Sunday, July 1, 2007

local food month: it begins!

as i see it, there are basically two ways one can approach local eating. one: when doing one's normal shopping, choosing the most local selection when possible. i.e., eating from the farmer's market for your produce, and choosing the canned beans that were made 200 miles away rather than 1000 miles away. two: changing one's meal planning and diet to reflect only what's available within a given area. as the month goes on, i'd like to skew my shopping toward the latter. it's a whole new way of shopping, cooking, and eating, but i'm interested to see what we'd find and what we'd miss. it's hard to feel too deprived in july, so this is a great time to start. last night we did get somewhat decadent for dinner. first off, though, was a stop at the garden for a small harvest of basil and lettuce, and, of course, to weed. why didn't i think of growing sunflowers? they're beautiful, and the seeds are high in iron, fiber, and...fat. mmm, fat! maybe it's not to late to plant a few. these shot up like no one's business. my tomatoes are off and running as well. the brandywines' flowers hang down toward the ground, and fall off at the most gentle touch. one tomato seems to be coming along... come on, little guy! we can't wait to eat you! until then, it's farmer's market tomatoes for us. for dinner, we had a nice green salad, a puff pastry tomato tart with goat cheese, pasta, and seared basalmic baby squashes. oh yeah. the puff pastry was rich, delicious and decidedly non-local. the plan had been to make a tomato tart for an office party on friday, but, alas, that was not to be. (sigh. i lost my keys and couldn't get back to the office until after the party was over. that was a bad day.) it was lovely in larger portions for dinner. also, orzo with a lazy chef's pesto: chopped basil and grilled garlic with grated cheese. it didn't have that unctuous luxury of that pesto mouthfeel, but it was all for the better, anyway. there was plenty of fat in this meal without it. this morning, french toast with a brown sugar caramel peach sauce. really good. the trick is not to add too much sugar - that way, you're just enhancing the peaches, and infusing the sauce with a wholesome peachiness instead of a cloying sweetness. let's run down the localness of today's meal: bread: local (spring mill, indiana) milk: non-local. organic valley. eggs: local. last week's farmer's market. sugar, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon: decidedly un-local peaches: local butter: non-local. organic valley. coffee: we ran out today, and the local roaster wasn't at the market yesterday, so not local at all. not terrible, but we can do better.

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