Let’s start this week right with a photo parade of our weekend. Our weekend actually turned out really well. No horrible food mishaps. Yeah!
After a leisurely breakfast on Saturday morning we drove down out to Amherst and picked up more produce from the Amherst Farmer’s Market’s last outdoor market for the year (so sad…. so many vendors will not be returning for the indoor market during the winter). So, we enjoyed it for one last time for the year, and picked up a boatload of squash.
So, Atlas Farm had this awesome sale on winter squash: buy 40 pounds of winter squash for 30 dollars. How could we ever ever ever pass up an offer like that?! So, we started filling our bag with winter squash, getting predominantly kuri, buttercup, and abobora, types of squash that will last eons if well stored- because we have a long winter to look forward to on this challenge. I think my favorite type of squash are of the kabocha variety (which happen to include all of those three types). We were thrilled- well maybe mostly me. Theresa took pictures while I began hording. I filled up my bag till it got heavy, and went to go weigh it. Only 19 pounds… this was going to be serious. So serious that when they found out I was going for 40 pounds of squash, they gave me a box. Hurray! So, I filled the box up with more lovely squashes (Atlas Farms has a lot of really nice kabocha style squashes) and finally got to a little over 40 pounds. I paid my 30$ and was totally psyched. Then, I lugged the 40 pound box to the car. And how much squash is 40 pounds?
We also got a little bit of Cheese from Chase Hill Farm- they were running out of many favorites by the time we got there- very sad. We also got more burdock root and some maple syrup. And the rest we left at the farmer’s market with a sad good bye.
We met up with a lovely family from Red Fire’s CSA and spent some time in the park, and then headed out to Wheatberry Bakery for a quick lunch before going to pick up our grain CSA shares.
Wheatberry Bakery is owned by Ben and Adrie who also run the grain CSA and Wheatberry Farm. It is a lovely little bakery that serves local food products, including bread make of local grain, milled and baked on the premises.
They get local dairy, local produce from Red Fire Farm, Eggs from Red Fire Farm, even local pottery is used to serve food. The place’s mission statement is like our local food challenge: support small sustainable local food suppliers and businesses. Everything in the store is reusable or compostable (and compost and reuse they do). It is so refreshing!
We enjoyed lunch with Jedtell and her family (the family that we have gotten to know through the CSA) who were also going to pick up their grain CSA share.
Then we headed off to the Pioneer Valley Heritage Grain CSA in Shutesbury. We arrived and found that the distribution was in Ben and Adrie’s house. We tentatively headed in and found the CSA line snaking out of the kitchen.
We will post later in more detail our grain CSA share and the awesomeness of the CSA. We were totally excited to get our grains, though a little sad that our grain mill is still out of commission right now. I hope that it will all be handled this week, so we can finally make some nice flour with these grains!
Next we went off to a yarn store and spent time in Northampton until we went to dinner at Tabellas, a farm to table restaurant in Amherst. We had made reservations for 5:15 and were dorks that showed up at 5:15 to an empty restaurant. That’s fine… we were hungry and happy that unlike the previous weekend, our food plans had not backfired on us. We did not take pictures of Tabellas, since we wanted to enjoy the meal without an eye through a lens.
Tabellas is a restaurant that serves local, sustainably grown food that is provided by a network of small farms along with a farm specifically for the restaurant (Tabellas farm). It serves gourmet local food and is so very community focused that it has a Community Supported Restaurant (CSR) Program. Yet again, very refreshing to see an eatery so dedicated to the same principles we ascribe to.
So, what did we have to eat?
- An All Local Pate of Misty Knoll’s open pastured chicken liver, wrapped in organic bacon, and served with horseradish sauce and El Jardin Sourdough Bread.
- Savory Organic Pumpkin Chickpea Fries, served with Tabellas farm smoked jalapeno aioli
- Main dishes:
- VT Family Farm heirloom Pork Shank Osso Buco, with organic sundried tomatoes, olive and pine nut relish served on top of potato mash.
- Pan seared Rainbow Trout with a lemon cream sauce served with a cornmeal fritter.
- Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting.
- Tapioca pudding with, cream, congac and vanilla.
Everything was absolutely delicious. The carrot cake was the best we had ever had… and that’s saying something. We also really enjoyed the pate, something we don’t normally have the opportunity to have (Especially since a liver and onion expedition of the previous year made me wonder if I’d ever enjoy liver). We had a lovely, delicious evening and serenely drove home. We felt like our previous weekend of food fails was somewhat healed by this lovely and indulgent day of fine local eating.
All in all, it was a really nice weekend. We rectified some of our previous food mishaps and had a really nice time procuring food and eating out. We also have a lot to look forward to this week: Thanksgiving!