Saturday was our third convening of FCA -- as our kids like to call it – and definitely the most successful. This morning I asked my kids if they thought so, and why.
Morgan: “Because everybody helped cook?”
Audrey: “Because nobody complained about the food?”
Me: “Well, yes, it was nice that no one complained, but I was thinking, yes, that it was so fun that everybody was helping cook almost the whole time. Also, I just thought the food was really good. What was your favorite?”
Both: “The Pie!”
Me: “The pumpkin pie was really good.”
Morgan: “I meant the Sweet Potato tart.”
Audrey: “I meant the pumpkin pie. But I really liked the pork, too.”
It was such a great “harvest menu” as my friend and FCA collaborator Annie called it. (I call it the sage and lemon and separated eggs in everything meal.) We decided to take our inspiration from the Farmer’s Market as usual, but I had found a recipe in “Simply Organic” for PANCETTA AND LEEK-STUFFED PORK CHOPS. Annie hadn’t been able to find a local purveyor of free-range pork, so we decided that we would try this recipe, but make only 4 chops for 8 people – and talk to our families about the concept of meat taking a supporting rather than starring role in a meal. This being better for our bodies as well as the earth. Then, we stumbled upon Candy the butcher at the Friday morning Venice Farmer’s Market. He described how his pork comes from pigs who live in the mountains outside of Sacramento, foraging untouched by humans (until their demise). We decided to keep the pork as one of the “sides” but were very excited to try it.
Here’s our menu (in alphabetical order except for the dessert so as to give all equal billing):
BITTER GREENS SALAD WITH MINT & POMEGRANATE SEEDS
CHARD BUNDLES WITH LEMON RICE & SAGE BUTTER
GREEN BEANS WITH DILL BUTTER
PANCETTA AND LEEK-STUFFED PORK CHOPS
SWEET POTATO, RED ONION & FONTINA TART
PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE PIE WITH CORNMEAL CRUST
I would recommend any of these recipes for upcoming Holiday meals. Most of them do require a bit of work so extra hands and extra time help, but all sooooo scrumptious and worth the effort. We spent 5 ½ hours cooking, talking and eating and it was such a relaxing and fun day. The kids came and went, but they spent such a lot of time at their cooking tasks, even the little ones. James was on Chops, Jeb on Chard bundles, Annie on Tart and Beans, I rode herd over salad, the overall time frame and kept the utensils coming and going (Morgan & I had to make the pumpkin pie in the morning as it needed 4 hours to chill). We’d only have earned the meal more had we grown all the food ourselves!