I'm chomping through the Dark Days Eat Local Challenge and, to be honest, for a town mouse like me living in Northern California, it is not much of a challenge to eat local in the winter. I have several year round farmer's markets within easy driving distance and a garden that still spits out broccoli, lemons, oranges, greens, lettuce, and the occasional under-ripe baby carrot. Life is good.
The challenge is still a challenge, though, because, left to my own devices, we would dine on local super salads every night. You can really only post about salad in so many different ways. Therefore, to prevent burnout - my own and that of you lovely folks reading this, Dark Days forces me to unearth new recipes, use different ingredients and cook up other equally delicious, seasonal meals.
This week, we nibbled on local carrots - chubby little Oxhearts and the brilliant Cosmic purples - with my famous, or at least very tasty, Indian cilantro chutney (local cilantro, backyard lemon, vinegar, sugar, local garlic, bulk peanuts, local chiles).
We also indulged in homemade, gluten free corn bread baked from mostly local ingredients: local corn ground at a local mill, local milk, local eggs, local honey as well as non local rice flour, home ground buckwheat, salt, baking soda and xanthan gum. Smothered with local honey and local butter, corn bread will warm you on the darkest days.
Finally, we enjoyed dinosaur kale and potatoes, simmered in local, homemade broth with a splash of the ubiquitous (at least in my house) non-local Thai chili sauce. Hey, a girl likes a little kick to her greens.
Gotta go. Leftovers are lookin' to comfort me on this cold, dark day.