Dark Days Challenge - an easy start

dI'm really quite terrible at this blog thing, but one of the reasons I started was to participate in things like dark days. So I'll give this a try.

It's the week before thanksgiving, and like a lot of people we are busy getting ready for company etc. So cooking isn't super high on the priorities list. Also, our freezer is jam packed, and I'd like some space for both make-ahead dishes AND leftovers next week! So, this week is a super simple, really tasty and mostly grown right here in our yard.



When I make eggplant parm in the summertime, I bread and fry up (or bake, depending on my mood) as many fruit as I have ready. It's a somewhat elaborate meal, so why not do a lot at once? I throw the extras in the freezer, and come winter I can assemble dinner in 5 minutes or so. Just layer tomato sauce (pulled from the freezer the night before), grated cheese, and still-frozen eggplant. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes to an hour, until everything is melted and heated through.

The eggplant and tomato sauce ingredients were grown in my yard (save olive oil and S/P). Cheese was Farmer John's awesome Parmesan, plus some more ubiquitous Wisconsin mozzarella. We do usually get FJ's provonella but they were out this week, and we supplement our very local cheeses with some more mainstream WI brands from the grocery store.

For my Dark Days parameters, I am trying to stick to the 150 mile range. We do 99% of our own baking here, so wheat may be a challenge for *all* of our bread items, but I'll try and source some local flour for DDs meals :) Mostly I want to highlight our backyard produce preserved for our Wisconsin winter, to show that eating locally doesn't necessarily mean frou frou or ultra expensive meals :)

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