Eating Local

I've never been one to tightly follow a recipe but I love to look at the pictures in a good cookbook or read the sidebars where an author describes her first taste or first mistakes preparing a dish. From there I read ingredients, tasting each one in my imagination. And then I close the book and do something else.

When I cook it's freeform or hit or miss depending on how you look at it. Which is another thing I love about eating local this month; it's about being creative.

Last night we savored pear and delicate dessert cheese at the kitchen counter, the quickest food I could find and the antithesis to plane peanuts we'd declined earlier.

Tonight there wasn't much in the house; the bottom scrapings of a pot of rice, a bit of a roasted chicken from the store and an old zucchini. I tossed out the zucchini and then diced up slow roasted peppers I'd stored in olive oil last week, only sorry I hadn't roasted more serranos.

And all last week we ate fresh basil in our salads, yellow carrots, sprouted pumpkin seeds and greens that were ridiculous with flavor. No radishes? I diced up an apple. Craving avocados, I added leftover roasted potatoes, ripe figs, a slice of cheese. Leftover garlic beans? Instant garnish for the salad. No dressing? I added a teaspoon of honey to the bottom of our bowls and tossed a palm full of backyard herbs into the mix.

I'm finding that eating local is not about doing without; it's an adventure of appreciating the ingredients available or leftovers as the case may be. Not much different than not eating local as I think about it but as the cute guy says, "It just tastes better."

(Thanks to the Eat Local Challenge blog for the nice compliment!)

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