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September 14, 2007

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YAY! It's so fun to see how people in other parts of the country are doing the Eat Local Challenge. I'm very envious of your local flour; we have no such thing and have to make exceptions for locally baked bread and locally made pasta.

We always allow ourselves an exception for local artisan-made food, too, even when the raw ingredients are technically grown/pastured further afield. Bacon and pancetta definitely fall into this category for us, as do tortillas.

But ... if you can get local pork, making your own sausage is really not that hard.

If you don't care about links and go the patty route, it doesn't even require any specialized equipment. I bet there's a place in the North End where you can get a funnel for hand-stuffing sausage if you don't have a grinder/stuffer attachment for your mixer. You can make them as hot as your little heart desires.

We had a few friends over a couple of months ago for a sausage-making party. Everyone brought a pork shoulder, and at the end of the afternoon, we all had about 5 pounds of different types of sausages for the freezer.
If you're curious, the post is here:
http://marriedwithdinner.com/2007/07/25/dont-fear-the-wurst/

Atta girl, Tammy! And I totally agree with you. And Anita. After all, isn't the whole "eat local" thing really about *thinking* about what you're eating - where it came from, how it was made and what's in it? You made a wise choice with your sausages. I think this challenge will change your perception of food for the rest of your life, and that is a good thing.

You are absolutely doing the right thing. You are figuring out how to make this work for you (as shopper, planner, cook) and your family (as eaters). If you are too rigid with the rules, you risk throwing your hands up in despair and quitting and vowing never to do this again. This way you're finding your spots and making it workable. And you know what? You are supporting your local community by shopping at DePasquale's, which is a huge part of this whole thing. Moreover, by allowing yourself to relax about the things that were making you particularly anxious will make the whole project more rewarding. And then next month, when the pressure is off, you might just happen upon other local sources of local food, and you can gradually add them in. I give you huge amounts of credit for undertaking this, particularly with little ones to feed. Go Tammy!

DePasquale's is awesome. Actually that whole little Nonantum neighborhood is great. The sandwich shop across the street makes a mean al Tonno Grinder thingy.

Your post reminds me of the Michael Pollan line:

"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."

To which I would add, "Occasionally delicious Italian sausages". Always relaxes me when I'm anxious about what's on my plate and where it came from.

I think you are doing an amazing job, especially with two young fussy eaters in tow. And I agree with going to local shops as part of the challenge. There has been a push to support smaller local shops run by local entreprenuers instead of always going to the big box stores. I'll admit i still do most of my shopping at the large grocery store because of convenience, but I am also trying to frequent some of the smaller shops in my neighborhood as well.

You're already light-years beyond anything I could attempt, even with the exemptions. I consider myself a Good Foodie when I manage to pick up a bunch of organic fruit at the store...seems I have a lot of catching up to do!

Jim: Catch up with me in the winter during my Eat Imported Challenge and we'll see who the good foodie is.

Sunny12: That's how it starts. Supermarkets are more convenient, no doubt about it. I'm hoping grocery stores will start carrying more local products, though.

Jay L: It's a great little neighborhood, isn't it? I like the cheese cannolis from Antoine's, too.

Karen: Well, when you put it that way, it sounds so reasonable.

Sally: You had the right idea about this all along.

Anita: Great idea! Nothing gets a party started quite like sausages.

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