It takes a village

November 14, 2010 at 12:03 am 5 comments

By Dee Reid

By the time I headed to Angelina’s Kitchen Friday night I was tired and hungry. After a long day at work I had no energy to cook.  Only one thing would do — Moussaka. Angelina makes the most heavenly baked eggplant outside of Greece.

I was sure I would arrive too late. It would be sold out and there wouldn’t be any more fresh local eggplant until next summer. I hurried.

The parking lot was packed and I could see a small mob crowding the register. Not a good sign.

But, as always, Angelina and John worked their magic. They had plenty of Moussaka to offer, and much more.

Angelina’s Kitchen is not your ordinary carry-out cafe. It’s a virtual community center and farmer’s market. Whenever I stop there I meet a new farmer or artisan, or I learn something about where my food comes from.

Standing in line in front of me this time was Screech, the furnace repair man who’s famous for growing hydroponic lettuce year round, which he sells at the Pittsboro Farmer’s Market on Thursdays. He caught me up on his expansion. He now has five more greenhouses next to Piedmont Biofarm on the edge of town, where he also grows cucumbers, peppers, parsley and tomatoes. He’s hoping to begin selling direct from the farm once a week next season.

Screech and his family were overwhelmed by the choices on Angelina’s daily specials board. They insisted on stepping out of line to give it some more thought while I ordered my Moussaka.

This wasn’t just any Greek casserole. It featured the last eggplant of the season grown with love by Jason and Haruka at Edible Earthscapes, just 5 miles down the road in Moncure.

Angelina wanted to cook something special because Haruka’s parents were visiting from Japan. Her Moussaka included pasture-raised ground beef from Murray and Esta Cohen in Silk Hope, and the Bechamel sauce was made with Homeland milk and butter and stone ground flour from Lindley Mills.

No wonder Angelina calls it “Chatham County in a casserole.”

But that wasn’t all. I decided to also try the Touroulou, featuring more Edible Earthscapes eggplant roasted with Bennett Farming sweet potatoes, cubanelle pepper and olive oil, Screech’s tomatoes and a touch of garlic, served with Lundberg brown rice. Perfect for a chilly evening.

While I waited for John to pack up my dinners, Angelina scraped out the last spoonful of Moussaka from the pot for me to taste. Just what I needed. The week-end had officially begun.

As Angelina says, “It takes a village to make a delicious local dish.”

And a Greek-American goddess to show us why that makes all the difference.

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Entry filed under: Sustainable Farming, Sustainable Food, Uncategorized. Tags: , , , , .

A great year for pecans It takes a village, II

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Carol Peppe Hewitt  |  November 14, 2010 at 12:25 am

    So very true, and she also works her magic as a caterer. We are enormously lucky to have such a treasure in our community.
    Thank you, Angelina,

    Reply
  • 2. Robert Sprenger / aka Door Doc  |  November 14, 2010 at 2:23 am

    Great post. Perfect description of Angelina’s…..Now I’m hungry all over again.

    Reply
  • 3. Angelina  |  November 14, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    you are very generous Dee – most of the credit does go to the whole circle of folks involved in making each dish happen. my job is to stir the pot and serve it : )

    thanks for the lovely feedback

    Reply
    • 4. Dee  |  November 15, 2010 at 9:11 pm

      You have transformed our community in so many ways. Keep stirring!

      Reply
  • 5. It takes a village, II « sustainable grub  |  December 2, 2010 at 11:55 pm

    […] took a village once again to assemble my supper tonight –and that’s why it tasted so […]

    Reply

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