Dark Days – Week 5 (yes?) – Breakfast for Dinner or Acorn Squash – Your Choice

December 18, 2009

This week we ended up with two relatively SOLEful (sustainable, organic, local, and ethical) meals. You can pick your favorite.

Option 1: PANCAKES!  And local, ethical (weak on the sustainable and organic) pork sausage.

I made the pancakes.  I always make the pancakes – but usually I make them from a box.  This time I found a recipe for whole wheat pancakes on the web and modified it for my egg-allergy.

I used local whole wheat flour and the local, ethical, sustainable (but not organic in the winter) milk. pancakes The oil is just your basic canola oil, the sugar is organic, the baking powder is from wherever baking powder comes from.  For the eggs I use Ener-G egg replacer.  They were actually really, really, good.  I figured that pancakes involved a lot more ingredients carefully combined – and that is why they sold mixes. HA!  Pancakes are really easy!  And it must be this local flour – these were great with just a little texture to them.  

For those who wanted sweetness with their pancakes there was organic maple syrup (not local) or local corn cob jelly (one of the ingredients is “corn cob squeezin’s”).  It has a very delicate flavor (which is a nice way of saying not much flavor at all).  Frankly, I think the sausage and jellypancakes taste best naked.  I’ve frozen the leftovers for tomorrow’s breakfast.

The pork was mixed with some Penzey spices (breakfast sausage blend) and was very tasty.  What more can you say about sausage?

We needed something fruit or vegetable-ish – so organic apple slices were chosen.  Again, organic, but not local.  Seems we can generally do one or the other: organic or local – it’s harder to do both unless we eat salad everyday (with no dressing).

Option 2: Acorn Squash. 

Yesterday, the kids were both gone for dinner (at a rehearsal for a special by-invitation-only-choral-concert — pretty cool!).  My husband and I could eat whatever we wanted – so we made acorn squash.  That’s it.  Just an acorn squash each.  My plan had been to make some fresh butter and use some local honey to sweeten it – – it would be simple, elegant, and SOLEful.

So we made acorn squash.  We couldn’t find any cream for fresh butter but we still had butter that I made last week – you may recall that it never did separate from the butter milk and the butter milk in it started to sour the next day.  Well, it is past its prime now.  But it was ok for the squash. acorn squash My husband, however, used brown sugar in the acorn squash when he cooked them (albeit organic brown sugar – but not local – we can only make assumptions about it’s sustainability and ethicalness).  So much for using the definitely local honey. 

Having only an acorn squash for dinner seemed like we were cheating – although before kids we often had one item dinners.  Maybe I’m being too hard on myself.  Still, I’m mulling over some ideas for next week.  Now that the semester is over maybe we can plan ahead, or maybe we’ll have pancakes and acorn squash.



  1. I like to keep a jar (from apple sauce) filled with all the dry ingredients to make pancakes. Then it’s just like using a mix only it’s from scratch. 🙂

  2. […] Midwest Green had a couple of local meals: homemade pancakes with local pork sausage for the whole family one evening.  Then, when the kids were away, she and hubby made a meal of roasted acorn squash, nothing but acorn squash.  Sounds good to me! […]

  3. I’m still confused on what “sustainable” means. And for non-local items, do you order them online?

    • Sustainable has to do with how the item is grown or raised – is it dependent on chemicals and petroleum like typical agricultural products? Or is grown in a manner that “sustains” the earth (so fairly redundant with organic – though you don’t really talk about animals being raised “organically”). Local is where it is grown or raised – typically a 100 – 150 mile radius of your location – so that transportation isn’t contributing greatly to the item’s carbon footprint. Most everything you buy at the grocery store is non-local. Some things just have to be, not much coffee grown in central IL 🙂

      • OK, I get it now — thank you so much for explaining.

  4. I like one-item dinners, too. And yes, pancakes are easy and fun – it’s one of the things that both kids know how to make (and I’m hoping it will keep them from every buying a box mix with unpronounceable ingredients!)

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