We have a little local farmer’s market – when I moved here last fall it was pretty much just one good vegetable merchant and a lot of crafts. Well, they’ve done a great job getting new vendors, and Wednesday there was a local family selling their own pork, raised naturally without hormones and allowed to roam outside. Mr. Miller told me they started because they thought the local 4-H kids were paying too much for their weaner pigs, so they raised some weaners, and then when the weren’t all sold, well, they were in the pork business. So I bought some pork chops.
Next to them was a woman with a card table and a couple of coolers selling lamb. Now, I am a big fan of lamb, if I had to choose just one meat, it would be lamb. Her lamb was a little expensive, but well, it was raised just up the road and as I’ve written about before, I’m willing to pay a premium to buy meat that I know where it was raised, and more importantly, where it was butchered (over in Big Timber, at the processing plant). So I bought some lamb chops from her. She also told me that if I need anything during the week just to call, she’s got a clothing shop in town (“Ewe and Me” wouldn’t you know) and there’s a freezer in the back. Which is good because I think leg of lamb is almost the perfect summer barbecue meat. So, I took her card.
I also bought some gorgeous baby turnips from another local gardener with a card table, and found out that the reason I have little bugs eating my garden is that the brassicae family just has trouble around here (chard, kale, broccoli, etc…). It’s not a tragedy — things are growing — they just have little holes in them.
So, last night I had turnip greens cooked a la Julie/Julia (saute some bacon, add a few hot pepper flakes and a big shot of chopped garlic, then the greens. Add 1/2 cup chicken broth, 1/2 cup vermouth, a couple of big pieces of lemon rind and cook until done — in this case, about 40 minutes. Yum Yum), some rice, and a delicious local pork chop on the grill …
So that’s my little tale of local dinner. I ate well. My neighbors made a little money. And we didn’t spend petroleum reserves trucking stuff all over the country.