Eat Local Challenge, Days 4-5, Baked Apples with a twist

August 19, 2010

Tomorrow is Day 6, and we're almost through the first week of the challenge. I am still just as excited about this now as when we started. Yesterday was a long day at work followed by giving a lecture at the Willy Street Coop so Woody made dinner and surprised us with home-made meatballs that he made on the grill and then added an onion sauce at the end from the stove.  It was  a good end to a day that started with what I think is the perfect food for late summer/fall:  baked apples, for breakfast. I used raspberries instead of lemon and it worked like a charm:

Baked apples

5 tart apples, chopped
1 handful fresh raspberries
a little water for the bottom of the dish
optional cinnamon to taste

Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.

This was the first time I ever gave baked apples to our daughter and she loved them! Like mother like daughter, I guess.

Today, I had more time to cook. We already ate all the beans I made on Monday so I made a huge batch of October Harvest beans today and made half of them into a pesto bean veggie soup for dinner and the other half I'll add to salads and meals later in the week. I also made an eggplant curry from the white eggplants I bought at Tuesday's market. And so curry? what's local about that? Well, here's where we get picky about what rules we are going to eat buy.

I've decided the most important commitment I'd like to have is not to buy food that is not local during this time. That means that every purchase is intentionally local and the meals follow from that. However, it's amazing what accumulates in the 'fridge and cabinet, and we do own spices from other parts of the, we've decided that if it's in our house, it's fair game.  Barbara Kingsolver's book "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" chronicles her family's journey through a year of eating local and they did some calculations to show that given the weight of such sundried items like spices, that the ecological footprint of these products are far less than bananas, for example. (Did I mention I'm losing a taste for bananas already? I'll have to freeze the rest of that browning bunch from last week). So, while I'm using more non-local ingredients than I originally imagined when I registered for the cleanse, I'm finding that a subtle shift in food and buying preferences is already happening.  Making this shift requires that I dedicate time to do more food preparation and cooking and so to make this a sustainable change for us, I'll need to keep planning accordingly.

Another big shift that is starting to happen for us is that our lunches are local. Lunch has been a convenience affair for us in the past. Woody is at work and usually goes out to eat with co-workers while I make a quick lunch of salad and beans that sometimes are from scratch but often are organic and canned.  We are having to purchase twice the amount of dinner food so that we can cook enough to have leftovers for lunch.  Besides having all main ingredients in our meals be local, this has been the biggest shift for us and I hope it continues.