Eating Local for Urban Families. Gluten-free and Dairy-free, too!

Monday, October 22

Dark Days Challenge

Oops! I missed posting for the first week of the Dark Days Challenge hosted by my fellow Northwesterner, Laura from Urban Hennery. This is another eat local challenge for the months out of the year when it's not quite as easy to find as much fresh, local variety as it is in the summer months.

(from Laura's rules)

1. We have to cook one meal a week with at least 90% local ingredients
2. We have to write about it - the triumphs and the challenges
3. Local means a 200 mile radius for raw ingredients. For processed foods the company must be within 200 miles and committed to local sources.
4. We're going to keep it up through the end of the year, and then re-evaluate on New Year’s Day.

And I like these rules so I'll go with them, too. The 200 mile radius is a new one for us, but one meal a week, 90% local? I checked Google Maps and this radius includes a good portion of the states of Oregon and Washington so I'm not too worried about that restriction. I'm pretty sure we can pull this off.

Last week was a four-day-long recovery (really, still not caught up) after my Bay Area trip, followed by a funeral for my Uncle Floyd this past Saturday. (We're very sad to have lost him--achingly sad, really--but glad he is finally at peace after a long illness.)

Anyway, I've learned a lesson: pre-order an online grocery delivery before I leave on a trip to be delivered the day I return. I spent most of last week slapping together random meals, and local many were not. Observe: for lunch one day, the kids got gluten-free tuna noodles made with CoffeeMate instead of milk. And then they got it again at dinner.

This week we are all prepared. I did a huge grocery shop at the big store on Sunday afternoon and a little shop at the co-op this afternoon with the girls. I'm working on a series of meals that go through a week, made easier with a little pre-cooking on Sunday and then incorporating the leftovers into meals throughout the week.

Sunday I cooked up two chickens, though one was intended to be dinner that night. We had a birthday party, then I did my shopping, so I didn't get home in time to make the chickens for dinner and instead roasted them after the kids went to bed. We had sausage patties and a ton of veggies instead. I also cooked up a bunch of roasted potatoes that we used in a frittata tonight (totally delish, like souffle, probably the best one I've ever made, and I have no idea why).

Having all this food, much of it already cooked up, in the fridge feels like wealth.


Anonymous said...

I LOVE a good frittata!

Anonymous said...

Having an order delivered on the day you return from a trip is a good idea - thanks for thinking of it. I'll have to do this next time I go anywhere!

Angelina said...

I am doing a year long challenge that is much less rigid than the couple who wrote Plenty. My radius is 100 miles, but I have an exceptions list that will keep the whole challenge livable.

The Hillsdale farmer's market was amazing this past week-end. I know it will get harder to find fresh produce in another month, but the variety was really inspiring.