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.
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 😉
Okay, as promised, now that the chickens come running to the end of the ark where I am even if I don’t call them (they’re hoping for scratch, and today was their lucky day), and now that I can even hold one of them regularly, I can now introduce them to you properly, ready?
From left to right we have: Roxy, Tilly, Sadie, Bonnie (the barred rock hiding behind the others), and Henrietta (Husband really wanted a Henrietta 😉 )
So, close up, here’s Roxy, the audacious Barred Rock.
And here’s Henrietta, the one that lets me hold her, and thus she’s rapidly becoming my favorite chicken. I picked her up Sunday and let 5-6 people pet her and she was pretty chill. And her feathers are so soft!
Tilly, the talkative one 😛 You can always tell where she is because she keeps up a near constant monologue.
Bonnie, the shy barred rock. But she’s not too shy about scratch, she just tries to stay out of the others way…
And look! someone left me a present Yay! I like presents! It was still warm too. Now that’s a fresh egg.
By the way, this makes for great identity theft protection… not only do you shred all your papers, but then you use it as next box material. And when the chickens get confused and poop in the nest box, you compost the whole thing… yeah, no ones putting THAT back together.