But we can always do better.
One thing I've realized of late is that while I put a ton of effort into canning, I'm not as good about using the things I've made. Or maybe I was impractical in my planning. Did I really need to make pickled roasted peppers? We're not eating them, so the answer is "no". Just because peaches are on sale doesn't mean that I need to rush out and make peach jam, which Gene doesn't even like. I'll be evaluating my canning priorities over the next growing season.
Last Friday we were in Poulsbo and needed lunch. We stumbled upon Central Market and were stunned that there was this awesome, Whole Foods-like grocery store.
In the bakery there was this guy assembling packages of freshly made, whole wheat tortillas, which had to go home with us.
They were still warm. Yummmmmm.
Once back home, I raided our pantry to find that we had the makings for Spanish rice.
Home-canned tomatoes and beef broth:
A massive store-bought onion and one of the puny ones from my garden (can you even see it on the right?):
plus some rice, olive oil, garlic, and salt.
It tasted really good, despite being made with jasmine rice (the only white, long-grain rice I had in the house. I wondered why I don't make it more often, it's so simple. The green specks are parsley flakes, since I didn't have any fresh stuff.
I sauteed half of the massive onion with some red bell peppers I'd frozen last summer and the rest of the tomatoes.
I had some beef that I'd gotten on clearance at Safeway. Oh yeah, I bought it the day before we watched "Food, Inc.". Talk about feeling guilty! Oh well. There's nothing I could do about this particular piece, other than rub it down with garlic, salt, pepper, and cumin before giving it a good sear.
On a whole, we're eating semi-locally. Most of the time, at least 2 ingredients of any given meal can be considered "local". Here's the ingredient break-down of Friday night's dinner:
- WA STATE: Onion, tomatoes, beef broth
- NOT LOCAL: Beef, rice, onion, red peppers, sour cream, lime
- UNKNOWN: Garlic, tortillas
In conceptualizing this blog, however, I've realized that we're going to have to start putting our money where our mouths are. I felt guilty about preparing CAFO meat. I can't remember where the onion & garlic came from. Do the tortillas count as local just because they were made in Poulsbo? What about the sour cream from German-owned Trader Joe's? Who the heck knows where it's from.
Those are the types of questions I'll address in posts to come. I look forward to your thoughts about what's "local" and to hearing how you deal with it in your own life.