JOANNA'S FOOD: family cooking, from scratch, every day

Thursday, June 26, 2008

One Local Summer week three

It's taken a while to round up all the international section this week ... but it was worth the wait.

In Brussels, Labelga has taken up the challenge, but I didn't get her urls, so she's checking in here for the first time. In week one, she visited her very local market and found that she should have heeded Alice Waters' advice to scout all the stalls before buying anything. Even so, she cooked a three-course meal.

Week two in the market and Labelga found a Belgian-grown cauliflower and some greeny-blue Araucana eggs, so cauliflower gribiche with poached egg and spring onions was on her menu.

Week three and she couldn't get to the market. Luckily, her local organic shop had a few local items in amongst the produce from Egypt Spain and France. Tartare of tomato followed by braised pointy cabbage using a Surinam / Dutch traditional recipe. Very useful to me, as my vegetable box is full of pointy cabbage at this time of year.

And I've found, too, that it's harder to find what you want when you have to go beyond your one trusted easy supplier. Actually, it can be hard to find what you want period when you're only buying local.

Karen bought a ready-made meat pie with beef raised at the Well Fed Food farm shop - Black Angus cattle, since you ask. Now before you go asking why she didn't make it herself if she wanted it local - the enterprising farmer has these pies made locally for the convenience of his customers.

Amber says her week three looks a lot like week one - fish. But, as she says, she's near the ocean. And she's found a local food market - transformed from a tourist market, sounds like progress to me! She's raised a problem familiar to every locavore - although sugar beet is grown in Alberta, she hasn't been able to find a local source, it all seems to go to agribusiness. So, halibut, roasties and salad were on Amber's menu.

Mariah at Rural Aspirations feels she's made good progress this week. So much so that she found she'd made an all-local meal without having to plan it out. Her week three menu was: portobello mushrooms, red peppers with Raclette cheese and homemade bread using locally milled organic whole wheat and unbleached white flour.

Riana's in the south of France, so she's ahead of us here in the UK - great, because she's got lots and lots of ideas for the courgette / zucchini mountain that's coming. I'm still at the stage where I'm just loving the courgettes, but it won't be long before we're wondering what on earth to do with them next. Her post is seriously useful to locavore gardeners everywhere.

Sally in Bristol had one of those weeks, and her local meal used up some leftover week two ingredients. But, driving around in the course of her work, she spotted a number of local farm shops which she's planning to visit this week. Her post at Diario makes the point forcefully: if you want to eat locally produced food, you have to make a special effort, and it's not always easy or compatible with the other things going on. It shouldn't be like this.

Donna's email says: My local meal was a simple omlet, local eggs, asparagus, and cheddar cheese. Salt not local. What could be better?

This week I wanted to crack the meat problem. I was passing a much-recommended farm shop where I know they sell meat. It was virtually all labelled as produce of England, not really good enough. I bought steaks for the children which were labelled produce of Berkshire, our next county, but felt that even that labelling wasn't enough. What farm? Where exactly? The children ate the steak while we were out, so my local meal was breakfast .... my favourite breakfast, actually, tomatoes on toast. I made the bread with locally milled locally grown wheat (I pass that farm every time I go to Oxford, it's about 10 miles from here). And the tomatoes - some came from my vegetable box, grown in Hampshire, some were last year's slow-roasted frozen, and two tiny ones came from the garden, the first of the year. I'm just off to the farmer's market. Right now. Watch this space!

Related posts

Roasting tomatoes
Slow roasted tomatoes
Homemade tomato ketchup

You can find the dozens of others taking part in the One Local Summer challenge at Farm to Philly


MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

You are doing so well here Joanna!
I have the herbs in my backyard;))

Anonymous said...

Joanna, thanks very much for such a generous report. I *like* simplicity, and we don't have to give that up or go crazy for this project. I really *like* your tomatoes on bread!

Wendy said...

Oooohhhh, this is ongoing for the entire summer? I didn't realise. Will submit again soon!
Lovely round up. :)