Monday, June 29, 2009

Bring Georgia Home (supporting local farmers)

There's a lot of buzz about Buying Local or Buying Regional now... whether for environmental reasons (reducing one's carbon footprint- though there is some debate about the legitimacy of this), improved quality, or just to support local business. Whether it's Fresh from Florida, Georgia Grown, Make Mine Mississippi, or another catchy tagline, many states are putting funds through grants and marketing dollars toward supporting local farmers.

Personally, I like the idea of buying to support the farmers. Did you know that there are just a handful of peach farmers left in Georgia!? And this is the peach state! I had the opportunity to speak with a fourth-generation peach farmer a few weeks ago for work and it was incredibly interesting. I'd love to see more people understand where their food comes from. Oh, and by the way, most of the supermarkets in your city probably do carry Locally Grown produce items. Some just do a better job than others communicating it.

But enough lecture, let's celebrate just some of what Georgia offers. This post idea originated as I was making dinner Saturday and honestly it didn't even occur to me that much of these items came from Georgia.

Wild Georgia Shrimp and Vidalia Onion Grits
Note that the grits are from Georgia as well! And if I used Sweet Grass Dairy, the cheese could have been from Georgia.

* Marinate shrimp in 1 tablespoon olive oil, 2-3 cloves minced garlic, juice from 12 lime (or lemon), and splash of soy sauce.

* Turn grill onto medium-high heat.

* Meanwhile, prepare Caramelized Onion and Grits. I was captivated by Vintage Victual's Vidalia Contest and used the recipe here though I substituted smoked mozzarella for the goat cheese.

* Toss shrimp on grill till pink; turn. Cook for about one more minute.

* Serve shrimp on top of grits with side of veggie. (I should have used Georgia-grown zucchini, but the Georgia meal idea occurred to me after I started dinner).

Georgia Blackberries (with some California Raspberries) Cobbler, inspired by Martha Stewart

* Pour 20 oz-worth of berries into a 5x11 (roughly) baking dish.

* Sprinkle with 4 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons heavy cream (I used half and half).
* Cut 1 stick cold butter into little cubes. Using a pastry blender, incorporate butter into 1 cup flour, 1/2 tablespoon sugar, and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Drizzle 1 1/2 teaspoons ice cold water and form dough into a ball. (you may use less water if it's a particularly humid day). You can incorporate in a Cuisinart too, but I think it makes the pastry a little more tough.

* Roll out dough to cover the dish. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in fridge to chill for 15 minutes.

* Preheat oven to 425.

* After the dough is sufficiently chilled, place on top of berries. My version looks pretty crappy, as I let it get too cold and it cracked, but hey, that adds to the homemade goodness, right? Plus, when it's baked, doesn't it look better?

* Bake for 25 minutes. Serve by iteself or with ice cream!

Enjoy the fruits (and veggies) of your state! (or if you're lucky, your own garden).



  1. My mouth is watering for some vidalia onion grits! Yum!

    YES! YES! YES! to always buying local! Way to go!

  2. i'm definitely all about eating local, if possible. the dishes above look delicious.

  3. Love those prawns (the Aussie version of shrimp)!! x

  4. Love this post- I think buying local is great and it helps out your own community! That cobbler looks delish :)

  5. Yay for local!

    Kellie- or anyone else- does Australia and other parts of the world have the same push for local food of late? Or was it always there? I know a lot about US Grocery industry, but not much about international....

  6. Looks absolutely wonderful! Yum!

  7. I'm not from the South but have always loved Southern food. These recipes look like the perfect thing when I have one of my cravings. I am definitely filing these away for the very near future. I'll let you know how it turns out!

  8. YUM! I love buying local veggies and fruit - you can't beat the taste. But when it's out of season, I have no hesitation about buying import. For one, the carbon footprint can actually be LESS (strange, but true), and two, the countries we import produce from are usually much closer to the poverty line - you're keeping their jobs too.

  9. Yum!!! I would love to add one another as followers and keep up with your blog! Let me know if you would like to do so!:) Great blog!

  10. SFair- you are totally right about the carbon footprint. I alluded to it in my post but didn't want to start a big debate. :-) And you are absolutely right about the import countries. Totally different world.


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