On Sunday, our first day of the 100 mile eating escapade, we spent most of the day wanting. Wanting the bread we make twice a week. Wanting cookies we made around the holidays. The first thing that Stefan said to me even before we got out of bed was “today is the day that we can’t eat anything!” Not the cheerleader I was hoping for.
I knew that I had to make this fun or I was going to lose my partner in experimenting to the strawberry ice cream (from 100+ miles away) in the freezer. And, fast.
I can understand why Stefan was a bit discouraged. We spent a few days prior shopping three grocery stores. At the first store, I asked the produce person where the onions were from. He said he did not know and told me to look at the onion box sitting beside the display. “Oregon”. Where in Oregon? He didn’t know and asked me why I wanted to know. After I quickly explained our 100 mile goal, he first told me that I should start my own garden and then told me that I would have better luck if I moved to California. I tried to grab Stefan’s eye as I walked away with gritted teeth. I faced a husband grinning from ear to ear. Smitten, he was. Coincidentally, we just planted lettuce seeds inside and outside.
At the next store, the produce people “did not know” the location of where their produce was grown and the meat department “did not know” where their pigs and cows were raised. We faced many a blank stares after explaining why we were curious about the exact origins of the food.
As I scanned the food labels at our last grocery store, whenever I saw a label that said “Oregon” or “Washington”, I asked the grocery employee what city (in OR or WA) the food was grown. At one point, the employee came out of his secret hideout behind the big swinging doors (I swear he went back there to hide from me) and told me that the Oregon labeled cabbage was actually from California. I long for an easy to read list of foods grown within 100 miles of Portland like this.
Luckily, we found many types of food to eat grown within 100 miles at Food Front, one of our local cooperatives. Most important to us, their employees knew the origin of all the foods that we asked about and they were interested in our experiment.
On the first night of eating only foods grown within 100 miles of Portland, Oregon, we negotiated the final exceptions to our master plan. I told you in my last post that I would share with you what our exceptions are. Here is what we will eat/drink that is not grown within 100 miles:
2. Salt—I would like to try and boil ocean water someday. Kind of like that yoga pose that I am working towards. Someday.
3. Anything that Stefan or his hunting buddies kill
4. Olive oil—although we have heard that there is a local producer. Someday.
5. Traveling exception. i.e. Catherine and Parker, our friends from Atlanta, GA raise bees and they gave us some honey while we were visiting them last spring.
As I tell more people about our eating choices this week, I am faced with their furrowed brows and confused stares. Eating local food is important to us. For many reasons. I will share them through this blog.
Sunday night, our first night, we ate venison that Brian (Fraser Creek Farms) killed, fried with rosemary from the garden, pan fried smashed potatoes grown in our garden with Ancient Heritage cheese sprinkled on top and salad with lemon vinaigrette made from Fraser Creek Farms lemons.
After dinner, Stefan told me that although we have known how to make lemon vinaigrette, we have never been forced to make it; usually we use vinegar in our dressings. The dressing tasted delicious and so very different than our standard. 3 parts oil to a little less than one part lemon juice, garlic and salt.
And, then, we were inspired to make yogurt.