Monday, February 7, 2011

Buying Seasonally and Locally

Yesterday I went to the West Seattle Farmer's Market and picked up a few things, including winter squash, parsnips, frozen pitted cherries, roasted hazelnuts, grass-fed beef sausages, and raw beef bones for our dog. They had sold out of medium and large eggs by the time I arrived so I will have to pick some up next week to try. Afterwards I went to QFC to buy local Twin Brook Farm's milk, which comes in a glass jug and makes me wish I lived on a farm during the first half of the 20th century. I also grabbed some local organic yogurt and examined the produce section. I wanted to get a few fresh herbs that I could not find at the market. I found organic cilantro made in the USA; however, the other herbs I was looking for (basil, chives, and rosemary), despite being organic, were grown outside the USA. I knew I'd feel guilty for buying them since they'd traveled so far to get here, so I passed them up and made a reminder note that I need to start growing my own fresh herbs again. There were two food items I did buy that were not local or seasonal: organic bananas from Peru and a lemon (I'm not sure where it came from). From the time I entered QFC until I got home, my stress level was high. It sounds crazy to get stressed out over grocery shopping, but trying to buy seasonally at a supermarket is nearly impossible. So from now on, I'm going to do my best to avoid supermarkets. I know that these changes I'm making (to never buy processed foods, to eat locally and seasonally, to buy grass-fed meat) are difficult now, but soon they will become a habit that I will no longer have to think about. It's just like starting an exercise regimen,quitting smoking, or cutting up credit cards and paying for everything with cash. It's hard at first but over time, habits are formed and the actions become quite subconscious.

So today for lunch I made winter squash stew (pictured above). I caramelized onions, garlic, and the cubed winter squash in olive oil, and seasoned it with salt and pepper. I used the remnants of the onions, garlic, and squash (skins and ends) to make a broth by boiling them in a quart of water. I strained the broth, poured 2 cups of the strained broth into the caramelized vegetables, and added about 2 cups of garbanzo beans.

I also saved the squash seeds and roasted them with a little salt.

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