Wednesday, June 1, 2011

It begins....a year of eating local

Oh where to start? I am feeling wistful and dreamy. Unlike the other night when I declared "the beginning" to my family. Uptight, betrayed and idiotic describes me Monday night. In my naivety I thought I could just lead the kitchen, as I do day after day, meal after meal, without any resistance or buy-in. How would this really effect the rest of the family anyway? They will eat great no matter what. They have me preparing their meals after all! So I wouldn't be dragging home yogurt in little plastic cups and bags of convenient kettle fried potatoes from the store. I might hear a squeak now and then, but I've made homemade yogurt and kefir before. My children don't REALLY care where their cultured milk products come from as long as it's in the fridge when they want it. Right?
Saturday I loaded my car with friends and drove up to the Boulder Farmer's market. Once again I was reminded why I am doing this. Fresh faced, happy, somewhat weary farmers and baskets and boxes of the most beautiful organic produce ever. I am in love with fresh farm produce. And just for the record if I wasn't already happily married I WOULD be running off to spend my days with a farm and the farmer who happened to live there. I left the market a few hours later with my canvas bags filled to the rim. Bags of freckled young romaine and mixed lettuces from Mr. Munson (apparently my squash farmer grows lettuce too), three foot tall young onions, garlic chives, sorrel, mustard greens, spinach, hydroponic tomatoes, broccoli raab, fresh basil, tat soi, and beautiful spring mushrooms. For those of you who do not like mushrooms, you are wrong. Just saying. Given that this was the Saturday farmer's market that fell closest to June 1st I knew I needed to go. All other farmer's markets in my area are not opening for another week or two.
For months now Dave and I have talked about making this year of local real. I've told him numerous times June 1st is when I wanted to start. We sat down to dinner on Monday night (officially May 30th, but it seemed like a good day to me since I had just been to the farmer's market) which was New York strip steaks purchased from a farmer in Buena Vista with farmer's market Tat soi greens, 3 ft tall onions and the entire pound of mushrooms. I left the greens raw but sauteed the onions -green and all- with the mushrooms. The mushrooms I might add where; king trumpets, lion's head, cinnamon tops and some other kind, I forget now. (note to self-take notes) The dinner was fabulous and then the announcement. Dun Dun Dun Duuuunnnnn. Cal made comments such as "this is a total human-kind downgrade, mom!" Of course, resistance from a 13 year old. What did I expect really? For months I have been preparing, reading, being inspired by others that have gone before me. The rest of my family have not been. In my mind even Dave turned on me. "Hun, maybe we should approach this differently?" If looks could kill..... Cameron, my ever supportive and encouraging off-spring, said "I'm in mom!". Everyone's shadow was present and accounted for. The only one with a remote voice of reason was Dave. I began to see that I would need buy-in from everybody, not just Dave. A different approach was attempted. I'm still in the midst of that attempt, by the way.
In my heart I was focused on the dreamy fairy-tale aspect of us all doing this and saving the world. I'm such an eternal optimist. Really. I really am scary in that way. I believe in the best, always. In that state I thought everyone was behind me. But how could they be? I'm the one that spends my hours and years with nose to the books reading about soil health and big business GMO monoculture, locavores and saving the small farm, the CSAs and the death of butterflies. My family has not the vast amount of information that I have accumulated in preparation for an event such as this. They have no idea why anyone would eat locally. Well, maybe they have a little bit of a clue. They are my children after all. They have been to Berry Patch Farms every year of their young lives to help me pick raspberries and strawberries and cherries. Followed up by hours of skin staining cherry pitting and jam making. They have eaten many a jar of the fruits of our labors. They have seen me many times out on my porch on Christmas eve in the freezing cold sorting three cut and wrapped butchered steer into 14 boxes for 14 families to share. They have been to the farms to see the cows that give us our raw milk. They know Tom the turkey. Because of this I was not quite as prepared as I should have been for THE RESISTANCE. I began to doubt myself. I do have a tendency to be a "all or nothing" kind of person. 0 to 100 NOW! That is me. I was thinking "perhaps this is me again practicing 'obsessivism'." In my somewhat maturing self I have tried to reverse this obsessive behavior in myself. In the moment of THE RESISTANCE I thought perhaps my self-monitoring filter had failed, once again. (old habits can be hard to break) But alas, a good local meal in my belly and some time to reflect and an AH HA moment was to be had. I love those. Of course resistance, of course! Why wouldn't I have in my home what nearly every home in the United States would have? I need the resistance. If I am going to create a working, how-to handbook from my experiences the first thing that must be addressed is THE RESISTANCE! And not just my family's, my own.

Our starting menu: (includes some food still in my possession that is not local)
Dinner-New York Strip steaks with tat soi and sauteed spring onions and mixed mushrooms
Breakfast-Spinach with eggs and farm cheese
Snack-rhubarb crisp
Lunch- Sauteed turnip greens and garlic chives, roasted new potatoes and farm cheese
Dinner- Sorrel and mixed lettuces with honey mustard chicken breasts and sauteed spinach
Snack-cheese and oranges
Lunch-Salad of lettuce, fresh basil, sliced tomatoes and olives. Hard-boiled egg or deer jerky
Dinner-Bottom Round roast, salad of broccoli raab, pickled turnips and my garden carrots

What I've learned:
1 buy more mushrooms next week,
2 it is okay to transition slow,
3 resistance can be good.


  1. Awesome. So refreshing to read. So much like me ... eternal optimist ... the one in the family that is well researched, "all or nothing" tendencies...

    Your family is so lucky to have you, even when they don't realize it : )

  2. @delicia yes I agree to you post. I will share this post to culinary schools student.