Seasonal Eats- The Winter Edition

brussel sprouts || cityhippyfarmgirlbeetroot || cityhippyfarmgirl

The eggplant and basil have slowly slipped away and been replaced with potatoes, brussel sprouts and beetroot. Meals are being planned around pumpkin, mandarins are being snacked on and kale? Well kale is fairly consistently there.

I’ve said it before, but I will say it again. I feel that we are incredibly lucky living in an area that has such abundance in food varieties, despite the different seasons. The cooler seasons where in some parts of the world, the eating would start getting incredibly restrictive, here just gives us a different array of colours, tastes and still we get to keep it relatively local. That right there, is pretty damn wonderful.

Some delicious things to look out for coming into the winter season

beetroot (roasted and turned into dip)

broccoli (served olive oil and awesome salt)

cabbage (sauerkraut yes please)

cauliflower 

daikon (pickled)

kale (sausage rolls yes indeed, recipe to come for that one)

leek (leek and potato soup)

potatoes

carrots

limes

mandarins

quince

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What’s cooking in your kitchen at the moment? Is it now the beginnings of Winter or Summer for you?

If by chance you live in Sydney and you would like to try out a seasonal-delivered to your door fruit/vegetable box- OOOOBY is offering any readers $15 off your first box if you type in CITYHIPPYFARMGIRL as a referral code. 

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Seasonal Eating and Earth Hour

It’s Autumn here and while I’m still waiting to feel any big seasonal shifts in the weather, there has been a slight change in what’s gracing my kitchen bench. Seasonal changes in our food are one of the things that get me really excited. I love having things in abundance, eat them in everything and just when I really don’t want to eat them any longer, the season changes and voila! A new vegetable to embrace.

Others who are also embracing all things food and farm related is Earth Hour this year. It’s on again this Saturday, and this time they are focusing in on farmers and how environmental changes are impacting Australian farmers and our food they grow. (They’ve also put out a cookbook to go along with it- with all proceeds going back to Earth Hour’s work.)

How about you? Are you doing anything particular for Earth Hour this year? Or enjoying eating any particular seasonal or local foods?

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OOOOBY– a super easy way to get some seasonal goodness delivered to your doorstep if you live in Sydney. If you have been thinking about signing up but haven’t quite done it yet. OOOOBY is offering $15 off your first box if you type in CITYHIPPYFARMGIRL as a referral code. 

Earth Hour

cityhippyfarmgirl

An excellent local drop…Krinklewood

Kitchen Creations

crackers || cityhippyfarmgirl

The last few months have seen a lot of these crackers being made. Dead easy to make, with only a handful of ingredients in them. My recipe is over on the forever wonderful Milkwood blog if you are interested. (Just quietly, you’ll never walk down the cracker aisle again…this is an excellent thing.)

tomatoes || cityhippyfarmgirl

Tomatoes in all shapes and sizes, forms and colours, (and just as they should be) are working their way on to my kitchen bench top. Some grown by me and some via my OOOOBY box.

rocky road  apple || cityhippyfarmgirl

Ahh, now what’s this beauty I hear you say? Which is pretty much what I said when I walked passed a particularly enticing window display that I hadn’t seen before. I quietly go to the chiropractor one evening with no expectations of purchasing anything besides ongoing good healthy (thank you chiropractic care) and come home with this divine little chocolate encased creature. I hadn’t seen apples done like this before…how on earth could I say no? (And yes, there was a crispy, crispy fresh apple under there.)

cream || cityhippyfarmgirl

There has also been some Eton Mess experimenting done. This experimenting shall continue as much like the apple above, I was impressed, oh yes I was.

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How about you? What’s been happening in your kitchen lately? Have you seen apples like this before? Are you a fan of Eton Mess? And crackers- do you make your own? (ps. If you would like to give this recipe a go and are on instagram tag them #supermarketcrackerspffft I’d love to see them!)

Linking in with Ms Celia today and lots of other amazing kitchen goodies.

Eat Local Challenge- The End

At the beginning of this year I set out to find out more on my local food and what was available around me, living here in the city. I wanted a little challenge. Not a big one, but something to get me thinking a little differently.

I already supported a lot of local eating. Receive a weekly vegetable box delivered through OOOOBY. Was a frequent lurker at many of the city’s farmers markets, and knew which brands to head towards when in the shops.

So what did I learn from doing this? Well, number one, I would say, catering five sets of tastebuds to local eating is a little tricky. If it was just me, no problem? Two adults? Still pretty easy. Add three kiddos, slightly more complicated, but definitely doable.

Another thing I really valued after doing the challenge, is spices. I love spices, and there are bugger all of my favourite spices grown around Sydney. Sure I can do with out them, but a life long deletion? Hmmm….

Using tumeric, curry leaves, garlic, lime, chilli and salt were really important in the local dishes I made for extra flavour oomph. The Murray River Salt while technically not really local at all, I looked at it as knowing where it came from. 

eat local || cityhippyfarmgirl So what now? Now that the year has come to an end, where do I go from here with my local eating?

At this stage I’m not actually sure, (which might sound rather wishy washy) but I do think to do these things long term a gradual change is better. As you’ll have more chance of sticking by the changes, and that really is what I’ve done over 2014. Gradually introduced more local food options to our family’s meals, gotten to know some different companies and played with some different food alternatives to the tried and true ones I usually reach for.

Ive enjoyed doing it, my family didn’t notice any vast differences to our meals, and now that Pepe Saya has been introduced to our lives…well, there’s no going back now is there.

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Interested in creating your own Eat Local Challenge?

Just how local is local? Well this depends entirely on you. Only you know how you and your family eat. Raise the bar just a little from what you already do. If making sure the majority of your meal includes solely food produced in your country, than make that your challenge. If you want to make it a little trickier, go for produced in the same state…trickier still within 160km.

My aim this year was to really know where my food is coming from for at least one meal a month. These can all be found below.  

Eat Local Challenge #10

Eat Local Challenge #9

Eat Local Challenge #8

Eat Local Challenge #7

Eat Local Challenge #6

Eat Local Challenge #5

Eat Local Challenge #4

Eat Local Challenge #3

Eat Local Challenge #2

Eat Local Challenge #1

eat local challenge || cityhippyfarmgirl

Eat Local Challenge #2


Eat Local Challenge || cityhippyfarmgirl

tomatoes || cityhippyfarmgirl

Say what? More tomatoes? Well um yes, that’s what kind of happens when you eat with the seasons, there can be quite a few dishes with the same key ingredients. I don’t mind though, it’s not like it’s six months of cabbage you have to get creative with.

Now for the Eat Local Challenge, I thought I would be a little more prepared this month. Well, I was really. I just hadn’t anticipated riding my bike for an hour and a half to find cheese. It seemed my known and trusted local cheese company was no longer where I thought they were and the French cheese company standing in it’s place certainly wasn’t going to cut the proverbial mustard.

So I kept riding.

I did wonder at what point is the line crossed. How much inconvenience is expected and should be expected in order to support locally produced food?

I ended up with a fetta that’s made in the Wauchope, approximately 6 hours north. I didn’t feel it was a great option as I had wanted to always be able to buy directly from the producer or at least one person removed. However, Hastings Valley Fetta was (at the time) the best I could do. What I could do though, was contact the company and find out a little bit more about them.

I got an immediate response back from my querying letter, and along with encouragement of me doing the Eat Local challenge, I was also happy to read- “All our products are manufactured from our Wauchope facility from the milk sourced from our local farmers. We are proud to support our local farmers and community.” 

What’s on the menu?

Beetroot, fetta, tomato salad

Beetroot from my Ooooby box*

Tomato from my courtyard- hurrah!

Fetta from Hastings Valley, Wauchope

Mint from my courtyard

Chilli from my courtyard

Olive Oil- Lisborne Grove, Hunter Valley

Verdict? Delicious. This salad was really tasty and I would happily serve it up to anyone else that sat at my kitchen table.

Eat Local Challenge || cityhippyfarmgirl

Butternut, Fennel and Barley

Butternut from my Ooooby box- Pickle Creek Farm, Cattai

Fennel from my Ooooby box*

Kale from MU Organics, Southern Highlands

Barley from Dementer Farm Mill, located around Gunnedah

Fetta from Hastings Valley, Wauchope

Chilli from my courtyard

Verdict? Well…if you love fennel you are on to a good head start. If you don’t, (as I don’t) you have to think a bit more strategically to get the best out of the vegetable in front of you- and that goes for anything else as well. I should have roasted the fennel and butternut beforehand, it would have given the dish a bit more flavour and less, well fennell-y. If you are not using stock, spices or salt to create more complex flavours you do have to think a bit more on how to make the most out of your dinner time tastes.

No kids versions of this months locally sourced meals, (not a chance they would have eaten these.)

* I did know where the fennel and beetroot was sourced from but mislaid the vital piece of paper.

Tidbits

Planning- Eating locally does take a bit of forward thinking. The vegetables are relatively easy, but it’s the proteins and fats that need a little more planning beforehand.

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How about you? Interested in taking the challenge?

Just how local is local? Well this depends entirely on you. Only you know how you and your family eat. Raise the bar just a little from what you already do. If making sure the majority of your meal includes solely food produced in your country, than make that your challenge. If you want to make it a little trickier, go for produced in the same state…trickier still within 160km.

My aim is to really know where my food is coming from for at least one meal a month, (where I will be posting here in the last week of the month).

For last months Eat Local Challenge #1 see here.

eat local challenge || cityhippyfarmgirl

Eat Local Challenge #1

eat local #1 || cityhippyfarmgirl

Eat LOCAL child version || cityhippyfarmgirl The challenge was on. My Eat Local challenge, and this was the night to be doing. A chaotic evening after a rough day. Not the best choices to start off an challenge but I was wearing it. However it was what we were eating that was more important.

The Menu

For the adults- A raw kale salad with hard boiled eggs. (rice, kale, shallots, brown onion, flat leafed parsley, corn, carrot, lime juice, olive oil, chilli and eggs.)

For the kiddo’s- A similar tamed down version, swapping the kale for lettuce. (rice, corn, lettuce, carrot, olive oil and eggs.)

Where it was from

Rice- from Randall Organic rice

Olive Oil- from Lisborne Grove, Hunter Valley

Vegetables- from Kurrawong Organics and Champion’s Mountain Organics, Mangrove Mountain

Eggs- Ed’s Eggs, Jirandali Farm- Mangrove Mountain (85km from Sydney)

Chilli- my courtyard

eat local || cityhippyfarmgirl

Over all dinner was a success. The kids were happy to eat it all and Mr Chocolate said it was all delicious. He did throw a little Caramelised Balsamic Vinegar on top of his jazz it up a bit- a company that produces 250km’s away. I didn’t, but was kicking myself three hours later for not putting a little more protein in there or fat of some sort…I was hungry!! I guess this is the tricky bit, locally produced vegetarian protein. Besides eggs, what other alternatives do I have? To find out next time.

ooooby vegetables || cityhippyfarmgirl

Tidbits

– Foodconnect- Sydney is no longer, and OOOOBY has taken over. Similar concept, and just as committed. This is from their $39 delivered veg box.

The Locavore Edition– for Australian east coast readers, there is a comprehensive guide to both NSW and Victoria so far, (with Tasmania in the nominating stage.)

eat local || cityhippyfarmgirl

How about you? Interested in taking the challenge?

For more details see this post here and for the nitty gritty of ‘how local is local’- well this depends entirely on you. Only you know how you and your family eat. Raise the bar just a little from what you already do. If making sure the majority of your meal includes solely food produced in your country, than make that your challenge. If you want to make it a little trickier, go for produced in the same state…trickier still within 160km.

My aim is to really know where my food is coming from for at least one meal a month, (I will be post here in the last week of the month). It sounds easy enough at this stage, but as the year progresses will it continue to?

eat local challenge || cityhippyfarmgirl

Edit– Have a peek over here at Christine’s Eat Local deliciousness

Slow Living Essentials- Eat Local #1

Slow Living Essentials- Eat Local #1