Saturday, July 26, 2008

One Local Summer challenge - week 8 (and weeks 6 and 7, too)

I know the premise of the One Local Summer challenge is to eat at least one completely local meal each week, excepting spices and oil perhaps, and report the details for compilation in weekly regional report. But given the last few weeks, I think it almost would be easier to report what we ate that WASN'T local.*

Our garden is supplying the basis for every meal. Green beans, four kinds of potatoes, zucchini and yellow squash, green and red cabbage, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, beets, onions, chard, sugar snap peas, blackberries, blueberries, garlic and all kinds of herbs (even bay leaves) come in to the kitchen fresh every day. The pantry still has 40+ pounds of local wheat ready for grinding and baking in our twice-weekly bread batches and the freezer's stocked with local meets like beef, venison, chicken and a bit of lamb. We collect over 2 dozen eggs every day and my sister has kept us supplied with local fruit as it comes in season -- this week it's been donut and regular peaches, earlier in the month it was sweet cherries. All we've had to pick up at the store the last few weeks has been local milk, a box of orange pekoe tea, and a bag of granulated sugar to make sweet tea -- I like mine unsweetened (heresy, I know) but I can't convince DH and DS that it's better that way tho we all agree adding fresh-picked mint or lemon balm/verbena is a good idea. As for the milk, I keep telling DH we need a cow or at least a couple of dairy goats but so far no luck.

Today was the first day for regular eating tomatoes. Lunch was a couple of red ripe tomatoes on toasted homemade whole wheat bread spread with homemade mayo. A sprinkle of kosher salt and black pepper made the sandwiches perfect. To go along with them we had Harvey House slaw from our own cabbage and onions, sliced cucumbers and a bowl of just-picked blackberries with a spoonful of top cream from the milk jug. Now that's a local meal.

*Non-local foods or ingredients used in our kitchen over the last few weeks:
-oils (olive, sunflower, peanut, sesame)
-sugar (DH uses it in his coffee every day and it's always in the pitcher of tea otherwise we mainly use local honey, maple syrup and sorghum for cooking)
-unbleached all-purpose flour (baked a couple of cakes for the local fireman's lawn party fund-raising effort)
-rolled oats or old-fashioned oatmeal (tho farmers around here grow oats I haven't been able to find a local source for rolled oats)
-dried beans (pinto, kidney, garbanzo and black beans -- DH has grown kidney beans before but it's been a few years)
-seasonings and canning supplies like salt, black pepper, mustard seed, vanilla beans, distilled white vinegar, and pickling lime

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