Farmer’s market suppers are back!

14 06 2010

My favorite thing about summer is having a fridge full of produce.  In winter, I tend to make menus, buy the stuff I need, and go from that.  In summer, I go to the market, buy food, and THEN decide what to eat.  Tonight, after a sleepless night camping in the rain with my daughter’s 4-H group, I wanted something easy.  I tossed together some quinoa, some new potatoes and shelled peas from Summer’s Creek, some hard boiled eggs from South Mountain, a red onion from MOMs (I flash-pickled it: pour boiling water over diced onion and then cover them in vinegar and oil for a bit, until they’re a lovely pink), and a balsamic/olive oil dressing.  It was yummy and easy.  The eggs really pull it all together.


Gazette Article Spurs Return to Long-abandoned Blog

11 06 2010

On the off chance that someone actually looks here after the article in the Gazette, I feel like I should post something…

Farmer’s Markets are back!  Woo!  We’re still at the early stages which means a lot of radishes and greens, but I’m chowing on the last of the snow peas.  Hipster Food Dude (that’s what I call one of the Farmer’s Mkt guys.  He informed me that his French radishes were “the bomb.”  They were in fact, like a bomb of spiciness went off in my mouth)  tells me there will be sugar snaps next week.  That was at the N. Frederick market.  He goes to Baughman’s Ln, too.  Baughman’s is still the best, if only b/c Rick Hood of Summer’s Creek is there.  Great guy, great produce, great prices.  AND he has organic chicken feed.

Yes, we have chickens again.  My first chicken attempt only lasted a few months.  I got two hens from the Frederick Fair and boarded them with a friend who had a lot of chickens.  Boarding one’s chickens seems so fancy.  I should have made them little plaid skirts and given them eating disorders.  Anyway, one of them died before I got them home, and I brought my single chicken, Mildred, to live at Two Gables (her coop I made from an old dresser) in April.  She entertained us and gave us an egg a day until September, when  a fox had her for dinner.  A fox in the henhouse really felt so cliched.  We expected more of her.  So I’m building a bigger, hopefully more predator-proof coop out of wood I hauled out of Bulk Trash.  There are ten rapidly-growing chickens in my daughter’s room.  In a guinea pig cage, not just wandering about like it was a little third world country.  Although that’s not far off, really.

It’s the last day of school, which means last day of making school lunches!  Yay yay yay!  Really, that’s my biggest food challenge–variety in lunches.  Becoming gluten intolerant led me on a journey of nutritional study and I’ve come to believe we need to be eating FAR less carby-goodness.  But if I take out sammiches and pastas?  Makes lunch more challenging.  Not that there aren’t still plenty of things to eat, it’s just not as fast.  And I’m pretty lazy.  So my summer journey will be greatly reducing the amount of flours (and not just the usual Evil of white flour–ALL flours) and sugars.  We’ll be Atkins Vegetarians! :O)  I’ll just pack each kid a stick of butter, a couple of carrots, and some salsa for lunch.  Hmm…

For now, I’ll just eat all the strawberries and fresh cream my gullet can hold.  Welcome to any new folks, and I’ll try to be a bit better about the writing.  Next: This year’s garden!

Hello, fellow GFers!

18 10 2009

I got a couple of comments on the Gluten Free reveal, so hello to you!  But best of all was Shannon pointing out that Moxie (new bakery on N. Market that I was feeling bitter about not being able to sample) sometimes has GF goodies.  I also hear tell that La Dolce Vita over on Carroll Creek does, too, and even sometimes has GF buns for their sandwiches.  Woo!  I’ve eaten at both Volt and Isabella’s with my new diagnosis and found it easy to dine.  At Volt I was getting the express menu, so I just asked for things w/o bread or croutons or what have you.  no trouble.

This weekend, I was near Berkeley Springs, WV with some friends and we went to Panorama at the Peak Restaurant.  First–the VIEW!  Holy moly.  I live on top of Braddock Mountain and I have a pretty nice view of the Middletown valley from my back porch, but it’s like a view of a brick wall compared to what you see from Panorama.  The menu at this time of year is about 90% local.  Entrees were in the 17-30 dollar range for dinner, but there were sandwiches earlier in the day that looked good.  It’s very cozy (the weather was cold and wet, so that fireplace was welcome) and seemed to be pretty popular.  GF items are clearly labeled, woo!  The food was very good.  Not Volt-good (or, honestly, Isabellas-good), and probably not worth the prices, but a nice treat nonetheless.  I was only feeding myself, so it wasn’t that big of a deal.  If I’d had my family along, I’d likely have…well, I”d have left when I saw the prices.  Can’t feed a family of 5 there.  I’d try it again if in the area and either alone or with my husband.

So, fellow shunners of the Evil Gluten–where else to you eat around town?  Not being able to eat Asian foods is KILLING me.  know of anyplace in the DC or B-more area that’s using tamari instead of soy sauce?

a new purpose…

8 10 2009

Okay, hi, I’m back.  I’ve kind of wandered off and returned with a new purpose here.  I’ve been diagnosed as gluten intolerant and I’m having to adjust my diet.  As I’m mentioned, I loooove bread.  But apparently bread hates me.  A lot.  And it makes holes in my gut and makes me sick.  So a fie on bread.  I’ll spare you my new zealotry about gut health and the importance of gastrointestinal testing, but if you want to know more, drop me a line.

What that means here is that I’m going to be on the prowl for GF veggie places to eat and checking out a lot of products.  I know that the key to my health improving is to eliminate the vast majority of processed foods from my life.  I also know that I NEED some for convenience and sanity.  I was on the Eat To Live diet when I started this blog and it was, coincidentally, largely gluten free.  I felt really good on it, but my laziness and love of bread sent me back to the processed food.  Sure, they were the crunchy granola “clean” products from the Common Market and MOMs, but still.  As was pointed out in the very cool blog “Little House in the Suburbs,”  it’s better to eat a pesticide-ridden conventionally grown peach than to eat organic bunny crackers.  good to remember.

That said, I miss some of my convenience foods.  Pizza, for one.  Tonight we had home-made pizzas on Kinnikkinnick personal pizza crusts.  The family’s primary gluten-free bread-winner is out of town, so the 4-to-a-package size was perfect.  They were good!  Even the kids liked them.  The company makes GF donuts, too, so I kind of love them.

I like sausage on my pizza.  In the past, that was no problem as veggie sausage is easy to come by and pretty yummy.  It seems to be the easiest fake meat to make tasty.  I was mad for Field Roast’s Apple Sage sausage.  But of course they are wheat, wheat, wheat.  Gardenburger USED to make a GF sausage, but when Kelloggs bought them, they added wheaty evil.  Bastards.  So I tried making my own.

I used this recipe:

I ended up mixing the spices and tomato paste into the bean and flour mixture, AND I used sorghum flour b/c I only had potato starch and not potato flour.  The texture is not at all sausagey.  It’s kind of…sawdusty.  But the taste is actually pretty close.  I crumbled some up on my pizza and while it didn’t give me the nuggets of chewy, it did give me the sausage taste.  I’ll mess around with the recipe, I think, see what I can come up with.

Meanwhile–any GF vegetarians out there with a great veggie sausage lead?  Leave it in the comments…

Bean Garden update

7 08 2009

Well, if society falls and the grocery stores close and the zombies attack at least we’ll have beans.

yes, the weeds lining the garden are spectacular.

yes, the weeds lining the garden are spectacular.

There are a lot of bug nibbles on the leaves and some on the beans, but I think I’ll still have plenty in the end.

koronis purple

koronis purple

The newpaper and straw method has worked well. Weeds do poke up here and there, but the earth stays moist enough under that stuff (or at least it has in this blessedly wet summer) that I can yank them up easily.

Now I have to hope they dry quickly enough that I can enter them in the fair!

Gardening update

23 06 2009

The rain is making my beans grow like crazy.  I went down to thin them and they were a foot high!  And liberally munched on by some nefarious creature…

whatever it is, it doesnt like oregano...

whatever it is, it doesn't like oregano...

Now you know I”m captain organic, but seeing that made me reach for the DDT.  Luckily, we were out.  When I can see the critters, I can pluck them off, but I could find nothing on the leaves.  Well, except bug doots and gaping holes.  So I got some BioNEEM from the Common Market.  It’s “Safer brand”  for what that is worth.  I don’t mind if the plants aren’t pretty, but I do need them to survive to produce beans.

I also thinned them, which seems just mean at this stage.  They’re all half-grown.  It’s like a partial-birth thinning.  But I did it, and I removed the plastic cups and some of the paper ones.  They’re all tall and bean-y:

They’re all supposed to be bush varieties.  Let’s hope that’s true.

Found this little guy while I was weeding:

No coat.  Mustve lost it on Mr.MacGregors fence.

No coat. Must've lost it on Mr.MacGregor's fence.

Cute little bugger.  Better not eat my plants.

More good Middletown eats

16 06 2009

I had lunch at The Main Cup in Middletown today.  I’ve eaten there several times and it’s been consistently good.  Last week I had a great salad with goat cheese and candied nuts.  Today I had the grilled veggies on cibatta bread–super yum.  The pasta salad I got on the side had a good flavor, but the texture was off…gummy somehow.  I’ve gotten the “build your own bruschetta” before and it was enough for a light meal on its own.  There are loads of veggie options, the prices are good, the atmosphere is charming.  Patio dining!  It’s not fast food, so if you’re in a hurry, it might not be your best bet, but it’s not unreasonably slow for made-to-order food.

If your dining partner swings both ways, my husband said the fish and chips was the best he’s had in Frederick County.

check it out!