Black Bean Chili and Corn Pancakes and Fresh Ginger!

Black Bean, Corn, Pepper, and Tomato Chili with Cornmeal Pancake

When Theresa and I arrived home last night, we were very hungry and very keen to eat dinner ASAP.  We had set beans to cook in the crock pot in the morning and then added chopped onions, green pepper, tomatoes, some cumin and a hot pepper and let it cook all afternoon in the crock pot on low.  When we got home, Theresa made a quick and simple cornmeal pancake (as she said, make a pancake with cornmeal- just follow a normal pancake recipe), I added corn cut off the cobb, about 1 tbsp of chili powder, 1 tsp of cumin, 1 tsp of Worcestershire sauce and salt to taste and served it quick and hot.  It was super tasty, and in the end a very nice meal.  For dessert, in leu of still having junk food cravings, we made chocolate chip cookies with whole wheat flour and taza chocolate- yum!

Fresh Young Ginger!

Really Fresh Ginger from Old Friends Farm

It is time- that auspicious time of the year!  Fresh young ginger is just now being harvested at Old Friends Farm, out in Amherst, and is finally being sold at their stand at Copley’s Farmers Market.  This morning, I headed down to the market and swiftly bought about four whole pounds of it!  So, I know its crazy… but it will probably be out allotment of ginger for the year.

Q: So young ginger- that’s the brown stuff at the grocery store that you buy, right?

A: Wrong!  Fresh young ginger is this delicate pale root of sorts that when harvested and fresh has tender skin (white and pink colored) and has that lovely ginger zing, but yet, is milder and has lovely floral notes in its flavor.  In other words, I’d highly recommend it, you better run down to Copley before I buy it all!

My obscenely large bag of ginger (about 4 lbs)

You can use it just like normal ginger (the type you buy at the store that has been dried (the skin at least).  It does go bad quicker than normal mature dried ginger.  You can also freeze it- which is what we did last year with the ginger we bought from Old Friends Farm. Frozen, it lasts for ever, we still have a little from last year in the freezer, which is just fine and still really good.  One recommendation though in freezing, cut it into reasonable sizes, so that come december, when you want to make some warming yummy ginger thing, you don’t have to freeze your fingers trying to chop off a hunk of ginger from your huge frozen piece in the freezer (does it sound like this advice comes from experience?).

Just think, local ginger, and not only local and organic, but also, it is so, so good, and they are selling it fresh!  You certainly know what I think about it!

I am off soon to begin preparing for my Red Fire Farm CSA distribution.  I am excited to see what is in store for us this week.  Maybe okra….. I hope!

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