Thursday, February 02, 2006

Eat Local Challenge
Better Luck Next Year

We have clearly reached the limitations of eating local in the dead of winter. Even our stock of potatoes dwindles. Yes, we do have apples, but at this point we parse them out amongst winter fruits like oranges. We use our freezer stock. Just the other night, we evoked summer wonderfully with de-frosted pesto and green beans, along with keeper 'tatoes. On the other hand, basic dishes like braised short ribs require us to sneak into some store to buy a few carrots and a stalk or two of celery. We do feel pure when we use Farmer Vicki's package of dried thyme. We cannot get by simply on local.

I always feel a twinge of guilt when I unfold my cash to purchase something non-local/outta season. Still, I channel my frustration into inspiration for future challenges. We need practice, and we need failures to know how to do better. Clearly, we need to stock up better on "base" ingredients like carrots. We also have to manage better our biggest cheats, store bought salads. Of course when I eat a beet salad prepared by a local Polish market I feel in the spirit of eating local, but next year I want to put away my own salads and salad-ish type items. January's prepared beets should be local beets. We should be able to get by.

We have two months until the start of Farmer Vicki's spring CSA. We are going to continue to "be local" these months, with our stocks and storages. We recognize this will not get us far in our daily meals. We will use the period to learn. Come next February 2, you should see a different response to getting by in the Eat Local Challenge.