Friday, August 24, 2007


There's a long-ass, but so, so, so great, post over at An Accident of Hope about local food. I love some local food (actually I love all things local; it's the result of working at an independent bookstore when The Devil, I mean, B*rns and N*ble, came to town), but it's a slippery slope, man. Once you start noticing what you're eating that's local, it's great: you get to chat with the folks who grew it or made it, there's not petroleum stains on your food, the tomatoes are all the better for living though a winter without them, blah, blah, blah. You know all the arguments, I'm sure. But then you realize you're counting! What's local on my plate today?! And you strive for more - this cheese is from Fredericksburg, but this one, *this* one is from northern Albemarle! Hooray! And then one day you wake up and you see your roommate has bought some grapes. In Virginia? In early June? When there are more strawberries and blueberries and raspberries (from the back yard, no less) than you can shake a stick at? Ack! And they are on a piece of green styrofoam, and shrink-wrapped! And your head explodes.
Meanwhile, here's tonight's dinner. Yes, you know I'm counting. Can't help it.
  • black eyed peas, from the market, shelled on the porch
  • tomatoes from the farm, beefsteak and flame
  • cucumbers from the farm (also in the pitcher of water back there - Best Drink Of The Summer™)
  • zucchini bread from one of my home visit families, local zucchini from their CSA, not sure of the origin of the flour, certainly the sugar wasn't local- but damn, that's some good zucchini bread
  • local beer, used to be brewed just a couple blocks west, but now it's in Crozet, I hear
  • salt, not local, but delicious
  • balsamic, also not local, also delicious
  • butter, not local (yes, I have some guilt over not making my own butter)
  • lemon in the background, not local *sigh*
  • mass o' peppers in the background, from the farm, destiny unknown - I don't like plain peppers that much; I wish they were spicy, but they are not


Hard Girl said...

Oh yeah, me too. I realized it had become second nature when I was given a bunch of produce from some friends leaving town and there was a banana and an orange in the mix! I was like, what? When there've been amazing blueberries and raspberries for two months and the peaches and plums are in from Yakima? I was a little secretly excited to have an orange,though, because it seemed so sunny and exotic and I hadn't had one in ages, but when I cut it up it was starting to rot on the inside, while the peaches from across the mountain were perfect.

Sian said...

If I can't cook it, grow it, ferment it, or brew it in my armpit, I won't eat it!

Becca said...

I want the green styrofoam! I do!
For the kinny-garners art projects!

Trista said...

I have guilt over not making my own butter, too! But I don't have a cow. So that would mean I would have to get the cream from somewhere, which would mean the local dairy, which makes their own butter. So there's no point in making my own butter. But the frustrated farmwife within is just sure that any butter I made would be better, fresher, and lower in fat than any made by anyone else.

And, actually, I am planning on starting to make my own cheeses. At least my own soft cheeses.

Your comment about freezing tomatoes was like a bombshell in my brain. I HAD NO IDEA YOU COULD JUST FREEZE TOMATOES! So much easier than canning. So I told my mom and she was all, "oh, yeah, I've been freezing my tomatoes the least couple years, this year I'm going to stop using the plastic bags and pull out the old canning jars to use." Jeez, mom, thanks for keeping me in the loop. This means that when I called you 2 years ago about how to can tomatoes you were already moving on to freezing.

Oh well, at least I always have my internet friends to steer me in the right direction...

starrhillgirl said...

Trista! I almost wet my pants I was so excited you left me a comment!

Trista said...

starrhillgirl! glad I could please you. Least I could do for you after you rocked my food-pres world!!!

Becca said...

PS> youse has some good company.

Travelher and Pufferfish said...

Wow. Your post almost made me want to move to the country. Almost.
Then I remembered that we have Green Markets set up all over NYC. Not quite the same though because what I really want is a front porch.