In dwelling, live close to the ground. In thinking, keep it to the simple.
In conflict, be fair and generous.
In governing, don't try to control.
In work, do what you enjoy. In family life, be completely present.

- Tao Te Ching -

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Eat Carolina Challenge: Day 7: Did We Make It?


We learned that in a week we, being a couple with a toddler, consumed more than 2 cups of honey (we didn't use any other sugar and LOVED the taste of the Little Mountain Apiary Honey: not too sweet and not too thick), about 3/4 cup of salt (for cooking and other uses), 1 gallon of raw milk, 14 peaches, 3 pints blueberries, 5 onions, 2 pints cherry tomatoes, 5 beefsteak tomatoes, 8 sweet potatoes, 8 pattypan squash, 1 pound okra, 8 ounces of pecans, 3 loaves of bread, 3 packages of rice, 2 Ashley Farms whole chickens, 4 Ashley Farms chicken sausages, 4 Caw Caw Creek Italian sausages, 1 pound Caw Caw Creek ground pork sausage and 1 pound Eubank Farm ground beef. Had we been prepared, we could have eaten a lot more!

We definitely will order a lot from Anson Mills as soon as our supply of wheat, rice and oatmeal dwindles. We really missed our homemade breads, oatmeal and pancakes this week and are so happy to learn about an organic local mill!

We made it! Or did we? Lunch was at a Carolina BBQ restaurant... not a CFSA member but definitely LOCAL. We are all under the weather and couldn't muster anything in the kitchen.

We sure learned a lot this week and are so happy we joined the challenge!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Eat Carolina Challenge: Day 6: Craving Foods We Don't Have!


We've been craving ice cream, peanut butter and other non-Carolina foods. We decide to snack on Charleston Nut Company Cinnamon Spiced Pecans at Publix instead - and we are shocked that we pay almost $6 for just a cup! While we were there, we also bought Carolina Bonnie Blue Blueberries as they are on sale. My son was so disappointed at the berries! The taste was so far from the sweet and succulent blueberries he ate right off the bushes at Berry Hill Farm. But it sure was a welcome snack fruit after days of peaches. Wish we had more time to Pick Your Own!


Cream of Rice and more peaches.


We didn't have time for a proper meal, so we ended up eating some toasted Nova's Bakery bread with scrambled eggs, topping with Heritage Farm cherry tomatoes and Happy Cow Cheese. We really prefer egg whites and I can't believe we pay almost $4 for 12 egg whites, which when cooked can be eaten in one gulp by any big man.


Carolina Plantation Rice, Heritage Farm Eggplants and Baked Ashley Farm Chicken with Carolina Gold BBQ sauce. Nothing special... The weekend is just a difficult time to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Eat Carolina Challenge: Day 5: Going Beyond Local Foods.


We've been enjoying peaches for breakfast almost everyday. They are delicious, but in the back of my mind I wonder if we should even be eating them. Peaches are one of the top fruits that have the highest levels of pesticide contamination when not grown organically.

Caw Caw Creek Italian Sausages are excellent and only contain 5 ingredients: pork, salt, sugar, pepper and fennel. I guess when you begin something with high quality ingredients, you don't need much else!

This week has gotten us thinking about looking at other local goods. At 14 Carrots, they had goat's milk lotion made by Backcountry Skin Care Products in Blythewood, SC. I tried some on my dry hands and they felt so good 2 hours later! I think we are going to seek out other businesses that are local from now on. There is so much the Carolinas have to offer that we never knew existed.


Slow Cooker Cream of Rice.


Nova's Bakery Wheat Bread and Egg Salad from the Deli at 14 Carrots. Egg Salad was the only prepared food there made from local foods. I was quite surprised at the spare offerings. I wish they were more involved with the Eat Carolina Challenge!


Carolina Plantation Rice, South Carolina Okra ($4/lbs @ roadside) and Caw Caw Creek Italian Sausage.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Eat Carolina Challenge: Day 4: Getting Better At Being A Locavore


Just now getting the hang of using local!!! What to buy, where to buy, when to buy, but more importantly how to use the stuff I used to throw away... (take a look at lunch and dinner below)

South Carolina Peaches are a delight when just ripe - just have to learn I have to stop by our local farmers more than once a week so we don't get stuck with overripe fruit. More toast with butter, honey and peach butter. I'm sure this will be the last of that! We need a lot of variety here and even my son declined his airplane toast 'cookie' this morning.

Fried rice from last night's dinner. It was pretty darn good - I saved all the juices from the roasted chicken, refrigerated it overnight, dumped the congealed fat at the top in the rubbish and used all the broth in the fried rice with the leftover chicken and pattypan squash. It was like a whole different meal!

South Carolina Sweet Potato Skin 'Fries' with a Happy Cow Creamery Cheddar Cheese oozing out of Eubank Farm Beef Burger on Nova's Bakery Bread. I saved all the peeled sweet potato skins from Monday's dinner and roasted it with clarified butter (I had made from Happy Cow Butter) and Celtic Sea Salt. It was terrific! I would have thrown them out but decided to use them and it turns out it may just be one of our favourite sides from now on!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Eat Carolina Challenge Day 3


We are really enjoying eating local foods today!


Our son wanted cookies for breakfast, so we made him a rabbit 'cookie' cut out of a slice of Nova's Bakery Sourdough Bread twice-toasted with Happy Cow Creamery Unsalted Butter and Little Mountain Apiary Honey. I had my toast with Market Place Peach Butter (something I bought a year ago from a roadside vendor in Irmo, SC). It was a delicious breakfast. I would definitely buy the sourdough bread again! (I wouldn't buy the Kalamata Olive loaf again.)


Last night's leftovers. Yay, just heat and serve!


Rosemary Roasted Ashley Farms Chicken, Roasted South Carolina Pattypan Squash and Carolina Plantation Rice. Usually, I would roast the chicken with both rosemary and garlic, but since I didn't find any garlic locally I used only Celtic Salt and our own rosemary from our bush on the chicken. The squash was just sliced with onion and mixed with some leftover rosemary and a little more salt. It was roasted in the oven with the chicken for an hour. Tonight's meal was excellent!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Eat Carolina Challenge Day 2: $12 for 1 1/2 pounds of ground sausage!

Thoughts for the day:

I think I know why the grocery bill has been so expensive this week during the Carolina Challenge. I just realized that we paid $12 for 1 1/2 pounds of Caw Caw Creek Ground Sausage at 14 Carrots! And, I just discovered that the Caw Caw Creek website charges half the price for the same thing! Maybe we could stick to our food budget if I just bought all our local stuff on-line???


There was no way I could go through a whole week of Carolina Foods without grits, so I decided my son could have his non-local oatmeal, while we enjoyed our Carolina Plantation Grits. I followed the recipe on the packet and had a delicious breakfast. We also had SC peaches, which we bought from a roadside farm vendor. I had bought it a few days ago and it was a little over ripe by this morning.


Leftover sweet potato mash and another cheese sandwich with very sweet Heritage Farm cherry tomatoes.


With a toddler in the house, I cannot spend the amount of time I wish I could spend on preparing our food. So I rely a lot on our slow cooker and recipes that are easy and hopefully yummy. I feel guilty and cringe inside as I quickly place local onions, Carolina Plantation rice, more Heritage Farm tomatoes and the $12 Caw Caw Creek sausage all together in the slow cooker on high for 4 1/2 hours. Isn't the $12 sausage worth more than having it as a one-pot meal? Let's just say it was an easy-to-make and above-mediocre filling dinner. We cannot complain!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Eat Carolina Food Challenge

We've decided to join the challenge and eat only Carolina-produced food for one whole week. Here goes!

Day 1

Initial thoughts: expensive even when compared to buying all organic! I wish I had researched better on local grains. I just read on their website that Anson Mills has a variety of products and they are certified organic!


My son is allergic to both eggs and corn and without local wheat in my pantry, I made "Cream of Rice". I placed 1 cup Carolina Plantation Gold Rice in a lightly greased small crockpot with 4 cups of water. I let it cook on low overnight. I added a tablespoon of Happy Cow unsalted butter and some Butter Patch Jersey milk. We topped our bowls with Little Mountain Apiary honey and our own freshly picked Berry Hill Farm blueberries. YUM!


I bought some Nova's Bakery bread from 14 Carrots because I didn't know Anson Mills sold organic wheat flour. We were disappointed with the quality of the bread, as we are used to our own freshly baked homemade bread. Nevertheless, we had melted cheese sandwiches. The Happy Cow 6 Year Cheddar cheese was sharp! We were travelling in the car and it jolted all of us out of our seats.


Cinnamon spiced sweet potato mash with Ashley Farms chicken sausage. Publix Greenwise chicken sausage has corn syrup (can you believe it???) so I was happy to see that the Ashley Farms sausages had none! They were a little saltier than I would have liked, but our tummies were happy.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Walking on Stars


Happy 4th of July!!!