until it was tendered and starting to brown. I added in the cooked sausage. Over the mixture I poured in the skillet 12 eggs that I whisked together. I continued to cook this mixture until is was slightly set. I added some salsa on top and then placed it in the oven and baked it at 425 for about 15 minutes until it was puffy and brown.
Not as puffy as I hoped but it was my first try and I didn’t really have a great pan for it but it was a HUGE hit. I have one very picky eater and she LOVED it!!!! She picked it up and ate it like a pizza. I think this may be the way we eat our eggs for a while and it certainly is a lot easier than making individual omelets!