Eating well when you're busy

For The Recorder
Published: 1/17/2017 1:17:55 PM

Finding, preparing and eating locally grown food is generally easy for me. We are so fortunate in Franklin County — my regular shopping routines include many sources of locally grown food. I have many easy, low-prep-time “standard” recipes for which I keep ingredients on hand. And, I try to keep my life fairly steady with work and other commitments, leaving time for play and household tasks.

Then, there are weeks like this one. Writing this article on Sunday, looking ahead at the week, I thought, “Wow! How will I eat well amid all of this busyness?” This week, along with my regular 20-hour per week writing/editing job, freelance writing for GCC, writing this column, creating an index for a big book, attending meetings as co-chair of Conway’s Planning Board, I’m also one of two organizers for a big event happening in downtown Greenfield on Saturday. So, there is not much time for shopping or cooking.

On my list of event-planning tasks — between “get volunteers” and “create list of stuff to bring” — I put “make soup.” This is the kind of week where my squirreling away local food in the freezer and pantry makes it possible to keep eating locally grown food.

What’s going in my soup? Check out my recipe below.

My freezer also has Diemand Farm turkey pot pies for an easy lunch and ground beef and bacon from Bostrom Farm for a quick bacon and eggs meal or hamburger. When I chop the potatoes for the soup, I’ll also cut up sweet potatoes I stored from the fall and roast them for a tasty snack. Maple pickled beets and bread and butter pickles from Barberic Farm are another snack or meal addition. In the freezer, I also have some frozen slices of meatloaf I made with locally raised meat and vegetables.

I have lots of Clarkdale Fruit Farms goldrush apples on hand (after this week, I want to dry more of them) and Benson Place blueberries in quart bags in the freezer. I keep a supply of local eggs on hand (either Diemand Farm eggs I get at Greenfield Farmers Co-op or Conway eggs from Farm On A Rock: farmonarock.com

Clearly, I’m going to eat very well this week, without spending much time shopping or preparing food, thanks to local farmers and planning ahead.

I’ll be able to restock my freezer and pantry at the Feb. 4 Greenfield Winter Farmers Market at Four Corners School — this year’s Winter Fare event. Along with the market, Greenfield Winter Fare will include a food swap, workshops, kids’ activities, music, and more. Keep an eye on The Recorder’s Food and Farms page and CISA’s website: bit.ly/2jpd4AM to get Winter Fare details.

For the Feb. 1 Food and Farms page, I’m collecting recipes featuring locally grown foods available in February. Please send me your recipes to include on that page: mmcclinto@yahoo.com

Mark your calendar for Montague Catholic Social Ministries’ first LASAGNA Bake-off on Friday, Feb. 10, 5:30 to 7 p.m., Our Lady of Peace, 90 Seventh St., Turners Falls. This tasty benefit wants you to enter your favorite lasagna in the bake-off. For information, call 413-863-4804, ext. 1001 or email: susan@mcsmcommunity.org

This week we’re eating ...

“Too Busy to Cook” Turkey Soup

By Mary McClintock of Conway

Here’s what I’ll throw into a big soup pot:

Diemand Farm turkey I roasted in November, sliced up, and froze.

Turkey stock made from the carcass of that turkey and frozen in quart-size containers.

Leeks from Coyote Hill Farm in Bernardston that I sliced and sauteed with butter and froze in ziplock bags.

Spinach and potatoes I bought from Coyote Hill at the last Greenfield Winter Farmers Market.

Herbs I bought at the summer Greenfield Farmers Markets, dried and stored in my cupboard.

It won’t take long to put it all in a pot and let it simmer and meld together as I work through my task lists.

Local food advocate and community organizer Mary McClintock lives in Conway and works as a freelance writer, editor, and book indexer. Send column suggestions and recipes to mmcclinto@yahoo.com


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