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Daily Archives: February 7, 2013

Redefining Local

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For fifteen months now I have been blogging, mostly about being a locavore. I started out during my challenge to eat locally, by considering only locally grown items. I finally decided that this was unrealistic for me.

Locally grown, locally produced, or locally sourced. That’s my priority now. Beyond that, either organic or as natural as possible. Real food. Food made from scratch.

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Things not grown here in Maryland, ever, like olives and most citrus, most spices and chocolate, I agree, are part of my cooking and won’t be avoided. I just try and maximize the local ingredients, and I support our local farms and markets. I buy from them, even the things they sell that they brought in from outside the state.

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What has that meant? I shop rarely at grocery stores, and then, only for items not available at local markets, shops and farms. I shop organic as much as possible. I make many items from scratch, using fresh ingredients.

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I also don’t eat at chain restaurants, or eat fast food, unless we are in the middle of a turnpike with no other options. I can’t believe how differently I approach dining out. And, how I now cook.

My freezer is full of local veggies, fruits and meat. I shop at farms weekly. I pick up staples and organic items at the grocery stores, usually Wegmans or Harris Teeter these days and very little of my food budget goes to them.

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For my winter eat local challenge, I find that I don’t actually eat one meal a week that is local, but rather, I cook almost every meal with something local in it. Most of the time, the local items outnumber the others.

I know this isn’t easy to do, unless you have the time to do it. I really appreciate what our moms did, 50 years ago. Cooking from scratch every day. Eating in season. Stretching the food budget.

I see quite a few people doing the same as we are. Going back to basic cooking. Not eating all those overly processed foods from institutional food services. Not a bad way to spend time.

Bake a few brownies from scratch. Put a crock pot meal on the table. Spend time in the kitchen, instead of a restaurant lobby with a pager. Not a bad idea.

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Check out that grill. Everything on it locally sourced. Easy as it can be.

Here’s to really good food. Made with love.