New Food – Eat Local Update

March 23, 2010 at 8:47 am

Rob Gardner

Last week, I shared how much I enjoyed being in the middle of it all at the FamilyFarmed Expo.  I have not yet mentioned one of the most important things I got out of the Expo.  Food.  Fresh food.  Two bags of mixed greens (heavy emphasis on the mixed) from Growing Power and one bag of spinach from Scotch Hill Farm.  It was the first fresh vegetables added to the Bungalow in weeks.  Man, did we dig that salad.  And just as we finished that set of greens, we obtained more lettuce, some rocket, more spinach, a small bag of wild watercress, a bigger bag of shallots, a few winter radish, one large rutabaga, and what the hell, a few celery root too.  Oh, and sweet potatoes, we did not expect to find sweet potatoes this late, so we had to snag them.  We went to Madison over the weekend.

We did just come back with veggies.  It’s Madison.  It’s Wisconsin.  The Hook’s were at the Madison winter market, and we bought a gnarly Bloomin’ Idiot wedge and a couple of more straight forward four year cheddars.  From Capri, we bought an adults only Washed Bear (did some say stinky cheese?).  If that was not enough cheese, we wandered off to Middleton, where we found a Carr Valley outlet.  We came home with discounted goat cheddar and some mixed milk Mobay.  Finally, we found good deals at the market on organic chicken and eggs.  We got both.

We were in Wisconsin without kids.  I could safely engage in my favorite of games.  What should we do with our new items–a game my wife tolerates more than the other girls.  Mayonnaise seemed foremost.  Fresh eggs to use.  The mayo could be used for egg salad with watercress, ranch dressing for the greens, and a remoulade for the celery root.  That’s what we have in mind for the new stuff.   

I guess we could safely get new stuff because we continue to do a good job with the old stuff.  We also benefited from a little fridge error.  Somehow the dial on the basement fridge got turned too far.  It was not a fridge but another freezer.  The product on the top shelf frosted solid.  Which meant some lettuce and some collards hidden away was not so edible in some ways, but worked very well in soup.  My wife brewed up this big pot of gray mush, with fridge-frozen kohlrabi and the greens.  It tasted much better than it looked.

With more gone but new foods added, I’ve updated the inventory below.   Note, as we eat up (or occasionally toss) most of the stored foods, it becomes more apparent what’s around.  Thus, the inventory as it stands now may be a bit different from what has been previously reported.  I mean sometimes you do not realize what all is there.  With a few more weeks at least, until more local food arrives, we seem in good shape.  More importantly, the food that remains is almost all in good condition.  We will have no problems eating local.

Basement Storage

  • Winter Squash – acorn, pie pumpkin, butternut (2), blue triamble  – Roasted and used one of the triamble in a soup
  • Red onions – There are still usable red onions, although we’ve had to toss some more
  • White onions – 4 or so, about .75 lb
  • Canned tomatoes – whole, sauce, puree
  • Spiced peaches
  • Peach chutney
  • Dried mushrooms
  • Misc. pickles, jams, jellies, relishes
  • Dried beans
  • Local oats

Basement Fridge

  • Cauliflower – yes, this cauliflower remains brown but could probably go into a soup
  • Leeks (3) – Used some of the leeks
  • Turnips (6) – assorted
  • Celery root (2) – New!
  • Rutabaga – New!
  • Sweet potatoes – New!

Basement Freezer

  • Frozen fruits – blueberries, grapes, cherries, peaches – used some fruit is a crisp last Friday
  • Frozen veg – peas, corn, greens, pureed squash, tomato puree, dried tomato – Used some greens in a dinner with lentils
  • Local meat – Used ground pork and ground lamb for a meat pie and a smoked turkey for a pot of white beans – Used ground veal for a meatloaf and burger for sloppy joes

Kitchen Fridge

  • Leek
  • Parsley root (2)
  • Turnip
  • Homemade quince-apple membrillo
  • Local eggs
  • Assorted cheeses
  • Beauty heart radishes – New!
  • Lettuce mix - New!
  • Rocket – New!
  • Watercress – New!
  • Spinach – New!
  • Carrots – a few left from basement stocks
  • Parsnips – also left from basement stocks


  • Black walnuts
  • Dried fruits – strawberries, apricots, peaches
  • Shallots – New!

Root Cellar in the Sky

  • Apples – Some remain
  • Potatoes – Mostly russets but recently found a bag of red new potatoes never used
  • Rutabaga (4)
  • Turnips (6) 
  • Beets (10)
  • Carrots – 3 lbs
  • Chestnuts – 1 lb
  • Sunchokes - 8 lbs -
  • 25 lb of local corn meal
  • 5 lb local buckwheat