Sunday, June 1, 2008

Local diet update - June 1, 2008

Today starts the first day of the One Local Summer Challenge, which runs from June 1 to Aug 31. The challenge is to eat one completely local meal once a week for the entire summer (but I'm going to try to do one full day once a week because I'm nothing if not an overachiever - somebody stop me? Never mind. Bring it on!) Of course, since that means I can't have any of my homemade bread on those days (no local sources of flour and yeast), I'd better be prepared with some filling veggies to round out those days. And the Bryan Farmers Market never disappoints.

Lois had both yellow and red potatoes again this week and I know from experience these are fabulous whether steamed, fried, or mashed. Knowing that I'd be missing the market next week (it's Farm Day next Saturday at the dairy where we get our milk), I stocked up on enough potatoes to get us through two weeks. Of course, you can't have potatoes without onions. Check - picked up some of those as well as more sage for my homemade herbal tea.

Bob was back this week but no more of those yummy plums (bummer), but I bought some of his green beans (he made the local newspaper last week with those green beans!).

Richard was well stocked with zucchini, squash and eggplant so I picked up a few of each for my roasted veggie sandwiches and perhaps a pot of soup. Though he didn't have any for sale, he had brought in two plums from his tree, especially for me. Talk about being well taken care of. Of course, they didnt make it past lunch. Yum!

Heather, of Heirloom Herbals, who I haven't seen in a few weeks, was back with her soaps. I picked up a bar to keep us stocked at home.

Joe was there with a big smile for me, as usual. His new chicks are still teeny-tiny and he promised to bring me pictures next time. I got one dozen eggs from him (he had run out earlier, but had saved one dozen anticipating my arrival - how sweet!) and one dozen from another vendor. Two dozen eggs should get me through the two weeks (one of my only protein sources) until my next market visit.

Charles and Vicki of the Long Bean Farm CSA were there. I got some fantastic basil from them last week and stopped by to chat and get a little bit more (was great in my last pot of soup).

On my way out, I spotted some sweet corn (can't pass that up for sure!) and picked up 4 ears. This will be my first corn of the season. I'm really looking forward to that all smothered in melty butter and salt. Mmmm.

As always, I stopped to talk to each the vendors for awhile and this time, I got to introduce my husband, who was with me this week, to the whole crew. Tons of veggies covered the market. There were more vendors and customers than I've ever seen there. How wonderful! Not much fruit this week, but I've learned my lesson. When fruit hits the market... BUY IT ALL!

As I finished up my shopping, I met up with two friends there at the market. The plan was to head out to The Kings Orchard in Plantersville for pick-your-own strawberries, blackberries and blueberries (more on this tomorrow). I've been watching for strawberries at the market all spring and just found out that we almost missed the season (started in Feb)! Thank goodness we went out yesterday to pick. They were the only place that still had them!

In addition to the supplies I picked up at the market we got milk from the dairy on Friday, some of which was turned into homemade yogurt. We still have their gouda and feta in the fridge so we're set on cheese. And when I arrived at the office on Friday, I found a special present on my desk - my boss had brought in some fresh tomatoes from her garden, promising there were more where these came from. Sweet!

I also dropped into the grocery for some mushrooms (36 miles away) and a Texas watermelon (369 miles away) - seriously I'm pretty sure its both socially and morally unacceptable to have sweet corn in the fridge without a watermelon. I really didn't have a choice. I HAD to buy it.

So, the fridge is stocked, now let's see. Meals this week...

  • Eggs - any which way you want them (local)
  • Yogurt (homemade from local, whole milk)
  • Breads, rolls, bagels, and sweet breads (all baked by me from scratch) with homemade jam or gouda (fruit in jam and gouda are local)
  • Fresh, local fruit - of course I have the strawberries from the orchard and that watermelon, but I also have tons of blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and dewberries to pull from in the freezer
  • Pancakes and syrup (not local but both homemade/from scratch)
  • Vegetable soup (leftovers from last week and more in the freezer) - spinach, onion, zucchini, squash, tomato, basil, and oregano (the only non-local items are salt and olive oil)
  • White or rye yeast rolls with jam (fruit in jam is local; bread isn't but it's homemade)
Dinner - here's where it gets impressive (to me, anyway)!
  • Steamed green beans (local)
  • Corn on the cob (local)
  • Mashed potatoes (local) - I haven't made mashed potatoes in years, but with the help of the super cool, ultra-mega mixer, these mashed potatoes are delicious!
  • Stir fry - yellow and red potatoes, onion, mushrooms, parsley, and just a bit of salt, stir-fried in olive oil (all local except salt and olive oil) YUM!
  • Sliced tomatoes sandwiches - homemade sandwich buns toasted with a little feta and topped with nice thick slices of fresh tomato. Mmmm.
  • Roasted veggie sandwiches - homemade sandwich buns toasted with a little feta and topped with zucchini, eggplant, and squash that have been tossed in olive oil and roasted in the oven.
You know, I'm starting to think that eating locally this summer won't be so much of a challege! Happy (and mindful) eating!


Green Bean said...

Yum! Corn on the cob sounds so good. We're about a month away from that and I can't wait - even as we're drowning in blackberries, raspberries and such. What a way to go. Glad you're doing OLS.

Jenelle said...

the amici olive oil is supposed to be great on corn.

Heather @ SGF said...

I've been really surprised at how few fruits we have at the farmers market. We had peaches one weekend, but just one weekend. Then we had those plums last weekend and then no more. We've had tons of blackberries and dewberries, but that's been it. I really was expecting strawberries, watermelon, and cantaloupe, but so far, I've had to buy those elsewhere. Perhaps those who do grow fruit only have enough to take care of their own needs and don't bother selling. Richard (who sells at the market) said he had plum trees and brought two of them for me but said he wouldn't be selling them.

Lois, I know, has more peach trees and she's promised they will ripen in the next few weeks. I have definitely learned my lesson. When they hit the market, buy them! They probably won't make it past a week. And if it freezes well, all the better. You learn a little something every day, I guess.

Oh, and Jenelle, oil on the corn does sound good. Thanks! I'll give it a try!

Beany said...

BTW, I tried baking a whole wheat bread using the tips from the freshloaf page you linked to on my blog. I had a good rise after kneading (almost double in size). But it didn't rise much in the oven. The trick was to make the dough a bit liquidy...almost like a thick soup or oatmeal. I'm going to add some all purpose flour since I am not crazy about dense bread.

Heather @ SGF said...

Beany - I like dense bread, but it can go too far - like the last time I made 100% whole wheat. Yikes! You could break a window with that thing.

My favorite so far are the yogurt rolls I've been making. They're so good even my hubby rolls his eyes when he bities into one (the sure sign of a winner). I know whole wheat is healthier, but I just love good white bread (not wonder bread - GOOD bread). I have finally decided that I eat so many fruits and veggies that the white bread won't hurt. Whatever makes me sleep at night :)