Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Fallling Off the Wagon :(

Whoa, it sure seems like I've fallen off the Eat Local wagon lately. In trying to analyze, it's not so much that we aren't eating a goodly portion of locally grown foods as it is that I haven't been doing much thinking or planning. Lots going on, including eating a number of meals elsewhere - at friend's houses or restaurants or Christmas parties. And, currently, I am in a clean out the refrigerator mode since we are heading out of town on Saturday to spend Chrismas in Alameda, California with my sister-in-law.

Now that I think of it, though, last night's dinner was largely local. I started out making a pork chile verde. It ended up to be more rojo than verde, however, based on what we had available. The pork and most of the vegetables were local. But, I did use some commercially canned tomatoes and am not sure where they came from. The whole wheat tortillas were made locally. But, we also had brown rice which is a travelling item.

The next week will be similarly haphazard because we will be on the road. Since we'll be in California, I'm thinking there will be lots of options that are local to where we're spending the holiday, but I won't be the one doing most of the meal planning. That will be a nice change from the usual large gatherings here at our house for Christmas. In any case, I should be able to get back on the wagon and do some more careful thinking and planning after we return. Although, my main farmer's market will be closed by then, so that will really add a bigger challenge to the whole game.

But, then, that's OK. My main theme of this blog is having more time in my life to do things I think are important. Never thought it would all be easy.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Fa-la-la-la-la

On the theme of trying new tricks, I have been curious about how to include a video clip in the blog. So, I am going to make an attempt with this high class musical interlude.
video

And, on the further theme of high class musical events, we had our last rehearsal tonight for my singing class recital on Thursday. Grady is nobly suffering with the disappointment of being unable to attend. His sister is conveniently arriving at the airport at the same time. I'm wondering how much he paid her to schedule that arrival time.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Brrrrr! Redux

OK, I don't know what is with my luck at outdoor shopping. When I went to the Farmer's Market last weekend, we had snow during the 45 minutes I happen to be there (keeping in mind it seldom snows in Portland). No snow prior to that and none since. Until today, that is. And, this time it came just when I arrived at the Saturday market (an outdoor arts and crafts market). No sign of it before my outing and none during the remainder of the day. I have the feeling I'm not going to be welcome at these markets anymore. I could have gone on Saturday when it was sunny and warm. But, I had decided to wait until Sunday so I could go on my way home from church. Another of my resolutions in my "new" life (i.e., life beyond school) is to think more about my trips in the car and to try to consolidate them and eliminate as many unnecessary trips as possible. So, rather than make a special trip just for that on Saturday, I waited to combine it with another trip in a similar location - and got the snow! I was hoping to buy some Christmas gifts to support local artists and came home with some cooking utensils in beautiful hardwoods from trees in this area.

I made another local meal this week in addition to the squash and pasta. It was a quiche which we had for breakfast this weekend. Eggs, milk, bacon, cheese, arugula and shitake mushrooms all from within a 100 mile radius.

I'm attaching a photo from the crafts market. Mainly all it accomplishes is to prove I was there - the snow was too light and my camera too basic to be able to see it coming down. But, I can tell you that those stands selling the fleece hats were very popular.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Locavore Week 8

Well, it's not really week 8 for me since I was a late joiner to the challenge. But, in any case, this is one of our local meals for this week - Baked Goat Cheese and Roaster Winter Squash over Garlicky Fettuccine. This was one of my more successful local meals since darn near everything came from easily less than our 200 mile winter radius- the squash, goat cheese, red pepper, fettuccine, garlic. The exceptions were olive oil, salt and pepper, and I have no idea of the origins of the crushed red pepper. Also, the salad items all qualified - lettuce, arugula, radish, green onion. Plus, it was all delicious! I used the delicata that I got on my snowy outing to the Farmer's Market. This meant I could leave the skin on the squash and it roasted up very nicely. This was another recipe from my "Best of Cooking Light" collection.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Brrrrrrrr!!!!


I have to admit that, when I think of going to the Farmer's Market for vegetables, my mental image is warm summer mornings or cool, sunny autumn Saturdays - walking from stand to stand, checking it all out, thinking about what I can cook that week and then buying produce from farmers in our area. It's more than grocery shopping - it's an experience in the outdoors, sometimes seeing friends to chat with. Ahhh...now, doesn't that sound lovely?
What I do not picture is 35 degrees and snow - rushing to the nearest stand and buying whatever they have there rather than shopping around. We seldom get snow in Portland, but, the one brief allocation of it came yesterday right at the time I had available for the market. So, I bundled up and went for it. In actual fact, it either got warmer while I was there or I got used to the cold because I did spend more time wandering about than I had originally thought I would be able to tolerate. So, it was a pretty happy adventure after all in spite of the frigid temperatures. And, who I am to complain when I can get fresh fruits and vegetables from nearby farms on December 1 in our climate?!
One of our local meals this week will involve that delicata squash, the red pepper and Nonna's handmade linguine that you see in the picture up there. Nonna, or someone who must be a very good friend, had hooked up a small heater with a fan to a canister of propane gas from her grill to keep warm while selling her pasta in the cold outdoor market. More on the squash and pasta later.