Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Preserving the Seasons: December, Week 4

With the holidays filling my schedule, I admit I haven't really thought too much about preserving or enjoying local foods of late.

In fact, meals have tended toward the absurdly simple -- and have often accommodated other people's preferences or non-local pantries.

That's okay. At this time of year, while it's wonderful to make our meals as local as possible, as often as possible, when it comes right down to it, it's the companionship that counts. The holidays aren't the same if you aren't sharing your table with someone else.

So this month's featured local meal may be something of a let-down, partly because it's not all-local and partly because it's ridiculously simple. But it helped me use up an open jar and something else from the freezer.

Doesn't look like much, does it? But pasta is a staple for me in the winter months, even if, like this, it isn't homemade.

The sauce, though, began as a random collection of ingredients -- local garlic, the remains of a jar of homemade tomato sauce, kale -- and incorporated a couple cubes of homemade pesto from the freezer to take it beyond humdrum to delicious.

After all, though it's wonderful to have fantastic holiday meals that feature many local foods, we don't eat like that every day of the year, nor should we. And sometimes, a simple meal with a few local ingredients is good enough.

It's all the better when shared -- and yes, I shared this pasta with the Renaissance Man for another movie night (we're squeezing a lot of those in while I'm on break).

Here's hoping your holidays are joyful and blessed. And if you can have some local foods on the table at some point, or you can share some of your home preserves with others, all the better!

And may your holiday meals preserve the peace, too!

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