Friday, September 16, 2005

An Organic Experience

To celebrate National Organic Harvest Month (as if I haven't been celebrating it all summer!), I made a conscious effort to make tonight's dinner as close to 100% organic as I could. And I'm thrilled to say that I came pretty darn close!

I decided to try the squash bread pudding recipe from Simply in Season, using organic butternut squash, onions, garlic, olive oil, eggs, and soy milk. (The spices and the Parmesan cheese, a very minor part of the dish, were not organic.) For the bread, I used the remains of my rosemary-walnut cider bread, which used organic apple juice, wheat germ, whole wheat flour, rosemary, and walnuts (but conventional yeast, salt, and nonfat dry milk).

As a side dish, I picked fresh kale from my (largely) organic garden (the compost wouldn't be 100% certified, I'm afraid, but it's good enough for me), steamed it, and tossed it with salt and a thin slice of organic butter. Yum!

And for dessert, I decided to live it up and have a homemade "mocha" made with delicious dark organic fair trade coffee, organic cocoa mix, and organic cane sugar.

It took a little more thinking to come up with a meal that was mostly organic (and at least partially locally grown, too!), but it was also good to approach my food more mindfully, both in the cooking and the eating. On a cool, damp evening, it made the perfect fall meal -- warm and hearty and comforting.

I think that my efforts to celebrate National Organic Harvest Month over the next two weeks will help me appreciate how much organic food is available locally as well as open my eyes to what items in my cupboard are not organic -- so that I can consider whether switching to organic would be possible for those items, or whether choosing local over organic would be better.

So much to consider... but oh! so much to savor!

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