Sunday, July 29, 2007

OLS- Week 5

This week we had homemade egg noodles with homemade pesto for our local meal. This was my first attempt at making pasta. My husband got a pasta machine years ago and made pasta a few times but didn't like doing it, so the machine has sat for over a year. I decided to give it a try and it was actually a lot of fun! From baking bread it was easy for me to get the dough the right consistency and Logan loved rolling out the dough and cutting the noodles. Here he is cutting the noodles:

I can see us making pasta more often.
Here is the breakdown of the meal:

Daisy Flour - 60 miles
Eggs - Whimsical Farm - 4 miles
Water - tap - 0 miles
Garlic - West Grove, PA - 20 miles
Basil - my garden - 0 miles
Pinenuts - not local
Olive Oil - not local
I don't put cheese in my pesto so I didn't have to worry about finding that locally.

I've found the challenge hard this week. I'm trying to make what we normally make but all local and I'm finding there is usually 1 ingredient that holds us back. I know I need to start finding some new recipes to make with what is in season and local instead of trying to backtrack our old recipes. I've also been frustrated at how many meals I make that are 50-75% local. I know I should be happy with the progress we've made but I set my goal at 100% local so every meal that isn't 100% feels like a failure. I'm trying to work on celebrating every ingredient that is local but I tend to not think that way.

I made a meal earlier this week that could have been 100% local except for some poor planning and ignorance. It was a pasta dish that had local pasta, local tomatoes and local garlic, what wasn't local was the cream and the white wine. The cream wasn't local because I had my husband pick up cream one night and he didn't think to buy the local and the wine wasn't local because I bought it months ago for cooking and wasn't even thinking of getting local then. Both things can be purchased locally and I will do so before I make this dish again, but I was disappointed.


Danielle said...

Ooooh, looks yummy!

That's what I'm getting for my birthday: a pasta attachment for my kitchen aid. I may have to get it a bit early, though, as I'm getting antsy waiting until September. Now, you've given me one more reason not to wait: basil fettucini. Mmmmm.

farm mom said...

Looks delicious Christy! I can so relate to your frustrations. Last night I made a wonderful veggy stir fry but the rice and soy sauce were not local, of course. And those non-local ingredients always irk, don't they? I think it must speak to our personality type, don't you?

Wendy said...

I so LOVE making homemade pasta, but it's a lot of work and takes some pre-planning. Your pasta maker looks like ours :).

As for your being 100% local, I can relate. I always have one or two ingredients that aren't local, like salt, sugar and yeast, but I think the point of all of this is to get you thinking (like you are) about being mostly local. 75% local is GREAT! It's better than average, and in fact, is my year round goal. I'd love to be 100% local, but for somethings, that's just not going to happen, and I either cut them out of my diet (no sugar ?!?), I find a substitute (there is no substitute for suger), or I accept that some things can't be found locally in Maine (sugar doesn't grow here, and I have come to accept that).

As for what we cook here, I tend to try to find local ingredients for our family favorites. I modify the recipe, if I have to, but I have some rather particular eaters, and taking out their favorite foods just so I can be all local just wouldn't work. It's all about balance, I guess, and I think you've expressed really well the dilemma that most of us "localvores" have found ourselves in.

Keep up the great work though!

Faith said...

I have to agree with Wendy. 75% local is better than nothing at all. Imagine if everyone ate that way, and then you'll realize how your 75% contributes to your local economy.

Faith said...

Oh, and your egg noodles look aweseome! I may have to jump on this bandwagon as I have still yet to find a source for local pasta.

Mikaela said...

I love recipes that can get the little monsters into the kitchen :)

Don't beat yourself up over how local your meals are. OLS is all about baby steps :) Meaningful changes usually happen slowly and methodically, over time. You're doing great!

Christy said...

Danielle - I know how you feel, I'm getting a kitchenaid for my birthday in September and really DON'T want to wait for it!

Farm mom- Thanks for the understanding, it must be a personality type thing. We eat a lot of stir fries and the rice kills us everytime! My dad bought us a 20 pound bag of rice from India so it isn't even close to local.

Wendy - I don't mind the spices so much be it seems like the pasta or rice is always keeping us from being local. Or something like the cream this week. My husband is really picky with wanting our standards to taste EXACTLY the same as always so that can make it hard to make them local. In some ways I think it will be easier to find new dishes to eat for our local dishes.

Faith - Thanks, the noodles were really good and not hard to make at all. It just takes some time. I may have to try to dry some noodles next time.