Dark Days Dinner: Week 1

The Dark Days Challenge has started! At first I thought it wouldn’t be that hard because I have already been working on eating local and finding more places to buy local foods. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it really will be a challenge for some things. It will be a good challenge for me.

Local, within 100 miles. Hmmmm I quickly remembered that there are foods that I have struggled with finding locally and have gotten a bit lax about for looking lately. So, yes, a challenge this will be.

Wednesday night I made a good hearty health local dinner.

I was thrilled to find that there are many ranchers within my 100 mile local radius that sell meat. For the past 9 months I have been buying beef and pork from one of them.

Local Pork

Herbs are an easy one for me. I have several varieties of herbs growing, many of which I have dried also.

Sage & Thyme from the garden

Onions from a local farmers market or neighbor.

We are fortunate to have not one but THREE olive farms in the San Antonio area two of which are in my 100 mile radius; Sandy Oaks  Olive Orchard and Bella Vista Ranch. I bought some olive oil from Sandy Oaks back in May. Olive oil isn’t the only oil I cook with, but I am so happy to have a local source of oil. Every little bit that is purchased locally make a difference.

Ready to go into the oven

I am thrilled to report that this was good local meal.

  • Pork Roast – Local – 65 Miles away
  • Sage & Thyme – local – walked out back to the herb gardens
  • Onion – Local – neighbor’s garden
  • Sauteed Chard on the side – local – walked out back to the garden

Vegetables will be reasonable easy because I have a great winter garden growing with broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage. Also several beds planted with lettuce, spinach and chard. Also out there are onions, leeks, carrots and turnips. I will also have access to fresh seasonal veggies from local farmers markets.

The one main struggle I have is finding local flours and grains. Stay tuned! I hope to find some local sources. Crossing my fingers!

I have saved the drippings and bones from this roast so I can make up a nice pot of broth. That will make a great start to another local meal very soon.

If you would like the join in on the Dark Days Challenge, you have until December 4th to sign up. Head on over to (not so) Urban Hennery to read the rules and sign up. Check in with us over at Not Dabbling in Normal to see how everyone is doing. I will be posting on NDIN every other Sunday in a recap for the “south” region. On the alternating Sundays I will do the recap here at Sincerely, Emily.  The Challenge runs from November 27th, 2011 through March 31st, 2012.

Additional information

Sincerely, Emily

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8 Responses to Dark Days Dinner: Week 1

  1. Jes says:

    Feral pork sounds so intriguing! I mean, what a good way to cut down on invasive species & to eat 🙂 Your pork roast sounds delicious! I wish TX weren’t so big because I’m sure you’re nowhere near my friend Ginger who mills her own grain and makes the world’s best bread. No, seriously! She moved from Catawba, here near Roanoke, back home to be near her parents after her husband died, and also moved her bread bakin’, grain milling business. But, with a quick google maps search, Alpine’s really darn far from San Antonio.

    Anyway, thanks for hosting the south region–can’t wait to see what everyone’s whipping up!

    • Hey Jes, thanks for stopping by. The rancher I get my beef from sells feral pork from time to time. They have many wild hogs roaming around their area and they are mindful about how they do it. From what I have learned when they get too big and older they aren’t as as tender or palatable, so this rancher watches and waits and “harvests” the younger ones before they get too big and too old. I have found it all very tender and to have good flavor. The last half hog I bought was 21 lbs. Neat to hear about Ginger and her milling business. If I ever drive back out to AZ or CA I will keep her in mind, it wouldn’t be that far out of my way at that point.

  2. Pingback: Dark Days Challenge: Week 1 – East « Not Dabbling In Normal

  3. Pingback: Dark Days Challenge | Sincerely, Emily

  4. Joanna says:

    I am going to keep reading these posts as I think it’s such an interesting project, finding all your local producers and everything. Great work 🙂

  5. J. Searcy says:

    I had never heard of feral pork – wow! And how cool is it that you have an olive orchard near you!?! I feel like I use olives and olive oil everyday! Great stuff 🙂

    • Hi Jessica – thanks for stopping by. The pork is wonderful! The olive oil too. I bought it at an olive festival in town, now I just need to go to the actual orchard and check it all out and buy more of course!)

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