A Local Better Homes and Garden Meal – Dark Days Challenge

I feel like I have lost the past week of my life. Too much to do at work and home has kept me away from blogging. Fortunately, I did remember to take pictures last weekend when we made our mostly all local dinner.

I have been leaning toward the soup/stew end of meals for the dark day challenge, but when I looked at what we had in the fridge, I realized that meatloaf, candied acorn squash, and kale with capers would make a wonderful meal – where the main ingredient of each dish was local.  If I had had more time to prepare and think about this, I could have made this one hundred percent local, I am sure, but this is what I made. I turned to my two “go-two” cookbooks, The New Better Homes and Garden Cookbook and Bittman’s How to Cook Everything and cooked up a storm.

Meatloaf (following The New Better Homes and Garden Cookbook)

I began with 1 beaten egg (from the farmer’s market), and mixed in 1/4 cup of fine dry bread crumbs (Progresso, not SOLE sourced), 1/4 cup beer, 1/4 cup chopped onion, 1/2 cup shredded carrots, 2 tablespoons of slivered parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon dried sage (none of which was local, although in a more planful week, it most certainly could have been). I then added our 1 lb. of ground beef, which WAS locally sourced (from Valentine’s Country Farm – purchased at the farmer’s market) and mixed it up well.

I then shaped it into a loaf – see below – and baked in a 350 degree oven for about an hour.

After an hour, here’s what she looked like:

While the meatloaf was cooking, I prepared our acorn squash. Again I turned to The New Better Homes and Garden Cookbook, and decided to make Candied Acorn Squash.  Easy, and quick! After slicing the squash, I simply put it into a 2 quart square baking dish, covered it, and baked it in the 350 degree oven with the meatloaf for about 40 minutes.

And while the meatloaf and squash was baking, I prepped the Kale With Capers – I had to turn to Bittman for that recipe.

After coarsely chopping the kale from the farmer’s market, I quickly sauteed 3 cloves of sliced garlic (also from the market) in a 1/4 cup of organic olive oil, added a dash of cayenne pepper.

Then, I added the kale to the saucepan with 1/2 cup of water. I covered the pan, and cooked over medium high heat for about 5 minutes.

When the greens had wilted, I added 2 tablespoons of capers (not local, nor organic, I fear), and let the greens cook for another 5 minutes or so, until the liquid had all but evaporated and the kale was wonderful tender. Drizzled with white wine vinegar, it was ready to serve.

Then, I made the sauce for the squash, combining 3 tablespoons of brown sugar, 1 tablespoon butter, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, and 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon.

Voila — dinner! A mostly local, midwinter feast.


5 Responses to “A Local Better Homes and Garden Meal – Dark Days Challenge”

  1. Love you meat loaf. Funny we both made meatloaf this week! I also like the recipe for Kale with capers. It adds another blend of flavors to the kale. Yum.

  2. Great local meal! I still haven’t tried acorn squash. But that looks easy and delicious!

  3. Hmmm…. i wonder if Scott would eat that kale recipe!! Last summer’s farm share has turned him off kale completely. But it all looks delicious! I will try your meatloaf recipe. I made one last weekend – half ground turkey, half ground beef, carrots, onions, sundried tomatoes, A1 sauce – and other stuff I can’t remember. Very tasty. but I like the idea of adding beer!!! Bon appetit!


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