our first (almost) local meal

almost

Hamburgers, green salad, grilled potatoes and onions. Fresh strawberry daiquiris for the grown-ups and milk for the youngin's. The not-so-local items- ketchup and mustard, rum in the daiquiris, the hamburger buns. But hey! The meal was super fresh and delicious, so I'm calling it a success.

We're unofficially joining this challenge. (But keeping it low key, people. There's no stress in the summer.) We've been trying to eat more local foods for awhile. You are aware of the benefits, so these detailed posts are for us to record our progress. You may find them quite boring. Anyway, here's the dirt. I've found local and affordable sources for many of our staple foods:

  • milk and butter. I'll never go back. As long as they're in business, I'll be a customer. SO YUM. We're going to go take a tour of the dairy soon!
  • I use their milk to make our yogurt and ranch dressing. (um, we eat lots of ranch dressing.)
  • beef
  • produce. Choosing to frequent the organic farmers market this summer, we've left our CSA. It was a great group but was too much stuff we really don't eat. That makes for pricey compost. I'm trying already to overbuy and prepare and freeze the extras.
  • STRAWBERRIES! Woo hoo! It was a drive, but we're planning a trip back. I need me some more berries.
  • blueberries and blackberries. I can. not. wait.
  • tomatoes. My mom grows gobs of them. (I may have to learn to can before August.)
  • cukes. My mom's neighbor is the cucumber expert.
  • eggs. I think I have 3 dozen in my fridge right now. Thanks, dad!!
  • flour. I haven't tried them yet, but I'm going to call this week to get the scoop.
  • tofu. My kids love stir-fry with veggies and tofu. LOVE. It's our standby meal.
  • honey. It's called Jordy's honey. I don't think they have a website, but I get it here.
  • vodka. Alright. I'm pretty sure they don't use all local ingredients or even make a lot of it here, but it's a local company and that can't hurt.
  • beer! The same as the vodka. What? Beer and vodka aren't staples in your household?

The things I'm currently looking for:

  • cheese.
  • chicken. I've found several sources, but I just can't afford a $12-$15 chicken. We eat a lot of chicken.
  • beans. Surely people in this area grow and dry beans.
  • rice. Lost cause? I think. Rice (unless it's some creepy genetically modified variety) just doesn't grow in Kansas or Missouri. Needless to say, growing your own veggies would help. That's another post all together.

Making food from scratch is also immensely helpful. I make most of our bread in the bread machine now- hopefully soon with local whole wheat. I make our noodles, pie crusts, rolls, etc. I make our spaghetti sauce in big batches and freeze it in glass canning jars. It works really well. The Food Circle has been an invaluable resource, but I'm ALWAYS open to suggestions and sources. If you have any, bring 'em on! So, there you go. More than you care to know? I'm sure. In the wise words of Lauren, another local treasure, "Did you ask? No. That's the point of blogs."

*** Hey, Hey, my local peeps! My friend Jamie just emailed me this link: Merriam Organic Market. That's pretty close to me and Tuesday evenings might be really handy. Plus there's a whole different crowd of vendors there to try out.**