ReLocavore: Redefining "local"

Back to Wisconsin, my cheesehead friends


Gross Corn, or 12 x 12 = 144

The going price at the market for corn in Vermont and New Hampshire is anywhere from 6 ears for $4 up to $1 per year – or $8-12 per dozen. As a kid, the teenagers in pickup trucks along the side of the road charged, at most, $2/dozen, and we could often talk them down to $1.50. In Madison, I could buy a bakers dozen ears (13×13) from a local sweet corn farm, and they’d even haul the bags to my car for $3.50/dozen, and often not charge me for the full Baker’s gross. The most offensive price in the Midwest for an ear of sweet corn is at the Sun Prairie Corn Festival where FIBs* and Cheeseheads get overcharged for sweet corn- $2/ear including salt and butter. Last year, I got lucky and coaxed a kid to $5/dozen and complained to everybody around about the price of sweet corn.  So, paying $8 for a dozen ears of corn offends my Midwestern sensibilities. I was not going to pay $8 per dozen to freeze corn this year. 

We headed to upstate New York over Labor Day, where fertile soil and normal market pricing mechanisms conspire to produce cheap, high-quality sweet corn. I was determined to buy as much corn as I could haul back and put it into the freezer for the year. I accomplished my goal. $4 per dozen. A gross of corn (a dozen dozen), and we produced 43 zipper bags holding about 2 cups of corn each. Mission accomplished. 

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How’d the Sauerkraut Come Out?

2013-09-29 15.41.03A few weeks ago, I started the Sauerkraut – or the salted, shredded cababbage as it was known back then… Now it’s matured into full-fledged sauerkraut. And it tastes like sauerkraut. It has a little bit more character than store-bought kraut, especially because it has less salt and because I haven’t applied any heat to kill off the culture. Otherwise, it’s mostly interchangable with the store-bought product.

In total, we had 4 pounds of cabbage and that became 1 quart and 1 pint of finished kraut.  (6 cups for the non-canning inclined).

That’s just enough for a batch of Cabbage Rolls and one dinner of kielbasa, mashed potatoes, and sauerkraut.

Now I have to figure out what to do with 4 pounds of red cabbage…


This week in veg: the vegetables have arrived!

As you may have noticed, this week in veg has been on a hiatus for the past two weeks. This is because Sam and I were in Wisconsin and we got to give away our CSA to some fortunate friends of ours. We are back this week, and while we were gone the vegetables seem to have arrived in Vermont! Looking back over previous weeks, we had lots of greens and one or two small and large groups. But this week we finally see real vegetables: peas, cabbage, beets the size of Apple. All those wonderful things that show up this time of the year and require a little more sun and a little more water to get the right size. I’m hungry!

1. Lettuce
2. Cabbage
3. New potatoes
4 shelling peas
5 cilantro
6 another head of lettuce
7 carrots
8 beets