Menu Monday – How a Local Family Manages in the Cold

March 4, 2013 at 4:05 pm

Cold Weather Eating

I love to check in occasionally with Alice Waters and the Chez Panisse web site. Each Menu Monday, they post what you can eat there for the week. I like checking in to see how she handles the seasons, and I like checking in because I enjoy her culinary sensibilities–nearly all of each week’s menu sounds like how I like to eat.  What I see on this week’s menu includes peas, asparagus, fennel, and artichokes.  I like the ideas of they do, but I am not inspired by what they do.  What I am thinking what we will eat on this Menu Monday will be a lot different.

That’s a snap shot of some of the food we’ve put away in our root cellar in the sky.  It’s a lot less food than we’ve put away in previous years.  Regular Beet readers know that in previous years,  I’ve blogged on our ongoing inventory  of local foods that we keep in the winter (here’s what it looked like last year).  This year, because we are members of a year-round CSA from Tomato Mountain Farm*, we’ve had less need to store.  We let them.   Between the CSA and what we have, we’ve done an excellent job of eating local this winter.

What will we eat this week?  There’s a post in the hopper on the many ways we’ve been using up a local ham we cooked from ham goo to pea soup.  Look for that post shortly.  I will say that on the menu this week, probably tonight, will be the remains of a ham quiche cooked last Friday.  As I’ve already blogged about, winter is spinach season, and we have plenty Tomato Mountain frost kissed green in the house.  Expect one or two salads this week.  I used to think we never have enough carrots, and we had to parse our carrot supply for things like braises.  Not this winter.  We have a huge cache of carrots, and the menu this well will probably include a roast-up with turnips too.  I’m also thinking of a marinated carrot dish.  Some of the carrots, some of the smaller turnips and almost all of the radishes we have, we can just use raw. Unassigned vegetables for the week include beets (see above), a few squash, russet potatoes  and kohlrabi   If we need to, we can also go into the freezer for greens and a few other veg. 

Fruit-wise, we have a very small supply of cooking apples.  We also have a supply of cranberries that are holding out in the fridge.  We have also used, for cooking, frozen berries and dried cranberries that we have. We freely admit that this time of year we eat plenty of citrus and bananas.  Kitchen staples that we have in abundance include onions, leeks, garlic, and dried peppers.  The Tomato Mountain Winter CSA has often included jars of their whole roasted tomatoes, and we’ve enjoyed much delicious pasta dishes with sauces conjured up by the Condiment Queen.  All in all, we’re doing quite well as locavores.

What’s on your menus this week, especially what’s on your menus using local food?

*The Mother in the Local Family works for Tomato Mountain.