Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

I’m thinking of a new project, and I’d like your input.

Some background: I have a file full of photos of gorgeous local produce, I’ve played around with quality print-on-demand photobooks , and while I use a planner every day, I tend to make my own.

This year, I’m thinking of having a photo-filled planner printed with my locavore (local food) photo series.  Then I started thinking, you know, this might be a nice gift, and then I started thinking. Hmm, maybe I could put a few in my etsy shop, too.

Here’s a mock up of what a basic 2 page spread could look like (although, I already think I may move the photo) For this layout the book would be approximately 8.5 inches tall, by 5.5 inches wide, with a week on each two-page spread. Photos to reflect the harvest of that time of year (at least, here in New England)  so asparagus in the spring, apples in the fall etc. Probably some pages with larger photos and month or year at a glance calendars. Maybe a harvest calendar and resources for local food movements in the back,  just ’cause I can. Photos and design by me, printed at a local, independent, worker-owned shop with a soft cover  and coil binding (a heavy duty plastic version of the wire spiral binding you had on school note-books) so it lays flat.

handmade weekly planner/calendar with photo series of local food

MockUp of one week's page

I have a tendency to get excited about a new project and run headlong into it, but before I go and design and print a bunch of books, I’d like some feedback (really, honest suggestions and opinions appreciated).

If you use a planner/agenda/datebook, is it this sort of planner, that’s prioritizing design/appearance/photos, or the  ones that are super-functional with a block for every hour and a plain cover? how do you like it formatted? what size do you prefer? what extras do you like (year at a glance? month at a glance? pages for ____?) What would you change about the mock-up? Vegetables – am I the only one that wants to look at these?  And, about how much would you pay for a planner like that?

Any and all answers appreciated. Leave a comment here, or send me an email if you prefer at pioneervalleygirl [at] gmail [doc] com.

I’ll save the names of everyone who responds by 10/31/10 (you don’t have to answer all those questions – just give me your opinion) and will pull one name and send you a copy of the final product.

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I [heart] fall

I live in New England, fall is by far it’s best season. The leaves are turning, apple cider donuts are around, the farms stands are full of squash. *love*

So, I spent a sunny weekend picking apples, which I haven’t done for ages, even though there are orchards all around this area.

The abundance is amazing, with this last burst of harvest. So, I brought home an armload of squash, and some of those sugar pumpkins too.

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After last season’s blight, tomatoes have been abundant this summer, and I’m celebrating while they last – lately almost every supper features tomatoes.

red and yellow heirloom tomatoes

These are heirlooms, and just gorgeous – not conventionally pretty, but big and curvy and interesting (and delicious too)

yellow heirloom tomato still life

It’s a bit of a shame to chop such pretties up, but some of these are destined for canning for winter.

heirloom tomatoes

So, anyone have a favorite tomato recipe, while the bounty lasts?

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In my humble opinion, this is quite possibly the perfect summer supper.

caprese - tomato, basil and mozzarella on bread with olive oil

No fuss, no cooking,no heating up the kitchen . Just good local, seasonal ingredients, slice and drizzle with olive oil.

What are your favorite summer meals?

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Monday commute

I work full time in an office, and, like my job, but well, Monday’s are no one’s favorite days. But this is how my Mondays end:

Flowers in the cupholder (and dirt on my hands from the great “early-tomato-easter-egg-hunt” aka Pick Your Own at the CSA)  The flowers are always gorgeous, but somehow I particularly appreciate them adding some unexpected color and beauty to red lights on my commute home.

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Giving Thanks

This is less than my full farm share this week (there’s also cucumbers and zucchini and green garlic, and I bought some local peaches and my favorite local bread while I was at it).  I’m all for cornucopias and Thanksgiving in November, but when, all of a sudden we go from early season greens to a burst of colorful summer vegetables, I think ‘well, maybe late July/August, right in the middle of it all, is the time for giving thanks and harvest celebrations.’

still life summer vegetables

Of course, I would have said the same in the spring when I was really excited to see the first markets, and when I get apple cider in the fall, and gave home-canned jam to family at Christmas,  and a few other times every season. . .

Gratitude, who knew it came with the share?

(And,  anyone want to help a Yankee out and tell me what to do with those okra down front?)

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Sun Gold

First handful of pick-your-own, warm-from-the-sun-on-field cherry tomatoes of the year.

sun gold fresh organic cherry tomatoes

Sun golds – perfectly named.

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CSA: “Green” garlic

My farm calls it green garlic, but really it has such a lovely rose color.

macro still life green garlic bulb from csa

I love garlic — much of my cooking starts with a splash of olive oil and a garlic clove (or two, or three….)  — so discovering local garlic was a treat. Like alot of vegetables, I think this has more flavor that the stuff in the grocery store  that’s spent who knows how long in a shipping container in transit (Conventional garlic in your neighborhood supermarket apparently comes mostly from China so it’s got alot of miles to travel)

three cloves of fresh local green garlic

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I [heart] my farm

I love my farm share – I tend to gush about community and kids running through veggie patches  and real, fresh, local food and…..

Well, I’ll try not to gush too much.

Moving on:  I picked up my first share of the season this week, and already I’m putting up some of it for the winter.

fresh local collard greens in white colander

I get a bigger share than I can keep up with myself, so I freeze and can the excess and have local produce throughout the year.  These collards are headed for the freezer and then into soup some snowy day. (Although, we’ve been in some nasty hot and humid weather pattern that makes snow hard to imagine)

There’s lots of useful information about preserving food out there, but greens are easy.  Remove the ribs, cut (you could do them whole, I guess, but have you looked at the size of a single collard leaf lately?), blanch, bag and freeze.

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