To start off this challenge with a big bang, how about a local dinner for 50?
Granted, this dinner was in the works long before I signed up for the Challenge. As some of you may know, I am very involved with food and food issues at our daughter’s school. We have a garden, we source local foods, we spend the entire summer (or so it seemed) picking and freezing fruit, canning jams and salsas and pickles for the school’s Slow Snack program. This dinner was a big “thank you” for those intrepid tomato-stained volunteers as well as for our darling teachers and students. Mid-morning every day, the classes have Snack as an appreciation of sharing, the courtesy involved with it, and the appreciation of food. It’s really just a bite or two of something good, but the big news this year is Snack now includes Friday Classroom Snack. On Thursday afternoon, the teachers come to our full pantry to get the foodstuffs and equipment (electric skillet, crockpot, toaster oven, bread machine, etc.) to prepare the day’s snack with the children. Stone Soup is often an option. Dal, chili, applesauce; corn pudding, whole-wheat bread, pumpkin cheesecake; zucchini muffins, colcannon, hummus have all been made in the classrooms this fall. Whew!
We held the party at a 1930s lodge in a local park. Beautiful day in the 60s, everyone played until supper
This dinner was a bit more simple. Mostly, meat was on the menu. I roasted one each of our geese and chickens, a friend roasted a local organic turkey. For the vegetarians, I made two frittatas with eggs and goodies from our home gardens (red pepper/potato/garlic with Wisconsin cheddar, leek/chard with EverGreen Lane Farm goat cheese). Kielbasa sausage from an Amish farmer across the border in Indiana went on the grill. Two butternut squash got sacrificed for some soup. I made two loaves of whole-wheat bread (hard red spring from Ferriss Organic Farm, Eaton Center MI) and the middle schoolers made rosemary foccacia with flour from the same place. Salads weren’t local but were made in the spirit of “Slow Snack,” as were the roasted sweet potatoes and cornbread. Local wine, some even homemade, for the adults; local cider from Grandpa’s.
I’m sure I am forgetting something!
But…it was tasty.