Friday, August 1, 2008

OLS #9: Pumpkin Mac & Cheese

I can’t believe we are nine weeks into the summer already! As more produce ripens, it’s getting easier and easier to prepare meals starring local foods. This week we had several, including roast chicken with potatoes and broccoli (all local) and a stir fry meal prepared with leftover chicken, local veggies and CA rice, but the meal I want to highlight is the night I made Pumpkin mac & cheese. The idea and recipe were a copycat of green bean’s meal last week. They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery – thanks for the recipe, green bean!

It was with fear and trepidation that I added a bag of last fall’s frozen pumpkin puree to the sauce for the mac & cheese. I added little by little, tasting as I went, but everything seemed to be just fine. The pumpkin greatly improved the color. I noticed a little difference in texture, but that is probably because I used the pumpkin that I had not pureed very well – I forgot there was one bag of puree that had not been processed through the food mill! Anyway, the mac & cheese didn’t taste quite as good as my normal baked mac & cheese recipe, but it was very tasty just the same. No one (read: my husband) noticed the peculiar addition and Munchkin ate every bit on his plate for dinner, and leftovers for lunch the next day. Smashing success! Along with the mac & cheese, we had all-local string beans and fruit salad.

Macaroni, salt & pepper: non-local
Milk, butter, cheese: Lochmead & Tillamook, both local
Pumpkin puree: local from last summer’s CSA
String beans, peaches, raspberries: local farm stands
Blueberries: six feet outside my kitchen door

I read recently that caterers for the democratic convention are complaining because the organizers suggest that the food be 70% sourced locally or organic, they want at least three colors (red, green, yellow, blue/purple and white) and no fried food. Purportedly, the democrats have been ridiculed on Leno and they've taken a beating in other news media as well. I’m sure it’s harder on a large scale, but I fulfilled their requirements almost every night this week without even trying. Maybe they should hire some us us to cater their convention!


Hannah with Tillamook said...

Wow that sounds unusual, but delicious. What a perfect treat for this fall or summer.

Donna said...

Hannah, Thanks for dropping by! I'm sorry, I forgot to include the link to the original recipe, so here it is:

Green Bean said...

Donna, that's sweet of you to point it out to me. I'm just happy to help get some pumpkin out of the freezer and into some kids. ;-)

Donna said...

gb: Well, it was a great idea!