It truly is the dark days now – that time of year when it feels like it’s dark when you leave and return – traditional Yule, or the longest night of the year. Our harvest-focused ancestors lit bonfires in the fields and wassailed crops and trees that provided them sustenance.
In Sweden they celebrate on December 13 with Santa Lucia day. On this morning the eldest daughter rises early to bake special breads, then wakes the rest of the family singing and bearing them while wearing a crown of lighted candles.
This week was a dark blur but I remembered to hastily photograph two partially eaten meals. This time of year comfort food talks to me.
Meatloaf made from a local grass fed cow, with cellared carrots, onions and celery from Jubillee Farm. The sauce is from home canned ketsup and Rockridge Orchards apple cider vinegar. The Jubillee Farm kale is creamed with backyard milk and the Jubillee potatoes are whipped and mixed with backyard milk as well.
The meatloaf lasted a few nights then got served into sandwiches.
The extra mashed potatoes went into patty cakes, mixed with shallot, Beecher’s cheese and Loki smoked salmon. I love making extra mashed potatoes because I can whip up patty cakes in ten minutes or less.
Now that December is nearly over Jubillee Farm has taken a six week break until their next session which means Dark Days meals will start getting challenging. While I have hundreds of pounds of local grains, backyard eggs, meat and dairy I still don’t have the garden going here which is going to mean visits to the dreaded grocery store or driving into Seattle to visit the UW Farmer’s Market, which I’ll probably do every other week. It’s ironic I may need to drive into the city to buy produce grown right here in the Snoqualmie Valley. Local food can be wonky.
How do you find local food in the winter where you are?