Saturday, February 16, 2008

Simple Eating

I have had many meals over the past few weeks that have incorporated great local fruits, vegetables and meats. I have local fruits and vegetables that K and I picked last summer, canned and frozen, I have the last stores of apples, tubers and winter squash and I have great local farmers who butcher and deliver fresh meats to the farmers market. It is always difficult to eat local in the winter and I envy those in mild climates for their winter abundance. However, like many of my fellow locavores, the real crux of eating w/in our 100 miles, or however you definie local, is getting the things that take more than just a garden or land to obtain. Baking and cooking essentials like salt, baking soda, yeast, spices, coffee, some herbs and even flour are difficult to get local. It is possible but takes much more work and time than I have to spare right now. (I have been looking into grinding my own flour and making my own cheese but that will take some time to figure out).

These key ingreedients are often what keeps my dishes from being completely local. I have another problem becuase I like to try out new recipes and cooking techniques that often have me searching for ingredients that I have never used before or havent regularly kept stocked in my pantry. I have had to concede that in the winter in order to eat what can be obtained locally with little extra effort I have to learn to eat simple. Simple eating does not necessarily mean giving up good food or sacrificing taste but rather keeping the ingredients list short and letting the natural flavors do the work.

This morning I had my first "truely" local meal in a while. 3 local eggs (whites for me, yokes for K) and some home-canned local corn made a great simple omlet. My coffee was bought from a local framers market that locally roasts beans grown on a Hondouran coffee farm that emphasizes good growing practices, fair wages and great coffee. Simple and good. All that was lacking was some salt but I can easily do w/o. Im going to be looking at other simple dishes in the future.

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