Taking the Plunge (ever so slowly)

A lot of people aren’t too sure about my eating local passion, and even when they think it’s cool, they have no idea how to start it for themselves. Part of that is because they’re looking at where I’m at now, not seeing the gradual 3-4 year journey that got me this far now. So here are some easy steps to do this year if you have no idea where to start.

1. Find your farmers market (google is your friend!) and the days it runs.
2. Plan a trip
3. Come home with some fresh, local food
4. Try something you’ve never heard of before

Okay, you say, (and you rhyme, so sublime!), I’m interested in eating more locally, but sometimes I have no idea what to do with the stuff I see in the farmer’s market, especially if I come home with something I’ve never heard of before, how do I cook it? What does it go with? And why does it look like an alien plant? (er, maybe it’s a heirloom tomato, there is something to the whole, the uglier it is, the better it tastes)

Let me introduce you to one of my favorite cookbooks and one that has helped me successfully navigate this, “what is it and how do I cook it?” for example, I once brought home beets from my CSA. Now, I don’t particularly care for beets, but determined to not waste them, I pulled down Simply in Season, and flipped to the index. Well, to my surprise, there was a chocolate cake recipe that had, surprise, surprise, beets in it of all things. You can’t taste them, and they give the cake a nice reddish tone, sort of like a red velvet, but with considerably more chocolate. And this cake served up with some apple sauce is simple fantastic… mmm makes me wish beets were in season now.

And now, a tour of Simply in Season…. drumroll please

The book is handily arranged by seasons and by the type of dish, ie. main dish, side dish, salad, dessert, breads, and breakfast, but also by season, starting with spring.

It also has a fruit and vegetable guide to help you store and cook your fruits and veggies for optimum storage life and optimum nutrition.  Starting with a one-page general overview, it then has a list of many common fruits and veggies with specifics on storing and cooking. (with pictures!)

And say you don’t know how to cook say, collards, or want a new way to do up your corn? there’s a handy index in the back arranged by the type of food that you’re looking for a recipe for.

And finally, there’s a handy glossary of terms that tells you how to do everything from blanching to wilting.

So go ahead, take the plunge, but do it slowly in manageable pieces, bit by little baby-stepping bit 😉

Want the cookbook? you can buy it on Amazon here.

4 thoughts on “Taking the Plunge (ever so slowly)

  1. Great post, Anna. And I can recommend companion reading: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, by Barbara Kingsolver. Her family walked the journey of eating locally for a year, and the book relates that adventure. (I know you've read it, this is a note for other commenters!) We're growing more in our garden this year, but the farmer's market will be a more frequent stop on our itinerary this year. Great plug!

    1. totally in agreement on Animal, Vegetable, Miracle… Will review it at some point as well, along with the Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan, have you read that one? Love his writing. I will point out for the benefit of others who might take you up on Animal, Vegetable, Miracle that Kingsolver and her fam had several years of practice before they took the leap to commit to one whole year of only eating locally, and they even made exceptions for say, coffee, during their one year of super strictness 😛 This is all a process peeps!

      So, want to see your garden sometime, and then you can come back over and visit with my chickens 😉

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