Friday, June 15, 2007

Mountain & Market Jewels

Just got back from the Nanaimo Farmer's Market. Despite the soggy weather, it was a great shopping trips complete with a mini reunion with an old friend. Here's what treasures I found:
Free range eggs, chicken, tomatoes, peppers, chard, strawberries, new potatoes and artisan foccacia bread.

Each week, the variety of produce grows. I also saw spinach, beets, rhubarb, garlic chives, canned veggies and jams, veggie seedlings and bedding plants.

Along with locally grown food, I also found another source of locally grown fibre for all my 100 mile spinning and knitting project!

Island Fibre Friends sells locally raised alpaca yarns and fleeces. Their stall offers everything from handknit garments, to yarn to fleece. This small company is run by fleece gurus, Janet MacKenzie and Sylvia Gaunt. They can be found at the Nanaimo Farmer's Market in Fridays, the Qualicum Farmer's Market on Saturdays and the Campbell Rive Pier Street Market on Sundays. Here's more info about these other Vancouver Island farmer's markets.

Yesterday, my wonderful, darling DH came back from his top secret superhero mission with a pocketful of handpicked jewels:

I wonder how many jewels he was storing in his belly:)
So lovely! They're almost too beautiful to eat. Almost....

To celebrate his berry booty, I made a spring version of 100 Mile Diet Poutine with new potatoes. The potatoes were leftovers from a previous dinner. Whenever I make potatoes or rice, I usually make a double or triple batch since it doesn't take any more effort to cook extra and they have a gzillion uses. The cheese curds were from Natural Pastures and the gravy was made with homemade locally raised chicken stock and smoked bacon fat. Yep, I think my heart skipped a beat just writing that last sentence.

A quick ride under the broiler for the cheese curd topped potatoes and a ladle or two or three of the gravy and it was good to go.

To compliment the potatoes, I made a quick slaw with marinated pork and pesto dressing:

The pork was sliced thin and marinated in some local apple cider , a dollop of Gabriola Gourmet minced garlic and wildflower honey from the Jinglepot Apiaries for a few hours.

I stir fried it over high heat until there was no more pink meat and set it aside to cool as I assembled the slaw. When I say 'assembled' I mean chopped up a bunch of local veggies to thin slaw strips and throw on some dressing. I used my pesto dressing. here's the recipe.
Fast & Dirty Pesto Dressing:

3 parts olive oil
3 parts balsamic vinegar (I use Auld Alliance Farm's fig balsamic vinegar)
1 part homemade pesto (recipe at bottom)

Throw into a jar, squeeze bottle, bowl and shake, whip, stir, rattle and roll until it's all mixed up.
Really. That's it. There's a reason why these are called 'Fast & Dirty' recipes.

Have a great weekend!

Nanaimo's 100 Mile Diet Challenge

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