High on the Hog

We have been eating really really well. Sort of blowing ourselves away by the amazing meals on our plates. I wish we could take more credit, but the truth is it is simply the quality of the ingredients that makes it all so awesome.

B and I are on our 3rd year participating in the challenge, but the first time we’ve done September (previous two were Augusts), and we’re finding that September opens up a whole additional world of foods while still keeping almost everything we got in August. This year in particular we are having fun discovering we can make some good ‘ole standards out of totally local ingredients.

burgersThis is Lasting Legacy ground beef, bought at the farm, buns made with Vermont flour, roasted fingerling potatoes from Meadow’s Mirth Farm and Bibb lettuce from Wildroot Farm purchased at the Portsmouth Farmers’ Market, and blue cheese dressing made from Great Hill Blue Cheese, purchased at basically any store and plain yogurt.

corn chowder

The cooler weather has inspired a couple chowders, this one is corn and fingerling potato, with a little bacon on top. Corn from Barkers’ Farm, on rte 33 in Stratham, potatoes from Meadow’s Mirth, purchased at the Portsmouth Farmers’ Market, milk from Brookford Farm in Rollinsford, bacon from Kellie Brook Farm, also from the Portsmouth Farmers’ Market.

Bubble & SqueakBubble & Squeak is theoretically made from the leftovers of your boiled dinner. We plan it for the same week as some mashed potatoes, then prepare a double batch of potatoes. Add in some chopped, blanched cabbage chunks, a bit of onion, and plentyo’bacon fat. Yup, bacon fat. Cook over fairly high heat in a heavy pan, turning sections as they brown. The dish gets its name from the fun bubbles and squeaking it produces as it cooks. Potatoes, cabbage, and bacon are all easily found at the farmers markets.

crabs These guys were the beginning of some crab cakes made by adding eggs, onions, and garlic from the Portsmouth Farmers’ Markets, herbs from the back deck, and a slice or two of Borealis Aroostook Wheat bread toasted then whirred in the food processor. Fried in Butterworks Farm sunflower oil. I purchased the crabs at the Old Mill Fish Market in Portsmouth, where the staff is very helpful and doesn’t mind endless questions about how-to and where-from.

poblanosRoasted stuffed poblanos with refried beans. Beans (beans!) from Meadow’s Mirth farm (Portsmouth Farmers’ Market). Onion, garlic, and chile peppers for the beans from New Roots farm (Portsmouth Farmers’ Market). The poblanos (Barker’s Farm, Portsmouth FM) were roasted till black, then peeled and stuffed with ground lamb (Chestnut Lamb co-op, Portsmouth FM) seasoned with garlic and onion and coriander from the back-deck cilantro that got out of hand. The stuffed poblanos went into a small baking pan along with some cooked yellow tomatoes (New Roots farm, PFM) and Silvery Moon cheddar (York Farmers’ Market) and the whole thing was baked just until the cheese was melted. yum.

Eating out events, Challenge friendly

In addition to next Saturday’s Slow Food Seacoast Harvest Supper & Contra Dance and UNH’s Local Harvest Feast on the 20th, here are two more opportunities to eat out and eat locally – a particular boon if you are participating in the September Eat Local Challenge:

Thursday, September 13th: “Community Vine’s Local Harvest Dinner”, 6:30 pm

To Benefit Seacoast Family Food Pantry of Portsmouth and Footprints Food Pantry of Kittery

Presented by Community Vine and Seacoast Growers Association:
In Partnership with Victory96 Restaurant, Taste Magazine, and Philbrick’s Fresh Market.

Five courses, five local celebrity chefs, locally grown and raised produce, seafood, and meat, and regional, organic, and biodynamic wines!

Celebrate the richness and diversity of our local farms! Sit down for a glorious five course meal each featuring a local celebrity chef’s dish created solely from local product!

Chef’s include:
Mark Segal – Executive Chef, 100 Club
Ben Hasty – Executive Chef, Dunaway Restaurant
Cliff Arrand, James Walter – Owner, Executive Chef, Pesce Blue
Duncan Boyd – Owner and Executive Chef, Victory96 Restaurant

$75.00 advance purchase, (plus tax and gratuity)
Call Victory96 for tickets 603.766.0960
For questions call Todd Cary at Community Vine 603.531.9760


Autumn Harvest Dinner Party under the tent

Saturday, September 22, 2007

6 – 9pm


Join us for a casual evening featuring: Live music, Vineyard harvest wine toast, Drawing for tickets to 2007 HarvestFest

Harvest Menu

Freshly Baked Zucchini Bread
Cheddar and Chive Gougères

General Stark Vodka Cured Salmon Canapés
Grilled or Chilled Clams and Oysters

Corn Chowder

Harvest Salad
Fresh Mixed Greens, Dried Cranberries, Candied Pecans,
Poached Pears, Blue Cheese, Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette

Charcoal-Roasted Steamship of Pork
Open Pit Grilled Chicken
Pit Roasted Potatoes
Corn on the Cob with Jalapeno Butter
Grilled Farmers Market Vegetable Platter

Fire Roasted Apple Smorgasbord
Caramel Sauce, Walnuts, Dried Cranberries, Oatmeal Crumb Topping, Whipped Cream

$65/person includes tax and tip

For reservations   603.659.2949   dinners@flaghill.com

Flag Hill Winery and Distillery
297 North River Road, Lee, NH 03861


Borealis Bread – made with Maine wheat

thanks to Sara H. for pointing out that several varieties of Borealis bread are made with organic (!) Maine wheat from Aurora Mills in Linneus, ME (250 miles).  The fact that the company is committed to supporting increased wheat production in New England gets them a good share of my bread business for the September Eat Local Challenge.

more information on Borealis bread.

UNH Harvest Dinner

from the Portsmouth Herald:

UNH harvest dinner celebrates bounty of local food*

Since 2005, the University of New Hampshire has celebrated the region’s rich agricultural heritage with its annual Local Harvest Dinner, gaining fans and patrons for its gourmet preparations of local produce, seafood, meats and cheeses. Building on its popularity, this year’s dinner, on Thursday, Sept. 20, has moved to Holloway Commons, UNH’s largest dining hall. The Local Harvest Dinner runs from 4:30 to 9 p.m. and is offered to all students on the UNH meal plan, as well as to the general public (adults, $12.50 plus tax; children under 10, $6.25).

The meal showcases the diversity of foods from the region, with a menu that includes organic vegetables from UNH’s Organic Garden Club and Tuckaway Farm in Lee; beef and chicken from Lasting Legacy Farm in Barrington; buffalo from Yankee Farmer’s Market Natural Meats in Warner; tea from Portsmouth Tea Company; and cheeses from Full Moon Farm in Rochester, Boggy Meadow Farm in Walpole, and Silvery Moon Creamery in Westbrook, Maine. Honey from Bee Rich Apiary in Hudson, apples and squash from UNH’s Woodman Farm, and cider from Carter Hill Orchard in Concord provide a more traditional taste of autumn in New Hampshire.

Beneath a tent outside Holloway, local producers and food-related organizations such as NH Made and Seacoast Slow Food will educate diners about the impact of eating locally. In addition, Barrington photographer Charter Weeks will display photographs documenting a barn-raising at Lasting Legacy Farm. The photos, shot earlier this summer, include interesting portrayals of several Amish volunteers who requested that their faces not appear in the photos.

This year, UNH Dining hosts several other Local Harvest events during the week of the Local Harvest Dinner. Vegan chef Norma Koski, of Susty’s Café in Northwood, is guest chef in Elements at Philbrook dining hall Wednesday, Sept. 19. Koski has partnered with the UNH Organic Garden Club to bring “radical vegan foods” to student diners and guests that evening. And for the entire week (Sept. 17-21), Panache, the bakery-style sandwich shop at Holloway Commons, will feature local foods, including Portsmouth Tea Company teas and Fogarty’s cheesecake.

For more information, visit www.unh.edu/dining/localharvest.htm or www.sustainableunh.unh.edu.


* this is a great event for folks taking the September Eat Local Challenge – a fairly inexpensive night of someone else cooking!

the September Eat Local Challenge is almost here!

I hope you all are raring to go for the September Eat Local Challenge, but if you need more ideas on how to participate, check out EatLocalChallenge.com’s 16 thoughts on how to participate.

How you play the game is up to you – one meal a day, one week, a few days, or the whole month. How you define local, what foods you are going to exempt, and so on. Remember that the challenge is supposed to help you broaden your understanding of local foods, but also be fun!

Read what other people have pledged to do for the challenge, and then sign yourself up!