Tim and I were doing the whole "locavore" thing long before it was the Oxford American Dictionary's 2007 Word of the Year. For the past three years, we've been part of a CSA with Bugtussle Farm. We love our farmers! We also have the good luck to live just a few blocks from the Nashville Farmer's Market and on top of that made the East Nashville Farmer's Market part of our weekly routine all summer long. Nashville is also the home to two great small markets: the Produce Place and the Turnip Truck. In almost too many ways to count, Nashville is an amazing place to live for fresh produce.
The challenge, of course, comes when the chilly days roll in and several of the farmers markets close up for the year. How do you eat locally when you can't just walk over to the market and pick up 20 different kinds of lettuce? This year, we're going to try to get over this challenge by joining the Dark Days Challenge hosted by the Laura of the Urban Hennery.
Here are our rules for the challenge:
- Once a week we will cook at least one meal with 90% local ingredients
- Our definition of local: grown or produced within 150 miles of Nashville
- For items like cheese and pasta that are produced locally, we will find out where the producers are sourcing their ingredients and promote use of local ingredients whenever possible
- Outside of our once-a-week local meal, we'll try to eat as locally as possible the rest of the week and keep a list of the local ingredients we're using
- We will try to find local sources for grains. Our search for this has been futile so far, but we'll put some extra effort into it this winter. If you're in the Middle Tennessee area and know of some place to get local grains, let me know!
Here is our first effort for the Dark Days Challenge: Flannel Hash. This dish almost feels like cheating because we've had most of it in our freezer for a couple of weeks.
Red Flannel Hash (for two)
Adapted from The Big Book of Breakfasts
3 potatoes, peels left on
1 sweet potato, peeled
2 beets, peeled
3 slices of bacon, diced
1 small onion, chopped
Rosemary, chopped finely
Chives, chopped finely
Salt and pepper to taste
Coarsely chop the potatoes, sweet potato, and beets trying to make the pieces approximately the same size. Steam until they're the right cooked texture for you - that's about 12 minutes for us.
In a large frying pan, cook bacon and onion over medium heat until onion is translucent. Mix in the cooked potatoes, sweet potatoes, and beets. Add the rosemary, salt (if needed), and pepper. Cook undisturbed for about 6 minutes, then turn and cook undisturbed for an additional 10 minutes (this will help give the hash a nice crust).
Divide mixture on two plates and top each serving with a fried egg. Top with chopped chives.
Where were our ingredients from?