Posted by: A Part of the Solution | March 16, 2010

A Locavorous Menu

I’ve agreed (possibly in a moment of temporary insanity–I know that will be my plea) to host the Bedford County Chamber of Commerce After Hours event on April 22nd. Whoever had originally agreed to do it backed out, and the Chamber staff asked me since I’d indicated interest. My past experience as a caterer makes me fairly fearless when offering to feed hordes.

Everything will be done by then. The steps to the porches will have handrails. The bathrooms will have low-flow toilets, faucets and showerheads–as well as handmade, locally sourced toiletries. The downstairs bathroom will be painted.

The  linens will be stored. The coverlets will match the rooms in which I spread them. There will be appropriate rugs on the floors where they’ll work best. Lamps will have shades, chimneys, long-enough cords and easy to locate on-off switches. Chairs will be sturdy. Drawers will pull readily. Beds will… have simple, box pleated, bed skirts. Otherwise, the lot of them are in a state of permanent perfection.

I have glassware and stemware and luncheon plates to beat the band. I have plastic utensils and wooden toothpicks. I have napkins, both disposable and not. I’m ready to display the standards that will bring Earth Day home to people who still live several steps closer to the land than I ever have.

Of course, merely being ‘green’ isn’t enough for me. I looked all over Pennsylvania to find the right place for us to settle. We traveled hundreds and hundreds of miles spread across different weekends of finding the sights we wanted to see. When I located the farm, everything seemed right about it and around it. So I’m attached to the idea of ‘local’. I want the food I serve on Earth Day to represent what it might mean to tourists and travelers to eat a selection of food from a specific region.

I’m thinking stuffed mushrooms. Pennsylvania produces a huge share of the mushrooms we see in grocery stores all over the country–but they really do come from here. I’m thinking I’ll stuff those mushrooms with local cheese and some homemade bread crumbs. I’m thinking I can make asparagus (or if the gods of the wild-craft are with me, fiddle-head) quiche. Again, the milk and cheese come from around here. And there’s still a local mill cranking out the yummy grains. I’ll use one of their products for the base of the quiches.

There’s a bison farm up the road. I make a mean sweet-and-sour cocktail meatball. I could do it with the local bison and become an instant folk hero. Green pea and mint dip would look stunning next to Georgian spiced beet dip. And I would put together little black bread baguettes to showcase the dips. Best case scenario has the beets and peas coming from locally. We’ll have to see.

For sweets, I’ve been working  on a jam-and-dried-fruit bar with a lovely granola-like topping. There are lots of locally made jams I can use for that. There’s beer from around here, and wineries in the county. Those are my core beverages. It will be tasty!

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