Thursday, March 02, 2006

Eat Like You Live Here: March

Where did February go???

In the midst of all that beautiful spring-like weather, a major house-cleaning, a sudden burst of writing activity, and a relaxing retreat weekend, I completely lost track of the time passing by, just enjoying each day as it came and went.

(Not a bad way to live, really, though it did mean I slacked off on cooking much, as I'm sure you could tell!)

I don't know about you, but all those other activities kept me from doing much with February's local foods challenge. Sure, I bought some new potted herbs, but though I also picked up some potting soil, I didn't get any seeds started for spring greens.

I did at least make arrangements with the good folks at the local grist mill so that I could stock up on whole wheat flour (3 five-pound bags!), cornmeal (2 two-pound bags), and rolled oats (2 two-pound bags) for my baking. And believe me, I thanked the kind lady profusely not only for getting the bigger bags ready for me -- but for making these good things available in the first place!

So now that March has caught us by surprise, what's up for this coming month? Don't worry, I'm going to go easy on you! This month, let's have fun with local foods:

1. Have you found a restaurant in your city/town (or nearby) that makes an extra effort to support local farmers by featuring local foods? If so, treat yourself to lunch or dinner at that place. (Why not take a friend, too?) Savor the food -- and tell the managers or owners why you've chosen to eat there. (Leave a good tip for the wait staff, too -- they'll appreciate the support!)

2. Think ahead and dream! Are there foods that you know aren't grown locally for you but are locally available for a friend in another state? Why not work out a swap?

3. If you haven't planted any seeds or potted any herbs yet, I'd encourage you to do it. You'll enjoy digging your fingers into the soil, and the little green shoots that herald new life will brighten your day.

See? Nothing too difficult there. After all, eating locally should be a pleasure, not a chore. And the more you enjoy it, the more you'll want to share the joy with others.

As for me, I'm heading back into the kitchen this weekend, I promise. I've got plenty of good produce and good ideas, and I hope to have some things to share with you once the oven is off and the dishes are put away. (Sorry I can't leave samples here for you to nibble!)

Treat yourself this month, and enjoy the return of spring!

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