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The edible nightshades are all pretty much warm weather foods, more tropical than temperate. This first week I decided to use the very last of the eggplantlets that were hanging on - homegrown eggplant, in November! My very favorite thing to cook with eggplant is the very first thing that I ate with eggplant - Melanzane al Funghetto*... The variation that I use adds tomato, garlic, and fresh parsley. Since I only have a very small amount of eggplant, it will be a side dish, a topping over some "fauxghetti" made from shredded steamed squash. I'll add a cheese omelet, and some mashed potatoes, and that will be a rather nice dinner.
homegrown herbs, including onion "greens"
homegrown sweet pepper
local eggs - my hens won't be laying till there is more daylight
local butter - from Tillamook
local tomato - gift from friends, stored in freezer
local cheese - Rumiano's Dry Jack, from Crescent City
this is outside my 150 mile limit, but I brought this cheese back myself from a trip several years ago
I've been thinking about the parameters of this twenty week challenge, and how best to adapt myself and the rules to each other... there is a lot of talk currently about is it better to choose organic that is grown faraway vs local and sustainable but maybe not registered as organic... and there is the issue with a lot of the smaller organic companies being bought up by various less savory larger corporations.
In addition, unlike every other place that I have lived, in lovely, green, sustainably minded, Portland Oregon, the farmers markets here are the most costly place to buy food, being even more expensive than the upscale groceries. Not that I begrudge the farmers getting paid well for their efforts, but I wonder why in Seattle or Olympia the small farmers are successful year after year and still manage to sell at a more affordable price point. (end of rant)
So, my current thoughts on the guidelines are basically the way I try to shop anyway: sustainable and local will trump corporate organic, though I will attempt to find sources that are organic and affordable. Since butter is available locally, I will use that for the cooking fat. I will exempt spices. (I'm not going to bother to exempt coffee and chocolate, since I don't indulge) Basically I will shop imagining the way that things were available to our medieval ancestors, maybe something special was available in the marketplace and could be purchased and preserved for use later... That is how I feel about including the salt jack, stored cold it lasts for years. I've also just started making a batch of salted lemons, a Moroccan condiment and seasoning, organic lemons preserved in their own juice and salt. I would include this, as a "one time bounty" of six lemons can be preserved to last for months...
* Italian: eggplant, mushroom style