Tuesday, June 30, 2009

My "all local" day

Following up on my all-local day for Reduce Footprint's weekly challenge. Overall, it was a fun activity! I must admit, though, that my local "day" got spread out over a weekend as we're trying to sell our house and we kept having last minute showings at meal times. It's hard to prepare local meals when you're constantly being kicked out of the kitchen! But here was my local day plan, even if we ended up eating dinner on a different day!

First off, breakfast:

Scrambled eggs with green onions, chives, parsley, and cheese.

Eggs from Waltham Farmer's Market
Green onions and Cheddar cheese (Smith's Country Cheese) from Waltham Field Community Farm
Chives and Parsley from my garden
Butter for cooking was Kate's Homemade Butter.


I made some sauteed spinach for the main meal. Here's what I did:

Ingredients (for one serving):

2 bunching onions, finely diced (from Waltham Fields Community Farm)
Approximately 1/2 lb of spinach, stems removed, leaves roughly torn (from Waltham Fields Community Farm)
A few slices of Havarti ( Smith's Country Cheese)
About 1 teaspoon butter (Kate's Homemade Butter)


Melt the butter in a skillet. Add the diced onion and saute until translucent. Add the spinach and toss until wilted, about one minute. Place the havarti on top and leave in the pan until slightly melted, about one minute. (The cheese will keep melting once you transfer to a plate, so you don't have to totally melt it).

So yummy!

On the side, I had a Macintosh apple. I know, an apple. In June. I found it at Winchester Farmers' Market. I was a little worried about an apple that had been stored all winter, but it was perfect...crisp, juicy, and flavorful. Plus a perfect accompaniment to the spinach.


I was still hungry after lunch, so I made a snack as well. I'd picked up some hothouse tomatoes at the Winchester Farmers' Market, plus some Narragansett Creamery mozzarella also from the Winchester Farmers' Market. I also had some left over basil from the Lexington Farmers' Market. So I threw it all together.

I was a little disappointed in this. Clearly, I'm pushing the tomato season here in Massachusetts, and this dish paid the price with less than stellar results. The mozzarella was also very plain. I ended up "cheating" and adding some salt and a splash of vinegar, which improved it dramatically.

Finally, dinner:

The main part of our meal was halibut from Globe Fish Co at the Winchester Farmer's Market. We got to the market really late, and there was very little choice left for the fish so I'm not sure quite how local this really was, though at the very least, it was supporting a local vendor. There was no meat vendor at the market either (again, maybe because we were so late), so this was a last minute substitution. I added some diced green onions and thyme from the CSA, a drizzle of some melted butter, and TK cooked this on the grill.

On the side, we had some grilled garlic scapes (also with melted butter). And, at the Winchester Farmer's Market, I found some early summer squash. I diced three of them, and sauteed in some butter with thyme from the CSA and parsley from our herb garden.

Dinner was really outstanding!

For dessert, we just had a bunch of sliced strawberries. A hit with the whole family!


What did I learn from this? Well, eating 100% locally is A LOT of work. Given a busy schedule, 2 picky preschoolers, and a budget, it's probably not something I'm ready to commit to. Adding a loaf of bread to the dinner would have made the meal much more palatable to my kids*. Having pasta, rice, or quinoa available as a side dish also would have helped. And I miss olive oil.

I think it's important to be conscious of choices, and planning a 100% eat local day helped raise my consciousness of the choices I make. I'm happy I did this, as it reinforced my commitment to eat locally when possible, and to happily supplement with non-local choices when necessary to improve our largely local meals.

* I should note that I would be happy to buy bread from a local artisan bread maker, even though they don't use local ingredients...there are so many around and all look delicious! However, we haven't been able to find a nut-free bakery so can't buy local bread due to my son's nut allergies :( We're stuck with the major supermarket brands of bread...I'm just happy if I can find nut-safe, HFCS-free bread at this point!


  1. Yes, no olive oil is tough - if I ever did the month long challenge, that would DEFINITELY be on my list of exceptions. Also, pasta is a tricky one...and something I could not live without!

  2. Your wrap-up paragraphs are very wise. I'd like to post it on flyers so that the eye-rollers and naysayers can read it and think about it. Did you see the article in the Globe magazine this past Sunday pooh-poohing the whole "eat locally" movement? I guess both sides can quote statistics that support either opinion, but some of the writer's points just didn't make sense to me. I smell a rebuttal letter to the editor--Sally, Julie?

  3. Chachlilmum, I did see that article in the Globe, and while I actually agreed with some of it, it rung to me as if "well, it's not the perfect solution, so it's not worth doing at all." I prefer a certain degree of optimism and let's-at-least-give-it-a-try-and-see-if-we-can-make-things-better in my decision making :)

  4. I had to do a little digging to read the article myself and have to agree with what Sally said above. And I'm all about making informed/conscious decisions - I think that's the one of the best things that comes out of any local "challenge"/philosophy.

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