Monday, August 22, 2011

Local produce

I'm a lazy localvore. I can conceptually get behind supporting local farmers and making sure my food hasn't consumed huge amounts of fossil fuels in reaching me, but the truth is that I like things to be easy and cheap. I was trained to go to farmer's markets while growing up, but that was as easy as taking the road past the strawberry fields on the way home from church or girl scouts. Going to a farm stand here takes a bit of planning to not get stuck in a huge traffic jam, but it's worth doing once or twice a year.

For the other stuff, I'm not completely sure where my food is coming from. I probably get a lot of my fruits and vegetables in-season simply because I start my meal planning by wandering through the produce section and buying whatever is cheap.

I did manage to blanch the skins off of a dozen tomatoes and to throw them in the freezer. Four to a bag was probably a bit much. Unlucky number thirteen got a bit crushed, but I'm planning to use it and all of the stray juices in something.

My trip to the farmer's market also included two white peaches and a whole bunch of lovely ripe yellow peaches. All but one of the white peaches went into the dehydrator, and that's because we learned that the white peaches are much better when just eaten raw.

And then there were the green peppers. They were a grocery store find, but the cheapest I've seen them and turning lovely colors. I know that those get expensive in the winter, so I bought a few for the freezer. Basically I divide them into one-inch chunks and lay them flat on a cookie sheet. Within a few hours, they are frozen enough to be scooped into a bag and used a handful at a time. They lose a lot of their cell structure like that, but retain their flavor. They're best used in casseroles and stews at that point. I also had a bowlful of the curvy-bits from the top and bottom, those will get thrown into this week's recipes.

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