I did it! Just barely within the week, but I did cook an actual meal with actual local ingredients. This week’s even looks like an actual meal instead of just two things I’m eating at the same time…


This is local kale, eggplant, and zucchini, sautéed with local onion and garlic (one sign of “actual meal” for me, as opposed to “please let there be food” is using “real” onion and garlic instead of dried), not-local cider vinegar, basil, salt, pepper, and cumin, and the same supply of dried parsley as last time (from the CSA to which my parents belong). And they’re mixed into local egg noodles. (Oh, yeah–the olive oil is also really not local.) Not pictured is the local beer (Victory‘s Golden Monkey) that was a splendid accompaniment to cooking and dinner. Yum. (Bonus local meal: lunch on Saturday was two ears of local corn. Mmmm, fresh sweet corn.)

Now, I understand that a lot of the argument for something like the Eat Local Challenge or One Local Summer is to point out how much food really is available locally, and how great fresh produce is. But this struggle I’m having, to produce an overlap between things I want to cook and things I can cook with all local ingredients, is making me really appreciate the fact that we have a global economy. I can buy rice and bananas and papaya and all sorts of things that simply don’t grow in Pennsylvania. I mean, I love buying really fresh produce at the farmers’ market and the co-op, and the local tofu is great, and I love the seasonality of my excitement over different crops. (I am soooo looking forward to the start of apple season. I love me some ginger golds.) But refrigeration and shipping, along with all of the communication technology I use, are really important to me. I am spoiled, but I’m okay with that as long as I appreciate it.


I also have a quick question for my fellow spinners with cats. Do any of you find that your cats knead your roving into beds? Is there anything I can do about it other than hiding it all? I mean, I’m all for Mel using my roving as a pillow as long as it’s safely in a plastic bag–that’s actually adorable, and I may get a picture for you at some point–but I can’t help but worry that he’s going to spoil the fiber prep if I give him too many more chances to knead my roving.