Friday, November 21, 2008

Yesterday, G. cooked a snack!

Ok, I know that probably should not have an exclamation at the end of it. It's not as though he never spends any time in the kitchen. He is, in fact, a Master of The Omelette, and if we had one, I'm sure he'd be a Master of The Grill, too.

The truth is that I am usually the one doing most of the cooking because I LOVE to cook (when I don't have time constraints) and not because G. doesn't want to help. I also have more experience with what I have dubbed "Found Object Culinary School," wherein I try to create a meal out of whatever is hanging around in my kitchen. Often, it works out great. Sometimes, well, we just won't talk about those "experiments".

Anyway, yesterday neither of us could decide if we wanted dinner or not. I wasn't quite hungry enough to justify cooking a meal, and G. was still full from a late lunch. Eventually, he decided he would use up the sweet potatoes from last week's CSA and make some sweet potato fries. Well, they weren't really fries, more like discs, but they came out really beautifully.

Crunchy on the outsides and soft in the middle, and that beautiful orange laid out in concentric circles on a platter. Add in a couple of episodes of my guilty pleasure show, Clean House, and we've got a winner! With practice, G. may eventually be dubbed Master of the Sweet Potato as well.

(In other news, dear readers, I have asked for an idiot-proof digital camera for the holidays, so hopefully by the start of 2009 I'll be able to post pictures of all of our cooking adventures.)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

CSA joy

This is the third week I've picked up a huge bag from my CSA program, and it's also the third week I've been unsure if I could even finish everything they've given us!

This week the package contains:

Two heads of beautiful hydroponic lettuce

Four sweet potatoes

One enormous Winter Squash


Broccoli Rabe

Green beans

and Apples.

I have never really been a fan of salads, but for the past few weeks I've been eating this incredible lettuce with a little bit of goat cheese (also from a local farm) and slices of apples -- It might be my new favorite light meal.

Another wonderful discovery has been that Carlton Farms nearby sells raw milk. Milk was one of the things I was concerned about finding locally but it turned out to be easy. My mother picked up the first delivery for me and called in a panic, worried that she'd bought the wrong thing.

"It says PET MILK on it!"

(Once I explained that they had to label it that way because it was raw milk, she calmed down.)

I took some bananas that were going bad from work and made banana muffins with the eggs and milk from Carlton farms last week and they were a perfect morning snack.

So far, the Eat Local Challenge has helped me discover some new foods and made me enjoy cooking a lot more. I'm looking forward to continuing this trend.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Eat Local October

Jennifer Maiser, the editor of the ELC site, has asked all of the participants in the October Eat Local Challenge to create a short statement of participation and to describe the goals and limits of our personal challenge.

1. What's your definition of local for this challenge?

For the purposes of this challenge I define local as being within 150 miles of my location. Since I travel often I will try to eat "locally" wherever I go as well and to seek out restaurants that support local farmers.

2. What exemptions will you claim?

* Coffee.
* Spices.
* Olive Oil.
* Things already in my house that were previously purchased.
* Food that is gifted to me or offered by family/friends.
* When eating out socially, I will choose restaurants that support local farms.

(I am still looking for a local source for grains, and hope to resolve that soon.)

3. What are your goals for the month? To cook at least one meal per week that is made up of entirely local ingredients, and to use mostly local ingredients the rest of the time. To learn to cook more with seasonal foods and try something new, to build relationships with local growers, to heighten my awareness of the effort that goes into getting food to the table, to eat more vegetables.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Here it comes.

O Fall. O Glorious Autumn. Let me revel in your squashy delight.

Yes, the pumpkins have arrived! It's officially October, which means that most of my favorite rich, starchy, lovely vegetables are ready to be cooked with.

This is a genuine candid picture of my delight at seeing the huge mound of pumpkins piled up at the Whole Foods in Midtown last year on the first day of October.

October also means it's time for the Fall Eat Local Challenge! I will be participating here and via twitter and The Eat Local Challenge Website all month long. I've also been gathering resources for anyone in the Atlanta area who would like to do their own Eat Local Challenge, so be on the lookout for that post which will be coming in the next couple of days.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Waiting for Strawberries

I know, I know, I don't write...I don't call...

In case you're wondering (mom), no, I haven't already starved to death.

My food challenge got pushed up a little bit due to the two weeks in a row that our farmer's market got rained out. Though I was disappointed that I wouldn't get to start right away, I was very glad that Georgia was catching up on some much-needed rain during this terrible drought. If I want to support local farms, I can't complain about the rain, right? I even sloshed my way down to one of the rain-or-shine markets one day to get some swiss chard and salad greens from one of the three folks who braved the weather.

This past Saturday it was sunny when I woke up, so I headed down to the market... only to get rained on as soon as I parked the car! The intermittent showers turned out to be a great opportunity to chat with some of the growers and fellow market shoppers because we would all have to crowd under one tent at a time and wait out the downpour, then scuttle over to the next tent and wait again.

This week's haul was wonderful: I was able to pick up some salad greens, leeks, carrots, potatoes, pork sausage, beef, and strawberries. Oh, the strawberries.

Usually strawberries come out pretty early here, but with the drought and the crazy temperature shifts I kept hearing from our growers that they were "Waiting for the strawberries." Well, they are finally here!
The folks from Riverview Farms had two big tables full of berries, and another grower from Athens, GA had their own display. These aren't the mammoth heart-shaped fruits you'll see at the grocery store, nor are they as perfect-looking, but they are real. These strawberries vary in size and shape, have notches and funny clusters of seeds instead of the neat rows of a conventional berry.

The biggest difference from a conventional berry? These taste like something. Something wonderful.
After eating an entire basket's worth by myself in one sitting and feeling positively drunk with Spring happiness, I can safely say that I will never buy another grocery store strawberry as long as I can help it.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


Right now I'm in the preparing stages for my personal challenge.
While I'm not an official Eat Local Challenge author, I'm hoping to do similar things with some of my posts in the future.

Some of you may be wondering what the heck I'm talking about, so here's a breakdown.

What's the challenge?

Starting in April, I'm planning to eat at least one meal a week that is made from completely local ingredients.
All of my meals will contain at least one thing that is from a local source.
Most of my produce will come from local farms and farmer's markets, and most of my groceries will be provided
by local companies.
I plan on continuing in this manner for a full year.

What do you mean by 'local'?

I'm going to try my damndest to get things from sources within 100 miles of where I live.. If not 100 miles, then 250 at the outside.
When I'm in another town, I'll seek out local food sources there.

Why in the world would you do that to yourself?

I don't see it as doing something to myself, but rather giving something to myself and to my community.
Sure, there are some things I will have to do without (my current panic button is the banana), but I have a feeling I'll be discovering many more new things. I'll get to meet local farmers, eat fresher foods, support the local economy, and participate more in the process of foods coming from farm to table.
Come to think of it, there are some things I'll be happy to do without: Hormones, preservatives, and GMOs!

I found a "Locavore's Pledge" on one of the ELC blogs, and thought I'd share it here:

If not LOCALLY PRODUCED, then Organic.
If not ORGANIC, then Family farm.
If not FAMILY FARM, then Local business.
If not a LOCAL BUSINESS, then Fair Trade.