Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Think Locally, Shop Lazily

I'm participating in the 100-Mile Thanksgiving, details of which I will not bore you with — just yet.
But like most people, I'm excited about the coming food celebration, and I've been planning and replanning my menu for weeks.
There are certain items that simply aren't grown within 100 miles of my home, and I'm gamely doing without them. Sugar? Feh. I'll use honey. Black pepper? Who needs it when I've got a local source for habanero flakes.
For my turkey stuffing I can either bake my own whole wheat bread with local flour or find an alternative to bread. Still haven't made a final decision there.
But one item I bravely decided to forgo was celery for the stuffing. I don't think I've eaten a stick of celery since the first Eat Local Challenge last year.
Because I stupidly decided celery wasn't locally grown. I have no idea why. For more than a year now, I just haven't been wearing my celery spectacles.
Until today when Cranky and I were picnicking on cheese and salami and olives at a little table in the sun next to the Wednesday farmers market in Corte Madera. We were just lazily sitting there, not even shopping since the house is full of food. But we were watching the shoppers (and that will make a fun post someday). The strawberries were flying out of the market, even in late November, but the "I can't cook" Marin crowd was pretty much ignoring the verdant, lush pile of greens.
"Look, Cranky," I said. "Nobody knows what to do with kale or dandelion or — ohmygod, is that celery that guy just picked up?"
It was. And it was local.
And it's going in the stuffing.
Maybe into a Bloody Mary, too; we'll see.


kudzu said...

Oh, yes, celery (and where did you think it grew, if not here?). I can't imagine Thanksgiving without it: in the dressing (stuffing to Yankees), in a long narrow cut glass dish with olives before dinner, and best of all, in the stock made from the carcass to put away in the freezer for winter soups. It does perfume the house beautifully. Hmmmmm: maybe I'll even eventually make a cream of celery soup that will challenge Campbell's.

Stacie said...

mmmm.. pour me a Mary!! Congrats on the local celery... a must have! How do you manage to get a good mirpoux with out it? I would love to be a fly on the wall at your 100 mile Turkey Day! You are blessed with the bounty of the Bay area for sure...

Moonbear said...

I have been planning and re-planning my Thanksgiving dinner too. But I get all anxious just thinking about trying to get the gravy made before the turkey gets cold, and getting everything into the oven that needs baking or roasting. Everything needs to happen all at once, as if by magic. I guess the only way to remain calm is to have a nice glass of scotch...Any wise words?

cookiecrumb said...

Kudzu: Stupid me. I know there's Salinas Valley celery, and I'm avoiding factory farming. But I didn't do my homework.
Oh, you should see my relish tray, bought at a church sale. It's a ceramic replica of celery! Ugly as hell.
(Oh, and speaking of replica food, I've got one coming for T-giving. Classic. Rip off. Funny.)

Stacie: Cranky wanted me to say that perhaps we should have started distilling our own potato vodka a little sooner. Not that we'd have any idea how to do that.

Moonbear: That's exactly how you make gravy: tipsy. And the turkey is *supposed* to rest under a foil tent, for up to a half hour! You'll be fine. For the first time, this year I think I'm stretching out my cooking over three days. And it's only for the two of us!

KathyF said...

We'll be in Cornwall, eating Cornish pasties, so I'm calling it my 100 Mile Thanksgiving. Despite evidence recently unearthed that Cornish pasties are really from Devon.

Anonymous said...

how about adding some sage to the stuffing

cookiecrumb said...

KathyF: I was just reading about Cornish food in Saveur a few months ago. Oh, the tragedy of having their signature item reassigned to Devon!

Gustad: That is a foregone conclusion, my man! The main reason I grow a sage plant, in fact. (And it's local.)

Tana said...

It's been months since I was at the Saturday market at the Ferry Plaza, but the last time I was there, Ella Bella Farm had some of the most beautiful celery I've ever seen. Check it out.

cookiecrumb said...

Hey, Tana: I'm actually going to FP Saturday to meet a stranger! This blogging, she create friends, no?
I will stop by Ella Bella. Maybe I'll bathe in celery for the rest of the year. (And if they can make cucumber-scented soaps, why not celery?)

michelle said...

I guess that means that you've also gone that long without celery in your bloody mary's too then? Oh you brave soul, you. So glad you've discovered it once again!

cookiecrumb said...

Michelle: Yes, but I love those peppery pickled green beans in a Bloody just as much. Anyway, all's right with the world again.