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September 2009

August 2009

Summer Sweet and Spicy Salad

Summer salad (2)

We don't grow a lot of lettuce here in the summer so conventional salads are out for North Florida Locavores. But there are still possibilities for enjoying cool, raw food during these months when no one in their right mind is looking forward to heating up the kitchen.

Peppers and cherry tomatoes are still growing locally - and mangoes are in season not too far away (150-200 miles, better than the 1800 the average fruit travels).  We made a delicious and sparky salad from these ingredients last night. It's good.

Equal portions chopped cherry tomatoes, diced mango, and chopped sweet peppers. Sprinkle on some lemon juice and salt lightly. For the spark, add red-pepper flakes or a pinch of cayenne - or make some of those peppers jalapenos.  Garnish with chopped chives or fresh mint leaves. 

Delish.


Late Summer Chickpea and Goat Cheese Salad

Goat cheese salad 1
 

My Anna sent me a recipe she had a feeling I would love. I tweaked it a bit to use local stuff: summer-surviving cherry tomatoes and a variety of hot peppers from the garden, sweet vidalia onions instead of red, and local goat cheese in place of the feta. 

You can find the original here; have fun playing with it! We stretched ours a little by serving it a bit  above room temperature on rice. Everyone (and we are a diverse crew) loved it.

Thank you, Anna!


Local cheese - so good...

Goats at the Gate

I am always happy to find a new source of local food - and I have a great one in an old family friend who's living her childhood dream of raising goats. Seriously, she's always loved them. Growing up smack in the middle of suburban Gainesville (across the street from me), she and my oldest daughter raised goats as part of a 4-H project. A passing phase for my Megan, Kelley went on to buy, breed, and milk goats for ever after.

We have been enjoying fresh goat cheese since last winter - garlic and chive, jalapeno, pesto, walnut-honey, and plain, and we've spread it on crackers and toast, crumbled it on salads, and sprinkled it on chili. Right now we're stocking up by freezing it since the goats apparently take a break between October and December; we're kind of addicted.

Kelly is working toward certifying her operation (a very expensive process)and hopefully our support will help her with. Meanwhile, she's using all the officially approved methods for milking and preparing the cheese. Although until it's certified it has to be sold "for animal consumption only," the two-legged animals in our household have been eating it up.

If you're interested in helping a new dairy get started while eating some delicious local cheese, leave a note in the comments or send me an email (kellibrew(at)yahoo.com), and I'll put you in touch. It's $6/half pound.