Over the past years, we have been migrating much of our food choices to those locally produced, where we can find them. Beyond that, we have also committed to buy from small or local businesses when possible. Since 1980, we have also supported MD, PA and VA wineries, as well as those in the Finger Lakes. We pick our own fruit when we can, and have begun freezing and canning.
In 2006, we took one of my favorite vacations. Ten days renting a home in Sonoma, in order to experience wine country in a unique way. We bought at farmer’s markets and food stands, purchased local wines and cooked dinners on the grill, using the freshest and finest ingredients. I envy those who live there, as Sonoma County is a perfect climate for year round production.
We also bought and loved the local olive oils from the area, and to this day we order California olive oil and grapeseed oil and have it delivered once a year. Beats getting oil from Europe in terms of carbon footprint. We add a half gallon of balsamic in order to support the small business, even though I know it comes from Europe. Can’t get everything in our back yards, but we at least think about it.
St. Helena Olive Oil Co., owned by Peggy O’Kelly, is a truly wonderful source of goodies. I have had no regrets in continuing to support them and love their products, even though they are expensive, they are worth every penny. These are my salad dressing olive oils, not for cooking. Their grapeseed oil I use in baking and cooking, when I have my best meats and seafood to make.
Now, my vinaigrettes are made with products I love, and they taste so much fresher than any store bought dressings.