Dark Days: Kale, Ham and Potatoes

March 29, 2010(updated on October 3, 2018)

Dark Days Dinner

We’ve come to the end of the Dark Days Challenge. Along with participants all across the country, I’ve been cooking one intentionally local meal every week since November. I’ve eaten lots of my own home-canned goods, along with brussels sprouts, potatoes, Lancaster County meats and dairy. As a result of shopping with the challenge in mind each week, my everyday eating has been far more local than it ever has before.

Last night’s meal was basic but good. A ham steak from Meadow Run Farms, cubed and browned. Some Rittenhouse Farmers’ Market kale, wilted with a bit of garlic. And some little red potatoes, lubed with a spoonful of bacon fat and roasted in a cast iron skillet (if you don’t roast in cast iron, give it a shot. The spots where the food comes in contact with the hot pan get brown and crisp).

I have a confession to make about the potatoes, though. The exact ones you see on the plate there, they aren’t local. I bought them at Wegman’s on Sunday afternoon. You see, I thought I had potatoes still in the fridge, so I didn’t buy anymore at the farmers’ market on Saturday morning, when I bought my kale and unpictured carrots. They were right there, but I’ve been trying not to overbuy food, and I virtuously skipped them, falsely remembering that I still had a few leftover from the buying club.

However, since the potatoes could have been local, I’m counting this as my final Dark Days meal. I’ve already given myself so many exceptions, what’s one more?

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5 thoughts on "Dark Days: Kale, Ham and Potatoes"

  • I can’t count the number of times I’ve done exactly what you describe — failed to buy something LOCAL at the winter market because I thought, for sure, I had it already at home.

    Was excited to find that one of the local farmers at our market this week is carrying microgreens grown in their hoop-houses. They were pricey, but I couldn’t help myself. Those crisp mustard & radish greens just SCREAM “light at the end of the dark days tunnel” to me!

  • This is such a great series-for-a-cause. Every meal looks better than the last, too!
    We’re looking forward to sourcing plenty of local food in our new area this spring.

    Oh, come on spring!!

  • what a great series! i found out too late in the game but would love to be part of this if you do it again next year!

  • I think it’s so ironic that you, in center city, can get fresh local food in the winter while we in the ‘burbs have little or no access, other than the local eggs I can buy at Landis’s Market and a few other odd things.

    Your meal there looks absolutely delicious and I am now starving for lunch! 🙂