Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Eating Seasonally (and Locally)

Over the last few weeks Chef Dale Hawkins has trained me in a manner similar to that of Pavlov and his dogs. The UPS truck arrives in front of my house weekly and its driver ascends the stairs to my front porch. The folks at Fish Hawk Acres in Rock Cave, W.Va have been able to pack a cardboard box full of such delightful produce that I’ve come to salivate, figuratively, when the brown uniformed deliveryman rings my doorbell. Inside the cardboard box culinary treats, carefully selected for my enjoyment, wait to be turned into fresh and original dishes. My produce drawer is stuffed with sweet young carrots in shades of cream, orange and red, tender lettuces, baby spinach, delectable pea shoots, and French breakfast radishes, even shitake mushrooms grown in French Creek, W.Va., all transcend my meals to a whole new level of tastiness. With Chef Hawkin's recipes included in the box, I've created dishes such as Spinach and Shitake Salad with Citrus Dressing, Fresh Carrot, Feta, and Black Olive Salad, Asparagus Frittata, and even an Orange-Basil Mojito!  

In addition to the locally grown produce, I’ve come to look forward to the locally made products that are included, almost weekly, in my CSA box. Recently I have received Granola made with organic cranberries and West Virginia honey from The Crazy Baker located in Renick, W.Va. which I enjoyed for breakfast.

Pecan Pie Jelly by “The Stewed Tomato” that I used to top off a dish of vanilla ice cream, and West Virginia Maple Syrup processed and bottled for your enjoyment by Richter’s Maple House in Pickens, W.Va. that we used on the French Toast and Berries recipe found in the upcoming summer issue of WV Living Magazine.

I still have several weeks left of my Spring CSA and have already signed up for the early summer share. I’m discovering some
wonderful local food products and learning to eat seasonally. Fish Hawk Acres CSA has turned into one of my favorite adventures!

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