This week I began four different meals that were supposed to be our local meal for the week. Each time I added something that broke my "only one non-local ingredient" rule and disqualified the meal. :o So here's a chronicle of my attempts:
Sunday: We cut down our Christmas tree (see Our little logger) and on the way home we stopped at a wonderful farm stand where I stocked up on some end-of-fall foods. Among other things, I bought a big bag of spinach which I used as the base for salads all week. Scott is happy to eat spinach raw, but if I dare cook it, no way! It was really nice to have green salads again. For dinner we ate at Scott's parents', and celebrated Christmas early. I received a pasta maker!
Monday: I made crockpot chili (which turned out delicious -- especially the leftovers!) with local ground pork, onions, garlic, and bell peppers. The beans, tomatoes and spices were non-local. Realizing I had already exceeded my one non-local limit, I added mandarin oranges and French fried onions to the spinach salad. I also baked cornbread and used up non-local eggs since I wasn't going to make this my local dinner after all.
Tuesday: I made omlettes with local eggs (I found them at the winter farmers' market!!!), Tillamook cheese, and local milk. To this I added spinach salad with local carrots and red onion. So far so good. Oops! I topped the salad with those tasty French fried onions! I also made blueberry muffins which turned out to have a ton of non-local ingredients in them, but the blueberries came from 8 feet outside my kitchen window, so I think that makes up for it! This meal came the closest, but I still wasn't satisfied.
Wednesday: I tried again with a spaghetti dinner. I used my last bag of (local, homemade) spaghetti sauce from the freezer and added local sausage to it. We ate more salad, and I just couldn't resist adding the decidedly non-local French fried onions -- they were so good and I wasn't going to be using my non-local ingredient anyway! I had grand plans for the noodles -- I was going to make my own pasta with my new toy! That is, until I got it out and read the instructions. I think I'd better allow a couple hours the first time I try it. So I used spaghetti noodles from the store. Almost made it.
Thursday: We had dinner at Scott's work Christmas party.
Friday: In one final attempt at an all-local meal, I made a simple dinner of grilled cheese sandwiches (cheese & butter local, bread not) and cut up raw veggies (the last of my local celery and some local carrots). But it didn't look like enough for dinner, so at the last minute I added a can of tomato soup to it. Two non-local ingredients again.
The surprise: Even though I didn't succeed in a "challenge meal" this week, I'm using a whole lot more local ingredients than I used to!