Catching up now since I was out of town much of the past two weeks - in California and at the beach.
That time before, during and just following Christmas were a difficult time for me to keep up with the eating local challenge - other people cooking, eating out, using up what was in the fridge, and then travelling. But, now that we are mostly back at home and I have more control over the meal planning, I'm returning to my goal of participating in the Dark Days Eat Local Challenge. In between Christmas and New Years, we had good friends for dinner. Santa had brought me "The Art of Simple Food", Alice Waters' wonderful book of lessons and recipes. So, my first meal from it was the Autumn variation of her Minestrone Soup. It may not be entirely clear from this small photo, but it was beautiful. You may be noticing that the visual appearance of food seems to be important to me as well. It's hard not to notice these great combinations of colors and textures.
I used a squash that might be an Ambercup. (Our farmer friend Katherine was was there for dinner and had another name for it, but I can't remember what she called it.) In any case, it has a bright orange skin and a luscious golden orange flesh. I used this in place of the recommended butternut. Kale also went into the soup, so the dark green and the golden color were very pretty along with the cranberry beans. These and all the other vegetables in the soup were grown in our 200 mile radius.
My other mostly local meals recently included the fritatta on New Year's morning and our New Year's Eve dinner at the beach - salmon and a risotto with shitakes, leeks and a Willamette valley goat cheese. And I can't wait to try more things from my new best friend Alice.