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December 2008








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Western region bloggers

Leslie AllenLeslie Allen
Reno, Nevada

I was born in California, and have fond memories of homegrown tomatoes and freshly caught crawdads. My family moved a lot when I was growing up. I even lived on the East coast for a while. More about Leslie

Laura SolorioLaura Solorio
Salinas, California

I am third in a line of strong Yaqui women. My grandmother was from Baja California, from the town of Santa Rosalia. She came to the United States as a young woman, with her first child, escaping an abusive husband. More about Laura

Scott SwendsenScott Swendsen
Boise, Idaho

I am in my late 40's and single and a bit selfish. Having no children and no spouse has allowed me to pretty much explore life in a much different way than most families would. More about Scott

Paulette ThompsonPaulette Thompson
Seattle, Washington

I, P. Thompson, also known as Paulette, love food. It should not surprise you that I love to cook and eat good food. I also love talking about it, thinking about it, and reading about it. More about Paulette



< Snowed in | Main | Food, not grass >

Locavore? Say yeah!

Posted at 12:20 PM on December 29, 2008 by Paulette Thompson

One of the things I learned this year is that squash keeps well on the counter or table. They go from being ornaments for a few months to ingredients for dinner or dessert. The heirloom variety squash from our area I prepared for Christmas dinner was very nice (Mom prepared the rest of the meal. I just showed up with the squash and the almond butter cookies i made on Christmas Eve).

Here's how it played. After I hacked up the squash, I put it in a mixture which contained a little bit of maple syrup, a little cumin, a little sesame oil, a little hot sauce, plus a little balsamic vinegar and then some oil. Salt and pepper. No, I don't know the precise ingredients!
I baked it for forty minutes. I put a little bit of butter on the pieces as well. It was a winner.

I've enjoyed connecting with our locavore posse across the land. I was reminded of a friend I had not thought of in years. When I was in college I met Margo Morgan, a woman in her seventies. She was an elegant academically educated woman, the wife of a professor. Her children were grown and her grandchildren were on the West Coast. She still made the majority of her food from scratch. She kept a garden and preferred to eat foods in season. She exchanged grease with a friend who made incredible soap.
I asked her why she did what she did. In my mind, if you were academically educated and financially well-off, you didn't "have" to live that way. For Ms. Morgan it was a way of life with meaning.
I have seen a lot of changes over the years. Some changes are good. I still find it odd that I can now buy the same produce in a conventional grocery store when I visit my mother's family in Alabama as here in Washington State. What happened to seeing more of the local produce? They're in exile.

I was re-reading an article in Gourmet (August 2006) about Bryan Terry and Anna Lappe. In that article they were asked about their grub parties concerning sustainability and why it was that they getting together to talk with the choir, the converted. I really liked what the two of them had to say about it. Even if you are talking with the converted, you still need information. People have to understand why it is that they do what they do. In this case why it is that they are trying to eat as locally as possible. It's not about "I eat local foods and try to support local farmers because the cool people do it."
This is about real life and mindful choices. Seasonal eating whenever possible is good because......You have to be able to articulate this.

This project has been wonderful in that I was not alone in attempting to live this year. I made a lot of mistakes. I have learned a lot. I plan on rereading the blog throughout the year. Will I buy a banana or papaya from time to time? Yes. I probably won't buy them every week. I know what the costs are. Will I buy citrus? Of course. When they are in season, they arrive at the right time. Hopefully we can get our Locavore wiki project rolling so that we can continue the conversation.

I'll be making granola and gingerbread to start off the New Year.