Wow! The more I read in the blogs of my unofficial mentors in the Dark Days Eat Local Challenge, the more I see I have to learn. These are some very smart people who have chosen to take the time to understand so much about food production and how it gets to our tables. There is no shortage of things for this old dog to learn these days.
Meanwhile, I plug along with my modest commitment to at least one local meal per week and more as I am able. This past week one evening we had roasted chicken and vegetables. The chicken came from KoKoolan Farms in Yamhill.
Among the vegetables, all but one were locally produced - yukon gold potatoes, shitake mushrooms, onions and arrugula. I added an orange pepper that we had on hand, leftover from something I'd made previously.
Last night I made a pasta sauce with a wild caught salmon fillet, more of the shitakes and onions, half and half from Wilcox farms up in Washington, and some vodka that originated in Kentucky, of all places. I used some whole wheat linguine from Nonna's Noodles. "Nonna" makes her pasta in Tigard, although it seems that the King Arthur's wheat she uses comes here from Vermont. So, I'd have to say that this is more of an effort to support a local producer than of a local farmer.
This week, we will have also had two meals out - one for Valentine's Day and then again this evening prior to seeing "Twelfth Night" with our friends. Vindalho and D.F. are among the many restaurants in Portland that maintain commitments to using locally grown and organic ingredients as much as possible.