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Experiment in Local Food: Early Summer Cooking

13 July 2013

In keeping with the spirit of social movements like Slow Food and Pantry Challenge, I occasionally challenge myself to cook a meal entirely from my garden and the CSA membership my family shares.  In this case, though, I also bought a couple things from a farmer’s market I happened across after work one day.  But the idea is fairly simple: all local ingredients, all fresh ingredients, and everything that is preserved or processed was done by me or someone local.  I don’t do this often, sometimes just a single meal, sometimes one meal a day for a week, something like that.  It’s also an exercise in simplicity and deliberation, after the fashion of Walden.

Let’s skip to the results.

The potatoes, onions, and purple pepper are from a farmer’s market.  The corn and tomato are from the CSA.  Everything else is from my garden.  I did cheat a little and add salt.  That’s definitely not local.

The recipe is pretty simple.  I boiled the potatoes and corn separately.  I added thyme to the corn, Cuban oregano and sage to the potatoes.  The rest is a tomato, an onion, a purple bell pepper, one jalapeno, and Red Rubin basil, all steamed together.  I actually cooked twice as much as is on this plate and only ate half.  I’ll reheat the rest tomorrow for lunch.

The flavors were satisfying and unassuming.  I love it when simple meals like this turn out excellent.  I do this regularly to remind myself that I don’t always need to make fancy coconut milk curry sauces or slather everything in butter and salt (though slathering things in butter and salt has its proper time and place).  Also, when everything’s fresh, there’s no need to do anything fancy; I just let the ingredients speak for themselves.

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