Foodie Adventures

-Teresa Willoughby

I have such an appreciation for quality food, especially if I cook (and grow!) it myself. I find it empowering and cooking is a creative outlet of mine. I have been exploring the cooking world more throughout my time with Grace-on-the-Hill than ever. I have also experimented a bit with gardening. It has been educational and really fun. I often google various recipes and combine and tweak them. I enjoy trying new things. Sometimes I get really imaginative and unstructured- just have to keep safety in mind! I have run into some trial and error but I’m not too picky. I feel in control when I cook and I can make things just right for me. Salad, omelet and yogurt dishes are staples of mine. The possibilities are endless. I also like to sauté random combinations of vegetables, spices, herbs, etc. My favorite fats to cook in include quality butter, bacon fat and coconut oil. Here are some things that I have prepared:

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Baked eggplant with spices and parmesan cheese

Eggplant from Byrd House Farmers Market last September

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Sautéed turnips and turnip greens

Autumn recipe using turnips from Byrd House Farmers Market

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Sweet potato grainless, flourless, gluten free “pancakes”

Fall recipe with sweet potatoes and eggs from Byrd House Farmers Market

I managed to make these I believe by puréeing sweet potato mixed with eggs and a couple of different ingredients I can’t remember. I think a tiny bit of vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground clove, ginger, maple syrup would be great additions.

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Banana “pancakes”

I often use a one banana to one egg ratio (although two banana one egg or two eggs one banana also works) and a pinch of vanilla extract and various spices work well. Nuts like the walnuts pictured here also make a lovely addition.

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Baked autumn squashes are delicious. I’ve tried spaghetti squash, butternut squash and acorn squash- all from Byrd House Farmers Market. The spaghetti squash pictured here was from Deer Run Farm.

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Whey cool! Greek yogurt and whey

I routinely make my own yogurt in a crockpot. I find this to be tastier (especially when made with whole milk), cheaper, healthier (no fillers, fake or poor quality sweeteners, stabilizers, etc.) and more environmental (less packaged waste when using milk from reusable glass bottles). I heat up milk to about 180 degrees and then let it cool to about 115 degrees. Next, I inoculate the milk by whisking in yogurt (about 1Tablespoon-¼ cup of yogurt for a quart of milk). Then, I incubate by wrapping up the crockpot with towels and letting it sit for about 8-12 hours or so. Finally, I let it sit in the refrigerator for a few hours before I enjoy it. Additionally to make Greek yogurt, I’ll strain out the whey. I also save a bit of yogurt to make the next batch. I like to add local raw honey, fruit, etc. to it. Lately, I have been enjoying local seasonal strawberries with it.

I use the extra whey in dressings, marinades, as a substitute for water in recipes amongst other things. I also use it in the making of fermented foods like sauerkraut.

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Sauerkraut I made (using a bit of my leftover whey)

I have also made fermented ginger carrots. I am curious to try more fermented foods.

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I heart beef heart ❤

I over cooked this but it was an interesting experiment and I enjoyed it regardless. Local grass-fed beef is offered at Renegade Market and throughout the year. I have also enjoyed liver, steak and ground beef from Faith Farm Foods. I like to marinate meats in whey or lemon juice and/or various types and vinegar with fresh garlic and ginger and other spices. Did I mention I enjoy trying different new things?

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A garden plot in WBCH’s community garden was available over winter and I was so lucky to be able to use it. I planted bok choy, snow peas and garlic. My bok choy never grew but my snow peas and garlic grew! I experimented with different ways of protecting my snow peas from this past harsh winter. I had to harvest my snow peas early but they were still edible! I recommend garlic especially for beginner gardeners and for winter gardening in general. Garlic is really hardy.

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I transferred my garlic to our balcony. I reused some containers as pots for convenience, fiscal and environmental reasons. I tried to poke holes in them. They haven’t been thriving as well in these containers recently here but I hope to harvest and enjoy them right before we leave.

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I was going to just sauté my snow peas but ended up cracking an egg on top. Yummy!

Byrd House Farmers Market has some exciting things to try. Strawberries and asparagus are great seasonal treats. I also noticed that Tomten Farm has been offering duck eggs. How interesting! I noticed there are some more body care products, not only from Wandering Cow Farm but also Flower Child and Serene Suds. I can’t wait to try them.

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