Farm "fresh" foods in January 2010 at -30 degree F
My husband's ancestors come from a village in Norway north of the Arctic Circle. In my mind I imagined it would be a relief to move to Minnesota- way down by the 45th parallel. That was until someone pointed out that the ocean moderates Tromso Norway's weather- as a result the all time record setting cold temperature is -4 degree F. Here we sit midcontinent- 120 years later and 25 degrees colder.
What's more- I recall sitting in the Cabin Cafe in Clinton listening to an elder tell how her grandfather moved here from Norway at the turn of the 20th century. In Norway he had electricity. He lived in Big Stone County for another 30 years before his farm was electrified. "Imagine" she said "having to go back to living without electricity after having it in Norway!"
Here we are in January 2010, -30 F, still eating as much local foods as possible. And doing fine. However, the "fresh" squash, apples, beets, and cabbages in the pantry have to be processed or lost. I'm dehydrating tray upon tray of apple rings, making yet more apple sauce, and cooking all things apple. The patrilineal side of Mike's family is at odds with any vegetables in the cruciferous family (cabbage, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, only a little brocolli thank you). If I serve saurkraut for a meal it has to be covered at all time. So using the cabbage is tricky.
Last night we had a nice 90% local meal in January. The appetizer was crackers with sweet jalepeno relish, pickled green and yellow beans, and chokeberry wine. For dinner we had sauted beets, sweet corn, potatoes, sweet pickle and jalepeno relish over kielbasa sasuage. Dessert was apple crisp with cinnamon ice cream.
A couple nights ago we ate two of our ducks. They tasted fine roasted- but we wondered whether they were really worth the effort of raising. I used the leftover duck to make a duck confit (olive oil and thyme stewed duck meat) and tossed it with pasta and shredded parmesean cheese and served with roasted beets. That maybe tipped us to trying the ducks again next year.
Well my early riser is up and it's time to work on a puzzle or pull out the Candy Land.
Best hopes for a Happy New Year to you and yours.