Tuesday, May 02, 2006

It's My Birthday Too, Yeah!

This is my second Eat Local Challenge, and I can’t believe the difference between last year and this.
I already have so many locally sourced ingredients in my house, I didn’t have to buy a single new item to make last night’s dinner.
And what we made was delightfully silly. Beanie-Weenies.
You know: sliced hot dogs in a pot of “pork ‘n’ beans.”
Kid food.
Our wieners were leftover beef franks that have been knocking around in the freezer for far too long. We discovered them during the Ice Harvest, and saved them for May.
The beans are local, a variety called Red Nightfall. Very tender. They give off a lot of red into the cooking liquid, which was seriously, deliciously, importantly flavored with two fresh bay leaves. Wow. What a kick.
I pulled out the beans as soon as they were tender and added into the cooking liquid a little bit of frozen tomato sauce that I had put up last summer. Sweetened it with honey, spiced it with chile powder and salt, and thickened it with a teensy pinch of local whole-wheat flour. Added back the beans and the sliced franks.
Oh, and then we accompanied our camp-out meal with a coleslaw of shredded cabbage dressed with an impromptu mayonnaise: local olive oil (but this oil turns out to be way too flavorful for decent mayo; must shop around for a milder local oil), homemade cider vinegar, local egg, salt and chile powder.
Sounds like I’m bragging. I’m sorry. It was just so easy. Everything was on the premises, and it all came together.
What a goofy meal.
However: It is my birthday today, and we’re having dinner tonight in a restaurant. So I’ll be “unpure” for one meal, although the restaurant we have chosen does have its own produce garden.
Verdict so far: Fun.

Sources: Franks from Marin Sun Farms, Point Reyes Station, CA. Beans from Rancho Gordo, Napa, CA (grown in Sacramento Valley, I believe). Bay leaves from my patio. Tomatoes from Winters, CA. Honey from Marshall’s, American Canyon, CA (Marin County hives). Chile from Happy Quail Farms, East Palo Alto, CA. Salt from “Sonoma Salt,” an inscrutable source found online with no telling details. Flour from Full Belly Farm, Guinda, CA. Cabbage from Santa Rosa, CA. Oil from McEvoy, Petaluma, CA. Egg from Triple-T Ranch, Santa Rosa. Vinegar from juice I extracted from apples grown in Sebastopol, CA.


Julian said...

Very nice, always good to see other food obsessed bloggers. Looks great.

Tea said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! Have a great day!
Do we get to know the name of the restaurant?:-)

cookiecrumb said...

Julian: How nice to see your face pop up! Thanks. I'll go visit you, apparently also obsessed. :D
Tea: Poggio! And Thanks.

Tana said...

I love love love those beans! Well, I had the Black Nightfall ones...red ones coming up next.

Happy birthday, dahlink!

: *

Dagny said...

Happy birthday!

And mmmmm beans and franks. Haven't had any version of that since I was a kid.

Kalyn said...

Have a great birthday!!

Catherine said...

Happy Birthday!

Love the fact that you are listing the sources!!!! Maybe I'll be organized enough to do this next year.

ilva said...

Auguri, Happy Birthday!

cookiecrumb said...

Thank you all!

kudzu said...

As a favorite Boynton card said, "Happy bird day -- two ewes!"

Poggio? Marche aux Fleurs? Are you allowed to describe non-Locavore meals during May? Do tell.

Your celebration reminds me of eating oneself silly on St. Joseph's Day, during the middle of Lent. Enjoy!

cookiecrumb said...

Well, I may as well come clean now and confess that we canceled our dinner date, because we ate such a late (and sumptuous) lunch. We'll do Poggio later. (I think it's "allowed," Kudzu, because I believe in my right to eat outside the house now and then, and I'm picking restaurants that make some attempt at regional sourcing. Thanks for the greetings.)

Melissa said...

Happy (slightly belated) birthday!

cookiecrumb said...

No worries, Melissa. At our house, we celebrate Birthday Month!

Passionate Eater said...

Sorry, my wishes are also going to have to be belated.. Happy Birthday Cookie Crumb! Enjoy lots of locally created cakes and cookies!