Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Eat Like You Live Here: November

Past the tricks and treats of late October, the local farmers have been gathering in the last of this year's harvest and getting ready for a cold winter and dreams of next year's season. Some local farms continue to have their own markets open through the winter (for late, keeping produce like apples and for other locally produced goods like jams), but for the rest of us, the Earth has offered nearly its last fruits and vegetables for the year.

If you've been following this challenge in your own quiet and modest way, you may well be ready to head into the winter months with a stash of local foods tucked in your pantry or freezer, and perhaps you've already scouted out places nearby where you can keep getting local food throughout the winter.

Last month, though a bit of a whirlwind for me, offered an enjoyable variety of fruits and vegetables from local farms... from all the good food found at the farmers' market to my recent visit to the fruit farm, I found lots of goodies that I hope will grace my table this month and perhaps even into early spring. And some of those vegetables have already shown up in dishes I've shared with friends old and new.

If you're like me, after all this focus on shopping for superb produce at the farmers' market and preserving as much as possible for winter, you're ready to relax a bit and enjoy the fruits of your labor. So I'll make this month's challenge simple:

1. If you're reading this here in the U.S., make an effort to join in on the 100-Mile Thanksgiving, featuring as many local foods on your holiday table as possible. And if you're not here in the U.S., why not create a special harvest feast for your family and friends using some of the local foods you've found this year?

2. And for those bakers among you, keep the local foods challenge in your mind as you stock up for holiday baking. I know I'll be looking for more local butter to go with the local eggs, milk, and flours I already have.

In this brief respite between the harvest season and the holiday season, take a chance to catch your breath and enjoy all that you've found so far this year.

And when you reach for a snack, make it a local one, okay?

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