Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Thank you, Julia

Sunday night I made Boeuf Bourguignon for our last dinner with the kids home. It gave us a break from the turkey leftovers, but also presented some challenges for our eating local efforts. The recipe is an update of a Julia Child recipe that is on Epicurious and a favorite of ours. The meat was no problem - the beef from a ranch in Riddle, Oregon. The four slices of bacon are cured at New Seasons, and originated at a ranch in Silverton. The onions, shitake mushrooms and new potatoes all came from within our state. But, for some reason, all the carrots at New Seasons were Californians. I had thought that this time of year, I'd be able to get more local carrots. Might have been able to do that had I checked out other places. But, this is the dilemma I sometimes find myself in with the eating local challenge. I might find a product grown within a hundred or two hundred miles if I drive to several places that are not close to my home. Or, I can go to the New Seasons market that is .6 mile from my house where they make an effort to buy local, but sometimes get produce from further south. There are a couple of farmer's markets that are also quite close and would surely have had the carrots, but it is past their season now. So, California carrots was what I used.
The other dilemma was the wine. We have wonderful red wine grown and made here in Oregon. But, I haven't found any that are inexpensive. And, with two cups going into the stew, it's hard for me to justify paying $20 or more for a bottle when I can get a reasonable tasting, but much cheaper red for this purpose from elsewhere. I promise to make up for it by drinking lots of nice Oregon pinot noirs!

So, if you are looking for a nice winter dinner, this could be done with a fairly high percentage of local products - especially if you live in California. As my sister-in-law said: you can hardly go wrong by cooking a good piece of beef for a long time with a lot of wine and vegetables.

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