Shake a Leg for a Leg 11.11.07

November 11, 2007
Carter’s Mountain
Shake a Leg for a Leg
3 PM

When I ran into Sara Teaster at the last polo match of the season at King Family Vineyards, she was in the middle of a planning session for this as-then distant fundraiser for a survivor of Hurricane Katrina. After we caught up, offering sunny details of romantic and professional breakups, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and other chapters in our lives, Sara asked if I had any ideas about sourcing a local pig and someone to roast it. I promised to think about it. Well, I didn’t come up with a pig, but I did continue to think about feeding the masses…

When I got the evite to the event, I suggested to Megan from Roundabout that perhaps they would donate vegetables that I could craft into some sort of farm-fresh giveaway food. I imagined a lively autumnal table, vibrant with whole food and select printed material about the farm and its various endeavors. Sara was thrilled at the suggestion, and insisted on putting my name on the cup. I was tempted to instead promote my as-yet-unveiled business name, A Local Notion; however, after my dismal performance at the Agritourism Conference (I couldn’t string together any coherent picture of my vision or my goals) I realized that the name needs to be coddled, incubated, protected and fed if I expect it to grow into something worthwhile.

Megan ran over a laundry list of the late-season vegetables available: butternut squash (only about 1 ton left!), mixed greens and arugula, peppers (hot and sweet), savoy cabbage, and baby bok choy. While I considered making butternut squash soup, I realized that I lack the ability to make that much soup at home, nor do I have a vessel in which to keep it warm. I opted instead for local vegetable burritos, supplemented with lentils and brown rice. I sautéed the sweet peppers with onions and garlic, adding a bit of vinegar and apple cider to counteract their bitterness (not that it worked). The savoy cabbage got shredded, dressed with my own dried thyme and a dressing of vinegar, honey, plenty of salt, and minced hot peppers to form a bastardized ‘chilis en vinagre’. Finally, good-natured Dan Sheetz allowed me to co-opt part of Friday evening peeling, gutting and dicing baby butternuts; he even brought wine and his own knives. I started cooking on Friday and finished everything off on Saturday before heading up the mountain, but not before stopping at El Paso for the magical ingredient, Mexican and El Salvadoran crema.

I was fairly pleased with the burritos (in a break from tradition, wrapped in corn tortillas) although I would have liked to make a few changes. For one, the burritos were not very hot at service, and the butternut was insipid in its one-dimensional sweetness. The grill kept slipping askew because of the slant of the hill; after about an hour of wrapping burritos I finally straightened up to stretch my back and went to enjoy the party. All things considered, I had forgotten how appreciative vegetarians are when presented with a real food option at such festivals; nevermind their enthusiasm when they hear the food is local and when it tastes good. Mission accomplished.

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~ by a local notion on November 26, 2007.

One Response to “Shake a Leg for a Leg 11.11.07”

  1. Lisa- I would like to add this link to this post. Good Deeds come full circle- this week Erica just got her new leg. Thank you for all of your help on this projct. -Sara
    http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?section=news/health&id=5996378

    You can click on the link to watch the local news coverage on the final outcome of watching Erica walk!!!

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