In case you’re under the impression that this year’s Eat Local Challenge has been just one big piece of bacon after another and everything’s been going great, let me elucidate you. The past two days have been complete crap. But what about the bike, you might ask? What happened to all the happiness and the smiling? Yeah, well, I wrote that post before things took a turn for the worse. And today I couldn’t even go out and ride said bike to make myself feel better because I was too busy making pasta and bread and a whole bunch of other stupid things that didn’t even taste good. Then I got my period, hence my cheerful tone.
The Challenge has really been fine up until this point. Yes, it’s a bit tiring to do so much cooking from scratch, but I've already had more than a year of practice cooking with the seasons, so it's just a more intense version of what I've been doing all along. But now the farmer’s markets are starting to close, our CSA has ended, and my freezer is not full. I’m getting tired. I have bok choy up the wazoo, and yet how do you cook Asian food without soy sauce, fish sauce, or rice. I’m down to one local garlic clove, which I’ve started addressing as “my precious.” And it’s possible that I may have entirely forgotten how to cook.
Tonight’s meal almost made a grown man cry. The bok choy was limp and flavorless once I was through with it, the noodles in peanut sauce were somehow wrong, and the squash was, well…still squash (it never had a chance). I don’t think I’ve ever seen Husband unable to finish a meal I’ve cooked. He can always find something to like on the plate. It makes me wonder, am I in a bad mood because of the food, or is the food bad because of my mood? It’s like the chicken and the egg. How do you determine the starting point of a never-ending loop? And do you know what always lifts my spirits? A puzzle that has no solution.
Anyway, there were a whole bunch of other dumb things that happened. I mentioned a wee percentage of them on Twitter. The point is, I could really use a good night’s sleep. Meaning wake me when it’s November.
Eat Local Challenge Recap: 10/14-10/17
Tuesday, October 14
Breakfast: Yogurt, leftover blueberry pancakes, cider
Lunch: Clam chowder and buttered toast. Kids had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with apples, bok choy slices, and cheese.
Dinner: Spicy pork ribs with cider vinegar barbecue sauce, sweet potato fries, garlicky collard greens, and apples.
Wednesday, October 15
Breakfast: Same as Tuesday
Lunch: Same as Tuesday
Dinner: You guessed it, same as Tuesday (but with just-picked raspberries).
Thursday, October 16
Breakfast: Yogurt, whole wheat toast with jam, cider
Lunch: Hard-boiled eggs, baguette with butter, pepper slices, and apples.
Dinner: Homemade whole wheat fettuccine with tomato-sausage sauce, steamed broccoli, raspberries, oatmeal-chocolate chunk cookies.
Friday, October 17
Breakfast: Whole wheat toast with honey, scrambled eggs, cider.
Lunch: Omelet with sweet and hot peppers, onions, and goat cheese. Kids had jelly sandwiches, apples, cheese, pepper strips, and oatmeal cookies.
Dinner: Homemade whole wheat soba with peanut sauce, radishes, and tatsoi. Stir-fried bok choy and maple-glazed delicata squash. Almost sounds good, doesn’t it? Alas, it was not.
Drumlin Farm CSA, Lincoln, MA: onions, bok choy, sweet potatoes, garlic, collard greens, raspberries, bell peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, hot peppers, radishes, tatsoi, squash
Milk: High Lawn Farm, Lee, MA (Russo’s)
Butter: Cabot, Cabot, VT
Eggs: Chip-In Farm, Bedford, MA (Russo’s)
Cream: High Lawn Farm, Lee, MA (Russo’s)
Yogurt: Stonyfield Farm, Londonderry, NH
Cheese: Cabot, Cabot, VT; Grafton Village Cheese Company, Grafton, VT; Vermont Butter & Cheese, Websterville, VT
Flour, oats: Wood Prairie Farm, Bridgewater, ME (mail order)
Baguettes: Russo’s, Watertown, MA
Honey: Golden Meadow, Reseska Apiaries, Holliston, MA (Russo's)
Jam: Trappist, Saint Joseph’s Abbey, Spencer, MA
Maple sugar, maple syrup: The Warren Farm & Sugarhouse, North Brookfield, MA (Waltham Farmer’s Market)
Apples: Autumn Hills Orchard, Groton, MA
Frozen wild blueberries: Wyman’s, Milbridge, ME
Apple cider: Box Mill Farms, Carver Hill Orchard, Stow, MA (Russo's)
Apple cider vinegar: Carlson Orchards, Harvard, MA (Russo's)
Celery, onions: Dick’s Market Garden, Lunenburg, MA (Waltham Farmer’s Market)
Ginger: Old Friends Farm, Amherst, MA (Newton Farmer's Market)
Sausages: DePasquale’s, Newton, MA
Pork ribs: Codman Farm, Lincoln, MA
Gloucester haddock, Maine clams: Steamers, Newton, MA
Peanut butter: Teddie, Everett, MA
Chocolate: Taza Chocolate, Somerville, MA