Editor’s Note: This is the 18th week of a 19-week 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. For Amanda’s last meal, she explored the Saratoga Farmers Market for some inspiration. – Christina
Saturday morning was a great day to head to the Saratoga Farmers Market. The kids LOVE going and I have to admit we have hardly been able to make it there this winter. This Saturday it was top priority as I needed to complete the last of my “Dark Days Challenge”. I knew shopping the market would give me inspiration. The kids really enjoy going and I find that they are learning about where, how, who and what foods are grown locally throughout the seasons. (They also enjoy the fact of picking out a cookie or homemade treat.)
I was excited this week to purchase a trial Kilpatrick Family Farm CSA share. For five Saturdays in April KFF is offering customers to try a full or micro share for a week for the member price of $22.00 for a full and $14.00 for the micro. Kilpatrick also does their CSA share a little different. You have a choice. So there is one-two items you must take, this week it was rainbow spinach, then you have a choice of 5 other items (with a full share). FUN! So the family gathered around and everyone got to choose what they wanted. We came home with, rainbow spinach, salad mix, Swiss chard, onions, potatoes and carrots. Of course the kids picked-up cat grass for our cat, Penny, and a stop at Jordan’s favorite, Brookside Farm to pick up our eggs. Then Ellie learned all about soaps and decided on an oatmeal based soap that would help with her dry, itchy and eczema skin. Our food shopping ended with bags of apples from Saratoga Apple that were enjoyed in the car on the way home by all. All in all a great trip to the market!
I must highlight here why I think that the trial Kilpatrick Farm CSA share is a great way for our family to shop. This trial will certainly get me to the market for the next several Saturdays.
- I know exactly how much I am going to spend. The $22.00 will give me enough produce for several meals for the week.
- I often spend way too much money and feel that I can’t go every Saturday because it just gets too costly. This way it keeps me on a budget and I can easily grab my CSA-stuff and head home and feel like it has been worth the trip.
- The “choice” option is wonderful. I don’t feel stuck with something that just may be too hard for our family to enjoy or something I need to learn how to cook. I do like the idea of always trying new and different things but in the crunch of the week I need some “go to” items.
So here it is the last of my Dark Days Meal. I hope this means that spring is just around the corner and hopefully Friday was the last of the snow. I can’t wait for the berries to arrive and all the other goodness that the new season will bring.
My husband had purchased a very large beef tenderloin from Sap Bush Hollow Farm this winter and it was nearing its expiration. We pulled it out of the freezer and let the thawing begin. My husband was thrilled that tenderloin would be the main event! I just didn’t know what we were going to do with all of this beef! It looked so huge.
The sides. We had boiled potatoes, yes, that’s how they were requested by the girls… “just boiled”, carrot sticks – raw no one likes them cooked, Swiss chard and roasted beets. There was nothing too exciting about this meal, but what was spectacular about this meal was knowing who our farmer was, who grew our produce and who raised our meat for us. Another wonderful aspect of this meal was that these foods were all simply cooked but there was a bit of leg work involved and the girls enjoyed all the scrubbing and prepping. We had a great afternoon in the kitchen working on this meal together.
The only exceptions to my meal was olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper all used sparingly.
- The tenderloin seasoned with salt and pepper was browned on all sides in a large Dutch oven with olive oil. Then roasted in a 375 degree oven until medium well. Let it rest for 30 min and sliced thin.
- Beets were scrubbed then placed individually in aluminum foil (my youngest, Jacklyn, did the entire job herself) then they were roasted in a 400 degree oven until tender, around an hour. Once cooled they were peeled and sliced.
- Potatoes were washed then boiled to perfection.
- Swiss chard was cleaned then sliced in large ribbons, one sliced onion and 3 gloves of garlic chopped. In a pan I heated a tablespoon of oil and cooked the garlic and onion until soft. Then I placed Swiss chard in and a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar. Once the greens were wilted it was taken off of the heat.
The meal was delicious. Simple ingredients always make a delicious meal. There was hardly ANY food left! The beef that I thought we would be eating for days and probably unfortunately be tossing is GONE. The next night I made a Quinoa and Steak dinner and there are NO MORE LEFTOVERS.