Dark Days Challenge for the South Region: Week 4

Another great week during this Dark Days Challenge. It is fun to see what everyone is cooking up and the variety of ways to prepare different things. Some of the participants are getting ideas from recipes that they read and some are getting inspirations from meals prepared by other participants, and some have their own style of cooking altogether. It is wonderful to see the common themes and the diversity all at the same time.

Let’s jump right in:

AnnieRie (MD) at AnnieRie Unplugged has created a complete page on her blog for her “resource list.” If you are living in Maryland (or nearby) I highly recommend you check it out. For this weeks meal she uses some of her first homemade sauerkraut. Baked sausage, sauerkraut and apples. She prepared a nice spinach side salad and finished off her meal with roasted root vegetables.

Susan (VA) at Backyard Grocery baked up Chocolate truffles and chocolate chip meringues – how’s that is make you drool. She was invited to join some friends in a “Day-Long Bake-a-thon” and went into it with the Dark Days Challenge in mind. Using local eggs and local cream, the rest of the ingredients that she used were sustainable, organic and ethical. They filled boxes and boxes of cookies that day. What a fun day.

Victoria (MD) at The Soffritto made a beautiful tomato and roasted red pepper soup. Using home canned tomatoes and home canned roasted red peppers, she added homemade chicken stock and some other veggies. The trick to the smooth looking soup is to use the stick blender. Visit her blog to see her beautiful soup along with her recipe and local resources.

Jackie (NC) at Southern Fried Goodness cooked up some southern goodness alright. Pulled pork, old school braised greens with Indian dumplings, honey glazed roasted carrots, and sweet josie brown ale.  With a new puppy under foot and unexpected guests dropping by, she definitely had some distractions. Her meal was a big hit not only with the friends, but also a 10-year old that wanted seconds. Stop by her blog to see her recipes and also her list of local resources.

Jessica (SC) at Eat.Drink.Nourish. challenged herself to cook some totally new-to-her things for her meal this week. Bacon wrapped stuffed duck breast (say that 3x fast) with cheesy stone-ground grits. This isn’t her first time eating duck or grits, but it was her first time cooking both. The duck came from her father-in-law from a local hunt and the rest of her ingredients she was able to find locally also. Living on the SC/NC border she is close to many local resources. Visit her blog for more photos and links to her local resources. She even has a nice butcher in the area that specializes in local meats.

Jes (VA) at Eating Appalachia made a delicious Roasted Pumpkin, Turnip & Garlic Soup with Balsamic Vinegar. This soup sounds delicious. All that roasted goodness and flavor that come out of the pumpkin, turnip and garlic into a soup. She was inspired by a recipe she saw called balsamic roasted root vegetables and thought why not a roasted vegetable soup with a splash of balsamic vinegar. Jes was feeling a bit under the weather. I am sure the soup put a smile on her face. Just reading about it put a smile on my face. She has posted the recipe on her blog and also a list of “Local Loot”– go check it out. Thanks for the inspiration!

Rebecca (VA) at Eating Floyd has a little trick up her sleeve. When her garden was producing peppers hand over fist she stuffed them and froze them so she had some effortless meals ready to pull out of the freezer and cook this winter. She said it felt like she was cheating (which she isn’t), I say she is brilliant! Adding some of her home canned tomato sauce and baking the whole thing, the sauce reduced and her peppers look marvelous. Head over to her blog to see addition photos and information. She also has a link to how she stuffed and froze her peppers. I will say it again – absolutely brilliant.

Liz (VA) Family Foodie Survival Guide made a lovely lamb soup for her meal this week.      Soup is such a great meal with the temperatures outside are on the nippy side. Liz let her soup base simmer away with lamb bones, carrot tops, celery and clove studded onions. That simmering surely brings out the best from the bones and warms your house all at the same time. After straining her broth she then added the lamb meat, potatoes, carrots, dill & garlic. She topped it off with locally made feta and served a locally made ginger beer. Visit her blog to see more photos and check out some of her resources.

As we creep closer to a new year, I hope you have found some inspiration in more than one way whether you are participating in this challenge, or just following along. Maybe you are inspired to look for some local markets in your area. Maybe you are inspired by a specific meal you just read about. Either way, I hope you are enjoying this challenge.

Sincerely, Emily

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2 Responses to Dark Days Challenge for the South Region: Week 4

  1. Susan says:

    I want to make all of these recipes! They look fantastic. Thanks for doing the off-cycle recaps Emily. I feel loyal to my South region and want to know what everyone is doing every week 🙂

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