Tuesday, August 7, 2007

The South, Week 6 (Take 2)

Hey there all...It's Stew.

I'm stepping in here today to post a Week 6 Southern One Local Summer roundup for Jamie, since she's got a doggie crisis going on at home.

First, a little anecdote to get us going. Today I was feeling bad for using wheat flour that's milled in NC, without knowing whether it was sourced locally or not. So I wrote them an email trying to figure it out. Within an HOUR I had an email back from their "Director of Commodity Procurement" with an answer. Call me impressed.

Especially because the answer was what I had wanted, but didn't dare hope for.
Most of this wheat comes from North Carolina and South Carolina. Since there is not enough wheat grown in Catawba County to last us a month we also need to get wheat from eastern North Carolina around Greenville, Wilson, Plymouth and Washington...Sometimes we buy soft red wheat from Ohio and Indiana but because freight costs get so high, that is limited
I didn't really expect it to be that local. And it's not 100% sourced locally, but I'm not perfect either. I was just surprised (and delighted, I think I said) that this is the same place that is supplying Bojangles with their biscuit flour (Huh. And therefore shipping it. Must dig more).

The bad news is that the local corn goes to the pigs and turkeys (and presumably the ones at the factory farms, but maybe I'm just being cynical), and it seems that the corn that I buy for cornbread likely comes from elsewhere. But at least he was upfront about it, you know?

I thought that was a fascinating exchange.

On to the One Local Summer Week Six entries!!!

My neighbors an hour or so to the West, Joyce and Jeff, are taking advantage of corn season with a second meal in a row featuring corn-on-the-cob. They made flour tortillas (from the Southern Biscuit flour I just blathered on about) for their beef enchiladas. The sauce was from Dad's garden. It looks divine!

Also over there in the Piedmont Triad area of North Carolina, we welcome Amy back from a hiatus. She made a quiche from bits and pieces of good stuff leftover from previous meals. Country ham, spinach and red onion. I'm all about dishes that transform leftovers into a wondrously new meal.

Down the road from Amy a piece (I'm getting into this, considering I grew up in Michigan and typically only speak Southern when I've had one too many porters), Laurie whomped up a zucchini frittata, paired with sliced tomatoes and bread. I'm a little jealous that Laurie says she has a secret cow to get raw milk from for butter. (Plausible deniability, y'all. She says she does. Raw milk is illegal to sell for human consumption in NC, so we don't want to out her. I may or may not have a connection myself. I'll never tell.)

Still in North Carolina, but moving up to the mountains, we welcome back Maggie, who had been on the road. She made my absolute favorite summer meal: burgers, corn-on-the-cob, tomatoes and slaw.

I guess I fit into the NC category, too. I, unfortunately, slacked this week. I did have much local foods, but I didn't take pictures or anything. I had canned 60 lbs of tomatoes ($1 lb in bulk, suckers!), and was exhausted. My meal was picked at throughout the day, and I had baba ganoush, tomatoes, and chocolate ice cream.

The coolest meal preparation method award goes to the postest with the mostest at The Purloined Letter. She cooked their veggie stew in a homemade SOLAR cooker! When it had cooked all up, the stew went on top of some blackeyed peas, and next to some garden greens.

Over in Tennessee they had TWO FULL week 6 meals at the M4-D Ranch! Overachievers. Harumph. Both looked gorgeous. Number one was steak on the grill with onions and peppers, sliced tomatoes, butter beans and blueberry buckle. Rowr. The second was no less impressive: steak fajitas with homemade tortillas. Are you using Southern Biscuit flour, too?

Pattie from Food Shed explored agriturism at a Georgia Dairy that had an attached country store. She gussied up a wild-greens infused salad she made for lunch with the dressing she got at the store. She washed down with chocolate milk. Yum. Chocolate milk.

Not least (though apparently last today), our Jamie managed to wade through the tomatoes that are covering every surface of her house to make her week 6 meal. She went straight up deep south: country ham, stewed okra, and biscuits from scratch. I'm not usually big on country ham, myself, and Jamie seems to have found a recipe that made it work.

OK, everyone. Y'all are doing a fabulous job. I'm entirely impressed with the variety of foods you're making.

You'll have Jamie back next week, I promise! I'm a little corny. I blame in on my Dad, who's the corniest guy I know.

Mmmmm. Corn. Dinnertime Chez Stew. See ya!

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