Eat Local Challenge--Day 1

Aug, 15, 2010

Today we began a month-long commitment to eat local foods. For our family, this means not spending any food dollars on food not grown outside of our region in southern Wisconsin (technically, within 150 miles).  We have signed up for this "Eat Local Challenge" through the Willy Street Coop, in Madison, WI.

Here's how our first day went:  a few hiccups here and there since I didn't set aside time until today to really envision what we would eat on a day by day basis. Overall, pretty excited about the rest of the month and all the new foods and new recipes we'll learn.  I've stocked the fridge with local raw dairy, chicken, beef, lamb, butter and eggs and had loaded up on vegetables at the farmer's market from last Tuesday.  I've also bought three types of local beans and this is a big lunch staple for us.  For oil, we are using locally grown and pressed sunflower oil.

We started the morning attempting to use up some non-local staples in the fridge:  Almond flour (we eat mostly gluten-free) when into the pancake batter with the local eggs, butter, and whole milk.  When lunch came along, the fridge still contained non-local leftovers from last night's dinner that we added to a pile of baby chard and baby beet greens (from Sprouting Acres farm--so delicious!) with chopped patty pan squash, and cucumbers.

For a snack this afternoon, we made a smoothie with local raw strawberry yogurt, water, local blueberries and a few of the last frozen bananas in the freezer.  Yes, so far, we are getting a C on this eating local thing; next time, I'm going to use local pears instead of the banana but Woody made it so I wasn't complaining.

By dinner, we got the hang of things and I left a 4 lb chicken to roast in the oven while we went out for a walk with my daughter. We arrived back home 20 minutes late and I was worried the chicken would be too dry but it turned out fine! We had steamed green beans, chicken, and a german-style potato salad for dinner.  (need to acquire a local vinegar for future versions of this).

After dinner, I'm making chicken stock which I will cook down twice. The first time cooks the organs and the rest of the carcass so that the meat falls off for soup. Then, I will break the bones, and add fresh water, and make a second batch of bone broth--full of healthy fats for developing brains (that would be my daughter, Marian)! We will use the broth to make chicken and veggies soups but I'm also planning to cook some of the beans in the broth....

For tomorrow...we have three types of beans soaking: marrow fat (a new heirloom variety we are trying for the first time), october harvest, and horto (a lot like pinto).  I've set them to soak since late morning but some of the beans are still small so I'm going to let them soak overnight until they are more plump, and we'll cook them up tomorrow. These will form the basis of spreads, casseroles and salad toppings for the week.