Friday, April 18, 2008

Eating locally - A day of culinary decadence

Happy Friday! You know, I was thinking yesterday about just how much I am enjoying this local diet experiment:

I got up for another beautiful spring day and got cleaned up for work. While taking a few moments to relax before the day fully began, I sipped on a nice cup of tea (grocery) and a fruit salad of grapefruit and blueberries (both local). YUM!

For lunch at work, I had packed my usual veggie soup (yes, this is the same soup I've been eating on since I first made and froze it in January, but it's wonderfully delicious and one day of cooking has fed me lunches for the last 3 months! Can hardly beat that!) The vegetable soup ingredients came from winter harvest, which as I mentioned, I simmered and froze, and includes (cabbage, yellow onion, red potatoes, spinach (all farmers market produce), as well as salt, pepper, and olive oil (grocery). There was also a little brown rice, split peas and lentils left over from supplies in the pantry.

The plan for the afternoon was a bit of a treat. Dave came home Wednesday with a chocolate chip cookie from Blue Baker, a local deli who makes all their own bread, cookies, and pastries here in town. Note: It was their bread I was buying at the beginning of the local diet experiment before I started making my own. All their breads, cookies and pastries are made locally from REAL ingredients (no mystery substances included) which I love. And they have the best cinnamon bagels (I keep a stock in the freezer) and chocolate chip cookies in town! About once a week, Dave has lunch there with friends and comes home with a cookie for yours truly. Anyway, Wednesday was one of those days -- he walks in the door after a long day, brings the cookie out from behind his back and watches my face light up, I press the gooey, chocolate round of deliciousness to my face and inhale like the addict I am. Ahh. My drug of choice.... Ok. Back on track. So, I had a few nibbles that night, but saved most of it for yesterday's snack which consisted of 3/4 of the Blue Baker cookie (did I mention I really like them?) and a glass of raw, whole milk from the local dairy. Wow! What a divine combination of chewy and creamy. Mmmmm........

Right...dinner. I had eaten a couple of salads this week (as mentioned here) and was ready for that tomato soup I talked about in Sunday's post. Here's how dinner fared on the local meter: baby spinach and green onion (farmers market) sauteed in olive oil (grocery), with chopped tomatoes, parsley, and oregano (farmers market), thickened with whole milk (local dairy) and flour (grocery), and lightly seasoned with a touch of salt and pepper (grocery). To top it off, I sprinkled a little gouda cheese (local dairy) on top, and enjoyed it with a piece of toast (homemade bread) with egg salad (eggs from farmers market, mayo from grocery). The soup was wonderfully creamy and smooth, with nice big chunks of tomato mixed in. And the fresh parsley and oregano really boosted the flavor, not to mention that wonderful aroma that filled my house. (See above for dinner photo)

What's amazing, is that every day is like this! I don't always stop to think about it, but with a little planning, my diet is a beautiful medley of nutritious food just bursting with flavor. And considering my aversion to cooking, this took very little time to prepare with minimal cleanup. It just doesn't get any better! (Well, unless someone would like to volunteer to cook and do dishes for me? Anyone?)

PS. I have been in contact with my Wednesday farmers market spy who has informed me that sugar snap peas have hit the market. Stay tuned for a full report this weekend, when I investigate for myself.....

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