Monday, August 31, 2009

September Suggestions

For those of you who don't know, I'm hittin' the road! I'll be flying out to Portland, Oregon later today and driving cross country with my friend Jess for the first 2 weeks of September. I did have a challenge planned out for September, but it's not very adaptable to travel so I'm looking for suggestions. Anyone have any good ideas? Do something I've never done before each day? Ask a stranger for their life story? What do you think?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Culinary delights!

I know this isn't a blog about cooking, but this month has been all about cooking for me, and I love it. Usually when I go to the grocery store, I have meals in mind and I buy the necessary ingredients. During local month, I've been venturing out, getting whatever looks good or intriguing.

Thursdays are "fresh fish day" at Dave's Fresh Pasta in Davis Square. I bought haddock, yellow carrots, and collard greens. Then I went to the farmers' market in Kendall (loved it) and bought little red potatoes (with the dirt still on them!) and homemade honey pesto. I also ate some homemade local burnt sugar ice cream. It was heavenly. I made an awesome meal with my findings: haddock with honey pesto, roasted yellow carrots and onions, sauteed collard greens, and scalloped red potatoes. So fresh, so lovely.

I've been yearning for fish tacos all month, so I stepped outside the local boundaries a bit. I bought catfish at the South Boston fish market, a lime and an avocado (not local!), fresh tortillas at Fresh Tortillas (the Asian Mexican restaurant in Southie... they made them right in front of me... fantastic), and, ready for this? I got a head of cabbage, 2 ears of corn, 4 tomatoes (2 heirloom), an onion, an eggplant, and a jalapeno pepper for $4.50 at the Southie farmers' market. My eyeballs almost popped out of my head when the guy told me how much it cost. So cheap! I mixed my own Cajun seasoning since I didn't want to buy the pre-made one (equal parts salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika, celery salt, garlic powder, and onion flakes) and rubbed the catfish with it, then pan-cooked it in olive oil. I roasted the jalapeno pepper to make it a little milder and mixed it with onion and tomato for a simple pico de gallo. Shred the cabbage, mush the avocado, slice the lime, heat the tortillas... I also like to make a hot sauce mixture which may sound gross but it's delicious with the tacos: a couple of spoonfuls of mayo with a whole bunch of hot sauce (I'm partial to Cholula). I love condiments, what can I say? Then assemble the tacos! Tortilla, Cajun catfish, hot mayo, avocado, cabbage, pico de gallo, spritz of lime, side of corn on the cob... soo good. I'm really impressed with the tortillas from Fresh Tortillas. I'm sure their ingredients aren't local, but the novelty of having them cook them right in front of my face is really special. Made with Asian/Mexican love!

Yesterday I sliced my little eggplant and laid it out in a casserole dish with olive oil, salt, pepper, cumin, and paprika. Baked it at 375 for about 35 min probably. Then I layered eggplant slices with sliced heirloom tomato (a green and pinkish red one) and drizzled the stack with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I cannot even believe how tasty it was. My mind was blown. The simple flavors melded together into one gorgeous, magical taste. I sound like I'm being dramatic, but it really was a phenomenal little meal.

And today! I had leftovers from the tacos, so I made corn/avocado salad. One ear of corn (cooked and cut off the cob), half an avocado (cubed), a small red tomato (diced), a handful of shredded cabbage, the juice from 3 lime wedges, a drizzle of olive oil, sprinkle of cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. I ate it with a heated leftover tortilla, and it was so good! Once again, simple, but incredibly tasty. The tomato was quite possibly the best tomato I've ever eaten, and I bought it for probably about 25 cents at the Southie farmers' market.

Speaking of tomatoes! My plant finally has a few little green babies growing. They are only the size of dimes right now, but they're undeniable! Also - I signed up today for the Dogma box from Boston Organics. My sister is moving in tomorrow (yay!!) so we're going to share the local produce delivery. I ordered extra carrots to put my new juicer to good use.

I love eating local food. I don't want to stop. So I won't.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Boston Globe Magazine published an article that speaks out on the negative aspects of the local diet. Umm forgive me, but I see no negatives here. I only read part of the article so far because I'm too heated to read it all right now. The educated comments in response to the article made me feel better, but I can't help thinking of all of the people out there who will read it and take it at face value instead of recognizing the faults within this man's line of thinking.

Take a look at the article here and comment away!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Magical, Domestic August

I love eating locally! I was inspired to be all domestic two weekends ago and baked bread, made pickles, and hung laundry washed in natural lavender detergent on the clothes line. How delightful!

Also - Danne, Tim, and I visiting a lavender farm on Cape Cod a couple of weekends ago. It was pretty magical:

Monday, August 10, 2009

Week 2, I Love You

Um, Jenny and I went to the farmers market at Harvest Co-op in Central today and I went mental and bought everything. Not only did I purchase a ton of delicious looking vegetables (including a skinny, twisted eggplant and black tomatoes), but I got a blueberry turnover from a local bakery and homemade cranberry lavender lemonade. Best find of the day though? Ambrosia tea from The Herb Lyceum in Groton, MA. Field trip anyone?

After the market, we headed over to Dave's Fresh Pasta in Somerville where I purchased black pepper fettuccine and local soft ripened cheese.

I'll be eating delicious and local for a mere $50. I love this month.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Eating Local – Week 1

The months that have been the most habit altering (detox month, no trash month, etc.) seem to take a little longer to ease into than the other months. I'd say that it takes a week or so to really get into it and figure out what you're doing. Week 1 has been just this for me: the week to figure out what I can and can't eat, what I can get and where, and also just to finish up a few non-local perishables that I have in my fridge from last week that I don't want to go to waste.

My biggest observation so far has been that you have to go out of your way to eat local. I wasn't able to make it to a farmers market so it was a bit of a struggle to find food in the grocery store that was native to New England. I was especially disappointed when I went to Russo's the other day and discovered that about 95% of their produce wasn't grown anywhere near New England. As I've probably obsessed to many of you, Russo's is my most favourite supermarket ever and I love it times 10,000, but really, do you need to get your tomatoes from Canada? The only local produce I could find was zucchini and summer squash. It just doesn't make sense that with such an abundance of farms in this region that we should have to import so much from other parts of the world. Week 1's lesson learned: Don't rely on supermarkets for the rest of the month, the farmers market is where it's at. I even went as far as to make myself a chart of the days and times of all the farmers markets in the Boston area (thank you unemployment for unlimited free time to do things like this).

Some other notable things this week:

Amanda and I went on a really awesome and very helpful local food hunt. We found out some great information like:

At City Feed & Supply in JP you can get veggie burgers from Maine, JP made tofu, and local honey. They even have tags that list where all their food is from and include the miles that it took to get to the store. They make it so easy!

The Dairy Bar in Somerville has tons of local dairy including: milk, eggs, butter, ice cream, whipped cream, and lots of different kinds of cheese.

Dave's Fresh Pasta in Somerville is amazing and in addition to a million varieties of homemade pasta, we found peanut butter made in Cambridge. Horray!

I found out that Not Your Average Joes is having Local Fest this month so it looks like I'll actually be able to go out to eat! Does anyone know of any other restaurants that serve local cuisine?

My container gardens are doing really great and I'm looking forward to eating some home grown white eggplant later this month.

Lastly, does anyone know where I can find local: crackers, wraps for sandwiches, soy milk and tortilla chips?