08 September 2008


Sourcing and preparing local food takes time.

It takes time to find local food. Last week I shopped at the food coop (in the City of Albany, a 20-min drive), the farm store (in neighboring Voorheesville, a 20-min drive), and at two farmers markets (in Delmar, a 5-min drive, and in Troy, a 25-min drive). I may do all again this week. The closest one -- the farmers market in my town-- is great for produce, but doesn't have dairy or meat. Only the coop had large tubs of local yogurt, only the farm store had jam, and the Troy market had the best selection of meat and cheese.

It takes time to make food from scratch. Yesterday I made creamy cauliflower soup from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, including making my own vegetable stock. We ate it for lunch with bread from a bakery that uses the same locally milled flour that I do. For the coming week, I baked more bread, sliced a bunch of apples to make apple chips (with my food dehydrator), and the hubby and I worked together to make homemade mayonnaise (which introduced another tiny exception: 2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard). Dinner was relatively easy: sausages, green beans, and corn bread. It was an enjoyable day in the kitchen, but I'll admit I was tired by the time I was done. (Did I mention the dishwashing?)

I realize the time factor will make some people write the 100-mile diet off from the get-go. I figure I can do anything for a month, and if I get lazy, there are ways to simplify. Like buying more bread instead of baking, or eating that cauliflower raw or steamed rather than going through the work of making soup.

I like to cook, though I often get lazy doing so for my kids who are quite happy with fish sticks, frozen peas, and macaroni & cheese. So for me, the 100-mile diet is also about reinvigorating my cooking, trying new things, shaking up the menu, and finding ways to incorporate healthy food habits into our family routine. It's not that hard to bake bread especially using a large volume, no-knead recipe like this one from the New York Times.

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