Yep - instead of gifts this year, I gave food to all adults in my family, in the form of one family meal a month at my house. The kids get to come along as well, even though they still got gifts :)
And Sunday night was the first supper: pulled pork on a bun, cole slaw and baked beans.
Hey - I said supper, not "gourmet meal".
And when you are feeding 9 guests on a budget, well, the meals will tend more to simple fare. Tasty, but simple.
I simply put two roasts (combined weight ~6 pounds) in the slow cooker in the morning, added a couple of bottles of BBQ sauce, and cooked on high for 6 hours, took out the roasts, shredded the meat with two forks, added that back to the slow cooker, and cooked on low for another 2 hours. If I do this again, I'll use either larger cuts, or boneless cuts, since running out of food is not a good thing!
I used this recipe for the baked beans, and it was GOOD. Fantastic. Yummy. I could have eaten the entire thing - and I don't like beans. And yes, I realize adding sugar and bacon to beans turns a healthy food into a not-so-healthy food, but, wow - so good! The only thing I did differently was to use my cast iron skillet for the entire recipe - why cook everything in the skillet, then move to a second dish to bake it? Reason #3085 I love cast iron - oven proof!
The cole slaw was a family recipe: grate one carrot, chop up some cabbage (I used half each of a red and green cabbage), then add the following dressing:
I really prefer vinaigrette dressing on slaw, and this one is nice and simple. I also add a few twists of ground pepper once the dressing has cooled. And make this ahead of time - it just gets better with time.
1 cup vinegar
2/3 cup oil
3/4 cup sugar (I cut this back to 1/2 cup)
2 teaspoons salt
Add everything to a sauce pan, bring to boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt, then cool before using.
I picked up these two local wines - one from Pelee Island Winery and one from the more local Strewn winery. Both under $12 a bottle, and both quite good. I love living in an area with so many wineries!
Oh, and the dogs say having company is tiring!
Now, this wasn't the most sustainable or locally-sourced meal, but it could be. I want to work on the baked bean recipe so I can use home-grown dry beans. I also need to find a home-made BBQ sauce recipe I like, and that can be made mostly from stuff I can grow. The salad, other than the dressing, can be also completely home-grown. And of course, one could make the buns as well, if one could actually learn to work with yeast dough. Yeah.
So, by growing the beans and all the veggies, by making the BBQ sauce and buns myself, and by using locally-sourced, sustainable produced pork and bacon, this meal can easily be a local, sustainable one! With local wines :)
Now, on to next month...