Friday, August 6, 2010

succulent succotash and thoughts on local food

Remember that cartoon character who always said “Suffering succotash!”? I love original exclamations of exasperation. There’s a lady at my church who, when surprised or shocked, says not “Holy Sh**” but a demure “GOD Bless America!”

I digress.

These peas (hah that rhymes!). These peas:


Frankly, the person at the farmer’s market was wrong when they said they tasted like black eyed peas. They taste like lima beans. I guess some people would be mad about that, because bafflingly some people do not like lima beans. But I stinkin’ love them. So I got out these beans and made succotash, cause I stinkin’ love it!

Traditional succotash is just fresh beans and corn. I’m sure that would’ve been tasty (both my peas and corn were fresh and, extra points, local) but I decided to start with onion and green pepper (the pepper was also local :D)


Then I added a cup of water, brought it to a boil, and added my beans. I cooked them on medium until they were tender and the water had evaporated, which beautifully coincided about 5 minutes later.


Then I added my corn, covered, and cooked it.

DO NOT OVERCOOK FRESH CORN. IT IS A FREAKING CRIME. I know people who boil it for ten minutes, which might be necessary for some 6-week-old grocery store specimen but is basically a crime when committed against fresh corn, as this was. I cooked it for one minute, then stirred it, then recovered it and cooked it for another 30 seconds.


And then I just sprinkled it with a good amount of salt and pepper and it was done. Fresh produce! So easy!


And more simple fresh loveliness on the side in the form of caprese salad. Tomato and basil. Oil and vinegar. Salt and pepper. The great couples.  


The next day’s lunch: remember when I figured out that muhammara and hard boiled eggs are an awesome combination?

I decided that experience needed to repeat itself. This time with successful egg sliceage!


My best friend says my blog would be better if I took shots from further away and included more in the frame. Since my kitchen was reasonably clean and we still have cute zinnias from the party the other week, I tried it this time.


Thoughts? I’d just as soon not have the trash can in a picture of food…

Anyway, that lunch was marvy. Homemade focaccia with the muhammarra and hard boiled egg; roasted almonds; and wonderful candy-sweet yellow cherry tomatoes. You can see a bit of my counter above and I’ll give you the complete look because it’s just SO beautiful.


Those tomatoes (I cannot believe how much I paid for them but an adorably awkward roughly 11-year-old boy was giving out samples and was just so earnest about the whole thing that I had to buy them); yummy plummies; more shallots; and peaches.

Now for a book recommendation.

I fancy myself to be doing pretty well in the way of local food: with the exception of a wee bit of onion, all the vegetables and herbs in the above meals are local (as well as the eggs!).

However, I’ve got nothing on these two:


This couple, who live in Vancouver, decided for one year not to eat anything not within a 100 mile radius of their home.

Those almonds I chomped down? The FLOUR in that focaccia? Salt and pepper? All no-nos.

It’s a really great look at local food, a bit of the background behind it. It’s also a great how-to manual, because they pulled it off despite living somewhere we all think of as, well… cold. Finally, they are both good writers and just have good stories (like one involving a naked encounter with a bear at their summer cabin). I recommend.


MelindaRD said...

Glad you are enjoying such yummy local produce. I actually do like lima beans. I try to do local, and here it is both easy and not easy. Because I am on an island, if it can be grown here, then I get it local, but somethings do not grow here and they come from mainland Portugal or Brazil. The commissary brings in from Germany, and I have little choice about that option. but there are some organic farms here with some yummy produce. I also love the local cheese and yogurt from the cows here. Oh yes, the fish I eat is local and fresh, and with that I am now unbelievably spoiled.

Megan D said...

That book sounds exactly like "Animal Vegetable Miracle"! I loved it, but it made me feel guilty for... basically everything I eat. We can't be all perfect though, right?! And your lunch looks amaazing! I think you sould include a closeup and a wide view because you have a purdy kitchen :)

Kaz said...

Your succotash doesn't look like it's suffering at all. It looks really yummy, in fact! Hah, that lady sounds so cute! :D

I think your house is lovely, so maybe try to casually integrate the macros with the wider shots?

That book sounds interesting. I don't think I could ever go 100% local, but I admire those who do strive to make an effort to do so. =)

Rhea (Greek Feaster) said...

All I hear is DAFFY DUCK!
Looks good, Greek sista. ;)

Kelsey said...

i only had succotash for the first time about a month and a half ago and it was one of the most fabulous side dishes ive ever tasted!! and its very healthy too!


PJ said...

oh i love fresh seasonal produce. even a simple preparation is so delicious when the ingredients are fresh. love your succotash and the book sounds interesting.