I can tell you that my second go at this post is going to be a whole lot shorter, what with Blogger losing the first time I wrote this up. It was a good reminder that everything I do here is as the air that blows by, nothing will keep.
What I wanted to share with you is my desire to eat seasonally and locally but that my military brat upbringing doesn’t give me a real locale to draw from. As they say, “I’m from everywhere!” So by default, where I am today, that is where I think I need to focus. Too bad, because the thought of geoduck really grosses me out.
Furthermore, in our culture, anything that is accessible from the 24 hour open grocery store is always “in season”. And more, what am I supposed to provide for my husband and children when they are hungry *now* and I think all I’m looking at are lush amounts of dandelion greens growing outside? It is a hard thing, this eating locally, and in its proper season.
Why do it at all? I dunno. Other than the obvious thousand-plus mile transport of unripened food stuffs that can’t be all good, eating in season sure makes food a lot more tastier and fun. Tomatoes picked from the backyard at the height of summer actually have flavor. Grocery store tomatoes here in January just plain *lack*. Eating in season means looking forward to peaches or corn on the cob or even apples.
Here’s a breakfast I enjoyed not too long ago, trying to keep local and in season. There were sauteed onions and garlic and shiitake mushrooms (from the store) and duck eggs from my yard and about the last of the dried parsley from my garden last year. I was looking at my plate (with the mayo-miso sauce side, mmm…) and thinking how, really, if I had the know-how, I could grow and store my own onions and garlic for the year, and learn how to do more mushroom hunting. My mushroom-friend recently told me she had spent time in Idaho hunting for morels (you know, those mushrooms that are $50 a POUND at the store!)….although, come to think of it, they look about as appealing as geoduck. But check out how yellow this dish was! Thank you, my free-ranging organic growing ducks!
Here’s another meal that we liked so much I made it twice. I made homemade noodles (flour, olive oil, water and fresh eggs), and while they sat waiting for the water to boil, I sauteed onions, garlic, shiitake mushrooms (craving those I guess), fava beans, asparagus tips, pea shoots, and some spinach from my garden. I finished them off with apple cider vinegar and white wine, and after topping the cooked pasta, we laid on some queso blanco (“white cheese”). Not only was it all pretty, it was very spring-y!
I got the recipe idea from Chefs on the Farm, which is a neat book highlighting different seasons on a dairy goat farm:
Another book I just finished reading was The Dirty Life. Other than a couple of unfortunate word choices, it was a fabulous read about a young lady from New York who leaves to start working a farm with her boyfriend. Now, she was a total new-bie at planting anything, much less trying to cook with whatever they had on hand and were growing. I laughed out loud at some of her experiences!
There were a couple of things I took away from this book: (1) I thought I respected farmers before but now I really, really respect them and (2) I never want to do more than “garden” and just keep dairy goats and hens. I love the fact I can shop the farmer’s markets more these days and I still have the crazy thought in my head that someday my trips to the grocery store will be far and few between, but I am thankful I don’t have to grow it all myself. And I am very, very happy that we are currently getting most of our meat from either our own animals (chicken and we hope someday, pork), or from friends (trout and beef).
Local, seasonal, eating. Does that appeal to you, too?