Monday, August 6, 2012

Local Flavors

On Saturday, a trip to our local farmers market inspired me to work on my list of 37 before 37 ~ try five new vegetarian (vegetarian meaning eggs and dairy products are okay but no meat) recipes this year. Two down, three to go!

First up,

Dill Pickles

At the farmers market, one grower had small pickling cucumbers that looked crispy and delicious. Rob mentioned that his grandma used to make pickles and they were a favorite.

In a saucepan, combine:
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 cups white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of pickling salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
Bring it to a boil. Wash and place 36 cucumbers in a container. Add 5-6 sprigs of fresh dill. Add 5-8 cloves of garlic. Pour boiling mixture (above) over the cucumbers. Put in the refrigerator. 

EASY! These pickles are yummy - so crunchy. And of course, have a different texture than pickles you buy at the store. 

It's only been two days but already they are pickled. I'm guessing these won't last another week before they're gobbled up. Even the kids loved them. You should have seen the surprise to learn that pickles start out as cucumbers

Before baking

Farmers Market Veggie Tart

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix together:
  • 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup ice water
Mix until a soft dough forms. Roll out on work surfact to fit pan. I cooked mine in a 9-inch springform pan. Trim the edges. Spread 2 tbsp dijon mustard on the crust. 

After baking
  • Next saute one sweet onion (sliced thin) in a bit of olive oil for about 20 minutes until golden and soft. Add 1 tsp of balsamic vinegar, cook 5 minutes and set aside. 
  • Saute one medium zucchini until golden (about 5-7 minutes). Set aside.
  • Slice two large tomatoes. 
  • Layer the veggies (above) starting with the tomatoes. Keep layering, overlapping the veggies until all are used. 
  • Sprinkle 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil over the top of the tart. Sprinkle 1/4 cup parmesean cheese over top (I also added three tbsp of feta cheese). 
Place in oven and cook for 20 minutes. Slice into 8 slices and serve.

Both of these recipes were divine and Rob and I agreed we'd try them again. Next time, I'll try marinara sauce instead of dijon mustard on the crust and I'll add some artichoke hearts. 

Back to my weekend, after walking around the Farmers Market, Rob and I decided to visit our local museum. Rob's never been and it's been a while since I was there. Our local museum is housed in a former national guard armory built in 1935.  First a few interesting facts on our town:
  • Klamath Falls (and Klamath County) is named after the Klamath Indians that lived here for thousands of years. 
  • Klamath Falls was founded in 1867 by George Nurse and but was then called Linkville, after the Link River that runs right through town. The name was changed in 1892.
  • The Klamath Basin didn't start to really grow until 1909 when the railroad came in. Even though Oregon became a state in 1859. 
  • Our county is home to Crater Lake National Park. It was the nation's fifth national park, established in 1902. 
Back to the museum, it was a wonderful mix of history. It had quite a bit of information on the Klamath Indians as well as one of the most known conflict - the Modoc Indian War. It had information on the military presence here that includes Kingsley Air Base. During WWII, Klamath welcome soldiers at a newly constructed Marine barracks. The museum was full of interesting facts, trivia, and exhibits. The staff and volunteers were nice and ready to share their knowledge. 

The museum has a new exhibit about our area's forests. Klamath County is 6,000 square miles, 75% of which are national forests. The forests provided jobs for many years in the form of logging. The forests have long been a source of recreation for hikers, bikers, campers, hunters, and more. The exhibit is the newest (I believe) at the museum and it was put together very well. I even learned a couple of things I didn't know. Here are a few photos:

The exhibit showed the various ways our forests are used.

The exhibit did a nice job showing all the uses of the forests - jobs, economy, recreation, etc.

It also featured examples of the wildlife that inhabits the forests like this elk.

And of course, our state animal - the beaver. This fun exhibit allowed kids like me to stick our heads through and see what the inside of a beaver den looks like. 
 Rob and I left wondering how many in our own community don't know about the wonderful museum. Looking at the visitor log, I didn't see any on the page that had signed in from Klamath Falls but it was exciting to see visitors from nearby like Washington and California but as far away as Germany and India. 

I'm often telling friends and family that we take home for granted. The museum reminded me to appreciate our area and its rich heritage. 

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