The first of another year of One Local Summer! I’m going back to the weekly format this time since the husband’s work schedule is all over the place for the summer and, let’s face it, if I’m only cooking for me, I may only actually cook one meal a week large enough so I have leftovers for the rest of the week. Hi, I’m the laziest lazy cook there is. So, a recap of One Local Summer, the challenge originated with Farm to Philly back in 2008 with Farm to Philly. I picked up on it in 2009 (AWWW my first ever One Local Summer post!), so that makes this year my (counting on fingers) EIGHTH year of One Local Summer. The idea is that you make one meal a week your “local” meal, using only ingredients found, farmed, or grown locally with exceptions for spices and oils. I usually run from beginning of May through as long as I can, typically October or so. It doesn’t have to be fancy either – sometimes it’s a huge bowl of lettuce with toppings (coughcough this week coughcough), and sometimes it’s homemade tacos from the shells to all the fixings or bacon and cheese waffles. What constitutes local? That’s up to you. The idea is to reduce your food miles (the length food has to travel to get to you) which in turn reduces your carbon footprint since you’re not eating food from across the country. It also supports your local economy by giving your money to small producers instead of large conglomerates. There’s something really special about getting to know the people who grow your food since you get to put a face to the hard work that goes into growing vegetables or tending animals and ask them questions about their processes (pesticide use, butchering etc), AND you get to know that it’s all produced with love and care. I have sworn over and over that knowing the people behind the food makes it all taste better (even if that’s probably baloney, don’t pop my bubble!)
So, that all out of the way, that photo above is my first week! We’re still in early spring around here despite it being almost mid may, so most of what the farmers market has to offer as far as vegetables is a lot of leafy greens. Kale and I have never really gotten along well (it tastes like angry dirt to me), but I LOVE the abundance and variety of lettuces and other greens available this time of year. I routinely buy a big old bag of greens and make a GINORMOUS salad for dinner in a bowl that could double as a helmet. On top of the lettuce mix are slivers of cheese, some tomato and basil pork sausage, Portobello mushrooms sautÃ©ed in butter with some spring onions, and some bok choi that I wilted over the pan with the mushrooms and onions. The only non-local thing here is the salad dressing which was just olive oil and vinegar. I think I did pretty well this week, getting back into the One Local Summer routine, and I’m already dreaming up ideas for next week!