Monday, May 01, 2006

Eat Local or else!

I have SOOOOOO many things that I could write about but Sam was away all weekend and wants some attention so I will keep it short.
Today the Eat Local Challenge for 2006 begins. For more info check out Life Begins at 30.This is an issue near and dear to my heart. I eat locally as much as possible but I know that I can do more. My focus has mainly been produce, meat, dairy and eggs but I've gone so far as to buy local vinegar and mustard. I refuse to give up coffee. I have tried and I now accept that I am a much happier person with coffee in my life. So the challenge for me will be to dig deeper and search out things that I have assumed couldn't be found locally. Hopefully I will find new local pleasures and I will try to limit my intake of out of area treats. I once read somewhere that Alice Waters no longer eats mangoes. That's why she is a Saint and I am a mere mortal. For the month of May, though, I will eat the berries I froze last season.
We are very lucky in Madison. Our farmer's market has already begun. I hope to spend much of the month writing blurbs about some of my favorite local producers. (Sadly, that may not be many posts so I may continue this feature throughout the summer.)
I did no advance planning for the Challenge so today was not the best but here's what I ate:Breakfast was leftover bread from my adventure with fellow Madison food blogger The Foppish Baker. We made Vietnamese Banh Mi yesterday, but that's another post... Slathered on the bread is homemade Black Currant Pinot Noir preserves made with local fruit.Lunch was a taco salad. This is something Sam and I made several times this winter when we craved something junk foody but not really horrible for you. We make homemade baked chips from corn tortillas. When I can't get local, I fall back on organic. Of course local and organic is the ideal. This lunch is a good example.

Organic ingredients:
cheddar cheese
red onions
iceberg lettuce (yes it does exist and it really is ideal for certain uses!)

Local ingredients:
cheddar cheese
tomatoes (more on these in a later post)

cotija cheese
chipotle hot sauce

I didn't take a picture of dinner. We had beef tips in tomato jalapeno sauce, which wasn't local except for the corn tortillas we ate it with (yes, we currently have both local and seperate organic tortillas in the fridge. We usually buy the local kind but the organic were new and I thought I'd try them out). On the side we had local watercress which I got for free from the Engel Bros. because no one else was buying it. And to wash it all down? Homemade hard cider and mead made from local cider, honey, cherries and black currants. Below is a picture of the cider.


At 11:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 4:35 AM, Blogger lee said...


At 9:17 AM, Blogger allisonmariecat said...

Yeah, spam comments suck. You can turn on the word verification or moderation, which I had to do.

Give up mangoes? No way! I'm not the poster child for eating local, since my husband and I shared a pineapple for breakfast this morning. Every year, my parents get us the Harry & David Fruit of the Month Club for our anniversary :)

There are foods like avocadoes that I could never give up (and I'm *from* California, so they count as local for me, right?), but I applaud your eat local challenge. We're trying to do more of that as well.

Your five-spice plum butter? Awesome.

At 11:23 AM, Blogger the foppish baker said...

I tried your canned fruits and they're amazing! We had guests over the other night, so I made an Italian sponge cake and served it with vanilla ice cream and the fruits, warmed. The banana coconut is my favorite, and it and the chocolate pear are already gone. Thanks so much for sharing them. I hope to try the Chinese plum sauce soon too.

At 7:33 PM, Blogger lee said...

Allison- I'm glad you like the plum butter. As for the Harry &David fruit, maybe you should have your parents check out the Harmony Valley fruit CSA. Harmony Valley is local but they teamed up with a distributor to do a fruit CSA that isn't local but it's all from small, organic farms. It's great. You can find info on the web.

the foppish baker- I'm glad you ate (and liked!) the preserves. It's so nice to share them with people who appreciate it instead of putting them on a shelf and waiting for a special occasion. I say homemade preserves are special occasion enough!


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