Sunday, October 5, 2008

An Apple A Day

It seems that October is the wrong time for me to start challanges. For the past several years I have been aware of, inteded to be involved in, but unable to keep up with the various October Eat Local Challanges. Not for lack of trying but October is a bad month to scale back on anything. Yes, local produce is in abundance, the change of weather makes me yearn for homemade soups and my intentions are always the best. Then life gets in the way. Job changes, impending holiday expenses, unexpected medical bills, metal fatigue and a sudden onset of cooking apathy. What happens next is that I suddenly find myself at the end of October eating convenience food manufactured in hong kong and yearing for the fancy produce shipped in from a land far, far away even as the freshly picked local produce sits languishing in my refrigerator crisper or the bottom of my pantry.

This year was shaping up to be much the same. I was already in a no clean dishes when I need them equals no time to cook mood and had let several bunches of late summer spring onions dry out and get tossed when I ran across something that reinvigorated my will to source local and organic. It may not live up to the average Eat Local Challange participants standards but its a start and even something I know I could do. Eat an apple a day every day in October. Simple, right? Im too lazy to try to track down who started it but I crossed it on a Farm to Philly post late last night when I was too tired to be reading anything but to awake to be sleeping, the best time to aimlessly browse the internet. My take on this challenge will be to eat a local apple each day in some way shape or form without prejudice to the nutriousness of the dish; raw apple, last years canned applesauce and apple pie all being equal.

The frist thing I did with our first CSA provided crop of local Gala and Golden Delicious apples from Marker Miller Orchards and the Braburns from Bigg Riggs was to make the apple pandowdy from Cooks Illustrated. I used a mix of all the apples and I dont remember which I used or which worked best but they all were delicious. I had that for desert every night until Wednesday. Didn't eat any local (only the ones in the Starbucks pack) on Wednesday but Thursday, Friday, Saturday and today I finished off the Braburns in raw slices and whole. DD has been demanding the canned apple sauce from last years crop almost every day too.

I pack my own share from the CSA and with the new delivery of Red Rome apples I choose apples over my portion of potatoes (since I already have many), pears (not a big hit with DD) and green beans (had them continuously for a month) [note to self: next year blog about share w/ weight and totals]. Now I have of 20 green, red and golden apples packed into the crisper, some as small as 1/2 my fist others the size of almost 2 fists. I'm sure I'll be able to find many ways to use them and in a pinch a raw apple makes a healthy dessert.

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