Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Eat Local Quandry Solved

I checked in on the Eat Local Challenge--the quest to eat as much as possible in our house from food grown with the states that roughly comprise the Big Ten Conference (and I mean in our house, we fail miserably to stick to the Challenge when eating out)--last week. As it turns out, after ridding ourselves of the mess, as well as some key buys from insider Eat Local sources, we are pretty well stocked. We are not digging into the freezer. Instead, we have fresh carrots, turnips, kohlrabi, lettuce, and tons of potatoes. Yet there was one big problem.

Garlic, we were about out of our stash of locally grown garlic. Spices are an Eat Local problem, fer sure. Garlic is not an Eat Local problem. Many growers around here have garlic. We bought a lot through October, but it turns out not enough. In our house, we really need garlic to cook. So much so that we had to give in and buy a head at a supermarket, probably from China, geez. Luckily, we spent Saturday in Milwaukee, visiting our beloved Public Market. The Milwaukee Public Market is a real treasure for Eat Local fans. Lakeside Meats sells "Yuppie Hill" chickens; the cheese people have all manner of (local) artisinal cheeses. And produce; frankly in the past, I have thought the produce vendors did not sell enough local produce. There's still too much foreign produce for me, but I'm a 1/2 full kinda guy. I loved the fact that they were selling local garlic. I bought all they had out, enough for a good time.

Other local produce for sale on Saturday were apples, potatoes, spinach (very expensive!), and beets. The Challenge gets easier this year.