Eighth of an Acre Bounty

Random thoughts and anecdotes on cooking, critters, gardening and life on our small city lot.

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Dark Days Challenge 1

November 21st, 2008 · 2 Comments

Grass fed Ribeye, kabocha squash puree with parsley pesto and green beans

Grass fed Ribeye, kabocha squash puree with parsley pesto and green beans

I threw my name in to take part in (not so) Urban Hennery’s Dark Days challenge this year. Details in full can be found here. Essentially it will be an attempt to once a week catalog our attempt to eat locally when there ain’t nuthin growing by highlighting one of ourĀ  meals. This appealed to me because it represents the challenge of trying to walk the talk when we aren’t in the full flush of summer’s bounty. For my purposes I am going to define my food shed area as 150 miles. I will strive to cut that down even more.

So our first meal for the kickoff of the Dark Days challenge is a relatively simple one. But sometimes simple is where it is at. I mentioned in previous posts that my father had brought us some beef that he got from friends of his down in Montesano that raise a small herd of grass-fed cattle. I defrosted two steaks from that beef for our first dinner. I also baked a whole kabocha squash that we had picked up back in October in our pumpkin hunting adventure. The easiest part of the meal was the green beans, canned during the summer and sourced directly from our garden.

There was no laborious preparation for this meal. The squash, after baking was mashed with a little butter and topped with a quick pumpkin seed and parsley pesto. The green beans quickly reheated on the stove. The steaks I brought to room temperature, seasoned with salt and pepper and seared them on my cast iron griddle. The steaks were HUGE, very lean and tasty. I adore squash and would have a hard time finding a way that I didn’t like it prepared. And the green beans, ummm – sure nuff – they were canned green beans. They didn’t have the tinny taste of store bought canned green beans, but the pressure canning does tend to destroy texture.

Last night we tried the first of the salt preserved green beans I mentioned in a previous post, to mixed reviews. I much preferred them over the canned green beans as they retained all of their crunchy fresh texture and color, but Gary thought that they suffered in the flavor department. More scientific analyses will be conducted.

Local Ingredients: Rib steaks – Montesano WA, 95 miles. Kabocha Squash – Kent WA, 7 miles. Pumpkin Seeds – Kent WA, 7 miles. Parsley – Our backyard, 0 miles. Green Beans – our backyard, 0 miles.

Non Local Ingredients: Olive oil, parmesan, salt, pepper (too many miles).

Tags: Dark Days Challenge 08-09

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