Saturday, January 9, 2010

Dark Days Challenge Week 8 - Roast Chicken and Mashed Potatoes

I took a short hiatus from the Dark Days Challenge for the week between Christmas and New Year’s. We were traveling and while we were still doing some cooking, scouting local ingredients would have put the chaos level over the top. That is not to say that we did not have some fabulous local food – shrimp literally right off the boat on the coast of Mississippi, crabs in New Orleans, and oysters right out of the bay on St. George Island. I’ve already posted about the shrimp and grits DH and I made for brunch the day after Christmas. B and his aunt N are both always up for crabs, so we bought some already boiled for them to share.
We bought a sack of oysters in Florida and ate them over the next couple of days: some raw, a batch roasted in their shells on the grill with blue cheese and another batch roasted with garlic, bacon and parmesan. We were spoiled!

While we were gone, there was a huge ice storm here on Christmas Eve which knocked out our power for several days and left huge limbs all over our yard. My greatest fear (well, beyond burst pipes) was that the stash of local meats I’ve stock-piled in my freezer for future Dark Days meals would spoil. Fortunately, we arrived home to find our ice cubes in-tact so we are confident the contents of the freezers are okay.
I pulled out the Rock Cornish Hen I purchased from the Yellow Wolf Farm out of the freezer to be the centerpiece of Week 8’s meal. Harris Teeter had locally grown potatoes, apples and broccoli. I did a little research a few weeks ago and discovered that there is a local source of flour whose products are available at Harris Teeter: Southern Biscuit flour from Mid-State Mills in Newton, NC. At Earth Fare, I bought more of the butter and milk from Homestead Creamery and a head of Hydroponic Bibb Lettuce from Sunny Creek Farms in Tryon, NC. I had some goat cheese from Heritage Homestead Farm in Crumpler, NC and some locally grown pecans and garlic that I had picked up earlier at Bare Essentials.

It seems like most of my Dark Days Challenge meals turn out to be good, southern comfort food and this one was no exception: roast chicken with gravy, mashed potatoes, broccoli with garlic, and a salad of greens, julienned apple, pecans toasted in butter, and goat cheese. I tossed the salad with a very simple apple cider vinaigrette made with all organic ingredients. My other non-local ingredients were salt and pepper as well as Brad’s Blend, a spice blend made by a good friend’s BIL.
There were no complaints.

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