Sunday, September 18, 2011

Earth's Bountiful Plate

But ask the animals, and they will teach you,
     or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you;
or speak to the earth, and it will teach you,
     or let the fish in the sea inform you.
Which of all these does not know
     that the hand of the LORD has done this?
In his hand is the life of every creature
     and the breath of all mankind.
Job 12: 7-10 (New International Version)

On the second Sunday of Creation Time, the sermon asked the congregation to talk with the Earth, to question our over-use of its bounty, to help those who do not have an equitable share of that bounty, and to give thanks for being blessed with abundance. I couldn't feel more fortunate than contemplating tonight's dinner plate full of healthy, tasty, local food. We are most certainly blessed.

Last weekend, my cousin and his wife shared an extremely easy recipe for an extremely tasty pork tenderloin along with the sweetest tomatoes from their garden. The season's first apples were purchased at Springridge Farm yesterday on my somewhat circuitous homeward journey from the fall fair. I arrived minutes before closing time and didn't have time to explore what appeared to be a very fun farm playground so I'm looking forward to another trip . . . perhaps at pumpkin time.

The last of the season's fresh peaches ended our meal on a soft, creamy note. Farewell and adieu, fair peach of Niagara.

And now for the recipes:

Marinated Pork Tenderloin
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoons steak seasoning spice
1 teaspoon dried garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
pork tenderloin (1 small tenderloin served 3)

1. Place pork into a resealable plastic bag. Pour in balsamic vinegar, spices and olive oil. Seal bag and rub the marinade into the meat. Marinate overnight, or at least 2 hours.
2. Preheat oven to 375 F. 3. Place pork and marinade into a glass baking dish. Bake for about 1 hour. Internal temperature should reach 145 degrees F (65 degrees C).
3. Let the roast rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Meanwhile, create a gravy by transferring the marinade to a pot and mixing in 1-2 tablespoons of flour.

Spiced Apples
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 medium apples, peeled and sliced

1. In a medium skillet, combine the first six ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until slightly thickened.
2. Add apples; simmer, uncovered, until apples are just tender, stirring gently. About 8 minutes.

Source: Taste of Home

Potted Peaches
3 tbsp (45 mL) sugar
3 tbsp (45 mL) water
2 cups (500 mL) peaches, peeled, pitted, and diced small
1 farm fresh egg
1 tbsp (15 mL) sugar
1 cup (250 mL) mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup (125 mL) heavy cream
Peach wedges for garnish

1. Warm the sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves.
2. Add the peaches and remove from heat.
3. Stir well and let the peaches steep in the sugar water until room temperature.
4. Strain, reserving liquid and chill in the refrigerator. (Note: the reserved liquid is not used to complete this recipe. I don't know what to do with the peachy sugar water, but it's yummy.)
5. Beat the egg and sugar together in a bowl over simmering water just until thick, about 2 minutes.
6. Removed from heat and add mascarpone cheese; blend well.
7. Whip the cream until soft peaks form.
8. Fold the cream and strained, diced peaches into the mascarpone mixture to form a marbled effect.
9. Spoon into four custard cups and chill well.
10. When ready to serve, top with a peach wedge. Makes 4 servings.

Source: Lynn Ogryzlo's Niagara Cooks from farm to table. Definitely check out this beautiful cookbook that is far more than a recipe book: it is a celebration of local farms and their bounty!

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