The October 2009 Eat Local Challenge

Okay, deep breath. I’m going to do it. The October 2009 Eat Local Challenge.

First, the rules. You set the rules. Do you want 50 percent of the food you eat to be local? 75 percent? 100 PERCENT?!? And, what’s “local”? On the Eat Local Challenge site, it’s within 100 miles. Well, in Jennelle’s little world, it’s going to be 250 miles. This milk, which I already buy, and pretty much the local-est milk you can get around here comes from Wirtz, Virginia, 224 miles away. Also, Starr Hill Brewery is 240 miles away. Woot!

Okay, rules. Anything within 250 miles. Most people who do this make a list of exceptions. Coffee, for instance, is so interwoven in everyday life, and a necessity to some (me) that most people put it on the list. I’ve put a lot of thought into what I am willing to give up for 1 motnth and what I am not. So, here’s my 9 things:
coffee
oils/vinegars
sugar
seafood (but only what’s acceptable according to the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch)
maple syrup
oats
spices
hard cheeses (or any cheese that I can’t make at home–right now that’s all of them)
rice

I’ll allow myself one more once I figure out what it is… Iknow I’m not going to be able to do 100% all month long. I’ll do my best, though. Some of it is out of my hands, unless I starve, which you can bet I’m not even entertaining. This ain’t no hunger strike. I am going to Denver later this month, and travel presents eating challenges period, so I’m going to try to eat local, but since some of my meals are provided by the conference I’ll be attending, no guarantees. And, Thursday is my mother-in-law’s birthday (Happy Birthday, Sandy!!) We’re taking her out to lunch Sunday, and she gets to pick. She told us well in advance she’s got a hankerin’ for some Olive Garden. The rest of the time, we’ll see how I do.

I’m kinda excited. Some stuff, I’ll miss. Guacamole. Bananas. I don’t eat them that often, but it’s one of those things when you know you can’t have something it seems more tempting. I put in a big order today at the Monroe Farmer’s Market in preparation. I’ll post recipes and progress.

As for progress, as we speak, I have a pot of milk, rennet and citric acid on the stove. Attempt number three at homemade mozzarella cheese. It’s looking like ricotta. Why can’t I do this? I’m having trouble finding milk that isn’t ultra-pasturized, which I am hanging the blame on. According to the website, even though it says just plain “pasturized,” it is usually somewhere in between there and ultra-pasturized, which won’t make cheese. I need a good old dairy farmer that will give me some PASTURIZED, or dare I ask for unpasturized, milk and then I’ll try this again. I’ve wasted a lot of money on some fancy homemade ricotta cheese.

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