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Cooking With Seasonal Ingredients

This page is an exploration of ingredients and cooking techniques and makes healthy food easy for everyone 

Dinner on a Farm

Farm dinners are excellent ways to find food sources in your area. I live in Houston, so I will post the details of any farm dinners or other events I am doing, and any events being held on farms I source my ingredients from.

Farmer Markets

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Today is market day!
After a week of being tied to a computer for so long that the backs of my legs are bruised from the chair, Saturday is the morning I get to go out, rain or shine, and chat with some friends, maybe have a breakfast taco and a coffee at my neighborhood farmer market.
I have been doing local, chemical free or Certified Organic food for a long time. I started in 2006 with just a little here and there, and it crept up on me until nowadays trips to the store are for things like bread flour, rice and turbinado sugar are rare events.
I have settled into the rhythm of the seasons here in Houston and share the ups and downs of the weather and the pests with my vegetable providers, and the well-being of the animals that they raise, as it directly effects what I am able to eat. My pork supplier dictates my diet to a certain degree, as he oversold his stock earlier in the year, so I was unable to get any of my favorite heritage breed pork loin chops or bacon for a couple of months and there wasn’t a shoat available for a friend’s birthday pig roast.
There have been other moments of food insecurity like the time when my goat milk supplier having got rid of half her herd, then lost a major customer, and decided to give up raising goats almost without warning. My supply of milk for yogurt and chevre was threatened, but she took pity on me and found me an alternative source.
There is another market vendor who is getting so many orders from restaurants, that he may stop attending any of the markets altogether. Although I am pleased for his success, I cannot help but fret at the loss, not just of his produce, but also the weekly contact with someone who has become friend.
It is so much a part of my social world now that I warn the vendors when I am leaving town so they don’t bring things just for me, and give them as much advance notice of an upcoming farm to fork event when I will be buying heavily.
This is the day I find out how big the guinea fowl are and how long until they wind up in my freezer. It is time for the update on the billy goat who is called a lot of things, especially when he gets his horns caught in the fence, but his real name is Dinnerin January. I will find out if the rains have ruined the popcorn crop, if the garlic will have a good Spring season, or the if the sweet potatoes have survived the onslaught of the caterpillars that the local farmers call worms. I will be buying the last of the persimmons, and heaps of the early season citrus fruit, mainly sweet satsumas and Meyer lemons, so I can freeze the juice for the rest of next year and use the chemical free zest for making my own limoncello.
Now it is almost time to leave, with a pocket full of ones and fives just in case someone needs the change, carrying a reusable bag and a cooler and with a incurable propensity to over purchase.
Today is market day! 

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