Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Co-op... Wha Haha! (Part 1)

The Co-op...Wha haha haha haha!!!

Part 1 of 2. Here is part 2.

For those of you that don't know, I am doing a local eating challenge called the Dark Days Challenge. Once a week I need to prepare a meal from sustainable, organic, local and ethically raised food- then blog about it. My first few post were a challenge due to the Daniel Fast and my cooking skills were not able to shine.

I feel I have been taking the easy way out by going to the co-op and buying what the co-op calls 'local food,' making a so-so dish and blogging about it. This week was a bit more fun. I was able to buy some meat; My Daniel Fast is over.

The past few weeks I have had "Braised Short Ribs" running through my head. I have never had them or made them. I have just felt inspired to make them. I love BBQ ribs! Love them! With this type of rib I feel they are more Asian?! Maybe? At the co-op I bought the short ribs, more sunflower oil, spelt flour, butter, carrots and some hot peppers- all local. I was thinking I was going to make a BBQ sauce to cook the ribs in. I was trying to think of what I had that was local to make the sauce. All I was missing was some vinegar.

From watching Food Network I knew I would have to slow cook the short ribs in some sauce. I just needed to know: what type of sauce, how long...etc. When I came home from the co-op I looked up recipes for braised short ribs and found an awesome one at The Pioneer Woman. This recipe did not have any type of BBQ sauce, but I could work with all ingredients. I am adapting this recipe for the short ribs and using her recipe for creamy mashed potatoes to complete the meal.

After looking at the recipes, I found I was a few ingredients short. So, I went back up to the co-op. On the drive up there I knew I had all of the ingredients at home, but they were not local. I was planning on only buying only two of the ingredients using the other two non-local ingredients because I didn't want to pay for their local counterparts.

I like my co-op, but every time I say the word "co-op," my wife cringes. She knows the food is better for you, but she also knows it costs twice as much. I have put A LOT of thought in becoming a locavore, but realized it is something I cannot do at this time.

I have been married for ten years and I have three daughters. I have a few points with this. (1.) All five of us will not always agree on food. (2.) The money will not always be there to get sustainable, organic, local and ethically raised food. (3.) This diet is something my wife and I have to be in complete agreement with.

Becoming a locavore is not something to take lightly. There are responsibilities. You will need to eat seasonally, preserve food, grow some food, FORAGE, visit farms or farmers, do a lot of meal work yourself and be a very thorough planner. Did I mention you need mad discipline?

That's why I'm saying I have been doing a very basic job getting my food. I have been going to the co-op, buying food that has the "buy local" sticker next to the price tag and cooking a simple meal. I feel I am not taking the responsibility in gathering my food. I know there is a ton more to eating local. I want this challenge to mean something. To go through the dark days of eating locally means preparing extensively for the dark days.

I have some preserved food. We had a garden last year and I knew I had to save as much as I could. We have pumpkins, tomatoes, wine, pickles and jams. If I knew I was going to go through the winter months as a locavore, my spring, summer and fall would be filled with doing as much as I could to make these dark days as pleasant as they could be.

When I got to the co-op I did buy all four ingredients I needed for the meal, so beyond the seasonings it will be a local meal. When I got home I looked in the fridge and found the non-local ingredients. I was a bit irritated by feeling I was wasting resources, but understanding the motions of eating locally. I told my wife and she had a 'thanks for wasting our precious money' laugh.

Part 2

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