We've been cooking with local food every week. Really! I just can't seem to keep up the blogging of the local meals for the Go Local Challenge. So here's a meal from the other week. Maybe I'll blog two Go Local Meals this week in an attempt to catch up with Heather's challenge.
One of the ways we've attempted to eat healthier and more locally the past two years is subscribe to Organics to You. Organics to You is a little like a CSA crossed with the old-time milkman delivery. Every other Tuesday a "small bin" of produce is delivered to our front door. Organics to You contracts with thirteen local farmers to buy their produce. During the off-season they purchase organically-grown foods from a local distributor. Usually these off-season foods come from California or Mexico. But even in the winter time we get some local food---onions, apples, chard, mushrooms, squash.
We like Organics to You because it forces us to eat our vegetables---they're here, we already paid for them so we'd better eat 'em before they go bad. We've also learned to eat and appreciate vegetables that weren't on our usual grocery store shopping list---kale, swiss chard, winter squash, among others. Sometimes I have to call up my vegetarian friend, Amy, and ask for help identifying or figuring out how to cook an u.f.v. (unidentified flying veggie). We've learned that pretty much any vegetable can be sauteed in butter with a little garlic and everyone is happy. I've also been using the Simply in Season cookbook because it is organized seasonally and has cooking suggestions for all kinds of vegetables. I just discovered that their website also has the handy-dandy fruit and vegetable guide. Check it out!
The other week we made the Spring Celebration Soup in an attempt to use up a LOT of vegetables in one fell swoop. It's on page 36 for those of you who care. It is veggies in chicken stock with a shot of lemon juice to zing it up. It's the kind of food you couldn't have forced me to eat before the age of 21 but now I find fresh and appealing. I thought the lemon was a cheerful, Greek-inspired addition. The Wise and Bearded One wasn't such a fan. However, he cooked up some lovely steaks--also locally-grown, grassfed--so the meal worked for him too.
Cooking meat is really his job since I'm not fond of handling raw chunks of flesh. He did the work last summer of tracking down local beef and pork farmers by walking around the farmer's market and talked to various vendors until he found farmers who were willing to work with him to purchase a 1/4 beef and 1/2 a pig. So now we have a freezer half-full of meat to be eaten whenever we remember to thaw some of it.
What do you do to get your family to "eat your vegetables"? Have you found other ways to "shake the hand that feeds you" as Michael Pollan recommends? We're always looking for new ideas so please comment below. Or take on the challenge yourself and tell us about YOUR local meal.