This week's posts are inspired by my fall CSA box, a trip to a local apple orchard, a rogue pumpkin planting from my youngest son, and the Ohio Eat Local challenge.
*Yes, there's a theme in there. Really. I promise.
From the Ohio Department of Agriculture:
Eat Local Challenge, October 2-8: The Ohio Department of Agriculture challenges you to eat local! This week, plan and prepare one meal every day using foods that are made, grown or raised in Ohio.
Regular readers of this blog know that I try to eat local as much as possible.* In my neck of the woods (Northeastern Ohio), this is a great time of year to eat local. We have the tail end of the summer's vegetables, and fall vegetables are starting to come in. In my last CSA box, I had the last of the year's tomatoes, and the first winter squash, leeks, chard, and broccoli. I do live in Northeastern Ohio. Eating local in the middle of February means meat and a lot of root vegetables. I can't bring myself to give up on fruit and green vegetables at that time of year. I have enough problems with Seasonal Affective Disorder as it is. That's why I'm a regular attendee at my local winter farmers market...but that's a discussion for another day.
So, I'm taking on the Ohio Eat Local Challenge. What do I have up my sleeve for a week's worth of local meals? Meat is easy - we know meat here in Ohio. I can get good, local chicken, beef, pork, lamb, and even buffalo. (I'm still looking for local duck.) Dairy? Cheese? Eggs? No problem. Apple season is just starting, so fruit is taken care of. And as I mentioned above, fall produce is coming in strong; with my CSA box I'll be good for the week.
And I guess I'll have to drink Great Lakes beer all week. And maybe throw in a glass of Harpersfield Pinot Noir for variety. Oh, the sacrifices I have to make.
The hard part is the starch. This is the perfect time of year for local potatoes. But...the kids just won't eat potatoes. Unless they are french fries. This baffles me. When I was a kid, I lived for mashed potatoes with a big pat of melting butter in the middle.
The butter had to be pushed into the mashed potatoes, so it didn't leak. I would try to eat from the middle, so the butter was trapped in the potatoes for as long as possible.
What can I do? I'm going to try to get some local flour at the farmers market this weekend, so I can make bread or pizza. But after that, I'm kind of at a loss. Pasta? Other grains? I know we can grow wheat and grains here in Ohio, but I don't know of a source for locally grown versions.
Forget about rice and corn tortillas, two of my kids favorite things to eat. We're too far north to grow rice locally. I haven't found an ohio grown version of Masa Harina. Actually, I haven't found an American version; when I buy Masa Harina, I trust the experts, and buy Mexican brands.
**And no, I can't count the Great Lakes beer as my starch. At least, not for the kids...
Can you take on an Eat Local Challenge in your neck of the woods? One meal, every day, made entirely of food grown in your state? Know of any good sources for Ohio grown grains, for my own Eat Local Challenge? Let me know in the comments.
To the people who keep me in locally grown food:
Crown Point CSA
Cuyahoga Valley Conservancy Farmers Market
Brunty Farms (for my eggs and chicken)
Acme Fresh Market
Mustard Seed Market
West Point Market
Tarte Tatin with Puff Pastry (coming Tuesday)
Pumpkin and Squash Soup (coming Thursday)
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