Tips on Eating Locally in Early Spring

| 4/7/2011 12:13:54 PM

Early spring triggers many projects on our Ohio homestead. The fruit trees have been pruned, and we’ve checked to make sure all bee hives have enough food until nature again provides springtime nectar and pollen. When the ground’s not too wet, I resume last autumn’s task of hauling compost to the garden rows. Baby chicks are under warming lights and eggs from our heritage birds have been mailed for others to incubate. We await the birth of our Dutch Belted calves when we will be back into the twice-a-day milking routine. 

None of this current activity puts food on the table right now, and so we continue to eat from the root cellar, freezer or pantry shelf. Fortunately, eating locally doesn’t have to mean eating strictly “in season” if we have stored last year’s harvest. There are still potatoes, squash and garlic in the root cellar, dried beans on the shelf, and meat and cheese in the freezer. 

I call the following recipe “calzones,” though the ingredients I use would make Italians roll their eyes. Calzones are a baked pizza crust enclosing traditional pizza ingredients. Because I want the stuffing to be from our farm, the result instead resembles the South American “empanadas.” Empanadas sometimes have a flakier crust and may be fried or baked. Empanadas also have a varied filling depending on where they’re made. At our house, this recipe’s ingredients depend on when they’re made. Here’s how I make “calzones” at this time of year: 


Calzones (recipe makes five servings) 

calzone with yogurt and pesto dipsBegin by making basic pizza dough; then cook the ingredients for the filling while this dough is rising: 

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