Monday, September 29, 2008

October Eat Local Challenge

My husband and I have decided to take out quest 1 step further and take on the Eat Local Challenge for the month of October.
1. What is your definition of local?
Our definition of local is anything grown or produced in Texas. We will try our best to support local producers even if all product ingredients are not necessarily local.
2. What exemptions will you claim?
Until our CSA comes back on line we will need to sort out our exemptions.
Spices (if not available locally)
Orbits Gum (don't think I can live without it)
Pantry Staples (Wheat, Oatmeal, etc) that are not grown in Texas
3. What is your goal for the month?
Our goal is to try and find local Texas producers and to support our local farmers. We also want to truly understand seasonality. We have been trying to eat local for the past year or so, joining a CSA, purchasing meats, poultry, and cheeses locally. When looking at our typical weekly groceries purchased at our local grocery store we were shocked to see how truly international our dinners were....Tomatoes from Holland, Olive Oil from Spain, Capers from Turkey...I'd love to travel as much as my food had.
That being said, we will try our best while out of town to eat local, and will not refuse dinner invitations with friends based on our local quest. We will do our best and hopefully learn something in the end!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Great IKE Evacuation

I have always doubted a hurricane would never hit Houston...Louisiana always sucks them in. In my last 6 years as a Houstonian I was right...until Saturday, September 13th. Enter Ike. My husband and I had a family reunion planned to Palm Desert, California leaving Saturday the 13th...bad timing. Thankfully Southwest allowed us to change our tickets to Thursday the 11th, and after closing up our house and a 7 hour wait at Hobby Airport (we were taking no chances) we "evacuated" to San Diego.

I was VERY happy that I decided to start my gardening endeavor in containers...the veggies were moved into the kitchen before we left!

We decided to take advantage of our few extra vacation days and tour San Diego. We headed to the beach and sampled some of the local breweries. Pizza Port in Solana Beach, Lost Abbey, and Stone. Stone had a beautiful beer garden and a wonderful restaurant. Nice way to spend an evacuation. In keeping with the "all things local" theme of this blog, not shocking to anyone I am sure, Palm Desert is not the source of the thousands of fresh fruits and veggies we receive from California year-round. Turns out Dates thrive in Palm Desert! Apparently they supply something like 90% of the U.S. Consumption of Dates.

Our wonderful friends who stayed in Houston kept us up to date with the hurricane status as it made landfall, and were able to navigate the streets the day after the hurricane in order to assure us that our house was still standing. It turns out we had some significant shingle damage which allowed water to leak from our 2nd story down into the kitchen. Except for the tree carnage, that was about all the damage we received. Our fabulous friends also spent their "Hurrication" free time cleaning up our yard and pool. Amazing!! We joked that we might leave the state for EVERY hurricane :)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Veggies Arrive!

Our CSA has been having some problems as of late. They have been down for about 2 weeks repainting and repairing their cooler, but this morning we woke to Veggies at our door! At last :) I sampled the free range eggs this morning...yum! The eggs came in all different shapes and colors, from jumbo white to a small pointy brown egg. I could taste a difference I think :)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

When Life Gives You Limes...

My friend Iona has a lime tree which has produced profusely this summer! I guess lime trees love the hot humid Houston summer... She has had the tree for a year. She transplanted the tree from Galveston, stuck it in the dirt, and a year later, picked about 200 limes.

Given the surplus, she gifted me with a bag of limes. What to do with an entire bag of limes....LIMEADE!! Well...fancy Limeade

Lavender Mint Limeade

  • The juice of 9 limes

  • 1 cup Lavender Simple Syrup

  • Water (dilute to taste)

  • Sprinkle with fresh mint leaves

I got the mint off of my mint plant, which also has taken well to the Houston climate! Deliciously refreshing for the hot Houston summer...those that survive, quench.

I am thinking about using the rest of the limes to make Lavendar Mint Lime Ice Pops. We'll see how it goes. Thanks Iona!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Snap Peas and Tomatoes

I got my first two Blackpearl cherry tomatoes from my tomato plant! The leaves are curling a bit and a couple of the leaves have died on the plant, so I am a little worried the plant might have a bug/disease. Early blight?? Let's hope not...

The Sugar Snap peas are growing like crazy...11 days since planting and they are already trying to climb. I attempted to thin the peas out a bit and installed a wooden trellace. We'll see if they climb...