Saturday, September 01, 2007

Make Mine Makhani

September snuck up on me. Let's face it, when a month starts on a weekend following a frenzied week, it's hard to remember that you need to turn the calendar page.

But while it arrived in a stealthy manner, September hasn't caught me fully off-guard. I still remember that this is the beginning of the Eat Local Challenge Month, and I'm ready.

I started the day in a half-heartedly local way, making pancakes (with local grains, milk, and eggs) and green tea for breakfast. By lunch, I managed a wholly local meal by virtue of cleaning out the last of the lasagna. (OK, I admit it. For two meals, I got lucky.)

After an afternoon's visit to and work on a local organic farm, though, it took a more conscious effort to whip up a local meal.

I pulled out the makhani sauce (an Indian recipe) I made the other night.

Loaded with Sun Gold tomatoes from the Archivist's garden, onions and garlic from the farmers' market, and butter and milk from the local dairy, about the only ingredients not locally sourced were the spices (one of my few exceptions for the Challenge).

I decided to steam some red potatoes from the Potato Lady and green beans from the Archivist, and then I sauteed garlic from the Cheerful Lady, added the vegetables, and simmered them in the makhani sauce until most of the water had evaporated. Opting not to use rice, I pulled out half a whole wheat pita from the Pita Princess, added a dollop of homemade pear-cardamom chutney, and had a perfectly sized and perfectly spiced meal.

For dessert, I enjoyed some of my homemade spiced plum crisp accompanied by creamy vanilla ice cream from the local dairy. Bliss!

I know it will take sustained effort to remember to eat local as much as possible throughout the month, because even though there's no better time to enjoy fresh foods, I know I can also eat snacks and such without much thought. (That's also why I'm hoping this month's Challenge will get me to make and eat healthier meals and snacks.)

It's encouraging to get off to a great start, though!



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